If Bill Gates recommends a book, I'd definitely read it. So when he tweeted about it recently, I knew I just had to get ahold of it.
This book is BRILLIANT! If only it'd been written when I was in school, it would have motivated me to study hard in class and attempt to appreciate the esoteric nature of the modules I was taking. Mark Miodownik is a great writer and he makes every chapter supremely interesting.
We learn about how concrete works in buildings to how chocolate works. You'd probably not consider chocolate a "material" but he does, and he devotes a chapter to it. (If only my professors did that... Well, I can only whine.)
Traditional materials like metal and paper aren't left out and we are regaled with tales of how they are used in the modern and ancient world.
It isn't every day that you get an interesting and captivating science book written by a professor and when you do, treasure it, because you never know when the next one is gonna come by.