How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveller
Get ready to make history... better.
What would you do if you had a time machine that took you hundreds or thousands of years into the past... and then broke? How would you survive? Could you rebuild civilization faster than it took us the first time? And how hard would it be to domesticate a giant wombat?
In How to Invent Everything, bestselling author and time-travel ent...more
In all seriousness though, it was a lot of fun to research and write, and if reading it is anything close to as entertaining and educational as writing it was, I think you'll have a great time with it!
Beginning with hilarious FAQs about your new state-of-the-art FC3000 rental market time machine, the book then explains how to invent everything and restart civilization in case the machine breaks down in the past. It starts at a basic level of civilization, language, and continues all the way through making computers to do all the work. Along the way it touches on math, science, agriculture, zoology, nutrition, ...more
I think Arthur C. Clarke once remarked that the best evidence against the existence of time travel, was the remarkable absence of time travelers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_tr...
Still, it’s a clever handle for the book, but kind of a one-trick pony that quick ...more
What How to Invent Everything claims to be is a manual for users of a time machine (from some point in the future). Specifically it's a manual for dealing with the situation of the ti ...more
This is what you need to reinvent civilization and technology if your time machine strands you in the past.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
This book is great fun, and has lots and lots of cool information that certainly would come in handy if you needed to reinvent civilization and do a ...more
This is, in a way, one book packaged as another, and both ingredients are key to how enjoyable it is.
What make the book fun is the time travel setting and "voice" it uses. The book is documentation for a rental-market time machine, to use i ...more
Ryan North did super good. The book is densely packed with a lot of diverse information, yet an engaging and easy read. And the little tidbits from the future were great (especially the heavily expanded "complete" periodic table that goes up to 172 instead of our lame current 118).
Some sections are even pretty useful for someone stranded in a remote location in the present, like the basic ...more
• Domesticate wolves in as little as 18 years?
• Play the Tetris theme on instruments you made yourself?
• Create a calorie surplus, therefore creating the opportunity of having a person or persons whose sole job is to put shoes on horses?
Well, have I got the book for you!
If I still haven't sold you, let me also mention:
• Upon its release, it was #1 on the non-fiction and science fiction bestseller lists.
• It has footnotes galore (and you know you love a good footnote).
• It has t ...more
This book deserves to be read in schools for the broad spectrum of information it doles out with humor & insight.
It may be a fictional conceit/platform, but this book is great at teaching how history, technology, & society all interweave.
While the how-to manual parts are excellently written (North is great at technical details), what I enjoyed most about this book was getting to spend time thinking abo ...more
First, the caveats: this may be more of what my dad used to call a "bathroom book" than something you'll want to read straight through. By necessity (just look at the title) it is quite extensive and some of the topics grab ...more
This book is a total delight to read. That's all you need to know, but I'll go into some more detail.
The book is a work of history, a work of science, a work of technology and a work of humor, all wrapped up in a veneer of science fiction. In an introductory note to the readers, the author claims to have found this book embedded in rock, made of an unknown indestructible material. It is allegedly a manual to be u ...more
First off, I really enjoyed this book. Very much a tongue-in-cheek look at what it would take if you were ever stranded in the distant past, this book mainly points out how incredibly long it took to discover (or rediscover) many of the technologies that we take for granted today. Going from the very basic (communication and writing) to the more complex (trigonometry and building computers), the book would actually be pretty useful if you w ...more
Filled with really useful information (and some eye-rollingly bad puns) and delivered in a charming, accessible manner. ...more
It's funny and incredibly informative. I have to admit that even with the clear explanations I still found some of the topics daunting and am very glad that I do not have to singlehandedly lead the reinvention of human civilization (YET).
In addition to learning a ton -- about how the inventors of forceps were monsters, about how long humans were a going con ...more
I wouldn't stake my survival on a book like this--it's kind of like the cliff notes of history' ...more
I'm the author of the webcomic Dinosaur Comics (that's the comic where the pictures don't change but the words do, it's better than it sounds and I've also done crazy things like turn Shakespeare into a choose-yo ...more