I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
As Elentarri Tannat (sorry for the mix up!) mentioned in one of her status updates for this book, the book starts off feeling a little scattered. The author uses an anecdotal style that fumbles a bit in the first couple of chapters; mostly, I think, because events in chapter one's anecdote lead to events in the next chapter, but in order to setup chapter two properly, he has to digress.
Once past this point though, the chapters work much better and I'm appreciating the anecdotal context because, as much as it pains me to admit it because I love chemistry, I totally suck at understanding chemical equations. I think I understand them only to find out I could not have gotten it more wrong. So the anecdotes soften the blow for me, as do the molecular illustrations which I understand without any problem.
Anecdotal or not though, this is (so far) hard science. He's skimming over the periodic table, offering information that might entice non-science geeks, but what he offers isn't fluffy popular science stuff either. Which is why I'm remembering so clearly how badly I suck at chemical equations.