This is a marvellous book. I would say that, wouldn’t I? After all, half the writers are friends of mine, including the editor. But the reverse is true. Why should I, immersed in astrophysics, climate change, neutrinos, and deadly bugs as I am, want to spend my precious spare time reading about yet more? And, let’s be quite frank, lots of science writing can be dense, overlong, and, as the wonderfully morose James Thurber once remarked, ‘teaching me more than I ever wanted to know about ferrets’. Well, there are no ferrets in this collection, but just about everything else, from peeing in the pool to watching the space shuttle take off.