The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance

The Pencil: A History Of Design And Circumstance - Henry Petroski I really tried to like this book. The topic sounded very interesting, and as a writer who still does write by hand, I figured it would be interesting. However, Petroski simply does not know how to write or make an engaging narrative. Every time you think he is going to get to the history of the pencil, he goes off on some generic tangent--whether it be how wonderful engineering (as a field) is, or where I finally dropped off, some stuff about storytellers. That the prose is dense and dry certainly does not help things neither. I have read a good number of microhistory books (histories of just one topic) that were pretty good. This is not one of them. Avoid this book. I am sure if you want to learn more about pencils and their history, there are better sources out there. I just basically followed the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 on this one.