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Dirty Little Secrets

by Erica Orloff & JoAnn Baker

Did you know...

*That, until the mid-1600s, scientists believed that each sperm cell contained a tiny human being?

*That Romans and Egyptians used condoms, but it wasn't until a physician crafted one from a sheep's...


The Difficult Second Book

by Chris Moyles

Superman was a hero. Clark Kent was a geek.

Spiderman saved lives. Peter Parker sold photographs to his local paper.

Chris Moyles entertains 8 million people each week on BBC Radio 1. Then he goes home and plays...


100 of the Worst Ideas in History: Humanity's Thundering Brainstorms Turned Blundering Brain Farts

by Eric Kasum & Michael N. Smith

What were they thinking?

Ever since Adam snacked on the forbidden fruit and was chased naked out of the Garden of Eden, mankind has bitten off a bevy of bad ideas.

From skinny-dipping Presidents to toxic tooth...


Billikens, Boilermakers, & Banana Slugs: The Stories Behind College Nicknames

by Greg Metzer

Most fans of college athletics have heard of the Indiana Hoosiers, the Georgetown Hoyas, or the St. Louis Billikens. But what exactly are Hoosiers, Hoyas, and Billikens? Where did these nicknames originate?...


Which Way to the Vomitorium?

by Rose Williams & Lesley O'Mara

Tired of feeling like "The Ugly American" every time you visit the Vatican? Fed up with having to consult a dictionary when all you want to say is, "I've just been run over by a chariot!"? Well, now you can...


America Bizarro

by Nelson Taylor

Do you breed rats and mice that could preen like poodles in a pet show? Have creative juices yearning to be set loose on a 20-ton block of packed snow? Possess a melodious voice best suited to singing the praises...


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...


In the Loop & Up to Speed: Clever & Useful Business Terms Every Go-Getter Needs

by Caroline Taggart

The bottom line is this: The workplace is a minefield of business jargon that people exchange on a daily basis, and it can all start to sound like everyone around you is speaking another language. So if you...


The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: Cliches: What they Mean and Where they Came From

by Nigel Fountain

Clichés, those trite little phrases that often get a point across quickly and efficiently, have become such a familiar part of the English language and people’s everyday speech. This entertaining book takes...


I Used to Know That: World History: Intriguing Facts About the World's Greatest Empires, Leader's, Cultures and Conflicts

by Emma Marriott

It can be difficult to keep different historical events and figures straight in your head, which is why I Used to Know That: World History presents major episodes in history with short, easily understood sections....


I Used to Know That: Science: Stuff You Forgot From School

by Marianne Taylor

Do you know why we are able to see light and hear sound? What is the Earth made of? How does the body produce energy? And, most important, does any of this matter? In I Used to Know That: Science, Marianne Taylor...


Easy as Pi: The Countless Ways We Use Numbers Every Day

by Jamie Buchan

Have you ever wondered what makes "seventh heaven" and "cloud nine" so blissful and the number 13 so unlucky? Here's the "4-1-1" on the origins of numerical expressions and the importance of numbers in fiction,...


Under the Covers and between the Sheets: Facts and Trivia about the World's Greatest Books

by C. Alan Joyce

Bibliophiles, grab your glasses! Here is a compendium of interesting--and often scandalous--facts and quips about the literary world. Featuring authors and tomes of yesteryear and yesterday, from Tolkien's Middle-...


The Classics: All You Need to Know, from Zeus's Throne to the Fall of Rome

by Caroline Taggart

It's no myth: this lively refresher course fills in all you need to know about ancient studies-from Zeus's throne to the fall of Rome-in pithy little quips. It covers the impressive advances made by Greek and...


Oh, Say Did You Know?: The Secret History of America's Famous Figures, Fads, Innovations & Emblems

by Fred DuBose

With wit and charm, Oh Say Did You Know serves up 300 intriguing events and ideas that helped shape the United States. Gain valuable insight into the intricacies of every period of American history, from colonial...


I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School

by Caroline Taggart

This small but mighty collection will trigger your memory with fun facts you learned in school-from adverbs to the Pythagorean Theorem. Witty, engaging, entertaining-a book you'll pick up again and again.

Author...


Secret Lives of Great Filmmakers: What Your Teachers Never Told You about the World's Greatest Directors

by Robert Schnakenberg & Mario Zucca

Strange-But-True Tales of Cross-Dressers, Drug Addicts, Foot Fetishists, and Other Legendary Filmmakers.

 

With outrageous and uncensored profiles of everyone from D. W. Griffith to Quentin Tarantino, Secret...


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...


Restoration London

by Liza Picard

How did you clean your teeth in the 1600s?What make-up did you wear? What pets did you keep? Making use of every possible contemporary source, Liza Picard presents an engrossing picture of daily life in London...


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...