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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,655 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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Fox on January 22, 2014
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Minnesotan on November 19, 2013
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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