ELECTRIC SAVVY: Using Electricity to Make your House a Home
Undeniably, electricity has made our lives easier. Unfortunately, even while constantly using electricity, most people do not understand where it comes from or how it works. Electric Savvy by Blaine C. Readler starts with a brief history of the development of electricity, easily explaining the reason we use AC instead of DC current, how magnetism and wire create current, and why we have the odd 120 volts in household applications. Then come the details of how electricity works for us. He explains the magic of light bulbs, toasters, doorbells, stoves; and really hits his stride with refrigeration, air conditioning, speakers, transistors, and finally computers. His details and examples are easy to understand and very practical. He demystifies the common watt.
There are a few formulas to illustrate the concepts, and they are easily deciphered. The pace moves quite fast, especially in the last parts of the book. The best way to read this is to read a chapter and ponder it a bit before reading the next one. There are many short, tangential anecdotes that brighten up the narrative; the book has the feel of lectures rather than ponderous research. The tone is light, but the information is accurate and useful. You won’t be an electrical engineer after reading it, but you will understand a lot more about electricity. I recommend it for those who want to understand what we take so much for granted.