Mental_Floss The Book: Only the Greatest Lists in the History of Listory Edited by Ethan Trex, Will Pearson, Mangesh Hattikudur

Before I get to today’s review, I want to wish all my U.S. readers a Happy Thanksgiving. It is a holiday that should be shared with friends and family, and if possible please consider volunteering some of your time or food to those in need this season.

I hope everyone has some great food and fun with friends and family. Have a great holiday. My family will be joining Anna’s for some dinner and fun.

Ok, now for today’s review, which would make an excellent gift for the trivia buffs in your life.

Mental_Floss The Book: Only the Greatest Lists in the History of Listory edited by Ethan Trex, Will Pearson, and Mangesth Hattikudur is a collection of lists that span the 10 years that Mental_Floss has been in the business of collecting information that is odd, off-the-beaten path, and just down right funny.  The Website has not only trivia games, but also quizzes, blogs, and amazing facts (Here’s one of my favorites, especially since Muppets are the order of the day in my house these days — particularly Elmo)

The lists included in this book range in topics from impressing diplomats, presidents or other important people to how to lighten the mood in the emergency room.  There are lists for nearly every occasion.  Naturally, readers and writers will enjoy the list entitled “Lists for People Who Can’t Write Good,” which tells a tale of writers betting that Ernest Hemingway (though it may have been another writer) could not write a six word sentence that was a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end.  In the end, the other writers lost when the sentence written said, “For Sale.  Baby Shoes.  Never worn.” (page 183)

Another of the most witty entries in the collection is “What 10 Fictional Characters Were Almost Called,” which includes anecdotes about Bram Stoker, Gone With the Wind, and other famous novels’ and authors’ characters.  The editors also have lists of alternate names for famous novels, like 1984 and The Great Gatsby.  There are also famous words that were created by authors, Latin terms that you think you understand the meaning of, and little known stories about some famous writers.  Another of my favorites are the phrases attributed to Mark Twain that he actually did not say, like “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt,” and phrases he did say, such as “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

Mental_Floss The Book: Only the Greatest Lists in the History of Listory edited by Ethan Trex, Will Pearson, and Mangesth Hattikudur will whet anyone’s appetite for knowledge and fun facts to impress their friends with or to just have fun.  Trivia fans would love to add this to their collections, and readers should consider putting this on their wish lists this holiday season.  Flex those brains and join the fun.

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  1. I wasn’t sure what this book was all about – it sounds like a lot of fun! There are no little ones in my home but I am a big fan of the Muppets! And the other lists you mentioned are very cool.

    I think this book may find it’s way into my home!

  2. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books says

    We love the Mental Floss magazine – this book would be a big hit with my husband (and older kids, and me).

    • I hope your husband gets it for Christmas. I really enjoyed my copy, but this one is headed to some devout trivia players I know.

  3. I flipped through this book real quick and I can tell it’s one I’ll like. I can also tell it’s one I’ll drive Carl crazy with.

    I hope y’all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Kathy, I’ve already driven my husband crazy with it. I was reading parts of it out loud while he was trying to watch an On Demand movie. LOL I had to stop, so he could finish the movie.

      We had a great Thanksgiving. It was with good food and friends.

  4. Sounds like a fun book! Had a great time with you, Cris, and Wiggles yesterday!

  5. I’m pretty sure my husband would like this book!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. I was supposed to get this book from LibraryThing but it never came. :–(

    Happy Thanksgiving – hope your family and Anna’s have a great time!


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