OK, something new for me to worry about: the North and South Poles reversing their electromagnetism and destroying life on Earth as we know it. Such is a prospect discussed in the fascinating new book The Spinning Magnet: The Electromagnetic Force That Created the Modern World–and Could Destroy It by Alanna Mitchell. More than scaremongering, Ms. Mitchell weaves a compelling tale of science and history – and the history of science – and Earth’s electromagnetism which will change the way you will think of this big blue marble we call home.

About The Spinning Magnet by Alanna Mitchell:

“Award-winning journalist Alanna Mitchell’s science storytelling introduce intriguing characters–from the thirteenth-century French investigations into magnetism and the Victorian-era discover that electricity and magnetism emerge from the same fundamental force to the latest research. No one has ever told so eloquently how the Earth itself came to be seen as a magnet, spinning in space with two poles, and that those poles have dramatically reversed many time, often coinciding with mass extinctions. The most recent reversal was 780,000 years ago.”

As someone who never had a mind for science, I appreciate a book that does not dumb things down but presents the information in an accessible narrative that not only makes me feel smarter, but actually makes me smarter.

The Spinning Magnet by Alanna Mitchell is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.