This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
Randall Munroe is the author of a web comic I’ve been following for over a decade. It is one of my treasured things. This book features some of the same wonderful drawings but more importantly, the excellent — often insane, but yes — excellent ideas.
Each chapter is a guide on doing a common (e.g. how to dig a hole) and less common (how to build a lava moat) tasks with a brilliant eye toward the absurd while keeping everything as scientifically accurate as you can get with these crazy scenarios.
The books is funny as well as educational. Its footnotes are easily on Terry Pratchett’s level. I’m not sure how much of what I’ve learned will be actually useful in life, but boy did I have fun learning it anyway!
Other than the lava moat thing. I’ve wanted a lava moat and now I definitely no longer do thanks to this book. There you go: funny, scientific and occasionally useful.