Although I know this is a strange word to describe a piece of scholarship, the book is truly enchanting. The format’s what one might call ‘high-brow coffee-table’ (although I’m sure the publishing industry has a blander designator for the format); it reads kind of like a museum catalog for an exhibition that never happened. Simultaneously browsable and readable in (almost) one sitting, it’s a book that leads you to do your own thinking and make your own connections, rather than following the model of an academic monograph that ‘makes an argument’. Before you know it, you’ve thought more about air in the history of science, philosophy, art, and everyday life than you ever believed possible. And that’s just before you exhale.
Keep your eyes out for this book when it’s published next summer.