Top critical review
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Much fun to be with ?
on 31 December 2010
I bought my last Almanac 10 years ago, so thought it about time for an upgrade.
There are less available now and I had looked at some smaller ones in bookshops, the Whitakers was always wrapped in plastic, so couldn't be looked inside.
For those of you thinking of buying it, let me briefly describe what's in it.
It's roughly broken into 3 main sections - The United Kingdom, The World and The Year 2009-10.
The first section covers such things as - The Royal Family, lists of Peers, Earls, Barons, Dames & Knights. Lists of names of members of the Privy Council, names of MP's, full listings of electoral results, lists of independent schools, names of Bishops, Deans & Archdeacons by diocese. Full details of the laws surrounding Corporation Tax, Divorce, Employment law and so on. In all, running to 674 of the books 1371 pages.
The second section covers things such as the worlds longest rivers, distances in air from London and detailed descriptions of each of the worlds countries covering climate & terrain, history & politics, economy & trade etc., to page 1084.
The last section covers things that happened in 2009-10, including main news events by region as well as sports results etc.
My last Almanac was the Hutchinson Almanac (no longer available) and on opening, you are immediately struck by it's clearer layout compared with the Whitakers and may more pages of tables covering all sorts of information that an old anorak like me finds interesting - government spending on various sectors going back over the previous 10 years, world oil production by country, tables of the worlds companies ranked by market capital etc, etc.
The sort of thing that I just like to dip into over a cup of coffee, but also useful if looking up something specific.
The Whitaker by contrast seems much drier with list after list of names & addresses. It is absolutely jam packed with useful information, if you are interested in those things described above.
I personally, can't see myself having as much fun with this book as I did with the old Hutchinson and wouldn't have bought it if I could have seen inside it first.