Have you ever wanted to know more about a topic or one part of an subject but never knew where to start? Know It All... promises to take you there. It does so by presenting a nine subjects of study with stories, facts and people. The topics include understanding the universe from the cosmos to the minute atom; surveying the story of the earth through a look at its geology, climate, atmosphere and more; canvassing the living beings in the story of life which covers plants to humans; exploring the world's history; and so much more about the inventions, modern conflicts, structures, religion, thinking and art.
Sidebars provide key information about the eminent people associated with each topic and following each unit is a test where you can gauge how well you've absorbed this well-researched and succinctly presented material.
Another section within many of the chapters is called a "Conversation Starter," such as the one within "Newton's Laws: Why Things Move as They Do," which asks, "Want to lose weight? Try moving to another country. Weight depends on mass and gravity..."
Perhaps you might find the sidebar box entitled "Key Player" more interesting such as the one about artist Georgia O'Keefe who started out as a farm girl and wound up with a passion for all natural plants, flowers, bones and shells, often with "a strong current of sexual symbolism."
Again, another part of the chapters also includes a section called "In the Know," which points out fascinating and essential facts connected to the topic that the average reader probably doesn't take much time to consider. How often, for example, do we bother to consider the essential role of satellites in what we often take for granted as we proceed to use our cell phones, televisions, GPS systems, military communications and even our frequent Google searches? Or how many readers realize the civil debate occurring in many Muslim countries over whether religion and politics should be one and the same or separate?
Photographs, drawings, timetables and more enhance the reader's appreciation of this book which may result in a reader acquiring new interests, knowledge and conversation starting points with the potential for researching and exploring specific intriguing areas.
Know It All: The Little Book of Essential Knowledge is a finely presented, interesting read bound to appeal to any and every reader. Own it, share it and talk about it with others who definitely will want to own and explore it as well!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on November 16, 2008