“Stuff You Should Know: An incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things” by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant
Just like their many brilliant podcast episodes, this book is both enlightening and entertaining, it’s amusing without being condescending, it’s a bit skeptical but still comical.
The book covers a wide range of stuffs that we should know, from the equation for blackouts from a tequila (important), how to slow down the ageing process, whether there will be a trillionaire, all the way to answering whether Paul McCartney really died, and who the hell was John Frum and why was he so influential in Vanuatu. I cannot believe that they can even make few dull subjects such as taxation and the smell of dogs become hella interesting.
It also covers some other stuffs that aren’t that urgent for us to know but still fun, like we can fix a scratched CD with a toothpaste (I know, way too late), that the British have 3000 ways to describe “drunk”, the many types and names of facial hair, and the juicy conspiracy theory of an incident at The Price is Right whose winner guessed the price correctly at exactly $23,743.
And what about them jokes, eh? I’m not going to spoil anything, but let’s just say the chapter about how to use your pet rock, and their illustration of a pet rock, made me laugh a little longer than I should. In fact the many illustrations in the book are just downright hilarious.
Meanwhile, every once in a while the book gives us pithy sayings that set us straight in the right path in life and away from troubles. Sayings such as “never get into a shouting match with someone whose job involves a microphone.” Or “you’re usually better off going with the guy who has all the spreadsheets.” Or “nothing good has ever happened in the back of a van in the woods.” Wise, wise words.
Weirdly, I automatically read every word of the book using Josh’s voice in my head. Because the choice of words, the jokes, all of it, you know, it’s all Josh-like. Unless, of course, the parts where it is better to say it with an Italian accent, then it’s Chuck’s voice taking over.
Anyway, the book is a light read but with a lot of knowledge to absorb, what’s not to like? I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I also came out of it gaining several potential band names, which is not useful at all for me but hey you’ll never know.