How To by Randall Munroe

How To

How To is an instruction manual for taking everyday problems and using science and creative thinking to turn them into much bigger and more exciting problems. It teaches you how to cross a river by boiling it, outlines some of the many uses for lava around the home, and walks you through how to use experimental military research to ensure that your friends will never again ask you to help them move. From changing a lightbulb to throwing a pool pa...

Details How To

TitleHow To
Release DateSep 5th, 2019
PublisherJohn Murray
GenreNonfiction, Science, Humor

Reviews How To

  • Tucker
    Many thanks to Brooke at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewI originally rated this four stars but I'm moving it up to five because... Just because*********Re-reading this one more time. Just because*********Good but not as good as What If... RTC*********AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I HAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!!!!*********PSYCH! I am gonna hold out to see if I can get a physical copy. If I don't, I'...
  • Trin
    Conceptually, not quite as interesting to me as What If?, but still brainy, oddball fun. The kind of book you think you're going to dip in and out of, but then end up reading for surprisingly sustained periods.
  • Yani
    Very funny and actually educational! Despite the silly premisses, each chapter does give fundamental answers how everyday life works.
  • Paperclippe
    I don't know how Randall does it but every single book he writes is as good as every single XKCD he puts out.Want to know how to have a pool party? It's not as easier as it sounds. First you have to build a pool, and to build a pool, you're gonna need a lot of math, and math is fun!No, seriously. Math is fun.This book revolves around the literal how-tos when it comes to doing things. Let's take our pool for example. Do you know the compression st...
  • Katra
    Another smart and hilarious offering from Randall Munroe! The flip-side follow-up to What If? is every bit as brainy and had people wondering about me as I guffawed in the library's lunch room. Sure, you could fill your swimming pool with a hose, but you might need to resort to bottled water; and if you need to empty them all quickly, you might consider using a nuclear bomb. This is how it would work . . . There are also helpful (?) instructions ...
  • Am
    I love Randall Munroe. He writes ridiculous science and makes it fun. Even if you're not science savvy, this would be an enjoyable book
  • Librariann
    For xkcd fans, or people who like math or science. Plenty of equations that you can either read or skim over.
  • Virginia
    I loved this book! I've been a fan of Randall Munroe since his early years writing for xkcd and was so excited to get a chance to read his latest work. It does not disappoint. In fact, it went beyond what I was expecting with special guest appearances by Col. Chris Hadfield and Serena Williams. The title describes the book perfectly. Did you ever wonder how to land a plane on a ski jump? How about how much guyere cheese would be needed to make a ...
  • BB
    Funny and informative. I always enjoy Munroe's drawing style and humor and he doesn't disappoint in this one. The chapters are great and his ways to solve problems are always interesting, funny, and of course, weird. My favorite chapter would have to be on "How to Catch a Drone." I really enjoyed that he presented it through the perspective of different athletes' chances of taking down a drone. The chapters on houses went on a little longer that ...
  • Allen Adams
    2019-09-05 are plenty of books out there that aim to tell you how to do something. Whether its DIY home repair or computer programming or self-help or what have you, there’s probably a book that purports to tell you how to do it. These books bill themselves as offering straightforward instructions on doing whatever it is you seek to do.But maybe you’re not looking for straightforward. Maybe the how-tos (hows...
  • Tanwen Cooper
    I received this book for free from a colleague who had three preview copies in exchange for a donut, but thought I would give it an honest review anywayReally enjoyed this book. The book takes simple questions like 'how do I change a light bulb' then gives an outlandish explanation, but one that is grounded firmly in reality and has all the science and maths behind it worked out. However, the plans are all conveyed with Munroe's signature wit and...
  • Diane Hernandez
    If you ever wondered How To send a letter home from the space station or land a space shuttle in downtown LA, I have the perfect instruction book for you.What if I use real science to solve hypothetical problems? For example, how can I get rid of this book after I finish reading it? I can leave it outside, but it won’t degrade and return to the Earth for centuries. I can burn it and use the resulting energy to power my car. I could do what the ...
  • Mo
    ARC Given by NetGalley for Honest Review3.5 Stars! Randall Munroe, author and artist of popular webcomic "xkcd", brings us another wacky and super scientific longform book on how to ridiculously solve real world problems. The book lives up to it's subtitle and really gives us the useless self-help we weren't looking for but now know we need. When webcomic artists convert their style to longform books some of the charm and humor can be lost. Unfor...
  • Cat
    'Physics doesn't care if your question os wierd, It just gives you the answer without judging' If that doesn't sum up this book, i think the full title will. A brilliant read, that combines science, and absurdity and leaves you knowledge that will likely never come in handy, except as an obscure conversation starter Me: *at a pool party* "...Cool pool. I see you went with plastic? Not a big fan of gruyere cheese? Only need 2ft of it each side you...
  • Rusty
    I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.I've been reading XKCD forever, and I enjoyed Munroe's previous two books. If you are unfamiliar with his humor, go check out the webcomic. If it doesn't make sense to you, you might want to avoid this book. How to is very similar to What if...? in that you get ridiculous ways of solving problems. He explains how to dig a hole, throw a pool party, determine when you were born and di...
  • Rebecca
    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. From the mind that brought us What If? we now are treated to his absurd scientific answers to your everyday problems. Need to cross a river? Want to have a pool party? Want to jump really far? Your answers are here! I must admit I nearly laughed myself silly at the section featuring a Q&A with Astronaut Chris Hadfield. His willingness to answer totally absurd...
  • Brandy
    I loved this. As a layman's-science nerd, this book was absolutely delightful. As someone who follows threads of thought far past logical extremes into absurdity, this book Spoke to me. And also--I learned stuff!Some of the entries take a long, winding path to answer the question presented, but I found these trails to be interesting and fun to read. The comics interspersed throughout the entries sometimes helped to clarify the absurdity, and some...
  • Allie
    This rating/review is based on an ARC from Netgalley.Probably a 3.5 star book, rounded up. Definitely not his best work, and definitely not as good as What If. I still absolutely devoured it, but some of the chapters kind of trailed off and lost the thread of the initial premise. In fact the book starts really strong and kind of peters out as it goes along. I loved the interviews with real people, like Col. Chris Hadfield legit answering his weir...
  • Lynn
    I received How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems through a Goodreads Giveaway.This book is hilarious, I absolutely adore it. I loved how the common real-world problems were just hilarious questions, like how to catch a marathon runner? This question was followed by multiple doodles with explanations of possible ways you would catch a marathon runner, such as using a scooter or by walking. It really is a great read, and I...
  • Kate
    I am rounding this up to four stars but would prefer 3.5. It is a fun book about (mostly) preposterous situations and how to manage them using math and science. The nerdy among us will enjoy it.I really liked What If, Munroe's earlier book, and his website and I had high hopes for this book. Maybe it's the absurdity of most of the "real-world problems" that knocked it down a star or so. Creating a Lava Moat and figuring out how to heat one's home...
  • Joshua Lawson
    Munroe can do no wrong, in my indisputable opinion. These books (namely What If and How To) should be required reading for all secondary level science and math classes. I badly wish I were still in high school so I could campaign for student council president on a platform of copies of these books for everyone, and soda in all the water fountains, and also because I wasn't so fat back then; likely a function of less soda.
  • Erikka
    Randall Munroe is a joy and every book he writes is perfection. This is a collection of instructions that, on the surface, appear ridiculous and far-fetched. But actually, if you focus on what he's telling you, the instructions are a catalyst for the most easy-to-understand physics information you will ever be unwittingly exposed to. I always learn so much from him and will continue to read XKCD while waiting for his next book.
  • Jaclyn
    A fantastic new book for Randall Munroe fans! It is an in-depth exploration of seemingly normal scenarios from an absurdist science perspective. Many of the questions are answered in a longer format than 'What If?' and have even more detail, stick figure diagrams, research and side trips into the ridiculous. Note: I received an ARC of this book from a Goodreads giveaway and look forward to buying a finished copy when it is released.
  • Michelle
    ***Thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***An absurdly detailed guide book on how to do random things. The illustrations were amusing, but this was a little too long for my liking. I wanted a little less explanation and for them to get to the funny quicker.
  • Insert Name Here
    All the humour of XKCD, treated very seriously. I've often wondered what would happen if I strapped rocket engines to my house or how to tell if I was born in the nineties, and now those answers are right here for me to read! A really funny book, well worth reading. I'll be dipping in and out for a while.
  • Lauren Watts
    Randall Munroe is BACK! The absurdly smart, witty writer delves in the craziest scientific advice that you didn't ask for and didn't know you needed. Munroe is an expert at answering questions and giving simple illustrations to go along with his advice. This is an easy-to-read book that will leave you smarter than when you picked it up and certainly more entertained!
  • Jake
    It's funny, educational, and hints at all manner of mayhem on a Biblical scale should you actually do any of the experiments suggested in the text!Plus, Randall shows all his work!I read an ARC, which may differ from the final text (it had better--the footnotes were all wonky and there was a missing chapter or two).
  • Stacey
    I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. Stuff you never knew you needed to know! Just as clever as his first book with quirky cartoons throughout. Probably one of the only books you will read the forward to and actually laugh out loud. I did skim parts of this book when the explanations got long, but I don't think it's the fault of the book so much as it is the non-technical mind of this reader.