Electric Savvy: Using Electricity to Make Your House a Home
by Blaine C. Readler
Full Arc Press

"However, it didn't matter much, since everybody was using ear buds, which is like crumbling up the Mona Lisa and jamming her through your mail slot."

Readler realizes that while a great many people know how to use the tools of modern technology such as a computer, microwave, or even a simple light switch, only a small percentage of the population understands how any of these marvels work. He is also aware that while thousands of textbooks may offer diagrams, formulas, and schematics to explain the science behind electricity, sometimes a less technical and more casual approach to the subject may be better for many learners. With these facts in mind he has dumped all but two equations from his text, junked the jargon, and decided to take a conversational tone to explore his topic. The result is a relaxed yet highly informative book explaining how electricity functions in our homes and lives.

The author starts off with a bit of his own family history to illustrate how the emergence of electrified homes and new appliances began to alter society before giving a brief synopsis of how the science of electricity was first applied in the world. He then shifts to discussing the basics of electricity using down-to-earth analogies such as showing how voltage, current, and resistance correspond to water pressure, water flow, and the size of your garden hose in that order. From there he explains everything from how an electric motor is constructed and works, the physics at play in a fluorescent bulb, the benefits of a transistor over a relay, the differences between analog and digital signals, and the intricacies of the Internet.

Reading Readler is like sitting on a porch swing and listening to your grandfather gently explain all the mysteries of life with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. He has taken a subject that is often seen as too difficult to understand and made it comprehensible.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home