Vaclav Smil is Bill Gates favorite author and in this book he goes through the history of materials that have been used to build our world such as wood, stone,and forward to metals, silicon and alloys. He describes how they are extracted and used. The author goes into detail about the energy costs and environmental impact these materials have. The author finishes with a futuristic view on the lack of these materials the world will face and also dematerialization.
I have read articles about Smil and he is an out of the box thinker and I would highly recommend this book. I have included this video from him about the modern world.