The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Ceony Twill has spent the last five years daydreaming of being a Smelter, enchanting jewelry, bullets and cannons but she’s been apprenticed to Emery Thane, a paper magician and once bonded to paper it will be her material for life. The Paper Magician is written with the very interesting concept of magic tied to a specific material such as paper, glass, metal or plastic. Paper magicians make specific folds or cuts to different types of paper to create enchantments and spells. I very much enjoyed the magical system that Ms. Holmberg created. I also liked the character of Emery Thane. He is eccentric and has more depth than the main protagonist. This novel is the beginning of a series that I am excited to continue reading. I would recommend this quick fantasy novel to anyone who enjoys magical worlds.
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik
Do you want to know why glass is transparent or why you only taste the food and not the spoon? “Stuff Matters” is an introduction to materials science and will answer these questions plus others you never knew you had. It delves into topics ranging from why stainless steel makes the sharpest knives to how sand goes from being opaque particles to transparent glass when heated. Mr. Miodownik has written a creative and absorbing look at some of the materials that surround our everyday lives. He skillfully navigates the fine line between pure entertainment and pure science through excellent writing. The book also includes hand-drawn illustrations which makes the whole thing feel more like a journal than a text book. Fun snippets of history + easy to understand chemistry = a phenomenal good time with materials.