Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/571

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557
LITERARY NOTICES.

A Reading Diary of Modern Fiction. Containing a Representative List of the Novels of the Nineteenth Century, preceded by Suggestive Remarks on Novels and Novel-reading. New York: F. Leypoldt. Pp. 150.

The main object of this work is stated to be "to present a survey of all that is considered worth reading in the domain of modern fiction, and thus to make easy a daily record of what has been read and what to read next, with a view to comparing notes and a mutual exchange of recommendations among congenial friends." For this purpose a column in each page is given of "Books worth Reading," and is followed by blank columns for estimating merit, and recording other books that may be suggested. Our remark is, that the catalogue is too full. We should not like any one for whose mental cultivation we cared to become acquainted with so many novels. If the list were only one tenth as large, it would be many times more valuable.

The Practice of Commercial Organic Analysis. By Alfred H. Allen, F. I. C., F. C. S., Lecturer on Chemistry and Public Analyst. Volume II, Hydro-carbons, Fixed Oils and Fats, Sugars, Starch, Alkaloids, and Organic Bases, etc. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1882. 8vo. Pp. 561. Price, $5.

To those chemists who are already the fortunate possessors of the first volume of Mr. Allen's work, it will be good news to know that the second volume has at last been issued, for its appearance has been awaited with some impatience. In the former volume we had a full description of the alcohols, with the acids and ethers derived from them; also the phenols, carbolic, salicylic, and benzoic acids, as well as all the cyanogen bodies. The present volume, which is much larger than the former, contains the new methods of analysis of many articles of present interest. The analytical chemist will probably turn first to the chapter on glucose and grape-sugar, for on these subjects reliable and practicable information is meager. Here, for the first time, we believe, methods for estimating maltose are given, and attention is called to the error which it causes when Fehling's solution is employed for the estimation of dextrose in commercial glucose. The method of determining dextrose, maltose, and dextrine in the same solution from the rotatory and reducing power, in connection with the specific gravity of the solution, is clearly and concisely given.

Next in interest to glucose is the analysis of butter, and, although the chemist has not yet attained perfection in this, we find here the best methods known at present for detecting oleomargarine. The last chapter, a lengthy one, is devoted to aniline derivatives, the assay of aniline dyes, the identification of coal-tar colors, and the recognition of dyes on tissues.

We bespeak for the book the most favorable attention, because it is the only complete work on this subject in the English language, because it is new and up to the times, and because its author is well known as a practical analyst. The work is indispensable to the laboratory.

Currency; or, The Fundamental Principles of Monetary Science postulated, explained, and applied. By Hugh Bowlby Willson. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 309. Price, $1.50.

The author contemplated, when he began, many years ago, his investigations on the subject of this work, writing a synopsis of the theories and practices of ancient and modern nations in respect to their currencies, but soon discovered that he would not have time to perform the task. The present work, the scope of which is more limited, has grown out of a series of postulates which he published in 1875-'76, in a London journal, for the purpose of directing attention to the desirability of embodying the ascertained and generally accepted principles of monetary science in a few "simple if not self-evident" propositions. Professor Bonamy Price, of Oxford, wrote him a note of thanks for his letter, saying, "It is exceedingly good, and I rejoice over it much, especially the postulates and principles." Much space is devoted to attacking the "prejudices and ignorance" which uphold the present systems of issuing and supplying paper money, they containing much that is regarded as at variance with scientific principles. The plan of delegating the issue of paper money to banking corporations other than the government is assailed; and