Even this high school chemistry flunkey found The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theordore Gray an amazing read cover-to-cover.
I pride myself on reading a little bit of this and that, but a book about chemistry wouldn't be on the top of the list. Until recently, that is. While straightening the NEW books I came across The Elements. The visually rich cover enticed me to crack it open. Once at home, I devoured it cover to cover. So there is actually a rhyme and reason to the periodic table! Each two-page spread is beautifully laid out with photos of the element in it's raw form (if that's possible), it's scientific date, and common (and sometimes not so common) everyday uses or objects. The author obviously knows his stuff, but lays it out in a way that is enjoyable to understand.
Even his side comments are extremely funny: "Thoriated toothpaste is no longer made, thankfully" or "Germanium dietary supplements....from Japan are largely just silly" or collect over 15 pounds of uranium and "the feds start asking questions". If only my high school chemistry teacher (whom I secretly referred to as Gargamel) was so witty some of this might've stuck so many years earlier.
Check out more of the authors photos and info at www.periodictable.com.