Book Review: Electron Microscopy Sciences Catalog – 5/5 Stars! Breathtaking in its scope!

15 Feb

I tried to review this page-turning new book on Amazon, but couldn’t find the title there! WTF, Amazon? I mean, Barnes and Noble not having it, sure, but et tu, Amazon?

Electron Microscopy Sciences, home to the "sensuous touch" tweezers. Coming soon: "sensuous snip" scissors!"

Electron Microscopy Sciences Catalog XVI, containing a surprising amount of tweezers on tweezers action.

Electron Microscopy Sciences: Catalog XVI

by Electron Microscopy Sciences

This book, which quite modestly bills itself as “the most comprehensive source for all fields of microscopy and general lab research,” was given to me by a colleague. I can only assume, since it was presented to me unread, that he was put off by the seemingly dry subject matter suggested by the title

Turns out, it was his loss.

Having never read a book written by itself before, I have to admit to some initial misgivings. How, for example, was the editing handled? Because how could a book written by itself not take editing suggestions personally?

However, overcoming those misgivings, I jumped in and wouldn’t you know it, highly enjoyed the read!

Initial impressions: experiencing the weight of this very large, very thick book in my hands, I felt overwhelmed. At 8.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall and 1 inch thick, my first thought was (as would be yours), “Holy crap, this is a long book!”

Fear not. Most of it is pictures.

Color pictures.

And, even better, the book is free!

Inside this amazingly well-thought out world, you will discover things you never would have guessed existed. Let’s take one example: tweezers.

Yes, I know that very few people in this world haven’t already guessed at the existence of tweezers. But even for those of you who have, did you know how diverse the tweezers population could be?

The author presents nearly 350 different types of tweezers alone! Long ones, slim ones, plastic, synthetic, composite. Tweezers that melt at 1400C. Locking, shanking, shivving, stabbing tweezers. Positive action versus negative action! Biological versus standard grades!

But that’s not all! This futuristic world also has acid-proof and anti-magnetic tweezers!

I can only dream of owning, in the here and now, acid-proof, anti-magnetic tweezers. Such a startling vision of the future!

Even more, and this is a direct quote from the book, there exist tweezers with a “sensuous touch!”

Is that a pair of tweezers in your pocket, or are you happy to see me? If the latter, I'm not impressed.

So sensuous I can hardly stand to look at them!

I won’t go into the forceps or bizarro, torture chamber style micro ‘scissors,’ as this is where the book drifted into macabre territory and lost me a little bit. But still, one can’t help but be impressed with scissors that cut in only 3mm increments.


The forceps and scissors are where the book begins to take its dark turn, but the journey into pitch-black horror is completed with the revelation of the Smart Tweezers. Just what the world needs, right? Tweezers hell-bent on outwitting their (soon-to-be-former?) masters.

The tale takes an even more terrifying turn when we learn about the availability of tweezers protection caps.

If those Smart Tweezers get their hands on those protective caps, they’ll be neigh unstoppable!

And thus is the stage set for an epic conflict of austenitic, acid-proof stainless steel proportions.

OK, you’re probably asking yourself, do I really want to read a book about 350 different types of tweezers? And can I really trust the review of someone who felt compelled to meticulously page through the book, counting all those different types of tweezers?

The answers to your questions are, in order, yes and most likely unless you want to hurt his feelings.

And trust me, this book has so much more than just tweezers plotting world domination. It has over one thousand color-coded pages filled with darkly amazing pictures and stunning descriptions. Not since the invention of steam-punk has there been such a cornucopia of imaginative science-y objects in a tome!

By the time you finish reading this book, you’ll want those tweezers to win!

You’ll also be significantly older if you read at an average pace. For those of you that fall into that category, I recommend the audio book, when and if it ever comes out. You can listen as you commute to work.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is out!

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to learn more or order a copy!

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Posted by on 15 February 2012 in Other Blogs


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