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on January 11, 2013
I admit I came across this book while googling "gifts for guys" - so I won't complain that it's written for a 25 year old male audience - I will just point it out. Hard to believe a woman is the main author of this book - maybe she got her teenage son to jazz it up after she was finished. E.g. after defining several german words commonly used in English, the book says "the German's blew their wad on the nouns, so there are only a few adjectives..." That kind of thing is peppered throughout.
What I will complain about though is that I can't trust the facts . Being Canadian, I flipped with interest to the section on Canadian politics. It says we have a party called the Progressive Democrats, also referred to as Red Tories. (for non-Canadians reading this: this is not accurate, the party was (the book is a few years old) called the Progressive Conservatives, and red tories are members of this centre-right party who lean more towards the left. Small detail but if they couldn't fact check Canada - when we speak the same language and live right next door - then how can I believe the facts in the section on Cambodia?
If there was a more credible book that does the same thing as this one I would buy it instead, but I don't know that such a book exists. This one is fun to read if you can get past the guy talk.
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on June 10, 1997
Did you ever wonder if an earl ranks higher than a baron or what that quote at the beginning of the chapter meant or where it came from? The answers are here. One can drift around in this book full of information only touched on while reading the required books in school or sail in search of specific topics for which there was not time before the shipwreck. Of course, those who are completely educated could just thumb through and congratulate themselves while wondering who in the world wouldn't know THAT. Either way, the time spent waiting for rescue from the island would seem much shorter with this book in hand. In fact, I may just want to stay right there in my hammock and find out what all those musical terms mean or become acquainted with the twelve literary characters essential to making charming chitchat.
Just think how learned I shall appear when I get home. I only hope my glasses arrived on the island with me and this book!
Janie Dillon(
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on July 1, 1997
Everything you ever wanted to know, or needed to know but didn't even know it, is probably in this book.

Think of this book as an abridged encyclopedia. Judy Jones and William Wilson have compiled more information than you could imagine in one easy-to-read, even fun-to-read, volume. Clearly organized, well written, respectful, and intelligent, this book will make you an instant experton topics you hadn't even thought of.

Read from start to end, or just pick a page at random, you'll be entertained, informed, and educated. Art, History, Politics, Religion, Sciences, Music, Philosophy, Architecture, Lierature, and Psychology. Even a crash couse on the do's and don'ts of writing English. You name it, it's in here somewhere.

My only complaint, it's time for an update. Or a Volume 2. This one's a must have
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on February 18, 2009
Great book with loads of info on everything! Reminds me of a "Bathroom reader"; something you can pick up and open at any page when you are feeling the need for some factual food. Great purchase for my mum's Christmas gift. She took it with her to Florida.
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on May 23, 2014
The perfect amount of useless information about EVERYTHING!
You can school all the other people who don't know what they're talking about.
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on September 7, 2015
Fascinating and an excellent read for trivia buffs.
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