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Schott's Quintessential Miscellany (Indispensable Irrelevance) Hardcover – October 25, 2011


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Schott's Quintessential Miscellany (Indispensable Irrelevance) + Schott's Original Miscellany + Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition
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Product Details

  • Series: Indispensable Irrelevance (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608190218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608190218
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Schott's Original Miscellany 'Schott's Original Miscellany is without doubt the oddest, nay maddest, and possibly merriest, title you will come across in a long day's march through the shimmering desert of contemporary publishing' Observer 'This bizarre little book manages to be both totally useless and nearly indispensable' Daily Telegraph 'Entertaining, informative and unpredictable, Schott's Original Miscellany is a book like no other' Saga --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ben Schott studied social and political sciences at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from where he graduated with a double First. He is a contributing colmnist to the op-ed pages of the New York Times and writes for a number of other newspapers and magazines. He divides his time between London and New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter St Wecker on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a fan of trivial knowledge, and a great admirer of Schott's previous books, I was eager to read this new volume of "uncommon knowledge, vital minutiae, and indispensable irrelevance." These books are not designed to be read for hours at a time, but are quite enjoyable in short bursts.

A random sampling of some interesting sections:

- Occupations of note (A Knockknobbler is a dog catcher)
- Bortle Scale (An astronomer's scale of sky darkness)
- All of Alfred Hitchcock's movie cameos
- Color markings for underground utilities

...and numerous others. (Be sure to not miss the "Authorial Miscellany" on the last page!)

While I found this newest edition to be fun, it seemed to hold my interest a bit less than previous versions. A number of entries were simply quotes or aphorisms ("A sound faith is the best divinity; a good conscience the best law; and temperance the best physic" - Anon.), or other facts that just don't seem relevant to modern time (or even students of history). Maybe Schott is starting to run low on miscellany?

In summary, I would recommend that readers start by sampling his earlier works, and then come to this one if they're longing for more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I already owned a copy of Ben Schott's 2002 book "Schott's Original Miscellany". It lives next to the seat in the smallest room in my house, and over almost two years I have been SLOWLY savoring every page. It was a small, handsome book of about 150 pages, each of which was a trivia lover's delight and often inspired me to go on the Internet and learn more about a subject, e.g., the odds of drawing the top 9 hands in poker, or the names of all the people pictured on the album cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (both on the same page)! Unfortunately, at about 3/4 of the way through it I found myself reading more and more slowly, so as not to bring the discoveries to an end.

Imagine my delight then when I learned that Mr. Schott had published a 2011 sequel, Schott's Quintessential Miscellany! Also about 150 pages, PLUS this time a nice little violet ribbon attachment to mark your place should one deem such structured behavior to be necessary for the enjoyment of what basically amounts to merry chaos. My favorite entry (so far) from the new volume is a list of 50 words beginning with "sn" that have to do with the nose (sniff, snout, snuff, snot, snore, etc., etc.)

Who knew?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here are things you didn't know, and didn't know how interesting they can be. All in nicely numbered lists. Far more fascinating than the catalogue of incompetence and hatreds we deal with every day/
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anon on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with other of the "Schott's" books, this is filled with trivia and interesting facts. Fun to read and may come in handy in demonstrating your knowledge of inconsequential facts or winning bets in bars.
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1 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Infovoyeur on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most of these are Classifications, subtypes of, and are valid,1-2-3 eggs in carton, this opens the trapdoor and we can peer into the complexities of 37 types with platonic voyeurism, "who knew" all these subtypesetc. But most of these are static anatomy, 1-2-3 in a row without movement. SO, the second type I like better, the Continuums of dynamic physiology or change, alterations of the same word-type, it's more poetic. Well I mean like 480 ways to spell scissors! You think boring but no, because down the ski slope you go, undulating thru scissars, scissers, scissirs, on to scysszors, scysszurs, syssars, cisszors, this is pure poetry being the permutation of an item to the max (would make a nice wallpaper or giftwrap paper, eh...) Oh and "foreign terms for Tintin comic characters," nice to see Captain Haddock morff to Capita Haddock, Kaptajn H., Kapteeni H., Kapetanie Xantok, but wait theres moar dont want to spoil it go see for yourself (a cloisonne or faberge egg sort of)... Same for "phrases for stupidity," see the number koalesses into a critical mass which tips the balance, He makes clothes for fishes, He numbers the waves, He makes ropes of sand--you get stultification in spades... Oh and swim in the OEDictionarys downpour of dozens of words for--rain. Bedrabble, drizzle, impluvious, mizzle, pelt, spate. (Why not put these on a shower curtain for fluidity cubed, re-freshing)... And you go see the dozens of words starting with "sn-" but all referring to the schnozz, with snifting or snubbing...Read more ›
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