xkcd: How to

Order: Penguin Random House, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition, IndieBound, Apple Books, Audible, and Target.

The Book

Cover of the book How to

Now a #1 New York Times best seller!. For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally bad that no one would ever try it. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s the world’s least useful self-help book.

It describes how to cross a river by removing all the water, outlines some of the many uses for lava around the home, and teaches you how to use experimental military research to ensure that your friends will never again ask you to help them move.

With text, charts, and stick-figure illustrations, How To walks you through useless but entertaining approaches to common problems, using bad advice to explore some of the stranger and more interesting science and technology underlying the world around us.

Want to know more? Read excerpts from the book here:

  • Chapter List and Introduction
  • How to Build a Lava Moat
  • How to Predict the Weather
  • How to Produce Energy
  • Praise for How To:

    How To will make you laugh as you learn . . . With How To, you can’t help but appreciate the glorious complexity of our universe and the amazing breadth of humanity’s effort to comprehend it. If you want some lightweight edification, you won’t go wrong with How To.” –CNET

    How To is a pure delight, a salty-sweet mixture of hard science and bonkers whimsy.” –BoingBoing

    “[Munroe] cleverly illustrates a guide of complicated solutions to simple tasks, thinking up Rube Goldbergian solutions to tasks as common as digging a hole.” –USA Today

    “[How To] tackles problems from the mundane—such as how to move to a new house—to those that may trouble a mad scientist building her first lava moat. The solutions are often hilariously, and purposefully, absurd. Embedded in these solutions, however, is solid scientific, engineering, and experimental understanding.” —Science Magazine

    “[How To] has science and jokes in it, so 10/10 can recommend.” -Simone Giertz

    “A witty, educational examination of ‘unusual approaches to common tasks’ . . . generously laced with dry humor . . . Munroe’s comic stick-figure art is an added bonus. . . . Apart from generating laughter, the book also manages to achieve his serious objective: to get his audience thinking.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

    The Tour

    The US

    graphic showing the tour stops and dates for the launch of the book How to with the same information in the text below

  • 9/3 | Boston, MA
  • 9/4 | Washington, DCSold Out!
  • 9/5 | New York, NY
  • 9/6 | Ann Arbor, MI
  • 9/8 | Portland, OR
  • 9/9 | Seattle, WA
  • 9/10 | San Francisco, CA
  • 9/11 | Santa Cruz, CA
  • 9/12 | Los Angeles, CA
  • 9/14 | Salt Lake City, UT
  • 9/16 | Kansas City, MO
  • 9/17 | Cincinnati, OH
  • 9/18 | Louisville, KY Sold out!
  • 9/19 | Raleigh, NC Sold out!
  • 10/3 | New York Comic Con
  • 10/4 | New York
  • Contest winner | Juneau, AK
  • The World

    Available from these publishers worldwide…

    Source

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