What If? 2 by Randall Munroe

My favorite nonfiction author is back with a sequel to the delightful, improbable, educational What If – creatively named What If 2. If you like The Martian, Bill Nye, and the rambling arguments held on The Big Bang Theory, you’ll probably want to read a Randall Munroe book IMMEDIATELY, and why not start with this one?

If you’re not familiar with Randall Munroe, he’s the author of (obviously) What If, but also How To and The Thing Explainer (see my and Brenda’s blog posts about those), all of which explain the everyday and the cosmic and the impossible in terms of real science and (thankfully) comprehensible language. Munroe, who trained in physics, became popular first for his webcomic xkcd and then his blog, which was the original form of What If.

In What If 2 he covers a broad swath of questions including a fire pole from the moon to the earth, a lava lamp made from real lava, and how to hold onto a helicopter blade while it’s spinning. Interspersed between these (and many more) questions are my favorite bits, the “Weird and Worrying” questions that are even more off-the-wall and, frankly, make you wonder a bit about the asker.

If you need a laugh and you love science, definitely give this book a try!