Whether math was your high school nemesis or science is your favorite thing, you can learn something new (and have a good time!) with these hilarious and informative reads.
Author of the wildly popular and extremely funny webcomic xkcd, Munroe is also a former NASA roboticist and programmer with a background in physics. While xkcd is always worth a read—fun fact: Munroe won a Hugo Award in 2014 for one of his strips—he is also a semi-regular contributor to the New York Times' science and technology pages (check out our FAQ to learn how to access NYT articles for free with your library card) and has published three books: What If?, which includes science-based answers to questions like what if everyone on earth went to one place and jumped and how many machine guns do you need to make a jet pack; Thing Explainer, which breaks down and explains the inner workings of complex machines using one the 1,000 most common words in the English language; and How to, which teaches you the objectively worst ways to ski, make friends, and throw a pool party.
Still curious? Stop back by the library this fall and pick up What If? 2, scheduled to come out in September.
Matt Parker is a recreational mathematician (yes, that is a real thing) who writes books and makes YouTube videos that marry stand-up comedy and math (or maths, in this case, since he's an Australian currently living in England). Parker's books are filled with the funny and interesting quirks that pop up when math is improperly applied to the real world, whether that's in Amazon's pricing algorithms, catastrophic engineering failures, or mathematically impossible highway signs. (And bad puns. So many bad puns.) Check out Humble Pi or it's audiobook (narrated by the author!) and Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension.
Mary Roach never intended to become a science writer, but found that, while working as a freelance copywriter for various publications, "it turned out that science stories were always, consistently, the most interesting stories I was assigned to cover." Her books—many of which are bestsellers—cover the science behind things that we don't necessarily think of as very scientific, like the military, cadavers, sex, and more. To dive in her hilariously informative work, check out Fuzz, Grunt, Gulp, Packing for Mars, Bonk, Spook, and Stiff.