I have long been a fan of “How Stuff Works” (http://www.howstuffworks.com/). When the book (also named “How Stuff Works”, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764565184/benfortascoldfus/) came out I bought it immediately and was not disappointed. Marshall Brain (yes, his real name) and his team have mastered the art of taking all sorts of concepts and making them clear and simple and even fun. Both the site and the book have highly readable text, clear illustrations, concise and definite explanations, and set the bar for how information should be presented and taught.
I spent the past few days perusing the sequel, “More How Stuff Works” (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/076456711X/benfortascoldfus/). Lots of great new content on topics as diverse as hurricanes and tornadoes to PDAs to paintball to lie detectors to the Hubble Space Telescope to lock picks. Over 100 topics in eleven categories.
Production quality is superb, these look more like coffee table books than they do tutorials, and both are fun and highly recommended for kids and adults alike.

2 thoughts

  1. Cool stuff, Ben. Thanks for sharing.
    I’ll just throw in that folks who like these sort of books may also want to check out Bill Bryson’s new "A Short History of Nearly Everything". You recognize his name, as a writer known much more for his quirky, off-beat and humurous travel books (like "Notes From a Small Island"–about the UK, "In a Sunburned Country"–about Australia, "A Walk in the Woods"–about hiking the Appalachian Trail, to name just a few).
    This new book is a radical departure for him, but the reviews at Amazon (over 100 of them, averaging 4.5 stars) certainly testify to his having struck a chord in presenting science and scientific history in a way that’s appealing to the layman–much like the Brain books (if not quite as humorously as his preview books).
    Just thought I’d share it–and if you want to laugh out loud, get his travel books, too! 🙂 All are also available on books on tape and digital editions as well at Amazon.

  2. Sorry. In that last post of course, I meant to say "You *may* recognize his name…" and "if not quite as humorously as his *previous* books". Time for lunch! 🙂

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