John Farndon - about


John Farndon

John Farndon is an internationally known author, as well as a playwright, composer and songwriter, whose work has been performed at such theatres as the Donmar and Almeida in London and the Salisbury Playhouse and selected for showcases, such as Beyond the Gate.

He has written hundreds of books, which have sold millions of copies around the world in most major languages and include many best-sellers, such as the award-winning Do Not Open, which received rave reviews in the USA and became a cult-hit as well as featuring on the New York Times and Washington Post best-seller lists. In earlier years, he wrote mostly for children, and has been shortlisted a record four times for the junior Science Book prize. Books such as How Science Works and How the Earth Works each sold over a million copies worldwide. But recently he has written much more for adults.

Many of his books focus on popular science, and in particular earth science, nature, and environmental issues. His Practical Encyclopedia of Rocks and Mineral is widely used as a reference work by geologists, while The Atlas of Oceans, his big book on endangered life in the oceans for Yale in the USA (A&C Black in the UK and Australian Geographic in Australia), garnered glowing reports prepublication from major figures such as the Cousteaus, Carl Safina, Nancy Knowlton and Harm de Blij.

But he has covered a wide range of topics, from contemporary China to the food market. The history of ideas and intellectual curiosity is a particular speciality.

In 2010, his book for Icon Do You Think You're Clever? was a best-seller, reaching the top 20 on Amazon and the top 10 in South Africa and Turkey, and was shortlisted for the Society of Authors Education Award. The follow-up The World’s Greatest Idea was selected as one of the top 50 Wish List books of the year in South Africa.

He has been interviewed extensively on radio and TV stations around the world, and conducted talks, demonstrations and displays at many events, from the Brighton Science Festival to the Oxford Literary Festival.

(Royal Society/Copus Science Book prize shortlist): How the Earth Works
(Royal Society/Copus Science Book prize shortlist): What Happens When
(Royal Society/Copus Science Book prize shortlist): Investigations: Electricity (Royal Society/Copus Science Book prize shortlist): Big Book of the Brain
Society of Authors Education award shortlist: Do You Think You’re Clever?
US National Book Awards: Do Not Open
Science Books & Films (US), Best Books for Children: The Human Body
Science Books & Films (US), Best Books for Children: Flight
VOYA Nonfiction Honor List, 2008 Do Not Open

Academia Rossica Russian translation prize shortlist The Naked Guest plus Pushkin poems

Sondheim Student Singing prize shortlist: When I Was Young
Sondheim Student Singing prize shortlist: Once You Loved Me
Sondheim Student Singing prize shortlist: The Day I Saw You on the Wall

Best-selling titles Include:
How the Earth Works (Dorling Kindersley)
How Science Works (Dorling Kindersley)
Do Not Open (Dorling Kindersley)
Collins Childrens Encyclopedia (HarperCollins)
Wildlife Atlas (Readers Digest)
Dictionary of the Earth (Dorling Kindersley)
Do You Think You’re Clever? (Icon)