Humanity's horizons are expanding once again, and our world is experiencing unprecedented change. Fly to a galaxy of amazing records with Guinness World Records 2023. Take a look at the latest snapshot of the year, and discover a universe of talent, curiosities, and jaw-dropping facts.
The book is divided into sections for ease of reference. The section headings comprise Space, Life on Earth, Human Body, Extraordinary Exploits, Around the World in 300 Records, Epic Engineering, Entertainment, Modern World, and Sports.
Glossy, full-colour illustrations and a durable hardcover binding mean that this is a reference book for every home and every age from preschool to adult. The whole family will enjoy perusing the content - there is something for everyone.
This book is unique among reference books insofar as the content changes with every edition! I remember early publications of the Guinness Book of Records before it was renamed Guinness World Records; they offered details significantly different to those available in this era of evolving technologies and new scientific discoveries. In former days, there were no QR codes to scan for additional information, or play-button symbols inviting you to extend your knowledge of a topic by watching a video clip. These tools mean that the 2023 edition is just a starting point for exploring given topics; the cost is more than justified when you realise exactly how much information is available to the reader.
My family members have all spent hours poring through the pages and selecting the topics that interest them. Nobody has actually read the book from cover to cover (as yet!), but the six of us have collectively probably explored every section of it. The consensus was that this was an excellent book for a family to have, both for reference purposes and for the sheer pleasure of browsing. There was only one negative comment: this was concerning the very small print used on some of the pages which meant you needed good lighting to be able to read them. Reading at twilight was not recommended.
The puzzles page was popular with the children who argued about whether they should use a pencil so their answers could be erased for the next person to have a go, and there was some adult intervention needed to restore the peace. (The pencil won.) They also enjoyed the Kids Only! section, and tried out the Stacking Books challenge with almost no success but they had a lot of fun. Once they had left the kids' section, Mr 12 went straight to the Space section. Miss 10 went to Entertainment and the 100 Years of Disney page - it featured some of her personal favourites! My partner headed for Entertainment as well, wanting to check out the Top 25 Gaming Records. The rest of us just flicked through the pages, selecting articles at random as they caught the eye.
My own favourite was Around the World in 300 Records. I was pleased to see that New Zealand had six items included - including two that were new to me: Frying Pan Lake at Waimangu (the largest natural hot spring in the world) and Matainaka Cave near Waikouaiti (the longest sea cave). I have been to Waimangu and Waikouaiti many times but until now was not aware of their claim to fame. Next time I visit I will be sure to explore the two record features, something to look forward to.
The cover art is duplicated inside the book at both ends; it is easier to see without the other lettering and graphics that take up a large proportion of the cover area. The book title is in large white embossed print, almost obscuring the artwork beneath it, so it is easier to look inside! There is a bonus activity on the last page of the book; readers are invited to identify different records within the cover art. Rather than the expected "Where's Wally?" title, this one is "Where's Wadlow?" - i.e. Robert Wadlow, who holds the record of being the world's tallest man; the reader is given a clue - he is wearing a space suit!
I think this book will continue to be popular with all of us for some time to come. Every time I open it, I find something new, and I know the rest of the family has found the same is true for them. We are also now keen to see the 2021 and 2022 editions because the three cover art pictures join up to make one big one - and the 2024 edition promises to feature a fourth and last. I wonder if that is a cover art record too?
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