I’ve only read 4 non-fiction books this year. I thought I would list them all, although the best of these is clear for me.
The End of Your Life Book Club- Will Schwalbe is about a mother who is critically ill, and her son who connect through books as she reaches the end of her life.
The Elements of Eloquence- Mark Forsyth. Is about writing and speaking style and how to make what you say beautiful.
Friends like These- Danny Wallace. Is about Danny finding all of his childhood friends.
1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks off. Another book by the QI team, full of interesting facts.
And the winner is…
The Elements of Eloquence
I love Mark Forsyth’s stuff. Always interesting, but told in an easy to read tone and with a lot of humour. I’m pretty sure reading this during NaNoWriMo helped my writing too.
Synopsis (from amazon)
QI is the smartest comedy show on British television, but few people know that we’re also a major legal hit in Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Africa and an illegal one on BitTorrent. We also write books and newspaper columns; run a thriving website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed; and produce an iPhone App and a sister Radio 4 programme. At the core of what we do is the astonishing fact – painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. In Einstein’s words: ‘Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.’
Did you know that: cows moo in regional accents; the entire internet weighs less than a grain of sand; the dialling code from Britain to Russia is 007; potatoes have more chromosomes than human beings; the London Underground has made more money from its famous map than it has from running trains; Tintin is called Tantan in Japanese because TinTin is pronounced ‘Chin chin’ and means penis; the water in the mouth of a blue whale weighs more than its body; Scotland has twice as many pandas as Conservative MPs; Saddam’s bunker was designed by the grandson of the woman who built Hitler’s bunker; Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, it is explicitly illegal in Britain to use a machinegun to kill a hedgehog.
1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off will make you look at the universe (and your socks) in an alarming new way.
This is going to be quite a quick review because I don’t really have much to say.
As with the other QI books I have read (have a look at the QI tag) this book is full of interesting facts. It’s immensely quotable and I did tweet quite a few facts whilst I was reading it. Unfortunately some of the facts repeated what had been on the TV show, and I think the majority of QI readers are probably also QI watchers.
I read this on kindle but I think it’s probably better as a paper book, simply because it’s easier to dip in and out of a paper book. On a kindle you really have to read cover to cover which didn’t work well for a book which is basically a long list of facts.
Paperback- pre-order (£7.99)