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Mental Floss: Genius Instruction Manual Paperback – October 31, 2006

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Mental Floss: Genius Instruction Manual + Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again + mental floss presents Forbidden Knowledge: A Wickedly Smart Guide to History's Naughtiest Bits
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A lot like that professor of yours who peppered his tests with raunchy jokes: it makes learning fun.” (Newsweek)

“A delightfully eccentric and eclectic new magazine.” (Washington Post)

“Part scholarly journal, part Spy magazine protégé.” (Charlotte Observer)

“For the discerning intellect, mental_floss cleans out the cobwebs.” (Chicago Tribune)

“The titans of trivia.” (Newsweek)

“An ideal reference to settle arguments or jog your memory.” (Calgary Herald)

About the Author

Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur met as first year students at Duke University. Ignoring the lures of law school and investment banking, the pair co-founded mental_floss and have been grinning ever since. Maggie Koerth-Baker is a freelance journalist and a former assistant editor at mental_floss magazine, where she consistently astounded Will and Mangesh with her amazingness.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mental Floss
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882532
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
The GENIUS INSTRUCTION MANUAL is the latest book from those fun and crazy people at Mental Floss, the magazine and publishing organization that tries to make trivia and learning cool (well, they are as close to cool as a trivia organization can get). Following the pattern from other Mental Floss books, e.g. COCKTAIL PARTY CHEATS, GENIUS INSTRUCTION MANUAL is full of little informational tidbits to make you at least appear to be a genius after reading the book. The book starts off with some of the hobbies that famous geniuses of the past have had as well some pastimes that famous geniuses have had that led to their ultimate demise. There's a section about time travel, modernism vs. postmodernism, the basics of rocket science, famous artists, string theory, relativity, famous artists, and some great savants of history. There are also sections on how to dress like a right-brained genius and how to dress like a left-brained genius. About every twenty pages or so, there's a page that tells you how far you are to becoming a genius, e.g. "Congratulations! You are now 60% of the way toward full-fledged Genius." I found the GENIUS INSTRUCTION MANUAL to be a very educational, entertaining, and rewarding book. I learned some things I didn't know before. For instance, I never knew that Beethoven probably suffered from lead poisoning. A great gift for any person who likes learning and who has a sense of humor (smart people with no funny-bone wouldn't get this book), e.g. a gag gift for college students.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Berman on September 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read other books by the same author, and would honestly rate this much less interesting. It doesn't really go into anything or any subject, with any depth; so don't expect to become a genuis. It will tell you which people owned dogs, then jump to who played mucsical instrutments. I find it difficult to stay focused, and honestly just skip boring pages. However, perhaps that's why I was able to purchase it for only $3.00 dollars new.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Carlson on January 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love mental_floss and this book has a lot in it to love: quirky little factoids with irreverent little asides, all written to read quickly for those of us with short attention spans. (My favorite fact in this book is Pablo Picasso's real full name - whew!) However, the book also exemplifies mental_floss' shortcomings as a provider of reliable information. The sheer number of typos and grammatical errors makes one wonder about the quality of fact checking, as does the mathematical explanation that contains an incorrect calculation (whoops). As I usually do when I read the magazine, I wish they would cite their sources, so that I could check for myself when something they write makes me say, "Really?"
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By apoem TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a quick read but lots of fun. It has interesting trivia, short overviews on a lot of topics. It continues to demonstrate why "Mental Floss" is such a fun magazine with off the wall, smart humor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erastus Schmeckpeper on June 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not nearly as interesting as the Intellectual Devotional books. Kind of amusing but also a bit juvenile. I know they are trying to keep things interesting, especially some dry topics. It's a fun read but I can't recommend buying it. Get it from the library.
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By Motherteet on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hey... we all want our kids to ace those SAT's... and we're tired of nagging them to study/learn more..... and we freak out in the middle of the night wondering..... will my child get in??? I ordered a bunch of these types of books-- they are delightful. And... they make the necessary SAT learning -- FUN. Invest in this fun stuff -- while they prep for their SAT's...Invest in the hard core SAT prep stuff too.... but at least this is fun!
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By Dr. Rose on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Easy to read, fun, interesting, and informative. Great for car trips... or on an end-table... or in the bathroom, lol.
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