Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Book Review: Guinness World Records 2008

The newest edition of the Guinness book of records boasts a reflective cover and glow in the dark features which make it stand out both in the shops and at home. The layout of this book has improved somewhat since my last edition way back in the early 1990s, with attractive designs and excellent pictures punctuating the text which outline an enormous number of unusual and interesting facts. Many of the tried and tested categories return in this edition including sports records, animal world and entertainment although my personal favourite, words and literature, is missing. How are people now supposed to learn about Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapiki-maungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu in New Zealand or the Mohawk for "The praising of the evil of the liking of the finding of the house is right"? I think the book is sadly lacking something without such records.

However, the inclusion of how to submit a record and how records are verified and measured is an excellent addition and the interviews with celebrity record setters are interesting. Some of the multiple page spreads are very nice - attractive and informative along with the glow-in-the-dark features. Also interesting are a number of modern categories including internet records and robotics although there is a lot of emphasis on celebrity culture which hints at dumbing down of the Guinness Records brand.

Overall, this book has improved a lot since its early days, particularly in its presentation, although it does appear to have been simplified for the masses, although others would call this, "modernising".

This book is recommended as a Christmas gift as its lists of bizaree and interesting facts would be a very nice way of bringing the family together after a huge lunch. The Guiness World Records 2008 appeals to the nerd in us all and may even inspire some to rise to new heights of nerdiness.

Score: 9/10

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