From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Highbrow mixes easily with lowbrow in this lively compilation of film, book, TV show, and video-game references. The "Cheat on Your Homework" list includes unlikely matched movies, Anna Karenina and Clueless. Ben Franklin, Richard Feynman, and Tina Fey make an appearance on the "Stand on the Shoulders of Giants" list. Scattered black-and-white cartoon illustrations don't support or detract from the text. Occasional themed spreads offer amusing dialogue bubbles, such as "Ten Essential Catchphrases for Use at Dinner Parties" (quoting the likes of Homer Simpson and Bugs Bunny), and "The Smartest Inanimate Objects in the History of Pop Culture," such as garden gnomes and couches. An extensive index might prove helpful in preparing for trivia meets, but the joy here is in wandering through these browsable lists. Fun and witty, historical and current, this volume will find an appreciative audience.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This book of annotated lists reads like an effective study guide for your next trivia night. Compilations such as “Survival Lessons from Ten Works of Literature and Film” and “Life as an Aristocrat” manage to find the commonalities between Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Downton Abbey. However, the book’s humorous trivial content is actually far more substantial than first impressions would imply. Using familiar categories of pop culture, such as music, television, movies, and the Internet, Harmon manages to touch on both high-brow and broad cultural ideas, classical art, watershed historical events, and literature. The content encompasses a wide range of genres, eras, and topics, and the hundreds of jumping-off points for exploring facts beyond the lists have great potential to inspire the curiosity of readers. This is a go-to resource for teens looking to bone up on pop culture, sound interesting at a party, or craft the perfect playlist for a workout. Grades 7-12. --Erin Anderson