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How to Invent Everything

A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler

By Ryan North
Narrated by Ryan North / 12 hours 55 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

How to Invent Everything

“If you ever need to rebuild civilization from the ground up, make sure you have Ryan North with you. If kidnapping is not your thing, then at least make sure you have this book. I wouldn't recommend taking the audio though, because if the power to your portable (music) listening device dies before you get around to "inventing" electricity and/or batteries, you're still screwed. This book is filled with really useful information (and some eye-rollingly bad puns) and delivered in a charming, accessible manner by the author/narrator. There is nothing dry or academic here, in spite of the numerous charts and graphs and footnotes and the information is presented in such a way that even a lazy, clumsy person such as myself could probably utilize it to become a Goddess. Or at least the only person in the cave who has fire. This one is highly recommended not only because it is funny and may save your life in the event of the collapse of civilization (or if you get stranded in the past in a time travel accident), but also because the author has a weird fascination with Salt-N-Pepa's Shoop, which I can respect.”

Third Street Books image Billie, Third Street Books

An NPR Best Book of 2018

"How to Invent Everything is such a cool book. It's essential reading for anyone who needs to duplicate an industrial civilization quickly." --Randall Munroe, xkcd creator and New York Times-bestselling author of What If?

The only book you need if you're going back in time


What would you do if a time machine hurled you thousands of years into the past. . . and then broke? How would you survive? Could you improve on humanity's original timeline? And how hard would it be to domesticate a giant wombat?

With this book as your guide, you'll survive--and thrive--in any period in Earth's history. Bestselling author and time-travel enthusiast Ryan North shows you how to invent all the modern conveniences we take for granted--from first principles. This illustrated manual contains all the science, engineering, art, philosophy, facts, and figures required for even the most clueless time traveler to build a civilization from the ground up. Deeply researched, irreverent, and significantly more fun than being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger, How to Invent Everything will make you smarter, more competent, and completely prepared to become the most important and influential person ever. You're about to make history. . . better.

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