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Khalid Swift
Khalid Swift

The Book Of General Ignorance ((NEW))

First published by Faber and Faber in Britain on 19 October 2006, The Book of General Ignorance was published in the United States (on 7 August 2007 by Harmony Books), in France as Les autruches ne mettent pas la tête dans le sable: 200 bonnes raisons de renoncer à nos certitudes (on 3 October 2007 by Dunod) and in the Netherlands as Het grote boek van foute feiten (on 1 November 2007 by Uitgeverij Forum). A surprise Christmas 2006 best-seller in the UK, the book became "Amazon's number one Global bestseller for Christmas 2006."[5][6] By the end of January 2007 it had sold more than 300,000 copies, and later passed half a million.[7] Unexpectedly high sales[8] led to a sequel and an annual.

The book of general ignorance


In the United States the book received good reviews from both Publishers Weekly,[9] and the New York Times, who recommended it in their "Books Holiday Gift Guide".[10] It has a different cover (above ) to the UK edition, downplaying links with the QI TV series which had not been shown in North America. The book remained in the top 15 places on the New York Times Best Seller list for "Hardcover Advice" books from 9 December 2007 to 13 January 2008.[11][12]

The Book of General Ignorance contains a list of 230 questions, most of which previously appeared in episodes of QI. Each question explains the correct answer, and usually attempts to show why people tend to make the wrong assumptions, or believe certain myths. Each book contains two forewords, one by Fry, the other by Davies. Davies' initial "foreword" was credited as "Four words," which read simply: "Will this do, Stephen?"[17]

Doug Brown reviewed the book for Powell's Books, noting that it has a "UK-heavy emphasis", and that "Overall The Book of General Ignorance is a lot of fun, and you're guaranteed to learn something you didn't know (but thought you did)."[20]Aileen Marshall rates it with the maximum five stars for the Librarian Book Review at, writing:

This book is just fun to read, alone or with your spouse or friends. And it broadens your horizon. Even if you don't plan on attending a trivia-gameshow anytime soon, your newly acquired knowledge will be beneficial when the need for smalltalk arises.[21]

The book was favourably reviewed in other places, among them such American newspapers as the Los Angeles Times, Monsters and Critics, USA Today, Seattle Times, Chicago Sun-Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.[22] However, some reviews were critical; Kirsten Garrett suggested in her review that, The Book of General Ignorance "is in danger of being too smart for its own good. In fact, a bit smart-arse."[23] She also noted that "It's a disgrace that in a book of this kind there is no index. It's not possible to look up a subject about which you are ignorant".[23]

A book of the show has become all but necessary, if only to allow us to ingest this information at normal brain speed, and because such fine and creative research genuinely deserves to be captured in print. So it's slightly disappointing that the book arrives in the question-and-answer format made so familiar by last year's big hit Does Anything Eat Wasps? There are actually about 20 such books out this year, all asking these quirky questions (Do Sheep Shrink in the Rain? Do Fish Drink Water?), all piled up in Waterstones, making book-buyers feel a bit depressed.[24]

Berkman's complaints, however, are countered by his admission that "this book is already the amusing trivia success of the season," containing many "eye-watering" and "eyebrow-raising" facts, even if he thinks it a little smug.[24]

A "Pocket edition" of The Book of General Ignorance was published on 3 April 2008.[25] A second book in the series, The Book of Animal Ignorance, was released in the UK a year after The Book of General Ignorance, on 4 October 2007. An audiobook adaptation called The Sound of General Ignorance was scripted and read by the authors on 4 November 2008. On 25 December 2008 an extended version of the book, entitled The Noticeably Stouter Edition, was published to coincide with QI moving to BBC One. This new version included new facts, quotes from the show, a list of all the episodes made at the time, an index, and a new collection of "Four words" from Davies.

On 1 November 2007 another QI spin-off title was produced: The QI annual, intended as a continuing work focusing on the Series' alphabetic themes.[26] The annual featured contributions from most of "QI"s guest panellists and the comedian Rowan Atkinson. In 2010 the second book of General Ignorance was released.

Which lottery numbers should I pick? Is it true that we are made entirely of stardust? Can dogs tell the time? Why do songs get stuck in my head? If Rome wasn't built in a day, how long did it take? Do plants make noises? Where is last Wednesday? This audiobook is a collection of their cracking, unexpected and frequently hilarious answers. Chock full with extra facts from the Elves, 222 QI Answers to Your Quite Ingenious Questions will spark wonder and joy.

Sink to the depths of the ocean with Violet Jessop, dance in the ballet that caused a riot, and fly away in a lawn chair! Stories have the power to transport us to places and times unknown: These stories will bring you to the craziest times in history and the silliest places on Earth. This is not just a compilation of dry facts; the funny and tragical, heart-melting and mind-boggling stories in this book are written with great care to details, historical context, and most importantly terrible puns!

The entries in this compulsively listenable book bridge past and present with topics like getting ghosted, handling haters, and why dog owners rule (sorry, cat people). Along the way you'll get a glimpse of Edith Wharton's sex life, dating rituals in Ancient Greece, catfishing in 500 BC, medieval flirting techniques, and squad goals from Catherine the Great.

Want to impress your buddies at the bar? Need to think of something interesting to do at the next family gathering? Want to learn a bunch of random facts about history, science, true crime, and the paranormal? Listen to Interesting Stories for Curious People, the ultimate guidebook for a plethora of interesting facts about a whole bunch of several different topics. A quick listen packed with information.


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An indispensable compendium of popular misconceptions, misunderstandings and common mistakes culled from the hit BBC show, QI. Perfect for trivia, pub quiz and general knowledge enthusiasts. The QI team sets out again to show you that a lot of what you think you know is wrong.

The Third Book of General ignorance gathers together 180 more questions to which the answers all seem perfectly obvious. Some have appeared in the BBC TV programme's 'General Ignorance' round, but many appear here for the first time. What they prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, is that none of us know anything at all.

QI is based on a TV show of the same name, and I am told it follows the content very faithfully. I could not check myself, as I don't own a television set at the moment and thus this review relates to the book as a stand-alone event. As such, it acquits itself very well indeed. This success is, I think, due to the fact that QI devotes itself to enlightening us in the areas of commonly hold misconceptions, misrepresentations, old wives tales, urban myths, simplifications and opinions that seem obvious but are, in fact, anything but. There is something inherently delicious in learning that what you always thought was true (and what so many people still, poor dears, think is true) is in fact, complete rubbish. There is something even more satisfying in checking that the authors included some things that you, yourself, had already known to be rubbish despite so many people, poor dears, still believing them to be true. 041b061a72


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