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Mental Floss: Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets Paperback – May 18 2006

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Show Off Your Inner Geek at Boring Cocktail Parties Sept. 24 2006
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on
Format: Paperback
For some reason, this slim volume reminds me of the old TV commercial for Silly String which featured a room of yawning guests as a naval officer showed off his ribbons and said, "This is from the Boer War." It's always a good idea to have something up your sleeve to break the ice with strangers that doesn't have to do with the latest edition of People Magazine. After all, you want to have some semblance of an intellect on display to make that right impression.

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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ah, Mental Floss! Aug. 1 2006
By K. L. Uminski - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you do not know mental_floss the magazine, you are in for a treat with this little book. Not only is the information fun and facinating, it is very well organized and you could almost actually use it at a cocktail party!

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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and Informative! Oct. 1 2007
By Jena Barber - Published on
Format: Paperback
My husband likes this for the bathroom. I like it for the waiting room at the doctor's office, standing in line at the DMV, etc. There was so much stuff I didn't know! I bought it because I really wanted some fodder for conversations at events and fundraisers. I think it will come in very handy!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
wish I'd kept it July 25 2006
By Patty O - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this as a gift, and of course, started to thumb through it. The trivia is interesting and humorous. It is a good leisurely dipping book. I didn't read the whole thing, but enjoyed the excerpts that I did. Hopefully my friend enjoys it as much as I would have!
Five Stars July 8 2014
By Juan Martinez - Published on
Format: Paperback
Good read