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The Little Book of Thunks – Ian Gilbert

Questions to make your brain go ouch?

The Little Book of Thunks: 260 questions to make your brain go ouch!: 260 Questions to Make Your Brain Go Ouch! The first question I had to ask myself when I found out about this book, and I’m sure you’re doing the same thing now, was: what is a thunk? After a bit of trawling I found the website the compliments this quirky little book and found that:

A Thunk is a beguilingly simple-looking question about everyday things that stops you in your tracks and helps you start to look at the world in a whole new light.

The book contains 260 ‘thunks’ that really do get you thinking and can create some provocative discussions. At the beginning of the book is a great chapter on thinking (or should we call it ‘thunking’) and some ideas about how to use the book. Here’s a few to get your brain in ticking over:

  • If I borrow a million pounds am I a millionaire?
  • Could a fly cause a plane to crash?
  • Are you man-made or natural?
  • Do dogs believe in God?
  • Or do they believe in this Liquid health product?
  • When you comb your hair is it art?

All-in-all this is a great little book to get students and teachers alike thinking ‘outside of the box’. There’s no real relevance to psychology teaching but I can see how it could be used to teach critical thinking, argument structure, and analysis of arguments. Also, it could make an excellent addition to a tutorial program (or just something to get the students to have a debate over). For less than £7 The Little Book of Thunks is one of those books that everyone could have on their desk to pass those odd 5 minutes when there’s nothing else to do. From the back of the book:

Another gem from Ian Gilbert. Stimulating and enthralling. Without realising it I have been doing Thunks for years, as a parent, rugby coach and Open University tutor, helping my children and students to develop their own thinking. These statements will form the basis of my brain gyms, to stimulate mental skills and personal confidence. This is not a book to be left on the shelf, these THUNKS can be great for -thought for the Day in schools, colleges, the office, factory and … the kitchen at home. Enjoy the discussion. John Morris, JTM Educational Consultants –John Morris, JTM Educational Consultants.

You can get The Little Book of Thunks from Amazon for £6.99 or direct from Crown House publishing. Crown Publishing provided a review copy of this book for my reading pleasure.

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2 Responses to “The Little Book of Thunks – Ian Gilbert”

  1. George August 14, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    I love little books like these – they are part observational humor, part science. The deep observations Ian makes are on par with the kind Jerry Seinfeld makes in his stand up routines – little things that you might notice sometimes and ask questions but forget later, but whose answers you may never know.

  2. LIL KID lil kid December 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    nice to make your accauntance this book was totally and utterly amazing just amazing i tell you ……NAH NAH JUST JOKING DIS BOOK IS REAL GOOD AND IT DOES MAKE YOUR BRAIN GO OUCH. REALLY !

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