Guinness World Records 2014,
(Macmillan Australia, $50):
Someone has to be the best, the fastest, biggest, brightest, smallest or some other -est word, and the good folk at Guinness have made it their mission to bring us every single one of them.
Proclaiming itself to be “officially amazing” (with those very words emblazoned across the front cover), this book is packed full of information on all the expected world records and a lot of more unusual offerings, too.
I remember poring over the Guinness World Records book way back when I was a kid, many moons ago: back then the records were a little more standard (tallest man, fastest car, longest fingernails, that sort of thing) but now things have changed a little. You’ll find entries on everything from the deadliest critters on the planet to the longest-running animated sitcom (The Simpsons) and the world’s largest rideable bike.
Added to the mix is a celebration of the circus, a special section on our deadly planet’s quakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and climates, extreme architecture, Nasa’s most recent trip to Mars and a look at the science behind pushing the outer limits of record-breaking.
If you have bought this annual publication in the past, you’ll be pleased to know the “See It 3D” feature is back, and that’s where the “Officially Amazing” tagline earns its keep. You can download a free app to see some of the 2014 record-holders leap out of the pages in animated 3D.
It’s not the cheapest of books but I guarantee you’ll spends many an hour dipping into this, as will your kids so it’s pretty good value.