Review: Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe

Thursday, June 1

My rating:
5 Stars…

Worth it even just for the credit given on the Acknowledgements page:

A lot of people helped me with this book. Their names
aren’t words that people use a lot, but I’m going to
write them anyway because they’re important.
And, most of all, Strong Pretty Ring-Wearer

What I loved:

It was funny! Even if you couldn't learn anything from it, I think it's worth reading just to see how much more fun and approachable the English language is if we don't gussy it up too much.

The ten hundred words list. It's actually quite cool to have a look at that list and imagine all the things I couldn't explain using what's on there. Like GR - I couldn't explain how to write a review with just the words on that list, so it takes mad skill (and, I guess, a Physics degree and experience in robotics at NASA) for Mr Munroe to explain actual smart people things using only those words and pictures.

Thinking on it, I don't even know what one of these "<" is called, so I'd be screwed from the get go.

Already mentioned the acknowledgements page.

The Things in this Book by Page page. That was actually really helpful for my dumb ass, because with some of the things he was describing I straight up had no idea what the thing even was. Case in point:
Quote…Machine for burning cities
Do you know what that is? Nuclear Bomb.
Quote…Big tiny thing hitter

So my ass needed the translations in the Table of Contents. Much appreciated, Mr Munroe.

What I didn’t love:

The Periodic Table went way over my head - I had to read it with a copy of the actual periodic table up on my phone, or I would have had no idea what he was describing. Except the Ag and Au ones, because I knows my coin.

Also, I wish it was longer.


Just ordered a few more hardback copies for the people I love. This is a great, clever, quirky read and it makes me feel a little smug because I didn't read only dirty, smutty goodness today.

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