Title: 147 Things
Author: Jim Chapman
Released: 5th October 2017
147 Things is a non-fiction book written by YouTuber/presenter/blogger/model/now-author Jim Chapman, someone whose videos I’ve been watching since about 2010. As such, when he announced his book a few months back, I had a definite interest. Jim is a genuinely funny guy, and if you’re the type of person who likes random facts that – by Jim’s own admission – are pretty much “non-essential” to your everyday life, this is a book for you.
As the title may suggest, it is a book which quite literally covers 147 ‘things’, the ‘things’ being facts. It ranges from the standard “why are human babies born so incompetent when giraffes walk within minutes of crashing into the ground, headfirst” to the all-too-understandable premise that the reason we’re all so stressed these days is we’re dealing with an all-too-new world with outdated brains.
The world of random facts is quite familiar to me; my dad often crops up with knowledge about obscure things and has done for as long as I can remember, so the premise of this book was amusing to me from the get-go. Maybe now that I’ve read it I can retaliate whenever my dad comes out with something totally obscure.
Jim has this very particular tone, which is just undeniably happy. I don’t know how one goes about making 147 facts all sound exciting, interesting, and somehow definitely essential (even though it definitely isn’t) to your life, but that’s what he’s done.
But don’t get me wrong, not all of the facts are strictly scientific. A lot of them are honestly just things you’ve most likely wondered throughout your life, some of them debunk those old wives’ tales literally everybody has been told by their mothers, and others are, shall we say, more speculative.
(Like the size of a dinosaur penis.)
I don’t think this book is particularly one to categorise. It’s not for any specific age group (though maybe some, uh, genitals-talk is not quite appropriate for younger groups), it’s hilarious, it’s one of those books that makes you go “ohhhh” while nodding your head as you realise that what you’re reading makes perfect sense.