I first heard about this book as the inspiration for Theodore Gray's Periodic Table Table, a site I'd strongly recommend for anyone who's got a day or so to waste reading everything there is to know about the uses of the elements and how to collect them. If that appeals, then you'll probably like this book too.
Oliver Sacks describes the history of chemistry alongside his childhood in London. The writing is elegant and conversational, weaving the two stories together well; Sacks effectively conveys his enthusiasm for chemistry. Strongly recommended.