Sunday 29 October 2017

Review: 147 Things: My User's Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Bellybuttons

147 Things: My User's Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Bellybuttons 147 Things: My User's Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Bellybuttons by Jim Chapman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Back to dusting off this blog with a recent review. Here goes.

'147 Things: My User's Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Bellybuttons.' Sounds pretty wacky and out there, right? Pick up some interesting facts in a very easy read style book, or at the very least get some random and interesting trivia. Right? Right??

Well, I'm sorry, Jim, but your book just didn't do it for me. The balance of seriousness with sheer stupidity (the amount of times your penis was mentioned just wasn't funny, particularly when juxtaposed beside the story of how a major father figure in your life died) doesn't gel. And as for the amazing facts and stuff? Well... meh. There wasn't even anything that new there. I mean: there were a few things that I didn't know specifically, but nothing to make me get too excited about. Apart from that, they were facts that, well, everyone knows. Apparently not Chapman because he presents them as though he's the bringer of some amazing new piece of science that will really shock you. But it's mostly GCSE level type stuff, it's not ground-breaking.

I only finished this book, to be honest, because I wanted to give it a fair review. And I have. Unfortunately, slogging through every single one of the 147 facts didn't change my mind.

Two stars, purely for the fact that I did go and watch about half of one of Chapman's YouTube videos (I switched it off because it was boring), so I must have been a little more intrigued than I realised. Now, I'm even more confused. Why do people find him so interesting on YouTube? I could walk around with a camera all day too, y'know...

Nothing personal about Jim Chapman; he seems like a really nice bloke. I imagine if you follow his YouTube channel, you'll enjoy this book because it appears to be along the same style. Not one for me, but (this sounds weird) I wouldn't mind meeting Jim Chapman. I think he'd be an interesting conversationalist.

Just - unfortunately for us - not an author.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC copy to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

(If anyone's interested - after my, er half-hearted, endorsement - below is the video I checked out. I didn't manage to watch the whole thing.)

View all my reviews

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Book Titles

Been rather neglecting this blog for a while and I decided to come back with a Top Ten Tuesday after reading some really funny titles over on Broke and Bookish, and then I saw a good one at a swap shelf... well, the universe was telling me something! So, here are my top ten unique book titles (although other people have come up with some of the same, and some much better!):

1) An Almond for a Parrot
This is the one I saw on a random swap shelf - and the first thing I wanted to know was: do parrots eat almonds? First port of call was the parents (being vets), but they didn't know, just said they ate cashews. useful lot. Good old internet it is then... Yes! - they do. So maybe not that an exciting title after all...

Just... weird. Brought out in 2016 and the paperback version is over £30?? What is so special about this book??

Okay, so this book is actually an old book about donkeys, but it sounded weird before I knew that!

This isn't a children's book - apparently a very surreal, funny book about just about everything - intelligent dogs, zombies, hurricanes, leviathans, devils... And it's the first in a trilogy. I guess there's something for everything? Or perhaps there's everything for no one...

I think this is actually a supposedly sensible book about 'the problem of America's fraying family fabric' and how juvenile delinquents are taking over and we need to stand up to them or something like that. Anyway. 

I have to say this is not something I have ever considered before. My cat is sitting on my lap as I type, and she has nothing to say on the topic. Apparently David Evans does though!

Obviously, this is one that I actually intend to read because John Green is awesome. But where does the title come from? Interestingly enough, it's actually expression is a well-known phrase (not to me). It's the equivalent of 'what came first: the chicken or the egg?' It refers to the 'defect of infinite regress in any philosophical argument, and widely accepted in Indian philosophy. There you go then. Might be a clue as to what the book's about. (I haven't read the blurb or any reviews yet because I want it to be a surprise.)

I'm still not quite sure whether this is a joke or not. I think it must be. But then it was published in 1953 - it doesn't sound like a very 1950s joke (says she who was born in the 90s). Difficult to get hold of in the UK, and on amazon US there's a reviewer who says: 'only purchase if your wife is both capable of a capital crime and willing to accept the consequences.' That means it's a joke, right? Right?

Reviewers have found this book 'strangely sensual and alluring' and 'not as alluring as the title would have you believe.' And how alluring is that exactly...?

No Amazon reviews at all, so don't know if this is a joke or not. I'm assuming so...

So, there we have it: my top ten unique book titles. Not as good as other people's: go check out the fun at The Broke and Bookish. 

Cheers! xx