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Schott's Original Miscellany Hardcover – August 4, 2003
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA
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Top Customer Reviews
In the spirit of Ben Schott's wonderfully haphazard organizational style, I shall open a page at random, and list what can be found there. OK ... pages 118-119 contain: a list of famous left-handers (including Bill Gates and Cole Porter); a nursery rhyme about sneezing; the traditional names for the various winds (the Sirocco is a South-easterly wind); an explanation of adult dentition; an list of temperature conversions; all of the International Washing Symbols (including the wonderful symbol for "do not wring"); and a list of countries where you have to drive on the left.
It is fantastic, funny, and (believe me) very addictive stuff. I've only just got this book, and already it has been "borrowed" from my desk countless times by colleagues! I recommend it very highly.
I love to tuck this book into my book purse and pull out and read whenever I have to wait or have a bit of time to kill. The information is concise and this is the type of book you can pick up or put down at any time. I highly recommend this book for the person who likes odd little facts, or someone that likes unusual books. Its fun and compact, and you are likely to go to this book again and again.
I've just bought a copy of the American version - and I can see exactly why it is so popular.
The book has everything.
It can't have everything, I hear you say...
Well, it does... All of the cloud types (with lovely little pictures); a wonderful list of phobias; the 33 degrees of Freemasonry; abbreviations used in personal ads; palmistry lines; the rules of fighting a duel; Greek, Roman, Norse, Hindu, Japanese and Egyptian Gods; every type of conversion you can conceive; famous Canadians; clothing-care symbols (even the ones you never understand); Morse code; cattle branding; untimely deaths of popstars; specifications of the US Flag.... the list goes on, and on, and on...
And, if this was not enough, the book is absolutely beautiful to look at. It looks like the kind of book my grandpa used to have - old-world style, elegance, and design - but with content bang up to date. The typography (a hobby of mine) is perfect and makes the book a joy to read even if your not particularly interested in an entry.
(I've just spotted a double-page about the American Presidents which has everything - everything - you might want to know... including whether they had beards, were left-handed, owned slaves, their star-sign, how much they got paid... it's that kind of book).
I can't recommend this book too highly. Come Christmas, I think we can expect to see this book in many a stocking.
Imbued with humor, sprinkled with quotations, and arranged in completely arbitrary order, this quaint compendium of facts makes for edifying, absorbing, and essential (according to Ben Schott) reading. Although the author has taken great pains to ensure the correctness of the facts, he admits that some of the trivia he presents has been disputed; he provides a list of variations and disputations. There is a self-referential page with statistical information about the book itself. There is also an index, although the reader will not be referring to it often, if at all. Originally published in England, this edition has been updated with American trivia, but it still contains such British facts as cricket fielding positions, British poets laureate, and the order of succession to the English throne.
Move over bathroom readers... this book is far more entertaining. I recommend you buy a copy and keep it handy at all times. You never know when you'll need to find some "Q" words with no "u" or a list of Elizabeth Taylor's husbands!
You may think, "Interesting questions but what do any of these things have to do with one another?" They have absolutely nothing to do with one another but I found the answer to all these questions and so many more in a little book called Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott.
This little book has more esoteric information in it than I ever thought I would need. It is also a great conversation starter. I checked it out before Christmas thinking visiting family might find it interesting. My seventeen-year-old nephew browsed the pages for about an hour. He would share a bit of whimsical information such as how to say I love you in forty-three languages or all the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner.
In short if you need to know how to tie a sari or decipher cockney rhyming slang, curious about blood group compatibility and hey just what are the rules of dueling? This is the book for you. You can impress your friends and co-workers with bits of trivia and information they didn't know they needed.
Every wonder what the winning word in the 1951 National Spelling Bee Finals was? I suggest you pick up Mr. Schott's little book and find out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great little book here. Offers a ton of useful (and useless) information without seeming cluttered as it's a small book. Pick it up for a great read.Published 7 days ago by Mario
This is a delightful little book for folks who like to read, who enjoy books and their content and their construction, and who enjoy little useless facts. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Sir Charles Panther
This is truly a weird book. It is full of the most useless, unusual, bizarre stats and facts I have ever run across. I can't decide if the author is eclectic, eccentric or crazy. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lara Weinheimer