These aren’t strictly for the bathroom, but the format of the books means that they do lend themselves to those often-too-short moments of relaxation. Does Anything Eat Wasps and Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze are perfect for the job.
Both are collections of letters and responses from the ‘Last Word’ column of New Scientist magazine, in which readers submit scientific but everyday questions, receiving responses from other readers. Some examples are "Does beheading hurt?", "How do you get transparent ice?" and "Why is nasal mucus often green?".
Often the answers to these sometimes bizarre questions take the form of chemical formulae and scientific explanations, but in many cases there is some kind of experiment that can be carried out in the home, for example to find out if an egg is double-yolked – these are especially ideal for sharing with the kids.
If you or your kids have ever wondered why dogs’ noses are black or why the sea is blue these are well worth a look. Thanks to the handy "search inside this book" gizmo on Amazon you can preview several pages in advance, and there are some more recent entries available on the New Scientist Last Word page – including the intriguing "Why does feeding my dogs ketchup stop their urine damaging my lawn?".
Of course you don’t have to buy them yourself – Father’s Day isn’t far away now!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing the US jacket images and launching the US version just in time for Father’s day!