Bookworm Sez: ‘National Geographic Almanac 2019’ — Addicting and brief dive into anything and everything

You know?

Of course you do, because you’re no dummy. You’re on top of things, ear to the ground, you make it your business to have the 4-1-1. Yes, you know — until you don’t, which is when you need “National Geographic Almanac 2019.”

For several years now, the NatGeo folks have put out a children’s almanac each fall, in which kids could find information and fun facts that they can drop into conversations to impress grown-ups and others. National Geographic Kids almanacs are fun, but while you’re certainly welcome to read them, they’re more for the under-13 set.

Finally, though, adults can know things, too.

Take, for instance, the planning of your next vacation or weekend getaway. “National Geographic Almanac 2019” has ideas for hiking, exploring, diving, camping, and eating in America and around the world. That, of course, includes photos of spectacular places you’ll want to add to your itinerary.

With the legacy like the National Geographic magazine behind it, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that science, oceanography, environmental concerns, and wildlife have their own sections inside this book. Learn about the Spinosaurus (and be glad you didn’t live near a river 97 million years ago). Read a mini-biography about astrophysicist Jedidah Isler, the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Yale. Read about coral reefs, dolphin brains, and ancient humans.

Speaking of us, learn about languages, their evolution, and how new languages become new ways to communicate. See how researchers are working to make sure we all have enough to eat in coming decades. Find out why you can compare a virus to “a kind of vampire,” read about inventions that we can’t live without, check out a few quick bios of America’s First Ladies, see why addictions take hold of your brain, find out how to be happy, learn about the benefits of spending some time in a park today, enjoy photographs snapped around the world, and take a light quiz or two.

Why leave all the fun to the kids?

Indeed, you shouldn’t have to, which is why “National Geographic Almanac 2019” is an easy pick for any home.

Filled with the goodness you’ve come to expect from its parent publication, this book is part reference, part browsing fodder, and part irresistible. Dive in on any page and pop back out in a minute or three; jump back in anywhere and learn about something else. Articles are brief — which leads to this: Brevity could be an advantage or it may rankle a reader, since subjects are presented on pages long enough to pique interest but not quite long enough to satisfy a deeply curious mind.

Consider this, then, a springboard book, or a good argument settler for anyone ages 13 and up. Consider it as homework helper or a supplement to the National Geographic Kids almanacs. Consider it, if your family needs a good full-color, all-around general-interest time-killer but beware: With photos, fun facts, and maps inside, “National Geographic Almanac 2019” will be addicting, you know.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is the Bookworm.

More in Life

A simple syrup made from locally harvested spruce tips is photographed in the author’s Anchorage kitchen on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion
Sprucing up summer cocktails

The spruce tip simple syrup goes great in a lot of cocktails.

Kachemak Cuisine: Teri’s Special Spinach Salad is perfect for Memorial Day weekend

This tasty salad is packed with lots of goodies and is substantial enough to be a main course.

Quarantine and taxes

When the first stay-at-home mandates came out, I jumped into it with a “carpe diem” kind of energy.

Ready, set, edit!

Even as a follower of Jesus, we can often feel like we keep needing editing.

Jane Wiebe’s wheelbarrow of lovely tubers will cause any potato aficionado’s heart to sing. The photo was taken on Oct. 7, 2019, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Rosemary Fitzpatrick)
Kachemak Cuisine: Try these spicy potato recipes

Recall when you tried sriracha for the first time?

Nick Varney
Believe it or not, there’s a bright side

Don’t worry, I’m not going to jump into the COVID-19 kerfuffle.

Dutch babies, golden, eggy, puffy pancakes most often baked in a cast-iron skillet, can be paired with sweet or savory ingredients. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
                                Dutch babies, golden, eggy, puffy pancakes most often baked in a cast-iron skillet, can be paired with sweet or savory ingredients. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kalifornsky Kitchen: Puffy pancakes help fill downtime at home

Dutch babies are a golden, eggy, puffy pancake that can be served sweet or savory.

File
Minister’s Message: Create in me a clean heart, O God

Youth are highly valued and loved by God.

Kachemak Cuisine: Sourdough pancakes are an Alaska classic

What makes you forget about this insanity right now?

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Lessons of social isolation

We went from learning to wash our hands to eye-measuring 6 feet for social distancing.

A Sheepish Tale

In August 1963, my long-time neighbor and my father flew into the Tustumena benchlands.