Author Blaine C. Readler is no novice to explaining all things electric, having been a consulting engineer in the development of electronics products for more than three decades. He is also the author of more than a dozen novels that rely on his scientific knowledge to incorporate plausible technology, and two nonfiction books aimed at engineers.
His latest effort, Electric Savvy: Using Electricity to Make Your House a Home, is a charming, accessible work that not only explains primary concepts of electricity, but also gives readers knowledge of how electricity touches our everyday lives, from refrigerators to smart-phones. Along the way, his writing style is entertaining, and readers who have at least a base understanding of high school math and science need not fear that they will be lost in the narrative.
The author begins with the history of power sources, and by the time he defines the difference between AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current), the reader is hooked. The slim volume contains only one mathematical equation, which the author explains carefully. He also provides footnotes that are a mix of explanations and tongue-in-cheek commentary.
Readler supplies an index that could have been compiled more accurately with a bit of careful editing. A glossary of the technical terms that fill the book to the brim would also have enhanced the volume. However, neither of these details hamper overall satisfaction.
Those who have a basic understanding of electricity will have a head-nodding experience while reading, and those who are generally inquisitive about a wide variety of topics will also enjoy this book. Electronics gurus might find the information too elementary, but it’s definitely a title they could recommend to friends who are hazy on the topic.
BlueInk Heads-Up: Librarians may wish to stock this book, as it is a serviceable introduction to electronics for those who are dipping their toes into the subject.