Monday, August 31, 2009

One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and Screw by Witold Rybczynski

I'm not quite sure where this book came from. I reached into a box while unpacking, looked down and though "Now why would I ever have this?" I still don't know, it's one of the few mystery books that have shown up over the years. It is a short book, less than 150 pages, with several well drawn diagrams and even a picture glossary of tools to refer to as you read.

I was surpisingly drawn into it, considering its about tools, and I don't have much of a fit-it-up bone in my body. I'm more of the tear it down and look pleadingly at my boyfried to put it back together type.

The author starts by giving us a reason why he felt compelled to research the screw and screwdriver of all things. He then walks us through a good chunk of his research as he looks for the origins (which was suprisingly tricky). Finally, he walks us backwards through time through all the various stages and uses of the screw(driver). I would have prefered to start at the beginning and work our way to modern times, so it was a bit confusing for me jumping backwards but I can understand why he wrote that way.

An interesting book to keep me occupied for an afternoon...lovely sketches throughout as well.

3/5 stars

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