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The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong

4.7 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0307951766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307951762
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a genuinely delightful book (though I do have a tendency to overuse this adjective). I thoroughly enjoyed The Book of General Ignorance and anticipated a similar experience with this book.

These sort of books can be read in different ways. You can read them cover to cover or selectively, choosing whatever question piques your interest. I started with the latter approach and worried that it would disappoint (in comparison with the first book). However, after unexpectedly having some free time I read it cover to cover. It was a journey of surprise (misconceptions brought out), laughter and general pleasure. The authors range from social constructs, biology, physics, etymology. Whether it is what do aeroplanes do with the contents of their `lavatories' (or for that matter what is the right term for the small room we all have to go to), to the `forty fourth president of the United States', or how may countries are in the G20, I was entertained.

The book has a United Kingdom reader orientation but this is a minor issue. The authors have found a way to present information that is both instructive (`facts' plus reason/logic) and entertaining.
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Format: Hardcover
John Lloyd and John Mitchinson's original The Book of General Ignorance is great; it's funny, smart, and very engaging. This second proper installment of the series serves more of what made the original great, but at slight diminishing returns. The original Book of General Ignorance covered many popular misconceptions that we have, and after mining this content, the authors are able to serve up many slightly-less popular misconceptions. The truths revealed here aren't as startling, but they are just as fun and interesting.

Think you know how to treat a jellyfish sting?
Think you know the word for the fear of heights?
Think you know what the 2nd highest peak in the world is?
Think you know what kind of ball bounces highest (rubber, steel, or glass)?

If you think you know the answers to these questions, this book might surprise you. The authors continue the original book's format -- each question is followed by a concise answer followed by humorous elaboration.

Curious readers and fans of trivia will find a lot to like here, but I would recommend beginning with the first book before moving onto this installment. Amazon's "Look Inside!" feature offers a great glimpse of some of the contents of the book -- it gives customers a nice overview of what to expect from this book. If readers have read (and liked) the first book, THE SECOND BOOK OF GENERAL IGNORANCE will not disappoint; definitely worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover
Many of the items in this book I have wrongly believed. However, I thought, "Why Am I reading this book? I don't remember the errors if I ever knew them so I probably won't remember the explanations any better."

But I'd read one piece and think, "Well, just one more." Of course, I eventually finished the book. Because it really was interesting.

Dromedary humps are fat-filled? Must not be soft, hydrogenated fat. I say that based on riding a dromedary once. More important than the consistency of the hump---the guide didn't tell me the creature stands up rear legs first. I nearly catapulted over his head onto the sand. However, I'm glad to know how to avoid death by hippo though meeting one might be a one in a million experience.

As a writer, I am pleased to learn that humans have nine senses, not five. Think of all the extra details I can add to stories now.

Truly interesting but my memory won't do the volume justice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who follows my reviews knows by now that I am a fan of QI, the British “quiz show” hosted by Stephen Fry. This is the third book drawn from the series that I’ve now read. Much like the first book of its name, this one doesn’t quite have the pop of 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts…but I did find myself enjoying this second volume much more. I think I approached it better this time. I only read a few questions at a time rather than trying to read too much at one sitting. I also like the sidebar blurbs better in this volume. This time, they are actual brief transcripts from the T.V. show which gives more of a sense of what makes QI so fun, and takes the reader mentally back to the show. In the end, these books are entertaining and informative, and I look forward to any others that might come along.
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Format: Kindle Edition
O.K., it is a bathroom book, if you have a really fancy five piece bathroom with a bidet and a glass walk-in shower, and a stained glass window that looks out over your yacht.

Most bathroom books have silly stuff or the same old stuff of lists of stuff. They're fine and entertaining. This book is special because the topics are unexpected, the explanations, anecdotes and facts are more detailed and interesting, and the entire project has a distinctive personality, which I attribute to the care that has been paid by the authors.

They have a great formula here and an engaging style. The series certainly doesn't seem to be running out of gas.
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Format: Hardcover
Another fun list of tidbits - well written and very interesting. I like that they did away with the artificial subdivisions, although kept a thread running between different sections. Again another good book for 'palate cleansing,' or clearing the mind in between other books, if you read more than one at a time, as I do. Could have done without the blocked quotations from friends - most were inside jokes only tangentially related to the section they broke up, and only a few were actually funny or even interesting. While it did add to the atmosphere of a party where you would normally trot out these info-bits, they took away much more than they gave. The idea is there, the general conceit that the information could be bandied in a social setting is great, but the execution fell flat. Luckily you can easily skip over these sections, if you are one of those people who don;t read everything in a book.
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