I don't have a very good grasp of where all the stuff I use comes from. Things like glass, and porcelain, plastic and chocolate. What separates these materials from other similar materials? What separates these materials from themselves? How were these discovered? How were they refined? In Stuff Matters, Mark Miodownik seeks to answer these questions for a number of common materials.
Unlike a lot of other Bill Gates recommendations, this one didn't go over my head. Everything is explained very clearly, so I wasn't sitting there feeling like an idiot most of the time. The flip side though is that sometimes you want more detail about a process being described, but Miodownik keeps things pretty simple to keep it readable.
If you want to know more about how the stuff around you is made along with its history, you'll enjoy the book.