How To by Randall Munroe

How To

The world's most entertaining and useless self-help guide, from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the million-selling What If? and Thing Explainer For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole...

Details How To

TitleHow To
Release DateSep 5th, 2019
PublisherJohn Murray
GenreNonfiction, Science, Humor, Physics, Sequential Art, Comics, Comedy, Adult, Popular Science, Audiobook, Self Help

Reviews How To

  • Miranda Reads
    3.75 stars If you’re worried that the house will blow away, or that some prankster will attach jet engines and send it blasting off into the distance... Then this is the book for you!If you have ever been curious about how to dig a hole, how to cross a river or how to jump really high - then look no further! If you want to beat a high jumper, you have two options:1. Dedicate your life to athletic training, from an early age, until you become th...
  • Science (Fiction) Nerd Mario
    Nonfiction books that are based on answering questions in unconventional ways, giving different answers to one question like in John Brockmans series, extrapolating ideas and general taking the boooooring out of science, are a great way to get everyone fascinated. This book has some crazy, but well explained and profound ideas for more or less daily problems and gets one interested in the technology and physics of many ignored details of life. Mi...
  • Tucker
    Many thanks to Brooke at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewSo… How To. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I painfully choose to give this 3.5 stars. I am honestly as shocked as the rest of you. There were quite a few things I loved and quite a few things I didn’t. I’d like to get the negative out of the way so here we go.For starters, this book is not What If. I know you’re probably thinkin...
  • Jenna
    Did you ever wonder how to build a lava moat around your house or how to send a package from space? Well, you're in luck! Randall Munroe's How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems explains how to do these and several other weird things you might have wondered about. I'm not saying you're weird if you've pondered these things; I'm saying they're weird questions. Don't blame me: The author himself claims they're absurd. Other...
  • Alex Givant
    Excellent set of real life problems with unreal solutions, but all of them based on pure science. Each of them are to enjoy and think about.
  • Bradley
    As always, when I read a funny book, BUT I'm also listening to a narration by Wil Wheaton, I'm suddenly nearly incapable of figuring out whether I love the book for its content or presentation.Gaaaah!Fortunately, I had a great time with both, seamlessly upping my chuckle factor by a few magnitudes as I learn how wrong it would be to make a really, really huge teakettle. *hint* (the rivers of lava might make your homeowner's association a bit upse...
  • Lindsay
    So much about author Randall Munroe can be explained by a quote from this book:I really love that we can ask physics ridiculous questions like, “What kind of gas mileage would my house get on the highway?” and physics has to answer us.Most of the rest can be illuminated by his approach to most topics in this book. Tongue firmly planted in cheek and nerd flag raised proudly high. Frankly, I have no idea why it's taken this long for the creator...
  • Natalie Monroe
    A bit too sciencey for my tastes. I skimmed the math-filled parts and the rest of it just wasn't enough to tickle the funny bone.
  • Emily
    Meh Really liked the author's first book, this one just was too ridiculous. I ended up skipping big sections of it.
  • Leah Nadeau
    (3.5/5 stars) This book is so interesting and entertainingly funny lol Randall Munroe is someone you hope to meet at a party and get to laugh at his jokes while at the same time he teaches you things XDReally odd random questions providing scientific answers. You learn some random scientific facts along the way. They're questions you'd never ask but once you hear it you want to know the answer. Some of the questions are kinda boring lol but overa...
  • KC
    Quirky, funny, and at times ridiculous. I love Munroe’s sense of humor and his approach to all matters but this was just okay for me.
  • Amanja
    This is an abridged review, to see the full one with all the pictures please visit Munroe is the engineer/cartoonist behind that science positive comic strip with the stick figures that you may have seen before.I've been a fan of his for years now. He has an absurdist sense of humor and marvelous creativity, both of which are on full display in his latest book How To. How to answers many every day a...
  • Elvina Zafril
    I enjoyed myself reading this book. This is the first book I read written by this author. Since this is a non fiction book, there’s no plot or main characters to talk about.How To is informative and easy to read. A lot of How tos in doing things. Even how to send a package. There are some useful informations that I think I can use. For example how to take a selfie with Venus in the background, how to blow out birthday candles with a jet engine ...
  • 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...
  • Deborah
    It is very funny, but there were some questions I wanted usable answers to.
  • Rossdavidh
    The principal problem with Randall Munroe books, is that they go by way too fast. I like to savor a good book, reading a little bit at a time, then thinking that part over for a day before going on to the next. With "how to", like its predecessor "what if", I gobbled it up in a day or two. Someone with money please fund a grant to get Mary Roach and Randall Munroe to write a series of science textbooks for junior high and high schoolers.There are...
  • Jamie
    Absurdly fun just like Randall Monroe always is.
  • PvOberstein
    An unfortunately severe case of ‘I wanted to like it more than I did’. Randall Munroe’s latest book is How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, following in the vein of his previous work, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions . And, fairly or unfairly, I keep comparing the two books in my head, and How To just keeps coming up short.How To works by taking straightforward questions (“...
  • Anna
    4.5 I did not like this format quite as well as that of What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, but the humor and fascinating scientific detail were just as amusing to read.
  • Alex Richey
    Audiofile Review!I laughed out loud a LOT while listening to this one. It takes extremely ordinary scenarios and applies ridiculous amounts of science and physics (and humor!) to answer questions. I learned a lot of really fascinating and digestible tidbits of info, and I am much more equipped to take over the world and destroy everything than I was before finishing. Highly recommend!
  • 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 ...
  • Geordie
    Looking back over my year of reading, it really feels like I read more crappy books than good ones. Even the ones I enjoyed, I tended to fill my reviews with the things that were flawed and disappointing. Is it my cynicism? Is it the lurid state of book publishing these days?Well, whatever it is, this book is a refreshing remedy, and a perfect high-note to end my 2019 reading with. I earnestly don't think I had a single problem with "How To: Absu...
  • Preeti Ramaraj
    Absolutely loved this book. It is in a chapter form, where truly he attempts to answer absurd questions in the most scientific way possible. I got to attend his book talk at Michigan, and I received a copy then! Each chapter answers a different question, and inside, there are leading questions and subtopics too. Each chapter had me laughing at so many different points. I loved that it was soo easy to consume (Each chapter perfectly fit my night t...
  • Katie
    An accurate description of everything I’ve worked on in my careerNot as funny as What If, but still pretty funny. I think having people write in ridiculous hypothetical scenarios just produced better content than taking ordinary things and coming up with absurd ways to do them. It’s just not practical!That being said, there are some real gems in here (see how to land a Roc, yes the mythical bird), and also the constant references to studies y...
  • Robert
    Just as informative, entertaining , and thought provoking as in his previous columns and online work - Munroe is the brightest star to be added to the intelligent comic firmament since Scott Adams.
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    You know how boring scientific manuals are? Not this book. Randall Munroe takes on problems---how to walk a dog, how to win an election, how to dig a hole, and oodles more---and offers solutions that are convoluted, complex, unnecessary, odd, and exceedingly funny. I loved What If and now I'm a fan of How To. I guess I need to find a copy of Thing Explainer. I'll have to write a letter to the author, earn money to pay for the book, drive to the a...
  • Tim Jarrett
    You know you’ve found a good book when literally every member of your family tries to grab it or read parts of it at the same time that you are.
  • Maciej Kuczyński
    Don't really expect any realistic answers from this book. Nonetheless, it's really entertaining to read about absurd solutions to various problems. Like how to move your house using airplane engines—or how to send someone the entire Internet using butterflies.As with many pop-science books, I wish the author used more civilised units of measure instead of feet, gallons or—I don't know—empty milk bottles.Note: I listened to the audiobook, w...
  • Yani
    Very funny and actually educational! Despite the silly premisses, each chapter does give fundamental answers how everyday life works.