Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Ice: The Nature, the History, and the Uses of an Astonishing Substance Paperback – June 1, 2007
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Neal Karlen , December 26, 2005, Books of The Times
It is well-written but I can't imagine the average reader really getting into the esoterica of how frozen lakes form or the difference between a frozen lake and a frozen river. The book even gets into how a frozen lake breaks up.
The historical notes are interesting but again, not for everyone. In short, this is the kind of book only a nerd such as myself would love.
1) It is thick.
2) It doesn't have any diagrams to help explain any concepts. It has a few black and white photos clustered in the middle, though these seem disconnected from the text.
A science- and nature-related book such as this simply begs for helpful diagrams and photos to complement the text. They are not here. And at times the explanations the author gives for phenomenon such as ground freezing seem contradictory; and without a diagram, I wondered if the author understood the things she was trying to explain.
The book is quite extensive though, particularly on the history and the uses of ice. If you are interested in the uses of ice, this may be a helpful book.
However, I completely agree with the Publisher's Weekly review above when it wrote
"But this book is an often mystifying precipitate of facts, curious words and anecdotes that could be slashed in half with no ill effect. The book also suffers from an overdose of distracting literary quotations on nearly every page."
To this, I would add that the quotations she selected from scientists are terrible, seemingly picked out to impress the reader with unexpected words rather than to help illuminate.
You will find interesting things here about ice, but might find such aspects of the book frustrating.
The writing ranges from lyrical and evocative to mundane, with the author analyzing the structure, formation and peculiar behavior of ice crystals, then recounting well-known anecdotes about Roger Bacon, the Titanic and Scott's attempt to reach the South Pole. I have to say it kept me interested but sometimes I felt as though she was just compiling facts and stories without tying them to a central theme. Her research is exhaustive, her writing skillful, but this could have been a shorter, more concise book.
Water has always fascinated me and this book just confirms the wonder that is water in all of its forms. It is a truism that without water life simply would not exist on the planet. DNA may be the molecule that determines life, but water is the molecule that allows it, at least in a form that we know. If you think the subject boring, read "Ice" and be surprised! I recommend it highly.
Beyond this obvious fact - "ICE" takes us into the chemical and behavioral dimensions of ice and how it works influences our weather, ocean currents and temperature, and the our Earth's atmosphere.
As a water researcher of many years - I liked learning about how the world's foremost ice research center is in New Hampshire; how "sea smoke" is created when water gives up heat to cold air; about "splash ice" and "diamond dust"; how as ice forms it rejects many impurities - even air; about what role ice plays in the life of animals and other life forms; about cosmic ice, and many other cool things.
Water Voices from Around The World
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was astounded when I first rented this book from a library as a child. I only made it 200 pages in before I had to return it, and it drifted out of my mind for several years. Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by Aaron R
everything you ever wanted to know about solid water is here in this book. there is a lot of stuff to know about icePublished on June 20, 2013 by sean flint
Whoa! Need details on a disappearing substance? This is the book for you. Details are, well, detailed! Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by Doc jojo
"Ice" is an wonderful book. It is well written and should be interesting to almost anyone of intelligence, regardless of their field of normal interest. Read morePublished on March 20, 2011 by John McRaney
Living in the Northeast I can attest as could anyone living in the northern expanse of North America that this past winter was one heck of a polar punch in the gut. Read morePublished on March 5, 2011 by Richard Dicanio
Frozen water. What else is there to say about it? It's H2O that's lost so much energy it turns from a liquid to a solid. Big deal, right? Read morePublished on July 30, 2010 by My Fake Name
If you liked Kurlansky's COD and SALT then ICE is for you, excellent work and intelligently written... Highly recommended.Published on July 24, 2009 by Peter N. Gill
Ignore the PW print review: This is a wonderful treasure chest of science, stories, lore and quotes about ice in all its many, many forms. Read morePublished on March 24, 2007 by The Sanity Inspector
Mariana Gosnell is a former Newsweek reporter and pilot, and her so her exploration of the science and nature of ice reads easily for the general-interest reader - yet contains... Read morePublished on April 24, 2006 by D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer