Book Review: Why Balloons Rise and Apples Fall – The Laws That Make the World Work by Jeff Stewart

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bought on a whim while at the British Museum, I picked up this little gem in the hope that I might glean some useful simple analogies and explanations to use with my science students. I wasn’t disappointed. Jeff Stewart is as funny as he is well informed.

Dealing with the laws of Physics, Stewart covers much of the ground needed for GCSE science and not a small amount of the principles required for at least the ‘bigger picture’ ideas encountered with A level Physics. Very accessible, it makes an ideal introductory book for students to read, perhaps over the summer before starting their respective courses. Certainly, after reading it, if you found it boring then Physics probably isn’t for you. It is a relatively short book, with ten chapters each covering a particle area of science and never lasting longer than twenty pages. That makes it easy to digest in small chunks.

This is certainly a book I will dip into from time to time when I have a student that just isn’t getting it and I need to be reminded of good visual demonstrations and thought experiments that will get the principle across. Knowing me, in researching that, I’ll get lost in the gentle humour of the author again and read far more than I need to!

Social Entrepreneur, educationalist, bestselling author and journalist, D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page. His third book is ‘Try not to Laugh’ and is a guide to memorising, revising and passing exams for students.

Both ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ and ‘Sonali’ are available on Amazon for kindle and paperback. Published by Shopno Sriti Media. The novel,’The Pukur’, was published by Histria Books in 2022.

D K Powell is available to speak at events (see his TEDx talk here) and can be contacted at Alternatively, he is available for one-to-one mentoring and runs a course on the psychology of writing. Listen to his life story in interview with the BBC here.

Ken writes for a number of publications around the world. Past reviewer for Paste magazine, The Doughnut, E2D and United Airways and Lancashire Life magazine. Currently reviews for Northern Arts Review. His reviews have been read more than 5.5 million times.


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