Mental Floss: Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets Paperback – May 11 2006
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“A lot like that professor of yours who peppered his tests with raunchy jokes: it makes learning fun.” (Newsweek)
“A delightfully eccentric and eclectic new magazine.” (Washington Post)
“Part scholarly journal, part Spy magazine protégé.” (Charlotte Observer)
“For the discerning intellect, mental_floss cleans out the cobwebs.” (Chicago Tribune)
“The titans of trivia.” (Newsweek)
“An ideal reference to settle arguments or jog your memory.” (Calgary Herald)
About the Author
Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur met as first year students at Duke University. Ignoring the lures of law school and investment banking, the pair co-founded mental_floss and have been grinning ever since. Maggie Koerth-Baker is a freelance journalist and a former assistant editor at mental_floss magazine, where she consistently astounded Will and Mangesh with her amazingness.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is yet another quick-read book from the editors of Mental Floss Magazine, a bimonthly launched in 2001 and targeted to aspiring Trivial Pursuit masters. This particular one, "Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets", is a clever series of possible conversation-starters that will hopefully make one's deep well of knowledge seem impressive without being intrusive. There are 44 topics, a chapter a piece, somewhat random in variety except a certain level of erudition. Each has a brief summary of what it is, an appropriate context in which to bring the topic up, some intriguing trivia facts to boost your interest, and actual suggestions for starting the conversation.
Topics are all over the map though there seems to be a predominance of historical figures covered from Attila the Hun to Miles Davis to Samuel Johnson to the Brontë sisters. The Rosetta Stone, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Magna Carta are included here, and so are the Dutch East India Company and the martini. Of particular interest to me are much-needed snapshots of James Joyce's "Ulysses" and the Qu'ran (Koran). I think it would have been more helpful had there been a better sense of organization about the information, for example, the creative way the editors used school subjects to divide the topics in another of their books, "What's the Difference?". Nonetheless, this is a fun read and well worth it for the hidden facts some of us actually crave.
No mere cataloge of trivia, the editors and contributors engage you while they dispell common myths and give you the actual facts.
Finally, if you are a loyal reader of mental_floss, this book is for you as well, while you may remember some sections from magazine articles, it sure gives you your mental_floss fix until the next mag comes out. Perfect to take to the beach!