You‘ve used a pencil all your life. You think you know all about pencils. WRONG! Petroski‘s book tells all about pencils, their history, their development, their manufacture, their uses. Possibly more than you ever wanted to know. However, in Petroski‘s hand, the history of the pencil becomes a metaphor for the history of engineering and how the artifacts of life evolve from crude ideas to useful tools that we seldom give a second thought to.