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The RecordSetter Book of World Records: More Than 300 Extraordinary Feats by Ordinary People Paperback – November 10, 2011
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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The records in this book are quite enjoyable. So many of them are off-the-wall and intuitive ideas that it's hard to stay focused on one record before another catches your eye and distracts you. It's like being a kid and flipping through "Ripley's Believe it or Not" or the "Guinness Book of World Records" all over again! Not only records are featured, either. There are some bios about particularly notable record holders (one I remember off the top of my head is a writer for The Colbert Report). Witty and sometimes goofy commentary accompany every record, paired with small comics or humorous voice bubbles.
In some cases it appears that the book's designers didn't have any usable photos or video stills of the feat, and instead of filling the page with walls of text, they made fun graphics (a la Mythbusters, yet in their own unique style) to illustrate the records for the reader. As a visual person and a computer animation student, I really appreciated that. The book itself also had a very pleasing overall design.
Probably the biggest indicator of how fun and interesting the book is is the fact that I haven't seen it in hours. I bought the book for myself, but the second one of my little siblings saw it, she became enamored and has had her nose glued to the pages since then. She is 10-years-old and dyslexic, so while she has learned over the years to read very well (above her age level, actually) these types of books with visual cues and fun illustrations are still very much up her alley. My other two siblings (9 and 11...I am 22 if you're wondering) haven't even had a chance to see the book's cover yet. My sister is too into it!
To give you a good idea of the positive attitude and atmosphere this book engenders, I'd say a good barometer is the book's back cover. It has four quotes about specific RecordSetter records. These records and quotes, which aren't in any particular order, were made by four people. Two of the people are "regular" record-holding civilians, while the other two are the likes of Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz featured on equal footing with the non-celebrities. That's just awesome. It ties in well with the organization's overall attitude about being highly accessible and supportive of anyone who wants to make themselves known.
In short, this book is an innovative and fun new spin on the fusty old record books that have flashy covers but stick to the more traditional side of generic world records. If you want something that puts a new spin on the whole process and is accessible to everyone, then I definitely recommend picking up this book. It's a steal for the $10 price on Amazon. Who can argue with records like "World's Largest Toothpick Beard"?!*
*Note: The toothpick beard category is, oddly, a somewhat contentious category. The beard featured in the book is in fact no longer the record holder. It has been reclaimed by the category's original setter.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am featured in this book. My record, along with everyone else's (!), has an entire page devoted to it. That makes me very happy. If you're interested, I am on page 104: "Longest Bicycle Ride with Feet on Handlebars." I encourage you to try and break it! My record needs some competition after three years! My other record, not featured in this book but still fully accessible on their website, is "Longest Time To Snow Ski On One Foot." Please break that one as well so that I can break it back again! :-P