Review by Tiffany Markman, mom to a one-year-old, tries to balance her workaholism with cuddling her daughter, reading books, consuming caffeine & reining in her intrinsic kugelry. Follow her on twitter.

I’ve been told more than once by friends who work at bookstores that the most commonly stolen book is the bible. Who’d have thought? Well, this book is allegedly number two on that list of dubious distinction: The Guinness World Records.

It’s an annual reference book that contains a collection of world records: both human achievements and extremes of the natural world. In the 2013 edition we find out:

  • Who’s smaller – the new shortest man or the heaviest newborn baby?
  • Who weighs more – the largest donkey or the heaviest hot dog?
  • What’s the biggest killer – the largest shark or the most dangerous road?
  • Who’d win in a race – the world’s fastest man or the new fastest sheep?

This edition has all of the stuff I loved as a kid: the disgusting metre-long fingernails, the full-body tattoos and the mammoth spiders, but there’s a free Augmented Reality app (for both iOS and Android) that supposedly brings records to life in 3D.

The layout is bright, if a little busy, and the ‘Actual Size’ button is fabulous. The range of topics is also broader than I remember, extending into tiny niches of pop culture, space travel, sports and engineering. Star Wars even has a dedicated section.

Kids from age 7 or so up will pore over the new Guinness World Records, exclaiming at the coolness, the grossness and the amazingness. Adults just won’t be able to help themselves. And it’s an interesting tome to have lying around the house.

(Quick-‘n’-quiet confession: We keep our Guinness World Records in the loo.)

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