Trivial Pursuits (157 books)

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Compendia of obscure facts, useless information, things you forgot you knew, and some things you might never learn elsewhere.

 

Robertson's Book of Firsts: Who Did What for the First Time

by Patrick Robertson

From the amazing mind of Patrick Robertson, an encyclopedia of America's first times for everything, from advertisements to zippers.


Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik

by Bill Casselman

How many people know how to pronounce humhumunukunukuapuaa*? How many even know what it is? Bill Casselman does. Dictionary in hand, he'll lead you along the highways and byways of English--the world's wackiest,...


Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous

by Alan Petrucelli

"It's shocking and sinful, and I couldn't put it down!" -Joan Rivers

The strange, startling, and utterly fascinating stories behind the world's most notorious celebrity deaths.

Was Jayne Mansfield really...


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

by Sam Kean

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I,...


Bubble Gum and Hula Hoops: The Origins of Objects in Our Everyday Lives

by Harry Oliver

The fascinating and funny origins of everyday objects-bliss for history hounds, language lovers and trivia buffs.

In this delightful volume, Harry Oliver reveals the most unusual and unexpected stories behind...


The Book of Lists London

by Nick Rennison

Why did London Underground once employ a one-legged man to ride up and down the escalators at Earl's Court tube station? What did Hitler plan to do with Nelson's Column? Why is London's only medieval mummy a...


Tawdry Knickers and Other Unfortunate Ways to Be Remembered: A Saucy and Spirited History of Ninety Notorious Namesakes

by Alex Novak

Some are born notorious.

Others have notoriety thrust upon them.

Few realize that their morning mouthwash bears the name of a life- saving British baron or that their sugary graham crackers would be abhorred...


The Artful Nuance: A Refined Guide to Imperfectly Understood Words in the English Language

by Rod Evans

?The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter.? (Mark Twain)

What?s the difference between:

Nectar and ambrosia? Bough and branch? Astonished and surprised? Sensual...


Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong

by Rod Evans

Where were Venetian blinds invented?

What color is the black box on a commercial airplane?

Where did India ink originate?*

Most of us know more than we think we know. We also think we know more than we actually...


Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge: The Book of Mnemonic Devices

by Rod L. Evans

When is a "tulip"* not a flower? When it's one of hundreds of mnemonic devices in this comprehensive sourcebook.

From remembering the notes on a scale (Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge) to correctly performing...


Much ADO about English: Up and Down the Bizarre Byways of a Fascinating Language

by Richard Watson Todd

In an entertaining journey through the peculiarities, illogicalities and sheer charm of the English language, Much Ado About English wanders down the language's idiosyncratic and surprising byways. Richard Watson...


The Deeper Meaning of Liff: A Dictionary of Things There Aren't Any Words for Yet--But There Ought to Be

by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

Does the sensation of Tingrith(1) make you yelp? Do you bend sympathetically when you see someone Ahenny(2)? Can you deal with a Naugatuck(3) without causing a Toronto(4)? Will you suffer from Kettering(5) this...


Who Killed Iago?: A Book of Fiendishly Challenging Literary Quizzes

by James Walton

A masterful collection of mindboggling questions guaranteed to have bibliophiles wracking their brains.

This engaging and stimulating book of quizzes will test readers' knowledge of classic and contemporary literature....


Black Sheep and Lame Ducks: The Origins of Even More Phrases We Use Every Day

by Albert Jack

The fun and fascinating follow-up to the international bestseller Red Herrings and White Elephants

Why do people put their "skeletons in a closet," "have a hunch," "get the cold shoulder," "get dressed up...


Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women

by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

Throughout history women have caused wars, defied the rules, and brought men to their knees. The famous and the infamous, queens, divorcées, actresses, and outlaws have created a ruckus during their lifetimes-turning...


Pop Goes the Weasel: The Secret Meanings of Nursery Rhymes

by Albert Jack

From the international bestselling author of Red Herrings and White Elephants—a curious guide to the hidden histories of classic nursery rhymes.

Who was Mary Quite Contrary, or Georgie Porgie? How could Hey...


Uglier Than a Monkey's Armpit: Untranslatable Insults, Put-Downs, and Curses from Around the World

by Stephen Dodson

The most curious, funny, insightful, and expressive invectives from more than forty languages-fully illustrated, you miserable misokakku.

"Misokkasu": Scum of soya paste. (Japanese) "Tu es um borra-battos.":...


The Gentleman's Bedside Companion: A Compendium of Manly Information for the Last Fifteen Minutes of the Day

by Tom Cutler

Delightful Things to Read About Before the Snoring Starts

Have you ever found that once you are between the sheets, Madame Bovary is too heavy, magazines are too slippery, and Crime and Punishment is too long?...


Black Cats & Four-Leaf Clovers: The Origins of Old Wives' Tales and Superstitions in Our Everyday Lives

by Harry Oliver

Cross your fingers, knock on wood, and clutch your rabbit's foot a little tighter.

In this charming and endlessly diverting book, Harry Oliver delves into the stories behind the traditions and superstitions...


Once Again to Zelda: The Stories Behind Literature's Most Intriguing Dedications

by Marlene Wagman-Geller

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA


There's a Sucker Born Every Minute: A Revelation of Audacious Frauds, Scams, and Cons -- How toSpot Them, How to Stop Them

by Jeffrey Robinson

One in nine Americans will lose money as a victim of fraud

• Every man and woman in the country (and every child with an email address) will be targeted by professional fraudsters-multiple times.

• Seven...


Think You Know It All?: The Ultimate Interactive Quiz Book

by Dan Smith

Calling All Know-It-Alls

Can you name an astronaut who has walked on the moon? Pretty good, but can you name all of them?

Can you name all of the Marx Brothers? How about the Osmonds? The Bee Gees? The Jonas...


Eureka!: The Surprising Stories Behind the Ideas That Shaped the World

by Marlene Wagman-Geller

The fascinating inspirations behind common inventions and creations- from Barbie to Sweet and Low to Mt. Rushmore.

The slinky was born aboard a World War II ship.

The Barbie doll was inspired by a German...


Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite

by Mim Harrison

How and where to use 500 of the words that make you sound more cultured, worldly, and downright smart.

Whoever said sounding smart had to be painful? It?s all in how you acquire the ?ten-dollar words? of English....


So You Think You Can Spell?: Killer Quizzes for the Incurably Competitive and Overly Confident

by David Grambs

A cornucopia of spelling challenges—from the deceptively simple to the truly vexing—for good, better, and exceptional spellers (or those who want to be). So You Think You Can Spell? is a handy way to go...


Overrated: The 50 Most Overhyped Things in History

by Mark Juddery

A cantankerous collection of the 50 most overhyped people, places and things in the world

What do horoscopes, hemlock, Star Trek, the Oscars, and sliced bread have in common? They're all overrated-and systematically...


Number Freak: From 1 to 200- The Hidden Language of Numbers Revealed

by Derrick Niederman

A compulsively readable look at the secret language of numbers- their role in nature, movies, science, and everything in between.

What do Fight Club, wallpaper patterns, George Balanchine's Serenade, and Italian...


Vampire Taxonomy: Identifying and Interacting with the Modern-Day Bloodsucker

by Meredith Woerner

Now that millions have read and seen Twilight, where do they turn for vampire advice? This wry, witty, fully illustrated, and bloody essential guide.

Vampires are all around-books, movies, TV, comics- infiltrating...


Literally, the Best Language Book Ever: Annoying Words and Abused Phrases You Should Never Use Again

by Paul Yeager

By turns gleefully precise and happily contrarian, this is a highly opinionated guide to better communication. In Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, author Paul Yeager attacks with a linguistic scalpel...


The Book of Strange and Curious Legal Oddities: Pizza Police, Illicit Fishbowls, and Other Anomalies of theLaw That Make Us AllUnsuspecting Criminals

by Nathan Belofsky

You're probably breaking the law right now-and don't even know it.

Did you know...

? Naples, Italy, enforces laws for what constitutes real pizza, and "pizza police" visit restaurants to crack down on unlawful...


211 Things a Clever Girl Can Do

by Bunty Cutler

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA


211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do

by Tom Cutler

For everyone who loved The Dangerous Book for Boys-an oddly useful and hilarious handbook for the mischievous child in all of us.

If you've reached adulthood without knowing how to spin a rope like a cowboy,...


Whad'Ya Know?

by Michael Feldman

A brand new bathroom reader collection, from the beloved trivia voice of public radio. SO...DID YOU KNOW THAT: 53% of American workers feel they work ""with a bunch of monkeys."" (What the monkeys think, we...


The Bibliophile's Devotional

by Hallie Ephron

What better way to start a day than with inspiration from a literary classic? Now you can do just that. In this book, praised author and critic Hallie Ephron delivers a daily dose of literary knowledge.

A brilliant...


The Well-Spoken Thesaurus: The Most Powerful Ways to Say Everyday Words and Phrases

Bad vs. Worse: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lose-Lose Decisions

by Joshua Piven

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA


Toponymity: An Atlas of Words

by John Marciano

From the beloved author of Anonyponymous, a fascinating compendium of familiar words that come from surprising locations.


Fat, Dumb, and Ugly: The Decline of the Average American

by Peter Strupp & Alan Dingman

The world's lone superpower...supreme guardian of democracy...and home of the blithely uninformed and epidemically obese. Welcome to America -- pull up a chair, click on the tube, and grab a donut. Concerned...


Don't Know Much About Anything

by Kenneth C. Davis

In his wildly entertaining, winningly irreverent, New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About® series, author Kenneth C. Davis has amused and edified us with fascinating facts about history, mythology,...


Don't Know Much About Literature

by Kenneth C. Davis

From Homer to Harry Potter, from Chaucer to Charlotte's Web, acompelling book of quizzes on history's most influential literary worksand writers

  • Did a whale named "Mocha Dick" inspire Melville's masterpiece?
  • Who...


Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned

by Kenneth C. Davis

The latest installment in the New York Times bestselling Don't Know Much About® series -- a magical journey into the timeless world of mythology

It has been fifteen years since Kenneth C. Davis first dazzled...


Don't Know Much About the Universe: Everything You Need to Know About Outer Space but Never Learned

by Kenneth C. Davis

Who dug those canals on Mars? What was the biblical Star of Bethlehem? Were the pyramids built by extraterrestrials?

From the ancients who charted the heavens to Star Trek, The X-Files, and Apollo 13, outer space...


Don't Know Much About Anything Else

by Kenneth C. Davis

For years, Kenneth C. Davis has enlightened and enthralled us, opening our minds and tickling our fancies with his wonderfully irreverent, fun, and factual Don't Know Much About® books. He has carried readers...


What Makes Flamingos Pink?

by Bill McLain

Do spiders sleep? Why are barns red? Why is there a crescent moon on outhouse doors? Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

As the Xerox Corporation's official webmaster, Bill McLain...


Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

by Paul Yeager

The myths, history, wives-tales, oddities, and wonders of a subject that comes up every day: the weather.

Weather enthusiasts (or just the weather-curious) will discover surprising facts, myths, and oddities...


Four-Letter Words: And Other Secrets of a Crossword Insider

by Michelle Arnot

Crossword puzzle expert and champion Michelle Arnot has complied this irresistibly fun and entertaining manual filled with fascinating facts, puzzle miscellany, and surefire tips for puzzle solving. For devoted...


And the Rest Is History: The Famous (and Infamous) First Meetings of the World's Most Passionate Couples

by Marlene Wagman-Geller

Did my heart love till now?

Forswear it, sight!

For I ne'er saw true beauty till tonight.

-Romeo and Juliet

Antony and Cleopatra, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Humphrey...


Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on thePlanet

by Susan Brackney

A guided tour inside the world of bees

Overtaxed and underrecognized-and now disappearing in alarming numbers- bees are the unsung heroes of the food chain, essential for the pollination of more than ninety...


Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

by Ammon Shea

An obsessive word lover's account of reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, hailed as "the Super Size Me of lexicography."

"I'm reading the OED so you don't have to," says Ammon Shea on his slightly masochistic...


The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads

by Ammon Shea

Read Ammon Shea's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

A surprising, lively, and rich history of that ubiquitous doorstop that most of us take for granted.

Ammon Shea is not your typical thirtysomething...


A Compendium of Kisses: Facts, Quotes and Curiosities

by Lana Citron

From first kisses to missed kisses, stolen kisses, the chemistry of kisses, around-the-world kisses, silver-screen kisses, Freudian kisses, lipstick kisses and record-breaking kisses, this eclectic collection...


Who the Hell Is Pansy O'Hara?: The Fascinating Stories Behind 50 of the World's Best-LovedBooks

by Jenny Bond

The captivating stories behind fifty of the greatest authors and their most famous literary creations

Before Who the Hell is Pansy O?Hara ?, there had never been a single volume that explored the backstories...


101 Ways to Flip the Bird

by Rick Joseph & Jason Joseph

So ticked off you’re at a loss for words?

101 Ways to Flip the Bird provides 101 creative ways to express exactly how you feel. Arm yourself with the perfect bird for every occasion:

Some jerk cut you off in...


Your Pinkie Is More Powerful Than Your Thumb: And 333 Other Surprising Facts That Will Make You Wealthier, Healthier and Smarter Than Everyone Else

by Kevin Markey & Mark Di Vincenzo

Why are recessions not all bad? (pg. 51)

Which Major League Baseball team keeps its baseballs in a humidor—and why? (pg. 123)

Why is 300 cents more than 3 dollars? (pg. 49)

Mark Di Vincenzo, author of the New...


Word for Word

by James E. Snyder

An ingeniously handy guide to help you transform chew into masticate, rainy into pluvian?or antediluvian into plain old old.

Attorney James Snyder didn?t set out to write a book about words. But one day he looked...


Why Do Pirates Love Parrots?

by David Feldman

Are you the type of person who stays up nights wondering how they get the paper tag into Hershey's Kisses? Or why portholes are round?

Even if you don't lose sleep over such matters, you have to admit that such...


The Big Book of Canadian Trivia

by Mark Kearney & Randy Ray

Here in one big book is all the trivia and facts about Canada anyone needs to know. All regions are covered, as well as important Canadian figures such as John Molson, Elizabeth Arden, and Russ Jackson. This...


The World's Worsts

by Les Krantz

A hilarious collection of the lowest of the lows – from the worst generals to the dumbest dogs, the shortest Hollywood marriages to the most dangerous golf courses.

The World's Worsts is the latest compendium...


Big Secrets

by William Poundstone

The Book That Gives the Inside Story on Hundreds of Secrets of American Life --Big Secrets.

Are there really secret backward messages in rock music, or is somebody nuts? We tested suspect tunes at a recording...


The Curious World of Bugs: The Bugman's Guide to the Mysterious and Remarkable Lives of Things That Crawl

by Daniel Marlos

If you've ever wondered what that leggy, buzzing creature was in your bathroom (or backyard, bed, or pantry), perhaps you've come across WhatsThatBug.com, where people around the world go to ask "What's that...


Bald Coot and Screaming Loon: Adventures in the Curious, Mysterious and Remarkable World of Birds

by Niall Edworthy

From the author of The Curious Gardener's Almanac, a fascinating miscellany that explores the mysterious world of birds.

Comprising more than 1,000 entries of remarkable information about birds, bird life,...


The Secret History of Balls: The Stories Behind the Things We Love to Catch, Whack, Throw, Kick, Bounce and Bat

by Josh Chetwynd

You may fancy yourself a sports fan, but chances are you don't know:

A fish eyeball was used as the center of some nineteenth-century baseballs

The race to make better billiard balls led to the invention...


Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and, Like, Whatever

by Leslie Savan

In this marvelously original book, three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Leslie Savan offers fascinating insights into why we’re all talking the talk—Duh; Bring it on!; Bling; Whatever!—and what this reveals...


The Ultimate Quotable Einstein

by Albert Einstein, Alice Calaprice & Freeman Dyson

Here is the definitive new edition of the hugely popular collection of Einstein quotations that has sold tens of thousands of copies worldwide and been translated into twenty-five languages.

The Ultimate Quotable...


The Book of Origins: Discover the Amazing Origins of the Clothes We Wear, the Food We Eat, the People We Know, the Languages We Speak, and the Things

by Trevor Homer

Read Trevor Homer's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Everything—from the mundane (the pencil) to the catastrophic (the atom bomb)—has an origin, but often it’s not what we expect. A few things you may not have...


Disgusting Things: A Miscellany: A Miscellany

by Don Voorhees

A collection of extreme, gross-out, cringe-worthy? and irresistible?trivia.

How long does the human head remain conscious after decapitation?

What fish communicates by farting?

What birds use vomit and poop as...


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fun FAQs

by Sandy Wood

Frequently Asked Questions-Answered!Part game book, part trivia book, and part information resource, this guide includes over 1,000 amusing, interesting questions (and their answers, of course) about hundreds...


Cause of Death: A Perfect Little Guide to What Kills Us

by Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett & Lucy Autrey Wilson

FACE IT. WE CAN GO ANYTIME.

BUT IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS!

Death becomes you, and it's just another fact of life explored in Cause of Death, a revealing abundance of startling data, false perceptions, bizarre...


The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Not So Useless Facts

by Dana Sherwood

A pocketful of trivia-special hardcover edition! People love weird facts. And this gift hardcover is bursting with 208 pages of all sorts of amazing, arcane, interesting, and shocking bits of information about...


The Pocket Idiot's Guide to More Not So Useless Facts

by Dana Sherwood

People love weird facts. And judging from the success of the original Pocket Idiot's Guide to Not So Useless Facts, readers love the collection of wacky and interesting facts and factoids. Now, back by popular...


Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?

by New Scientist

• What time is it at the North Pole?

• What's the chemical formula for a human being?

• Why do boomerangs come back?

• Why do flying fish fly?

• Do the living really outnumber the dead?

• Why does...


How to Make a Tornado: The Strange and Wonderful Things That Happen When Scientists Break Free

by New Scientist

Science tells us grand things about the universe: how fast light travels, and why stones fall to earth. But scientific endeavour goes far beyond these obvious foundations. There are some fields we don't often...


Contrary to Popular Belief: More than 250 False Facts Revealed

by Joey Green

Is Everything You Know Wrong?

Set the record straight!

Debunk myths!

Learn the truth behind fallacies, falsehoods, hearsay, and lies!

Isn’t it time you knew the honest-to-goodness truth? We’ve all come to believe...


Why Can't Elephants Jump?: And 101 Other Questions

by New Scientist

Well, why not? Is it because elephants are too large or heavy (after all, they say hippos and rhinos can play hopscotch)? Or is it because their knees face the wrong way? Or do they just wait until no one's...


101 Things You Didn't Know About Jane Austen

by Patrice Hannon

You've read Emma. You own Pride & Prejudice. You love Sense and Sensibility. But do you know all there is to know about Jane Austen? Find answers to questions such as:

  • Who was the Irishman who stole her heart?...


Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?: And 101 Other Intriguing Science Questions

by New Scientist

Do Polar Bears Get Lonely? is the third compilation of readers' answers to the questions in the 'Last Word' column of New Scientist, the world's best-selling science weekly. Following the phenomenal success...


Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask

by New Scientist

  • How fat do you have to be to become bulletproof?

  • Why do people have eyebrows?

  • Why do pineapples have spines?

  • How much does a head weigh?

  • What affects the color of earwax?

  • How quickly could I turn into a fossil?...

If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren't There More Happy People?: Smart Quotes for Dumb Times

by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson

John Lloyd and John Mitchinson have proven themselves to be masters at digging up obscure facts, abstruse information, and amusing anecdotes and presenting them effortlessly, somewhat slyly, with either great...


1,001 Facts that Will Scare the S#*t Out of You

by ary McNeal

Fact: Chocolate contains the alkaloid theobromine, which in high doses can be toxic to humans, and in even small amounts can kill dogs, parrots, horses, and cats.

This means that despite its name, the Kit-Kat...


Is This Bottle Corked?: The Secret Life of Wine

by Michael Bywater & Kathleen Burk

We’ve all come across those suave, confident, and all-so-knowing books that tell us precisely what to drink with which dish, how to swirl, sniff, slosh, and pronounce on our wine, and, above all, how to impress...


Ifferisms

by Mardy Grothe

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.

If you can't be kind, at least be vague.

An aphorism...


Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You

by Mardy Grothe

What do Mae West, John F. Kennedy, Victor Hugo, and H. L. Mencken have in common? They all indulged in chiasmus-a literary device in which word order is reversed to hilarious or poignant effect. When Mae West...


The First Book of Seconds

by Matthew Murrie & Steve Murrie

With the exception of a few consolation prize-winning legends (Susan Lucci, Al Gore, and the Buffalo Bills come to mind for their mediocrity), most runners-up aren't even remembered. But now the not-so-amazing...


Neverisms

by Mardy Grothe

"Never let 'em see you sweat."

"Never change diapers in mid-stream."

"Never let a crisis go to waste."

"Never ruin an apology with an excuse."

"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died."

When we strongly...


The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure

by John Lloyd & John Mitchinson

The team behind the New York Times bestseller The Book of General Ignorance turns conventional biography on its head—and shakes out the good stuff.

 

Following their Herculean—or is it Sisyphean?—efforts...


Freak Nation

by Kate Stevens

Vegans. Skateboarders. Trekkies. The Cult of the Individual is alive and well and expressing itself all over America-and this book proves it. With this enlightening (and sometimes frightening) field guide, you'll...


5 People Who Died During Sex: and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists

by Karl Shaw

All in perfectly bad taste

Prepare to be amazed, appalled, disgusted, and hugely entertained by this compendium of indelicate oddities. Nothing is too inane, too insane, too bizarre, or too distasteful for this...


Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms

by Ralph Keyes

How did die become kick the bucket, underwear become unmentionables, and having an affair become hiking the Appalachian trail? Originally used to avoid blasphemy, honor taboos, and make nice, euphemisms have...


Useless Sexual Trivia: Tastefully Prurient Facts About Everyone's Favorite Subject

by Shane Mooney

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Never Knew to Ask

Did you know that in Middle-Eastern Islamic countries it is not only a sin but also a crime to eat a lamb that you've had sex with? Or that...


Oxymoronica

by Mardy Grothe

ox-y-mor-on-i-ca (OK-se-mor-ON-uh-ca) noun, plural: Any variety of tantalizing, self-contradictory statements or observations that on the surface appear false or illogical, but at a deeper level are true, often...


The Book of General Ignorance

by John Mitchinson & John Lloyd

Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Misconceptions,...


The Book of Animal Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong

by John Mitchinson & John Lloyd

Fast on the heels of the New York Times bestseller The Book of General Ignorance comes The Book of Animal Ignorance, a fun, fact-filled bestiary that is sure to delight animal lovers everywhere. Arranged alphabetically...


Alcoholica Esoterica: A Collection of Useful and Useless Information As It Relates to the History andConsumption of All Manner of Booze

by Ian Lendler

Finally, there’s a book that’s almost as much fun as having a couple of drinks. Alcoholica Esoterica presents the history and culture of booze as told by a writer with a knack for distilling all the boring...


Who's Your TV Alter Ego?: The Ultimate Television Character Personality Test

by Noah Lusky

ARE YOU A JERRY OR AN ELAINE?

Or maybe you've been living life as a compulsive Monica, when all along there's a carefree Phoebe just waiting to get out? Now's your chance to learn the truth, without having...


The Definitive Star Trek Trivia Book

by Jill Sherwin

SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW STAR TREK®? WELL, FIRE UP THOSE NEURONS, BECAUSE HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO PROVE IT!

1. How many tribbles did Spock calculate had bred aboard Deep Space Station K-7?

2. What type of life-form...


The Definitive Star Trek Trivia Book, Volume II

by Jill Sherwin

By popular demand...a second book of Star Trek® trivia questions from the greatest science fiction phenomenon of all time! The Definitive Star Trek Trivia Book, Volume II contains more than two thousand new...


Now You Know Big Book of Sports

by Doug Lennox

Doug Lennox, the world champion of trivia, is back to score touchdowns, hit homers, and knock in holes-in-one every time with a colossal compendium of Q&A athletics that has all anyone could possibly want to...


Now You Know Baseball

by Doug Lennox

Everyone will know the score with this grand slam of Q&A that's sure to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Doug Lennox hammers it out of the park by filling us in on who's won the most Cy Young Awards and the...


The Lazy Intellectual: Maximum Knowledge, Minimal Effort

by Richard J. Wallace

It's a small attention span world out there, and not everyone's interested in paging through lengthy tomes to deepen their intellect. They want their information. And they want it now.

This book fills that void...


How Many Licks?: Or, How to Estimate Damn Near Anything

The Book of Useless Information

by Noel Botham

What you may so cavalierly call useless information could prove invaluable to someone else. Then again, maybe not. But to The Useless Information Society, any fact that passes its gasp-inducing, not-a-lot-of-people-know-that...


The World's Greatest Book of Useless Information: If You Thought You Knew All the Things You Didn't Need to Know - Think Again

by Noel Botham

From the creators of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Useless Information-a collection of even greater insignificance.

More useless than ever before! Impress know-it-all friends with this all-new...


The Best Book of Useless Information Ever

by Noel Botham

From the creators of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Useless Information comes another enlightening, entertaining, and ultimately useless assortment of trivia.

If you find yourself transfixed by...


The Amazing Book of Useless Information: More Things You Didn't Need to Know But Are About to Find Out

by Noel Botham

From the creators of the #1 New York Times,/I bestseller The Book of Useless Information comes another fun, foolhardy and completely frivolous, fact-filled book.

The Useless Information Society?s latest collection,...


The Ultimate Book of Useless Information: A Few Thousand More Things You Might Need to Know ( But ProbablyDon't)

by Noel Botham

Bigger, better, and more useless than ever!

In their groundbreakingly useless book, The Book of Useless Information, the members of the Useless Information Society proved that knowledge doesn't have to be useful...


The Indispensable Book of Useless Information: Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any More Useless--It Does

by Donal Voorhees

Nothing you'll ever need to know is in this book

The #1 New York Times bestselling series continues to prove that there are plenty of things in this world no one needs to know about.

Why bother learning that......


The Perfectly Useless Book of Useless Information: You'll Never Need to Know Anything That's in This Book...But Read It Anyway

by Don Voorhees

It doesn't get any more useless than this!

The most inconsequential entry yet in the #1 New York Times bestselling series proves that information is overrated.

Your life won't be improved by knowing that......


The Essential Book of Useless Information: The Most Unimportant Things You'll Never Need to Know

by Donald Voorhees

More facts! Less substance! The newest entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Useless Information series.

The useless information never ends in the newest, most crucially meaningless entry in the Useless...


Mental Floss: Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets

by Editors of Mental Floss

Friends? Romans? Countrymen?

You never know whom you'll have to impress

at your next corporate shindig or keg party.

Whatever the target audience, mental_floss knows staring facedown into the punch bowl isn't the...


Mental Floss: What's the Difference?

by Editors of Mental Floss

Enlighten Up Already!

Monet? Manet? Who can even tell the difference? Well, with the help of the newest mental_floss tome, you can! Want to learn how to tell egg rolls from spring rolls, nuclear bombs from dirty...


50 Things to Do with a Book

by Bruce McCall

Reading may be dead, but books are alive and well

What good are books, you may be wondering, if we're not going to read them? What are we even doing in this bookstore? Not to worry! It turns out that there are...


Herd on the Street: Animal Stories from The Wall Street Journal

by Ken Wells & Bruce McCall

For more than sixty years, The Wall Street Journal has prided itself not just on its serious journalism, but also on the whimsical and arcane stories that amuse and delight its readers. In that regard, animal...


Fail Nation

by Failblog.org Community

From the underbelly of the nuts behind hit websites failblog.org and icanhascheezburger.com comes FAIL Nation, your silent guide and handler to the not-even-close-to-perfect nation of FAIL, chock-full of irrelevant...


That Book

by Mitchell Symons

Did you know that . . .

John Wayne once won the dog Lassie from its owner in a poker game?

Hijinks is the only word in the English language with three dotted letters in a row?

The shortest war in history, between...


The Other Book... of the Most Perfectly Useless Information

by Mitchell Symons

The latest entry in Mitchell Symons's trivia trifecta is chock-full of more obscure scientific facts, sporting stats, celebrity gossip, and pure trivia than ever!

Did you know that:

  • Polar bears cover their black...

Why Girls Can't Throw

by Mitchell Symons

Warning: the truth can be shocking, seductive, offensive, outrageous...even disgusting!

Are you perplexed by the mysteries of the universe, confounded by the workings of the human body, prone to pondering the...


Mental Floss: Scatterbrained

by Editors of Mental Floss

The bathroom read to end all bathroom reads!

What does Greece (the country) have to do with Grease (the movie)? And what does Grease (the movie) have to do with greasy food? Plenty, if you ask the folks at mental_floss...


Mental Floss: Genius Instruction Manual

by Editors of Mental Floss

Remember that time you bumped into Stephen Hawking at the clambake and his monologue on string theory went completely over your head? Man, was that awkward. Or remember the time you were at a party and someone...


mental floss presents Instant Knowledge

by Editors of Mental Floss

Mental_floss is proud to present a full-bodied jolt of inspiration for thirsty minds on the go. Blended with titillating facts, startling revelations, and head-scratching theories collected from around the world,...


Mental Floss presents In the Beginning

by Editors of Mental Floss

Sure, you know all about the birds and bees. But did Dad ever tell you that it wasn't a stork that put that shiny can opener in your kitchen drawer? Or paperclips started out as proud, Nazi-fighting warriors?...


God's Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man's Eternal Search for the Divine

by Michael Largo

An eyebrow-raising expose of the strange and shocking side of history's religions, cults, and spiritual movements

What is the meaning of life? Since the dawn of civilization, humankind has sought to answer the...


Listverse.com's Ultimate Book of Bizarre Lists: Fascinating Facts and Shocking Trivia on Movies, Music, Crime, Celebrities, History, and More

by Jamie Frater

FREAKS OF NATURE, ODD CRIMES, SHOCKING DEATHS,

DEVASTATING DISASTERS, BLOOD-CURDLING RITES,

CRAZY CONSPIRACIES & MUCH, MUCH MORE

•Gruesome Torture Devices

•Mass Hysteria Outbreaks

•Unbelievable Miniatures

•Disturbingly...


The Ultimate Book of Top Ten Lists: A Mind-Boggling Collection of Fun, Fascinating and Bizarre Facts on Movies, Music, Sports, Crime, Ce

by Jami Frater

BIZARRE STUFF, AMAZING FACTS, ASTONISHING MYSTERIES, NATURAL WONDERS, LITTLE-KNOWN PEOPLE, USEFUL TIPS AND MUCH, MUCH MORE

From crime, movies and music to science, history and literature, this book offers an...


What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life

by Avery Gilbert

• How many smells are there? And how many molecules would it take to create every smell in nature, from roses to stinky feet?

• Who was the bigger scent freak: the perfume-obsessed Richard Wagner or Emily...


Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

by Ken Jennings

One day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: they auditioned for Jeopardy! Two years, 75 games, 2,642 correct answers, and over $2.5...


Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days

by Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac is the ingeniously organized book where, for a change, the all-time Jeopardy! champ gets to ask the questions–and where every day of the year will give you the chance to test...


The Presidential Book of Lists: From Most to Least, Elected to Rejected, Worst to Cursed-Fascinating Facts About Our Chief Executives

by Ian Randal Strock

An entertaining and informative compendium of facts and trivia about the U.S. presidents ranges from George Washington to the results of the 2008 presidential election in a volume organized into more than one...


Filmology

by Chris Barsanti

Sure, you love the movies. But how much do you really know about the ones that really made a difference? Whether it's Birth of a Nation, the brilliant silent film that fanned the flames of racism; Easy Rider...


Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?: Mysteries of Everyday Life Explained

by David Feldman

Ponder, if you will ...

What is the difference between a kit and a caboodle?

Why don't people get goose bumps on their faces?

Where do houseflies go in the winter?

What causes that ringing sound in your ears?

Pop-culture...


When Do Fish Sleep?

by David Feldman

Ponder, if you will ...

Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

How come birds don't tip over when they sleep on telephone wires?

What makes yawning contagious?

Why, oh why, do roosters have to crow so early in the morning?...


Do Penguins Have Knees?

by David Feldman

Ponder, if you will

What happens to your Social Security number when you die?

Why are peanuts listed as an ingredient in plain M&Ms?

Why is Barbie's hair made out of nylon, but Ken's hair is plastic?

What makes...


Who Put The Butter In Butterfly?: ... And other Fearless Investigations in

by David Feldman

The English language is filled with familiar words that, when one thinks about them, are downright peculiar: cooties, doozies, and heepie-jeebies; finks and funks; mugwumps and muumuus; deep six and cloud nine....


Oval Office Oddities

by Bill Fawcett

Every four years Americans go to the polls to elect a leader—a personage of unimpeachable sobriety and moral standing who will serve as a paragon for the rest of us. But truth be told, presidents and their...


The Bumper Book of Slightly Forgotten but Nevertheless Still Great British Olympians and Other Sporting Heroes

by Simon Bullivant

The Bumper Book of Slightly Forgotten British Olympians and Other Sporting Heroes is just that: a collection of stirring tales of pluck, grit, triumph, disaster and on occasion, ineptitude, featuring a host...


The Gentleman's Instant Genius Guide

by Tom Cutler

Who has time nowadays to put in the graft to succeed? And why bother, when the truly important things in life only take a quarter of an hour to master? Here, Tom Cutler proves that following the path to becoming...


10 Ways to Recycle a Corpse: and 100 More Dreadfully Distasteful Lists

by Karl Shaw

Prepare to be even more revolted, flabbergasted, appalled, and completely entertained by this incredible follow-up collection of absolutely true trivia from the author of 5 People Who Died During Sex. Nothing...


The Big Book of Words You Should Know

by David Olsen

Do you know what quatrefoil and impolitic mean? What about halcyon or narcolepsy? This book is a handy, easy-to-read reference guide to the proper parlance for any situation. In this book you will find: Words...


The Explainer

by Slate Magazine

What happens to recalled meat?

What’s the difference between a serial killer and a spree killer?

How do you stop a lava flow?

Does homeowner’s insurance cover murder?

And what is Ovaltine anyway?

Answers to these...


Do You Speak American?

by Robert Macneil & William Cran

Is American English in decline? Are regional dialects dying out? Is there a difference between men and women in how they adapt to linguistic variations?

These questions, and more, about our language catapulted...


Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

by Lynne Truss

The spirited and scholarly #1 New York Times bestseller combines boisterous history with grammar how-to’s to show how important punctuation is in our world—period.

 

In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former...


What Would MacGyver Do?: True Stories of Improvised Genius in Everyday Life

by Brendan Vaughan

A clever collection of true stories celebrating real-life ?MacGyverisms?

For anyone who?s ever wished they could channel 1980s action-adventure icon Angus MacGyver?a secret agent known for relying on his brains,...


Quizmas: Christmas Trivia Family Fun

by Gordon Pape

Start a new Christmas tradition with Quizmas Ever wonder why we kiss under the mistletoe? Are the lights on the Christmas tree just pretty decorations or do they symbolize something deeper? And speaking of Christmas...


The Spy's Bedside Book

by Graham Greene & Hugh Greene

For everyone who’s ever wondered what it really takes to be a spy, legendary author Graham Greene (The Third Man, The Quiet American) and his brother Hugh have compiled this irresistible selection of fiction,...


The Grilled Cheese Madonna and 99 Other of the Weirdest, Wackiest, Most Famous eBay Auctions Ever

by Christopher Cihlar

For sale:

The state of West Virginia

Britney Spears’s Pregnancy Test

A Spare Kidney

Bob Dylan’s Childhood Home

The World’s Longest French Fry

Black Betsy

The Meaning of Life

There is only one place you can get...


Essential Shit - Pub Science to Impress Your Mates

by Bobby Mercer

This is science but not as you know it - here you get all the really cool stuff they didn't teach you in the classroom but you've always wanted to know...For example, ever wondered why hair grows out your nose...


Essential Shit - Bollocks Why Didn't I Think of That

by Anthony Rubino

From the invention of the electric chair to the less offensive post-it note, "Bollocks! Why Didnt I Think of That?" features 101 clever inventions we could no longer imagine life without. Each ingenious invention...


Amazing & Extraordinary Facts - Kings & Queens

by Malcolm Day

"Amazing & Extraordinary Facts about Kings and Queens" unearths a wealth of fascinating truths about British monarchs from pre-Roman times to the present day. Discover revealing stories about the lives and personalities...


101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History

by Ryan Hackney

Forget about shamrocks, leprechauns, and all that blarney, 101 Things You Didn't Know About Irish History dispels the myths and tells the true stories of the Irish. Inside, you'll learn about about:

  • Lives of...


The Walt Disney World Trivia Book

by Louis A. Mongello

Not a travel planner or guidebook, but a unique and entertaining collection of hundreds of multiple-choice trivia questions, fill with secrets and interesting facts about all aspects of Walt Disney World.


The Word Lover's Delight:

by From the Editors of the Captivate Networ

Word Up!

From amusia to xerophagy, from the ephemeral to the vituperative, The Word Lover's Delight is chockablock with words that are not only fascinating and unusual but that you can use in your everyday speech--to...


Underrated

by Josh Abraham, Nick Jezarian & Geoff Wolinetz

Contrary to popular legend, every dog does not have his day. Some dogs--i.e., musicians, actors, foodstuffs, sitcoms, beverages, albums, and movies--are perennially overlooked. This book will change all that....


Wicked Good Words: From Johnnycakes to Jug Handles, a Roundup of America's Regionalisms

by Mim Harrison

How to sound like you're from here, no matter where you are in America

"Simultaneously full of witty asides and linguistic erudition, Wicked Good Words is one of those rare books that you will read too fast...


Thingamajigs and Whatchamacallits: Unfamiliar Terms for Familiar Things

by Ph.D., Rod L. Evans

Have you been guilty of catachresis* at work? Have you defenestrated* your dictionary in frustration? Do you have phloem bundles* stuck in your diastema*? Scratching your occiput* now?

Rod L. Evans's Thingamajigs...


Geektionary

by Gregory Bergman

"The last WoW module was clunky and a bit slow on my rig but it had a great toolset for building adventures for my avatar. Now I'm at sixtieth level! Awesome!" Whether it's about science fiction, Star Trek,...


The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High

by Arianne Cohen

A fascinating and informative look into the world of the high and mighty: the surprises, the tricks, and the natural benefits of being tall.


Working IX to V

by Vicki León

Vicki Leon, the popular author of the Uppity Women series (more than 335,000 in print), has turned her impressive writing and research skills to the entertaining and unusual array of the peculiar jobs, prized...


A Miscellany of Murder

by The Monday Murder Club

Why do they call Adelaide, Australia the "City of Corpses"? How many people did Agatha Christie kill with her pen? And what did Edgar Allen Poe, America's first murder mystery writer, really die of? There's...


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