Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Why Are Orangutans Orange? Science Questions in Pictures—With Fascinating Answers by Mick O'Hare


More popular science questions and answers from the distinguished Mick O’Hare—now illustrated in full color!
Illustrated for the first time, with eighty full-color photographs showing the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world around us, here is the next eagerly awaited volume of science questions and answers from Mick O’Hare and his team at New Scientist. From ripples in glass to “holograms” in ice, the natural world’s wonders are unraveled by the magazine’s knowledgeable readers. Six years since its debut, this magnificent series still rides high in the international bestseller lists, with well over two million copies sold. Popular science has never been more absorbing or more enjoyable.
For the first time in full color, this latest collection of resourceful, wry and well-informed answers to a remarkable range of baffling science questions is guaranteed to impress and delight.

For those with short attention spans, short question-and-answer-types of books like this one satisfies both our need for knowledge, as well as our dislike for long, boring and repetitive things.

In Why Are Orangutans Orange?, several questions and their corresponding answers are presented by category. Topics include things such as orangutans and ice formations.

Each question includes a picture that illustrates the question. I was surprised with the format of the answer, though. Since I don't really read New Scientist, I wasn't aware that these questions were featured on the site. The answers featured in the book, therefore, were the answers that were posted by users from all over the world on the New Scientist website. If you've ever visited forums, then you'll have an idea how each question and answer is presented. The answers presented in the book, however, are usually only 1-3 per question.

The layout is very straightforward, with just the question, the picture and then the answer shown. There isn't much here in the way of design so it starts to look a little boring after awhile. However, the answers are usually very comprehensive and informative. So, if you aren't a stickler for well-designed inner pages, then you will find this book a pretty good read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Pegasus Books for the e-copy.


  1. It covers a variety of topics.
  2. There are several experts answering most of the questions.
  3. Some of the questions are very interesting.


  1. The plain layout can be boring for some.

All this means hours of fun when you should be cooking, which is why I am now barred from buying the stuff.

  1. You like question-and-answer type of science books.
  2. You enjoy reading science forums.
  3. You don't mind non-fiction books with simple layouts.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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