Thing Explainer

Randall Munroe

A #1 New York Times Best Seller

“…a wonderful guide for curious minds.” —Bill Gates
“Like any good work of science writing, [Thing Explainer] is equal parts lucid, funny, and startling.’’ —

From the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller What If?, brilliantly annotated blueprints that explain everything from nuclear bombs to ballpoint pens.

Have you ever tried to learn more about some incredible thing, only to be frustrated by incomprehensible jargon? Randall Munroe is here to help using line drawings and only the thousand (or, rather, “ten hundred”) most common words to provide simple explanations for some of the most interesting stuff there is, including: 

Food-heating radio boxes (microwaves); Tall roads (bridges); Computer buildings (datacenters); The shared space house (the International Space Station); The other worlds around the sun (the Solar System); The big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates); The pieces everything is made of (the Periodic Table); Planes with turning winds (helicopters); Boxes that make clothes smell better (washers and dryers); and The bags of stuff inside you (cells) Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone—age 5 to 105—who has ever wondered how things work, and why.