Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/291

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The Playtime Naturalist. By Dr. J. E. Taylor, F. L. S., Editor of "Science-Gossip." With 366 Illustrations, New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 287. Price, $1.50.

No better statement of the scope and spirit of the "Playtime Naturalist" can be given than by quoting its preface entire. It is as follows: "The writer of this book has a liking for intelligent English lads, just as some people have for blue china and etchings. He ventures to think the former are even more interesting objects. And, as the writer was once a boy himself, and vividly remembers the never-to-be-forgotten rambles and observations of the objects in the country; and, moreover, as he treasures up such reminiscences as the most pleasant and innocent of an active man's life, he thought he could not do better than enlist this younger generation in the same loves and the same pleasures. He has endeavored to do his best for his human hobbies, and hopes their lives may be richer and sweeter and more manly for what he has introduced them to in the following pages."

The book is a story of the collecting done by the boys of "Mugby School," and its style may be seen in the section relating to fish-scales, published in the May number of this magazine. There is a delightful chapter early in the volume entitled "Among the Birds," and this is followed by a fascinating account of moth and butterfly collecting. A variety of insects of land and water, land shells, frogs, newts, etc., and microscopic animals and plants, receive attention in turn. The descriptions are accompanied by an abundance of illustrations, which aid in identifying the creatures described, and add much to the attractiveness of the volume. No book better adapted to arouse a love of nature in the young has been published in a long time.

An Elementary Text-Book of Chemistry. By William G. Mixter, Professor of Chemistry in Yale University. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 459. Price, $2.50.

The author states as the aim of this book, to enable the student to grasp the fundamental principles of the science, and at the same time to learn something of the chemistry of common things. The work is adapted to students of college age. The "periodic classification" has been made the basis of arrangement. The acidic and basic groups are treated alternately in order to discuss bases and salts early in the course, as well as to give constant variety to the character of the experiments performed. Compounds of the rare elements are described, to make evident the reasons for the classification, and also to serve as a basis for the summaries of the groups. Graphic and constitutional formulas are much used. The reasons for a number of constitutional formulas are given, and, in case of compounds whose constitution is not understood, care is generally taken to state that the constitutional formulas employed are assumed from analogy. Considerable matter intended for reading rather than recitation is distinguished by small type. The volume is introduced by a short chapter on the physics of chemistry, which includes an account of crystallography and of the laws of gases. Detailed directions for experiments, and a large number of figures of apparatus, are given. Much pains is taken to show the relationship between the members of each group by means of summaries. Presentations of chemical principles are scattered at intervals through the book.

Nature and Man. Essays Scientific and Philosophical. By William B. Carpenter, with an Introductory Memoir by J. Estlin Carpenter. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 483. Price, $2.25.

The fifteen essays contained in this volume represent chiefly the latter phases of Dr. Carpenter's thoughts on the problems concerned with the interpretation of nature and man. He believed some of the conclusions which they embody to be of high importance in the guidance of life. They were the result of long observation, and in some cases differed widely from the ideas which his early education and his first studies had led him to adopt. Mr. J. Estlin Carpenter undertakes in the "Memorial Sketch" to indicate some of the processes which contributed to this change, and to present briefly the connection between Dr. Carpenter's varied work and the personality from which his many-sided energy flowed out. An interesting and instructive delineation is given of the various phases which Dr. Carpen-