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    $10.85 $9.25 list($15.95)
    1. A Short History of Nearly Everything
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    2. The Walt Disney World Trivia Book:
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    3. How to Think About Weird Things:Critical
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    4. The Greatest Stories Never Told
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    5. Fugitives and Refugees : A Walk
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    6. An Underground Education : The
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    20. The Civil War: Strange & Fascinating

    1. A Short History of Nearly Everything
    by BILL BRYSON
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076790818X
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 141
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers.In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey–into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer.It’s a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.Or, as the author puts it, “…how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since.”This is, in short, a tall order.

    To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world’s most profound scientific minds, living and dead.His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemisty, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn’t some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school.His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it.How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface?How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is?How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago?How did anyone ever figure these things out?

    On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question.In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it.Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (236)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just like on PBS
    I like Bill Bryson's writing style. This is a book one wishes they read as a teenager. It really brings science alive. One feels like they are witnessing events as they occur in the first person. I like how Bryson takes scientific topics and makes them simple too understand. Bryson puts numbers in perspective and helps the reader understand the spatial enormity or complexity of the elements, atom, planets, and stars. Its easy to retell a Bryson story because they have good imagination well connect ideas that flow into an interesting story without sounding too intellectual. Like, "What is it like to be inside of an Cell? How do cells work? Who discovered DNA and why?" Question like these.

    I think reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a great introduction to science, astronomy, biology, and geology. Bryson keeps the narrative down to earth, terminology to a minimum, and brings out interesting viewpoints on the birth of the cosmos, the self-repairing DNA, life on planet earth, and the composition of the earth.

    Bryson did a job not boring the reader with the mysteries of science. Its entertaining reading and not difficult material to understand. Bryson presents thought provoking material that makes one want to read many other published books by Bryson.

    5-0 out of 5 stars He Really Does Cover Nearly Everything
    Bill Bryson is one of those rare non-fiction writers who can combine anecdote, humor and actual information, all in one book. Here he covers the history of the earth, starting with the big bang and covering all sorts of ground since then, including why you should be really afraid of meteors (by the time we spot the big one it'll be too late) and why you should think twice about that next visit to Yellowstone (the big one is about due).

    As with most of his books it's clear he's done a lot of research, and the book is larded with the kind of stories about Famous Scientists that you've probably never heard...but also full of the sort of survey scientific information that will leave you thinking you've learned something really interesting.

    Definitely worth picking up.

    Who will like it: lovers of pop science, lovers of Bill Bryson, people willing to read a thick book from start to finish.

    Who won't like it: people bored by pop science or any science at all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rediscover what you learned in school and forgot
    This book is aimed at people who either know very little about science, or who studied it in school and then forgot it all (my case). I read some of the reviews here and was shocked at how people criticize Bryson, especially saying he got scientific terms mixed up or had errors in his book. He is not a scientist and in my opinion that makes this book that much more impressive! Bryson devoted years of his life to learn this material, and to think we can take it all in by reading a book.. well it just doesn't seem fair! I was sad when I reached the end of the book, I wanted it to continue. I learned so much from this book, and it's interesting how many times the subject material in this book comes up in every day conversations.

    Bryson approaches history from two angles: Astronomy and what we know about the universe, and Evolution and what we know about life on Earth. I learned so many things I didn't know. Fascinating facts such as that meteorites are used to date the earth with carbon dating (they're the same age). Meteorites contain proteins needed to build life. Human like species have been on Earth for 1 million years. After finishing this book, I find myself thinking about topics like these during my free time. That's how impressive this book is. If you love science, this won't be a book you just read and forget. It's a book that will teach you things you'll be thinking about for a long time.

    Honestly I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you're interested in science, it is a must read.

    Michael

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tabloid history of science
    The book's title is very gripping but somewhat misleading - it is in fact a book of science tabloids - in a good way. It covers basic findings and histories of almost all major areas of natural sciences in a shallow but easy to follow manner. It is not intended to be introductory to science and science history (find a textbook instead), it is a fun-fact book of science and science history.

    This book is full of interesting anecdotes of science and scientists behind scene, which makes the reading stimulating and gives the readers a joyful sense of "discovery". Here are just a few examples top of my mind:

    - Components of your daily household cleaning powders like Comet and Ajax are made from the huge ash deposit in eastern Nebraska - they are leftover volcanic ashes from the ancient monstrous eruption of Yellowstone.

    - Marie Curie, the only person to win Nobel prize in both chemistry and physics, was never elected to the French academy of sciences largely because she had an affair with a married fellow physicist after Pierre Curie died in a traffic accident. Madame Curie eventually died of leukemia and her papers and lab books (even her cookbooks) are so dangerously contaminated by radiation that those who wish to see them must wear protective clothing.

    - Clair Patterson (a University of Chicago alumnus), who in 1953 gave the definitive measurement of the age of the Earth (4,550 million years - plus or minus 70 millions) by analyzing lead/uranium ratios in old rocks and meteorites, was also the leading expert in atmospheric lead poisoning and the early advocate of cleaning lead additives from manmade product. To his credit, Clean Air Act 1970 eventually led to the ban of leaded gasoline in United States in 1986. Almost immediately the blood lead level in Americans dropped 80%.

    Informative tabloids like these are all over the book. Bryson did a perfect job of bringing dull facts in history of science into fun everyday life experience. He compiled a huge amount of anecdotes from otherwise hard to find sources and weaved them together seamlessly in fluid and humorous writing. It makes the reading of science fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book you would be able to read in your lifetime!
    By reading this book you realize how lucky you are to be here right now. To be reading this in front of your computer is an acomplishment that you may not realize. It shows how much we know about ourselves and the enviroment around us. "A Short History of Nearly Everything" explains in full detail how we became who we are, how we survived, and how impossible it is to do so. If you are interested in science and are looking for something to read, this well-written story is a great page-turner. ... Read more


    2. The Walt Disney World Trivia Book: Secrets, History & Fun Facts Behind the Magic
    by Louis A. Mongello
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1887140492
    Catlog: Book (2004-07)
    Publisher: Intrepid Traveler
    Sales Rank: 2106
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Check your WDW know-how, quiz your friends, or open "The Walt Disney World Trivia Book" at random to brighten your day with new nuggets of WDW knowledge. This unique and entertaining collection of hundreds of multiple choice trivia questions is filled with secrets and fun facts about all aspects of America’s most magical destination. You’ll find a chapter on each theme park, plus a chapter on specific parts of WDW beyond the theme parks (for example, the monorail), and a chapter that takes you all around the "World." An index lets you check out all the tidbits in the book about your favorite rides and places. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Top notch for any Disney World fan!!!
    I've seen many Disney Trivia books over the years but only a few pages are ever dedicated to the most visited resort in the world. FINALLY a book that takes this entire resort and puts it into a light even us Disney fans have to take a step back from and say, "WOW I didn't know that"! I've visited Disney for years and surf the sites on a daily basis, yet I still found myself taken back by the information/material in this book. First you can you quiz yourself on what you THINK you know. I found some things I thought were fact were just actually well accepted rumors in Disney Web Circles, but this book cuts through those and gives you an in depth answer to each question without adding extensive writting that goes no where, it just gets right to the point. This brings me to my second point and I think most valuable point. This book is not just a question answer book. The answers are not just left as " B. EPCOT or A. 17" This book gives you the answer and provides short explaintions to why its that answer. The facts that come with the answers are great at giving you a behind the scenes look at the park while using the trivia to guide you through it. I can find myself taking more time reading the answers then the question just so I can read the facts that this book touches on. If you want to test yourself on Disney World Trivia and want to take that up a notch and learn more about the resort then you ever have, buy this book. The author has a Disney World Trivia site as well that gives you an idea of what this book contains and I'll tell you it delivers. Also while reading this you'll notice that he keeps the material on a level that we can all relate to and I believe this is due to the fact that he does take the time to converse with the average person interested in the Disney Topic or with people that would find this topic as a general interest. A definate buy even if its your first visit or your 100th (for me its my 30th)to Disney World. For those visiting Disney World for the first time, a great idea would be adding this to your guide book purchase. You'll find yourself standing in those long lines reading this book and being amazed at ever turn while having fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
    I have enjoyed reading "The Walt Disney World Trivia Book" over and over again. Excellent lay out, easy reading and lots of interesting information. I get to live Disney every day and find this book an excellent source of information. Two thumbs up for this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Fun Guide For Seasoned And New WDW Visitors
    Being avid WDW fans, visting there every 3 months from Ohio, my family will find this just-published book fun to take with us when we visit, and also at home. It will be of value to newcomers and also seasoned Disney fanatics like my family. In its 224 pages there's something of interest to every member of the family, young and mature. The multiple choice questions make it a fast, easy read, and make it easy to retain the answers. We're glad to add it to our large Disney book collection. Recommended.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good information. Tedious format.
    After receiving this book, I discovered that it was not exactly what I expected. I was hoping it would be a book on Disney World facts, trivia, and history (as the title declares). What I didn't know is that the book is written in question and answer format--with the answers to all the questions at the end of each chapter. This makes the book structure somewhat unwieldy. I would have preferred it to be broken down by attraction or park element and then have all the information presented in paragraph format. This would make the book much more readable than it is in its present form.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
    This is a wonderful book that tells a lot of facts and very intersting informatin about disney. Things that you probably wouldn't think of this book will tell you. This is a great book for all disney lovers. ... Read more


    3. How to Think About Weird Things:Critical Thinking for a New Age
    by TheodoreSchick, LewisVaughn
    list price: $34.06
    our price: $34.06
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767420489
    Catlog: Book (2001-08-09)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
    Sales Rank: 209160
    Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This brief, inexpensive text helps students think critically, using examples from the weird claims and beliefs that abound in our culture to demonstrate the sound evaluation of any claim. The authors focus on types of logical arguments and proofs, making How to Think about Weird Things a versatile supplement for logic, critical thinking, philosophy of science, or any other science appreciation courses. ... Read more

    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading for all college freshmen...
    This book is readable, concise and full of excellent examples of the application of critical thinking to real-world examples of pseudoscience. I think the book should be taught early in college, to perhaps innoculate people against fuzzy thinking. Since it is concerned with issues relevant to nonscientists, it may well be a better introduction to scientific method than a freshman chemistry or biology class, where methodology and application of said methodology gets drowned in a sea of facts most students will soon forget.

    One reviewer complained that the examples are "straw men" set up to be decimated by application of the theory set forth in the book. I think that this misses the point. The examples are simple enough to demonstrate the power of the method and illustrate its use on real, current problems.

    I think anyone interested in understanding "wierd things" should buy and read this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
    This is an EXCELLENT book on critical thinking; I think that a critical thinking class (perhaps with this book or something like it as text) should be mandatory from grade-school on up.

    I find it interesting that one reader chastised this book for its "pro-science" viewpoint, without ever bothering to explain WHY "pro-science" is BAD? I'm also curious as to whether that reader actually READ the book; if so he'd note that Schick and Vaughn are very careful to give balanced treatment to all paranormal claims. They make certain to point out, for instance, that "this doesn't mean ESP doesn't exist, of course..." merely that a particular claim doesn't validate our belief in it. Throughout the book, Schick and Vaughn are very gentle in their handling of paranormal claims. And yet the reviewer claims that Schick and Vaughn "don't take [them] seriously" or ridicule claims they don't like. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    In addition, the poster tried to draw a distinction between ontological and epistemic relativism, without noting that when considering a philosophy like realism (the view that there is a real, measurable, consensual reality -- a prerequisite for being a skeptic) the ontological relativism IS the epistemic relativism. Being IS the basis of our belief system -- if there's no "out there" out there, realism is a baseless philosophy. Schick and Vaughn do a VERY good job of dissecting and laying to rest the relativistic and solipsistic claims that are so popular today (IE, "there's no such thing as reality" or "whatever's true for you..."). And again, they are relatively gentle (for a less gentle treatment of the fad of social constructivism, see some of Sokal's books, for example).

    All in all this is an EXCELLENT, clear, well-rounded, and balanced look at critical thinking in an age of bizarre claims.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good read for any free thinker
    This is a useful and informative read for anyone with an open mind who is willing to possibly rethink some of their erroneous beliefs...Interesting and informative overall, with great examples regarding almost every topic..I would only subtract a star only because at times the book is repetitive, as the authors tend to beat some of their logic concepts over the readers' heads to ensure the reader understands the points they are trying to make..

    1-0 out of 5 stars Aptly named, unfortunately.
    Take "Weird Things" out of the title and that's what this book is all about. How to think. "What you think is wrong. This is right." That's how the book was like for some 300 pages.
    I actually had to read this for a class. If you have to read this for a class, I suggest you drop it as soon as possible. The class I took that required this book was intensely boring. I'm not sure because of the book or the elderly prof. Probably both.
    While the books does give you the impression of knowing a fraud when you see one, it does not encourage free thinking. Not so much as "how to think" but "what to think".
    For a scholarly book the Index totaly lacks contents. It has about 1/10th of the terms that were used in the book. I'd get a homework assignement and wouldn't be able to find the word in the index at all. I'd have to scan the entire chapter. Very frustrating.
    To sum it all up- do NOT buy this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars What is left to believe in? Not an awful lot.
    The art of critical thinking has almost disappeared from the western world. Largely I think this is so because our society is constructed on the fact that most people are trained to not think for themselves. The last thing anyone wants is for the population to start asking questions about religion, economics, and our political system. If one starts asking questions one could find that the answers we have been fed may not have been entirely true.

    Rather than address specific paranormal or strange ideas the authors present a formula for the reader to assess the ideas for themselves. There are, of course, entire books devoted to assessing the value of pseudoscience, paranormal phenomena and similar things in which the basic principles of skeptical thought has been tossed out the window.

    What the author's have done that is most unusual is the way the concepts in this book are brought together.

    This is not to say this is a perfect book. I noted several times where the author's ignored their own rational system to arrive at conclusions. The conclusions arrived at are universally in the realm of hard science triumphing over anything remotely paranormal. The author's bias in favor of rationalism and against anything resembling spirituality is very evident.

    Read this book, but do so with a critical mind. ... Read more


    4. The Greatest Stories Never Told : 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy
    by Rick Beyer
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060014016
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
    Publisher: HarperResource
    Sales Rank: 1077
    Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (12)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tasty tidbits
    History (with a capital H) is usually presented with the heavy thud of finality. But Mr. Beyer celebrates those moments when history turned on a whim, in this delightful bite-sized book. And so we discover that the Civil War changed its course thanks to three cigars, that the stethoscope was invented by a bashful physician, and that a sex goddess provided the know-how for cell phones.

    Those who love history will find new bits to wonder over. And those of us who nodded off in class get to discover that history is, in fact, packed with the wonderful quirks of human nature. Mr. Beyer has collected a broad assortment of stories and tells them with wit and aplomb.

    This book makes a great conversation starter. And probably a good gift for dads and graduates.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating facts
    A very entertaining collection of stories of unusual events and people from history. Arranged chronologicaly, starting with the Romans who stole time, and proceeding through such enthralling tales as the man who didn't discover America because he wanted to get home,and king Edward II' valiant but futile attempt to ban soccer (now I know why he was murdered, it was enraged footer fans). Some cherished myths are briskly disposed of, like the notion that medieval people thought the world was flat, and we learn that the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth Rock because they'd run out of beer. A few of the stories in this book were known to me already, most weren't. At $12.57, that's only about 12 cents per fascinating fact, cheap at the price I would say. Who would you say was the most unlikely person to have saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son? If you don't know already you need to buy this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Obscure History 101
    This was an interesting book and a quick read. However, each item only has one page (one side) of information, and this book would have earned a five star review from me if only the content was a bit more fleshed out. Still, a great book for the beginner trivia buff.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 200 Pages of WOW!
    In the past, I have typically not been one for advocating the idea of revising history as we know it, but this book has caused me to wonder if the lessons from the past that have been taught to so many of us have amounted to a series of partially distorted articles, at best, or a pack of lies, at worst.

    In one account, there was a leading nineteenth-century American literary figure who wrote a fictional work on one of the most famous explorers from the late 1400's. It portrayed this particular individual as mainly a visionary who overcame the superstitions of his time in order to make great discoveries. Though this picture might be partly true, a key issue brought forth was entirely fictional. Nevertheless, this particular book became very popular as a required reading for schoolchildren and over time, because of the heroic elements espoused, the tales were so popular that people wanted to believe them to be factual. Since then, this author's version of this explorer's events "would long endure in the national consciousness" and be immortalized as history as it actually happened. Talk about a paradox: to be regarded as someone who would go down in history as someone who overcame myths in such a way that it, itself, is another myth. Sheesh!!

    Though many a fact finder might wish that this particular legend could be isolated as the only fairy tale that has been misconstrued for truth, The Greatest Stories Never Told reveals to the reader that this is not so. There are other accounts that show that our significant historical events are not always due to forthright purposes set out by forthcoming, stout individuals. Sometimes random elements come into play à la The Butterfly Effect that can have a significant impact upon the outcome of a war. For instance, without giving away the details, so little as one piece of paper might have prevented General George Washington's rise to greatness against the British.

    In sum, The Greatest Stories Never Told is a fascinating book. In my opinion, it can set forth arguments and debates covering other specialized fields, especially philosophy, political science, physics, and theology. I have always been convinced that we have a tendency to portray history the way we want to either remember it or learn it, but the manner in which some of these bits and pieces have been espoused for decades and centuries is quite disturbing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The overlooked past brought into the spotlight
    Beyer is an author who is dedicated to making history interesting and fun, which he does so well in this collection of one page stories. I found the book especially interesting because of the background work the author had put into his research (the imprint of the History Channel did not hurt either) which raised these tidbits above the normal trivia, or potential urban legends. Beyer highlights some things that should not be lost in the mists of history, and points out historical facts that may be glossed over in many other history books. There is nothing earth shattering here, but more than a few will make you scratch your head, or share with others in conversation. A great book for dipping your toe in history - each story is about a page of text and is well illustrated. There is just enough to get you the interesting point without boring you. It's a truly fun and fascinating book. ... Read more


    5. Fugitives and Refugees : A Walk in Portland, Oregon (Crown Journeys)
    by CHUCK PALAHNIUK
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400047838
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-08)
    Publisher: Crown
    Sales Rank: 2412
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It's rare to find a travel guide and a memoir joined neatly together in a single, highly readable 176-page volume. But Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke, Lullaby) is a writer of rare talent and his home of Portland, Oregon, is a city of rare wonders. In Strangers and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, Palahniuk goes beyond the AAA handbooks to reveal the places, people, and legends of Portland that have long been known only to locals. The reader learns the location of the legendary Self Cleaning House, where to find the restless ghost of the founder of Powell's Books, and why feral cats are such an important part of Portland baseball. Portland, it seems, is also a highly sexual city and Palahniuk dutifully dissects the specialties of each strip joint as well as discussing Mochika, a zoo penguin with a real fetish for black boots. Along the way, he includes "postcards" from his life in the Rose City dating back to 1981 when, as a 19-year-old, he dropped acid and accidentally ate part of a woman's fur coat during a laser show of Pink Floyd's The Wall. As Palahniuk matures, the postcards reveal the author becoming increasingly a part of the city's scene, culminating with a wild and wooly Millennium Eve celebration at the Bagdad Theater that featured a screening of the film version of Fight Club. Fugitives and Refugees is a must for anyone who may, in their lives, go to Portland. But its appeal should reach beyond Oregonians. Palahniuk's love of the city is so great, and his stories so weirdly wonderful, it makes one want to get out of the house, get in the car, and drive to Portland right away. Just remember to pack the book. --John Moe ... Read more

    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars not your average travel guide
    This is Chuck Palahniuk's travel guide to Portland, Oregon. He gives a pronunciation/terms list so that visitors won't sound so much like outsiders when talking to local residents. Knowing the other work of Palahniuk, you can go into this book expecting this to be an unconventional travel guide. Palahniuk has a unique outlook on life and what is worth seeing and he presents that in this book.

    There is no narrative in this travel book, but it is broken up into sections. In each section, Palahniuk lists (and describes) various things to see and do in Portland. One section may be on eateries, another on haunted locations, yet another on gardens. In each section, we are given off-the-beaten-path ideas of what to do and where to go in Portland. Even if you have no interest in traveling to Portland, this makes for an interesting book to read. You get a sense of the city and the city's fringe elements. It gives a different flavor than what you might expect from a Fodor's travel guide. I would recommend this book to fans of Palahniuk or anyone looking to read an interesting and different travel guide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Portland for the pulp reader
    It seems rather fitting that Chuck Palahniuk's FUGITIVES AND REFUGEES: A WALK IN PORTLAND, OREGON should list Powell's City of Books (the world's largest new and used bookstore, occupying an entire city block) as an interesting Portland attraction because this is where I first met the man himself. It was a book signing for Susan Faludi's STIFFED. I had never read any of his books, but Faludi had recommended the movie FIGHT CLUB which is based upon Palahniuk's book of the same name. So, after speaking with Faludi, I figured it was worth a shot: I approached Palahniuk and talked with him briefly. He was such a polite man, so energetic, and so approachable (the last man I would have expected to write a book with such a violent title), even frail, that I decided to take his advice and see his movie. He was right; I loved it. I then decided to read the book upon which the movie is based, and I couldn't relate. I put it down before finishing it. I decided to read INVISIBLE MONSTERS, and I still couldn't relate. I decided that his books just were not for me. But I remained somewhat proud of the fact that a hometown boy had become a national, perhaps even international, success. I cheered him on.

    With FUGITIVES AND REFUGEES: A WALK IN PORTLAND, OREGON Chuck is now cheering us on. He is celebrating the oddballs that make up Portland, Oregon (though I don't live there anymore, I still consider Portland to be my hometown), and doing something that most tourist books do not: he is actually telling you where the locals frequent, sharing history that the Chamber of Commerce may prefer you not have (did you know that Portland has more strip clubs and porno theaters per capita than any other city in the US, earning it the nickname "Pornland"?). But, as with the rest of Palahniuk's work, for the most part I just can't relate to the style he employs in FUGITIVES AND REFUGEES: A WALK IN PORTLAND, OREGON. Palahniuk is a very likable man and a magnetic personality (if you ever have a chance to attend one of his speaking engagements or books signing events, I highly recommend it; he is a great story teller), but his work seems largely intended for a very specific readership: the pulp audience of the white, male, suburban, twentysomething crowd. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this crowd, it's just I am not among them.

    So, carry on hometown hero! Thank you for writing a book about our eccentric city-of-origin (maybe future editions can eulogize Satyricon, the legendary Portland nightclub where Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain first met). I wish you all the success in the world. Now, back to Powell's political science and metaphysical section for me.... :)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Walking Tour On The Wild Side
    The main draw of this book for me is Palahniuk's "postcards", his one to two page long memories scattered throughout the book. These are models of economy, which immediately grab the reader's interest and have lots of little surprises (not all of them pleasant). Especially hilarious are his tales of his role in an MTV video, and of a protest stunt by anarchists that ended up looking like a protest against Italy. (Sorry to be vague, but it defies summary.)

    The rest of the book is a altie travel guide of the _Lonely Planet_ backroads style. Sights range from the scenic to the seedy, emphasis on the off-beat, though there is a welcome, and unexpected, chapter on the city's gardens.

    His affection for his town shines through most every passage of every section. There may not be much left of the frontier, which a century and a half ago prompted Thoreau to say "I must walk toward Oregon, and not toward Europe", but what's left is wild enough, and still distinctively American.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book RULES!!!
    This is about as close as you are going to get to a autobiography of Chuck Palahniuk, but hey, it is all good. Fugitives and Refuggees is not your ordinary travel book. This book looks deep into the "other" side of Portland. Most of the book talks about places to eat, see, and also one of my most favorite chapters where you can go for some good strip shows in Portland. I have to say that I love Laurie (Chuck's roomate) and how when she was younger, she would go sneak into her father's bed, and give him "oral pleasure". Some of the thing's that Chuck did when he was younger was strange, but yet I am glad to see that I got to know a little bit more about one of my favorite authors. So if you want to go to Portland, then read this book. There are some strange landmarks there too, and some of the shows there are fun to go to. Some of them are strange, but they still worth checking out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Special Case
    While certainly not for everyone, this little book belongs on many a shelf as well as in many a backpack - here's why (or why not, as the case may be):

    * A fan of Mr. Palahniuk's work? A Must Have. Biographical sketches, funny and sad, poignant and pathetic, give flashbulb glimpses of the man and insight into his writing. As pure entertainment, 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    * Looking to do something different in Portland, OR? Assuming all of the attractions noted haven't been overrun and wiped-out by rabid Fight Club wannabes, Fugitives and Refugees will lead you to some seriously off-the-map attractions. 5 of 5 stars but, like any travel guide, F & R will become less and less useful over time until it becomes a snapshot of a historical moment, "Chuck's Portland As It Was".

    * Travel guide fan? Armchair explorer? Love reading about all those places you just know you'll never actually take the time to visit? This is among the oddest guides you'll find. 4 of 5 stars. Point off for its brevity.

    * Jaded Portland Local? Too hip for your asymmetrical haircut? Got a "been-there-done-it-all-bought-the-ironic-tee-shirt" attitude? Do you now dislike Mr. Palahniuk and his books because of his popularity? 5 of 5 stars for you since this little book will give you more self-righteous "I Told You He Sold Out" proof to drop on your friends over six dollar lattes or twenty-five cent beers than any of his upcoming books and film releases ever possibly will.

    Over-all grade: 4.625 out of 5 stars (rounded up for Amazon's whole-number system.) ... Read more


    6. An Underground Education : The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to Everything You Thought You Knew About Art, Sex, Business, Crime, Science, Medicine, and Other Fields of Human
    by RICHARD ZACKS
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385483767
    Catlog: Book (1999-04-20)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 3316
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The best kind of knowledge is uncommon knowledge.

    Okay, so maybe you know all the stuff you're supposed to know--that there are teenier things than atoms, that Remembrance of Things Past has something to do with a perfumed cookie, that the Monroe Doctrine means we get to take over small South American countries when we feel like it.But really, is this kind of knowledge going to make you the hit of the cocktail party, or the loser spending forty-five minutes examining the host's bookshelves?

    Wouldn't you rather learn things like how the invention of the bicycle affected the evolution of underwear?Or that the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to a doctor who performed lobotomies with a household ice pick?Or how Catherine the Great really died?Or that heroin was sold over the counter not too long ago?

    For the truly well-rounded "intellectual," nothing fascinates so much as the subversive, the contrarian, the suppressed, and the bizarre.Richard Zacks, auto-didact extraordinaire, has unloosed his admittedly strange mind and astonishing research abilities upon the entire spectrum of human knowledge, ferreting out endlessly fascinating facts, stories, photos, and images guaranteed to make you laugh, gasp in wonder, and occasionally shudder at the depths of human depravity.The result of his labors is this fantastically illustrated quasi-encyclopedia that provides alternative takes on art, business, crime, science, medicine, sex (lots of that), and many other facets of human experience.

    Immensely entertaining, and arguably enlightening, An Underground Education is the only book that explains the birth of motion pictures using photos of naked baseball players.

    Richard Zacks is the author of History Laid Bare: Love, Sex and Perversity from the Ancient Etruscans to Warren G. Harding, which was excerpted in classy magazines like Harper's and earned the attention of the even classier New York Times, which noted that "Zacks specializes in the raunchy and perverse."The Georgia State Legislature voted on whether to ban the book from public libraries.He has studied Arabic, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Hebrew, and received the Phillips Classical Greek Award at the University of Michigan.He has also told his publisher that he made a living in Cairo cheating royalty from a certain Arab country at games of chance, although the claim remains unverified.His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, The Village Voice, TV Guide, and similarly diverse publications.Zacks is married and busy warping the minds of his two children, Georgia and Ziegfield.He resides in New York City. ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever!
    I am a reader. I'll read anything once. That doesnt mean I'll alawys like it though. THis book was great!

    Zacks investigatges obscure tidbits from history, science, art, etc; and writes a very imforative book. THe nice thing is he tells you all his sources for information in the back, so if you do not believe him you can check it out.

    Now normally, one would assume that a book of facts would be boring. This is not the case! Its really funny. He writes as if he's your uncle Larry telling you a funny ancedote at the dinner table. It is a hilarious, eye-opening book.

    Some of the things he writes about are:
    George Washington did not have wooden teeth....
    And he was not the first president of the US...
    Cleopatra was really ugly...
    Edison and inventing the electric chair....

    These are just a few of the ones that stuck out to me. THere are hundreds of these. The are written nice and short. This book is perfect if you want some light reading. It is very easy to just read a few blurbs (there might be 2 to a page average) or read a whole list of them. The book is also very organized and easy to find. If you are only intersted in science and nature, you can just turn to that section. If business, or art, or history, or sex, only intersts you, you can just turn to that.
    The index is also very inclusive.

    I do not think this book is good for children. There are some very racy topics. But they are done in a tasteful manner. A mature high schoool student could handle this, but I would not give it to a middle school or gradeschooler. Its not a dirty book but it does mention some controversial topics like sappho's sexual orientation and the presence of hermaphrodites in ancient greek art.

    Though this book is good for almost anyone looking for a quick enjoyable read, if you like history or literature this book is even more appropriate.

    Sorry to have rambled but this is my alltime favorite book.
    If you want to take a chance on something, try this one.
    It really is worth it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Underground Education (Zacks)
    You must think you are the cat's patoot, so sure you know everything. You paid attention in class, got good grades, and everything Mr. or Mrs. Insert Teacher's Name Here said was true because they had a college degree and the bravery to stand in front of a bunch of slack jawed kids and try to teach them something. Well, have I got the book for you.

    Richard Zacks explodes our often mythic look at the world. This is not just another "your teacher lied to you in school" book. Zacks backs up his own history with actual primary source documentation. As he writes, "I started muttering, 'You can't make this stuff up!'."

    Zacks has divided the book into ten different sections: Arts & Literature, Business, Crime & Punishment, Everyday Life, Medicine, Religion, Science, Sex, World History, and American History. While each section can be read separately, it may be hard to put down the book after just one helping. Zacks covers a wide range of topics, but always keeps his writing simple and unpedestrian. You quickly realize that all of these icons in history were actually people just like you and me. Mata Hari was no genius spy, her mug shot taken before her execution shows a plain woman in her early forties.

    William Shakespeare used to write down to his common audiences, letting loose with filthy puns lost on today's students. Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, two of America's greatest humorists, both worked blue, writing material that you will not see in copies of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" or "Poor Richard's Almanack." You think Iraqi war profiteering is something new? Pity the poor soldiers of the Civil War, eating rancid meat and trying to fight with ancient weaponry all sold to the United States government by greedy business tycoons.

    Speaking of the Civil War, did you know that almost a million slaves held in the Union states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri were not freed until AFTER their enslaved brothers to the south? Thank the thirteenth amendment, since the Emancipation Proclamation only dealt with slaves in the Confederacy.

    The material covered is immense, from the race to build the first electric chair to the world's first indoor toilet. Hermaphrodites, bestiality, and a pope pushing cocaine laced wine, oh my!

    Zacks litters his text with photos, but they add to the prose. He lets his opinions be known often, from his outrage over the lynchings of the early twentieth century, to defending Amerigo Vespucci in light of criticism by others. Christopher Columbus does not get off as easily. He highlights the common as well as royal historical figures

    "An Underground Education" is a very good read. Once in a while, Zacks makes his point early, and a couple of vignettes run a little long (especially privateers in the Revolutionary War, and some of the business anecdotes), but the things you discover will outweigh any boredom you feel. If education is the key to success, then Zacks takes that key and breaks it off in the lock.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Love this Book!!
    What a great book!! All reviews have agreed that this book is quite difficult to put down. I must echo this and say that it is funny, fun and fascinating!! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the origins of our popular culture and also for people who want to know more about history in more graphic detail than available in your average history book!! Read and enjoy!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
    Such a great book! It sort of stood out at the library so I started thumbing though it, and couldn't put it down!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Informative and Enjoyable
    My sister-in-law gave me this book for Christmas because she didn't really know what to get me. I read a lot, and I am very curious about the truth, so she took a chance. I approached this book with great hesitancy, expecting it to be all fluff. I was very wrong. I have learned quite a bit, have been entertained with each page and topic, and will re-read the book soon, since there is so much information on so many topics. Clever, sharp-witted and well-researched. A special bonus because you can read it in little bits, as there are numerous breaks by topic and within topics. I have small children, so I have to read around my play time.

    Anyway, I recommend it very highly. It is pretty risque, so no prudes or delicate senisibilities need bother. ... Read more


    7. 5087 Trivia Questions & Answers
    by Marsha Kranes, Fred Worth, Steve Tamerius, Michael Driscoll, Martha Kuanes, Fred L. Worth
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1579120865
    Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
    Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
    Sales Rank: 7010
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (12)

    3-0 out of 5 stars 5087 Trivia Questions & Answers
    I feel trivia books are helpful sources of information, however, some are not completely accurate. Unfortunately, there is a wrong answer to question#3475: In Peter and the Wolf, Sergei Prokofiev's popular symphonic fairy tale for children, what instrument is used to represent the cat? Answer: The oboe. This is incorrect. The cat is the clarinet. I hope I don't find to many other mistakes. If there is a list available for incorrect answers found in this book, I'd like a copy. Otherwise, I'll double check these answers before publicizing them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a nice trivia book
    while a lot of the info in this book useless info it is still a fun read.I got a long time ago and i still read it from time to time. i do not know if they still sale it, but i would say it is a good buy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great for online trivia games!!!
    I spend alot of time reading questions online ( i.e. paltalk). I've used this book among others and find that the subjects are conveniently broken down by category and the answers are readily accessible on the next page vs. flipping to the end of the book. This is a great book to have for online games!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great but not Excellent
    I would recommend buying this book because it contains many questions. The quality of the questions is not as good as those I have seen in other books. If you want to purchase a fun, general trivia book, this would be an excellent choice. If you want to purchase a slightly more academic book this is still a good choice but you will have to carefully choose the questions. Approx. 60% of the questions contain useless information.(If you're looking for academic questions) Still, this book is a very good value.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Large book packed with trivia questions and answers
    5087 Trivia Questions and Answers is one of the most thorough collections that I have read. Of course one of the problems with trivia is that what one person finds fascinating another could care less about. So, while one person would be fascinated by the 74 pages of questions on Sports and Games, I could care less. Then again, the questions on the World and American history are great. With that in mind, knowing how much emphasis is placed on which categories should help determine if this book would be of interest to you. It is divided into fifteen chapters, each with it's own focus of questions. The chapters cover Arts, Comics & Literature, 64 pgs, Sports & Games, 74 pgs, War & the Military, 26 pgs, Television & Radio, 54 pgs, Business, Advertising & Inventions, 38 pgs, Religion, the Bible & Mythology, 14 pgs, America - Past & Present, 78 pgs, The World, 66 pgs, Language, 32 pgs, Food, 24 pgs, Music & Theater, 54 pgs, Presidential Trivia, 30 pgs, Science, Nature & Medicine, 50 pgs, The Cinema, 116 pgs, and Miscellaneous, 24 pgs.
    One thing that was different about this trivia book when compared to others that I have read is that you can't really cheat with it. With most trivia books I have to admit that I end up doing something like the Jeopardy television show. It is so easy to look ahead when reading a question and kind of steal a glance at the answer. When the answer is right there, right after the question it is just so tempting to sneak a peak. After a while you can end up reading the answers and then the question. In this book the questions are on one page and the answers are on the back of the same page. No sneaking a peak. In addition, you can have two or three of you reading the book and discussing what you think the answers might be without someone looking ahead at the answers. I really liked the format, I really liked the trivia choices, I really liked most of the categories. Among trivia books, I really liked the book. ... Read more


    8. Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany
    by Ben Schott
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582344205
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-21)
    Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
    Sales Rank: 575
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    9. My Body Is Private (Albert Whitman Concept Books)
    by Linda Walvoord Girard, Rodney Pate
    list price: $5.95
    our price: $5.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0807553190
    Catlog: Book (1992-09-01)
    Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
    Sales Rank: 10443
    Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Children love this book
    I work with foster children and children who are still in their homes, they all really like this book and often ask for it to be read over and over. It is well written and covers the subject well, informing the child but at the same time not frightening the child. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mommy, I remembered that book
    Teach your children well. This book saved my eight-year old daughter from further assault.

    A couple years years ago I bought this book for a friend and just decided to by one for our family. My daughter was six at the time.

    Recently we moved and the company-hired workers arrived. That afternoon as I was watching my children play together, I thought how cute they are - precious six-year old brother and eight-year old daughter side-by-side. I ran upstairs to the kitchen although the door was open between us and 6 other people were within earshot including their father and and an on-site manager.

    My daughter came upstairs and told me that a worker put his hands in her pants. He began to lead her to a closed area. She lied to him; got away from him; and came to me. "Mommy, I remembered what that book, "My Body Is Private" said. I remembered that you told me anything inside my underwear is private.

    Teach your chldren well. Buying this non-threatening book with a happy ending saved my daughter from ... who knows.

    THANK YOU Linda Walvoord Girard. Although my daughter was tricked and hurt within seconds in her own home, you have saved a child.

    Just as you teach a child to walk safely across the street without instilling fear of streets or cars, you can keep your child safe without instilling fear. My daughter was never afraid until she needed to be -- AND SHE ACTED. No secrets, no further abuse, no threats........ she saved herself through the knowledge she gathered through our reading this book together.

    I am forever grateful to the author.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not a preschool book
    After reading the reviews, I ordered this book thinking that it would be appropriate for my 3-year old. It seems too advanced for a child that age. There is a part of the book where the girl does not want her uncle to touch her because he holds her in his lap and rubs her arms and makes her uncomfortable, and another picture where her older brother "pins her down," and tickles her until it hurts, so the father has to tell him to stop. The mother also warns the child that others might want to take pictures of her private parts. While I understand that these are important illustrations of unwanted behavior, they don't seem right for a younger child. The text is also geared toward a school-aged child.

    5-0 out of 5 stars sweet book
    I bought three books of this kind. This is my childrens favorite. I as an child abuse survivor myself find this book to be the best of the three. This book is about giving the child a sense of ownership over his/her body. An entitlement to say no. it is written from the childs POV which comes accross very well to my children. This is a gentle book with a supportive mother figure. I realize that it may be uncommom or unrealistic that one should have such an in tune and supportive mother and that there may be other flaws. Yet it is gentle and the child finds success in standing up for herself. It is still my favorite. I like the way it couches the responsibility to say no on the child but that the child has back up or confidence with the mothers support. The book begins with small things like personal belongings and knocking. This book has a senitive approach and a nice pace. It gets the information accross without threatening a small childs mind.

    4-0 out of 5 stars For older children
    I bought this and several other books about strangers and understanding personal space, but found this one way to advanced for my preschoolers. Looks like it would be good starting around 5 or 6. ... Read more


    10. Guinness Book of World Records, 2004
    by Guinness World Records
    list price: $27.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1892051206
    Catlog: Book (2003-08)
    Publisher: Guinness
    Sales Rank: 42911
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The all-new 2004 edition of the Guinness World Records book contains more than 700 new records, 10 full-page feature spreads, and the most photographs in any Guinness World Records book in history!Popular categories in this year's edition include Sport, Science and Technology, Humans, Feats of Engineering and more.At 288 pages and a beautiful blue holographic cover, the 2004 edition will be a holiday hit with kids and adults alike.

    Check out some of the cool records highlighted in the 2004 edition:

    TALLEST ROLLER COASTER

    Top Thrill Dragster, a hydraulically launched out-and-back 'strata-coaster' at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA, reaches a height of 420 feet and has a maximum design speed of 120 mph. It opened in May 2003 and cost $25 million.

    HIGHEST PAID TV GUEST STAR

    The world record for the highest amount paid to an actor to guest star on a TV show is Matthew Perry,who was paid $765,900 for appearing on FOX's Ally McBeal (USA). The 2-hour episode was broadcast on April 15, 2002 and Perry played the character of Todd Merrick.

    OLDEST LIVING INDIVIDUAL TREE

    The oldest living individual tree is the ancient Bristlecone Pine "Methuselah" (Pinus longaeva)

    which is 4,733 years old.It was found by Dr. Edmund Schulman (USA) in the White Mountains, California, USA and dated in 1957.

    SMALLEST DOG

    The world's smallest dog living is Whitney, a Yorkshire terrier who measured 3 inches to the shoulder and 9.5 inches from nose to tail-tip on November 26, 2002. Whitney is owned by Christopher and Patricia Sheridan of Shoeburyness, Essex, UK.

    FASTEST ASCENT OF MOUNT EVEREST (SOUTH SIDE)

    Lakpa Gelu Sherpa (Nepal) made a successful ascent of Mt Everest in 10 hr 56 min 46 sec on 26 May 2003, the fastest ever climb from base camp to the summit of the world's tallest mountain.

    HIGHEST PRONE SKATEBOARD SPEED

    The highest speed recorded on a skateboard is 78.37 mph in a prone position by Roger Hickey, 32, on a course near Los Angeles, California, USA on March 15, 1990.

    YOUNGEST SOLO TRANSATLANTIC SAILOR

    Sebastian 'Seb' Clover (UK, b. 15 January 1987) sailed across the Atlantic Ocean single handedly between Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, and English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda, aged 15 years 362 days, from 19 December 2002 to 12 January 2003. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book
    This is worth the money. It contains everything you could imagine and is very informative and interesting read. Its fun to read about the new technologys and records in the world. The cover and all the pictures inside are also impressive. I recomend this book to anyone who has a curious mind. Cover of book is cool.

    4-0 out of 5 stars INFORMATIVE AND PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!
    The hardback edition of this book is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen! As for the contents, well, they're exceptional. It covers world records in sports, human endurance, nature, movies, tv, music, human achievement, and more. Who is the oldest living person? Find out in this book. What is the fastest speed attained by a jet? Find out in this informative publication. Who really has had the most gold records by a single male performer? All you have to do is get this book, and you'll know. There's loads of colorful pictures, and on pages that are made of good stock. The book is a trivia buffs dream. Other books I would recommend for trivia buffs, are The World Almanac, and the ESPN Sports Almanac. All three are superb. If you want to know what the world records are for an array of topics, please get this insightful publication.

    5-0 out of 5 stars another great book
    I have been buy Guinness book for a number of years now, and this is another great edition

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Conversation / Coffee Table Book
    This book is GREAT! Everyone at Christmas time from the 8yr old to the 70yr old was perusing and asking: "Did you know...???" Great gift idea.

    5-0 out of 5 stars very satisfying
    I bought this book along with The Nice Guys Guide to Getting Girls and I am more than satisfied with both. Both books are easy to read and very interesting. The Guinness Book of World Records has always been one of my favorites. I love looking up the crazy and amusing facts that just amaze me. This book can be read and enjoyed by all kinds of readers. The pictures and stories are great. I spent many hours just flipping through this book...you definitely can't go wrong with this book. ... Read more


    11. NEW ROADSIDE AMERICA : THE MODERN TRAVELER'S GUIDE TO THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WORLD OF AMERICA'S TOURIST
    by Doug Kirby
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671769316
    Catlog: Book (1992-06-01)
    Publisher: Fireside
    Sales Rank: 13405
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Roadside America is a Baedeker to the junkiest attractions on America's major, minor, and nearly forgotten highways. Planning to see Graceland? Why not let this delightful volume direct you on the complete Elvis tour, including a miniature "Elvis City" in Roanoke, Virginia; the Elvis-theme McDonald's in Elvis's birthplace of Tupelo, Mississippi; and the Elvis Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Learn about the Curse of the Pyramids, and see the many unfinished pyramids that litter America's heartland. Jump into the debate about which town has the largest ball of string, the biggest tree stump, or America's true weather-forecasting groundhog. The locations of giant statues of the Jolly Green Giant, an "African village" in South Carolina claiming to be an independent kingdom, and the mysterious "Thing" of the Sonoran Desert are all found here. Buy it and drive west, young trendies. ... Read more

    Reviews (25)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good intentions marred by low detail and poor organization
    While the authors' hearts are definitely in the right place, their lack of thoroughness and haphazard organization severely mars this book's usefulness as an actual working travelguide.

    By sorting the items under topics (e.g., "Gators" "Elvis", etc.), the book turns into a good bedside reader, and a poor guide to "what's here." Providing a geographical index (by state, then city) in the back, means that you're constantly flipping back and forth to try and figure what's near you. And with no map to locate a city within a state's boudaries, it's difficult to tell whether you're within a hundred miles or more. The only solution is to employ a map (paper or web-based) to figure this out.

    Add to this a complete lack of addresses, phone numbers or hours, and you'll find yourself searching through a phonebook as well.

    It's a useful source of ideas, but leaves the reader to do way too much of the legwork.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite travel book
    I purchased this book after discovering the related website roadsideamerica.com. This book was published in 1992 and some of the attractions contained in the book have closed, but in a way that only adds to the appeal because if you really want to see an attraction featured in this book you'd better get going before it's too late. I only wish I had met Tom Gaskins before he passed away, but at least I know of his life's work.

    The lack or directions and phone numbers is understandable when you realize just how many area codes have been added since 1992 and how many road names have changed. For me, this book represents the finest scavenger hunt of kistch ever written, and the lack of phone numbers and directions only addes to the experience.

    This book is the first thing I throw into the suitcase when I travel for business or other reasons. The pages are dog-eared from use and the cover is stained with coffee and how knows what from that diner in Tennessee, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The best part about the entire Roadside America experience is that if you discover something on the road you can add to the fun via roadsideamerica.com.

    Buy this book and hit the road.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best weekend you ever spent!
    This, along with their hilarious website at http://www.roadsideamerica.com, is the perfect planning guide for the American Road Trip. Not only have they done their research on these crazy sites to visit, but choosing one of their themed trips alone makes one great weekend! Highly, highly recommended for anyone with a taste for the weird.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Preeminent Reference Work
    The New Roadside America by Doug Kirby, Ken Smith, and Mike Wilkins is the preeminent reference work about the wonders of roadside America. Do not expect descriptions of mainline corporate attractions such as Disneyland in this book. The New Roadside America celebrates extant small-scale attractions which show the ingenuity and pride of individual entrepreneurial initiative. The authors report every palpably gaudy, tacky, and tawdry detail of each roadside attraction. The authors' descriptions should not be interpreted as disapproval. On the contrary, the lack of polish of roadside attractions is part of their appeal. The authors relish the dilapidated splendor of each attraction, as should the reader.

    One caution: the second edition is becoming dated. Because of the intrinsically high attrition rate of roadside businesses, many attractions are now closed. Check before starting your journey. A third edition is eagerly anticipated.

    The New Roadside America by Doug Kirby, Ken Smith, and Mike Wilkins. Don't leave home without it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensible.
    After a few days on the road, my husband and I tossed aside our Fodor's and let Roadside America be our Bible and our guiding light. What wonders it led us to! What happiness it gave us! The writing is bust-a-gut funny, and I like the way they don't bother with the particulars like addresses, hours of operation, and the like. It leaves enough room for adventure. Pay particular attention to the Seven Wonders... if our visit to the Precious Moments Inspiration Park is any indication, they truly are worth diverting your trip for. Combine this book with Roadfood and you've got yourself WEEKS of all-American goodness. ... Read more


    12. Guinness World Records 2005 : Special 50th Anniversary Edition (Guinness World Records)
    by Guinness World Records
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $16.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1892051222
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-23)
    Publisher: Guinness
    Sales Rank: 63
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    13. Uncle John's Biggest Ever Bathroom Reader: Containing Uncle John's Great Big Bathroom Reader and Uncle John's Ultimate Bathroom Reader
    by Bathroom Reader's Hysterical Society
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $12.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 157145814X
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
    Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (CA)
    Sales Rank: 1125
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most fun you can have in a bathroom
    This 15th annual edition of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader is actually a combination of two previously published books: Uncle John's Great Big Bathroom Reader & Uncle John's Ultimate Bathroom Reader. This allows the Bathroom Readers' Institute (BRI) to deliver 768 pages of little known facts, pop culture tidbits, weird news items, and intriguing origins of everyday things.

    Articles in the text are not arranged in any particular order so an eight page Contents section at the front of the book is a great guide to your reading pleasure. Thirty three subject categories are used to group the articles which are then subdivided by length. Short articles are one page long. Medium ones are two pages. Long articles are either three or four pages, and Extended articles can run as long as eight pages. Two articles are so long they are broken into several Long parts. One on the history of Miss America is seven parts long, and the World's Tallest Buildings has eight parts.

    Some of the articles in the book are brainteasers, puzzles, or quizzes. The answers to these are grouped together on the last eleven pages of the book.

    There is a footnote on each page that contains an interesting fact. E.g.: On page 347 we are told that the shortest performance to win an Oscar was Anthony Quinn's 8 minutes as Gauguin in the movie Lust For Life. Every U.S. president with a beard was a Republican is on page 399. On page 605 the note states that King Louis XV bathed just three time sin his entire life.

    The BRI claims to gather the most interesting and little-known facts from many sources and they encourage readers to suggest additions to future volumes. Perfect for the bathroom, this book would also go well on a nightstand, but is too heavy for your backpack. A joy to read. ... Read more


    14. 101 Secrets A Good Dad Knows
    by Walter Browder, Sue Ellin Browder
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $10.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1558537198
    Catlog: Book (2001-02-04)
    Publisher: Rutledge Hill Press
    Sales Rank: 2756
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Dads have a special way of relating to children. They tend to rough-house and tease children more than moms do. It is usually a father who teaches a child how to shoot a free throw, catch a frog, or fix a broken bicycle chain. Knowing how to do these things raises a child's self-esteem, increases self-confidence, and fosters self-reliance because they expand a child's ability to cope with and understand the world.

    Each of the 101 secrets in this wonderful gift book is explained in short descriptions accompanied by a drawing and a fact or tip. Many of these skills involve a simple secret to do them successfully. Knowing these secrets will enable any dad to look like a hero to his children.

    Included are instructions for...

    • How to fly a kite
    • How to find the north star
    • How to skip a rock
    • How to make a paper airplane
    • How to tie a necktie
    • How to change a spark plug
    • How to carve a whistle
    • How to bait a hook
    • How to pitch a tent
    • How to identify five icky things under a rock
    • Which properties to buy in Monopoly
    • How to tell how tall a tree is
    • How to whistle with a blade of grass
    • How to photograph lightning

    "The perfect gift for any father, grandfather, or mother who wants to teach children skills that will increase self confidence, raise self-esteem, and foster self-reliance." - Nashville Lifestyles

    ... Read more

    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars To share with children and grandchildren - and PRACTICE!
    What an unusual book - fun things I didn't know how to do and some things I remember my step-dad teaching me and things we taught our children! Dad's Facts at the end of each chapter is fun and interesting. I LEARNED SOME THINGS and my nine year old grandson thinks this is a "neat book" - a very special book you can spend time sharing with your children and/or grandchildren and learning fun things and important things - TOGETHER!

    Every household should have one! Mom's learn from it too!

    This book is written, obviously, with love and joy for children!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect gift for a new dad!
    I love this book! I give it to every friend of mine who is becoming a father for the first time and I've seen this book make a man cry! It's a wonderful sweet book that makes a great gift. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars From a Dad
    I am not usually a fan of small books with short entries, especially of the "self-help" variety, but this short book is exceptional. It is packed with practical and fun activities, information to share with your children, and some virtue-inspiring quotes (not Aristotole, but not bad). Certainly there is much more to being a good dad than what is covered in this book, but the book gives a good treatment to some of the more fun Dad opportunities.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book for New Dads
    I got this as a gift when my daughter was born, and now I give it to all my friends who have kids. It's a great book for reading at the hospital waiting for a child to be born, or later, when you want to look up something like how to build a kite or whittle something or tie a fly. This isn't earth-shattering info by any means, but it's a reach back into a simpler world, and explains some things that we as fathers shouldn't have lost.

    All in all, if you ever wanted to be Andy Taylor to your own Opie(s), then this is the book for you. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful and Inspiring
    Sure, many dads may know half or even two-thirds of these things, but I doubt that many know all of them. Even if they did, do their kids? In that respect, this book inspires bonding time and passing that knowledge onto children. There were many things mentioned that I thought, I better teach my kids that. If even a dozen new items get passed onto your kids, it is easily worth the price of the book. ... Read more


    15. 2,201 Fascinating Facts: 2 Vols. in One
    by David Louis
    list price: $12.99
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0517395746
    Catlog: Book (1988-12-12)
    Publisher: Gramercy
    Sales Rank: 7869
    Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Some people -- like me -- enjoy reading books containing lists of peculiar or droll facts. Such books are arguably the precursor of much of the net. But if you find yourself away from your WWW browser, and feel the need to snarf oddities even when offline, you'll be glad to know there's a book in which you can learn that:

    • the average American's vocabulary contains 10,000 words
    • there are more than 40,000 characters in Chinese script
    • in downtown Lima, Peru, there is a brass statue of Winnie-the-Pooh
    and, being a poet, my personal favorite from this book is that:
    • one can see the stars during the day from the bottom of a well.
    Fascinating! ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Many facts, but many factoids, too.
    When I read this book years ago, I found the information therein just as the title states: fascinating. But upon further perusing of this work, I began to notice incorrect information presented as fact. For example, the deer botfly does NOT fly at the stated high speed; that fanciful notion came from a quote by etymologist Charles H. T. Townsend. His absurd estimation was proven false by Irving Langmuir.

    I've also found information in this book that contradicts "facts" elsewhere in the book. And the statistics cited from years ago are often out of date and inaccurate. I recommend this title only if you are willing to verify some of its information against other sources and have a keen ability to distinguish between fact and fascinating fiction -- however plausible it might seem.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Love It!
    I recieved this book through a friend and I haven't ben able to put it down since! I reccomend it to other "Fact Junkies" like myself!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Trivia Buff's Dream
    Worth every penny. Quick easy to find information on just about everything

    1-0 out of 5 stars Out of date book
    While the book promised to be a "must have" for trivia fans, when you start looking at the facts and you compare them with more recent and updated books, you realize how out of date and ancient this book is.

    An example? It mentions that there is a code for statues with horses. The author mentions about having four, three or two legs on ground and the different meanings (how did the person die). This is all a "myth" and a dark obscure legend. There is no such code and it has been verified (see Ed Zotti "Know it all")

    If I were you, I'd buy Cecil Adams' books "The straight dope". They are funnier and updated...

    3-0 out of 5 stars A good read but you could find better!
    I don't want to appear to negative as overall, this is an interesting book, but in some parts it was a bit ordinary.

    Some of the facts were truly amazing but some of the facts were merely just statistics so they weren't really of great interest. Since these statistics were based on the 1970's or 1980's, they are no longer current even though they may have been facts when first published. Research and technology have also appeared to disprove some facts as well.

    Overall, it's OK but I prefered the trivia book by Isaac Asimov. ... Read more


    16. Oh, Yuck: The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty
    by Joy Masoff
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0761107711
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-11)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
    Sales Rank: 70
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Kids love stuff that's gross. From the liquids, solids, and gases--especially the gases!--or their own bodies to the creepy, crawly, slimy, slithery, fetid, and feculent phenomena in the world at large, kids with a curious bent just can't get enough. Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty brings together, in one book, all the good things about some of the baddest things on Earth.

    Exhaustively researched and impeccably scientific, yet written with a lively lack of earnestness, Oh, Yuck! is an ants to zits encyclopedic compendium covering people, animals, insects, plants, foods, and more. Here are vampire bats, which sip blood and pee at the same time so that they'll always be light enough to fly away; and slime eels, wreathed in mucus and eating fellow fish from the inside out. Oh, Yuck! explains why vomit smells; where dandruff comes from; what pus is all about; and why maggots adore rotting meant. Other features include gross recipes, putrid projects, 10 foods that make you airborne, and more.

    With hundreds of cartoon illustrations and real-life photographs, Oh, Yuck! is the complete guide to the irresistible--at least to an 8-to-12 year old--underbelly of life.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Iman's Review
    This is such a great book. It has information on all "gross" topics. In it, there is everything from maggots to vomit. I think this book would be great for all 7-12 year olds. I especially like the "information boxes". The book has good illustrations also. Most of them are comical, but a few are scientific. Joy Masoff is a good writer that specializes in history books. Also, this would be a great find for a teacher or science teacher because all the things in this book is true science! There is nothing inapropriate in this book. The thing that I like about this book is that it is funny, yet educational at the same times. That is very difficult to find in a book now. The thing that I disliked most in this book is NOTHING! The bottom line is, THIS IS A MUST READ!

    5-0 out of 5 stars laugh-out-loud funny
    I bought this book for my niece and nephew, one of whom is a reluctant reader. They were both hysterical laughing for hours and my nephew has spent many an afternoon sharing favorite parts with his friends. The pictures are mind-boggling. Best of all, I have a science background and knew that that the scientific information compiled is extremely sound. I knew they were learning while they were laughing. Plus, I now have a reputation for being the coolest aunt in town.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Subject matter intriguing - Reading level disappointing.
    I thought this would be inspiring for a six-year old who is a reluctant reader, but after I received it, I decided to give it to his older brother instead. Categorizing this book for the 9-12 year old reading level is correct. Each topic is presented in 1-2 pages of text that even a brainy, eight-year-old bookworm got tired of reading. We all read it together during storytime, and while it kept the six-year old's attention, the blocks of text were much too thick and intimidating for him to attempt to read. The illustrations are also disappointing. The paperback is cheaply printed with one- or two-color line drawings or black-and-white photographs that are comical without much educational value. No diagrams or labeled body parts. Lastly, be prepared to hear about slugs and vomit for a few days -- and for the kids to share these topics during dinner with friends and family. It's too bad this wasn't written for a younger reader because I would encourage a pre-teenager to explore loftier topics.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh Out Loud Funny!!
    I purchased this book for my 12 year old son for Christmas. I have yet to wrap it because I am so interested in reading it! This is definitely a pretty disgusting book from a mom's point of view but I know my son will absolutely love it! Some of the illustrations are so gross they made me laugh out loud. There is a lot of scientific information hidden in this humorous encyclopedia. I have learned a lot already and I am only up to C. This book is a "must have" for any pre-teen or teenager, especially boys who are fascinated by disgusting things. I can't wait for another book by this author! Maybe social studies could be this humorous as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm a grownup and I loved it!
    I bought this for my kid, no I didn't, she's only 3, I b ought it for me and she can have it when she gets older. And I'm buying it for two of my friend's kids. I've always been fascinated with gross stuff like snot, pus, poop, gross foods, etc., and so are most kids. And by the way, my kid, and the two kids I'm buying this for, are girls. The facts are there, it's fun to read, and it might even get the kids to read more and practice good hygiene while they're at it (microscopic photos of worms and such may answer a few questions like "why do I have to wash my hands all the time?" Excellent. ... Read more


    17. How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers
    by Sharon Rose, Neil Schlager
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1579122744
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
    Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Pub
    Sales Rank: 2675
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For the enquiring mind
    If you enjoy learning about how things are made and how they work, then you will find this book a treasure trove of information. It goes beyond the more elementary "How Things Work" series, because it also covers the history, manufacture, materials, quality control, future evolution, and additional reading for many common household and technical objects. Behind its clever denim jeans pocket-clad cover, the book presents an alphabetical arrangement of items from airbags to zippers, including pencils, salsa, tires, helicopters, compact discs, lightbulbs, and many more.

    Besides the basic information mentioned above, there are sidebars and boxes containing additional fascinating facts about the products. Here are some examples:

    - The YKK symbol you see on most zippers stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, the manufacturer of most zippers since 1939.
    - The "pearl" in pearlized nail polish is actually produced from small pieces of fish scales and skin.
    - A guitar craftsman is known as a "luthier."
    - The largest consumer of rubber bands in the world is the U.S. Post Office.

    Not only is this a valuable reference for specific items you want to learn about, but you will enjoy opening it at random for the pleasure of discovering something new about something very ordinary. ... Read more


    18. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary: Selections from the 1755 Work That Defined the English Language
    by Samuel Johnson, Jack Lynch
    list price: $39.93
    our price: $31.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0802714218
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
    Publisher: Walker & Company
    Sales Rank: 22929
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Two volumes thick and 2,300 pages long, Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, published in 1755, marked a milestone in a language that, as Jonathan Swift and other writers had long lamented, was in desperate need of standards.The work of a great reader and writer, and an earnest compiler, it was the first English dictionary to devote so much space to everyday words; to be so resoundingly thorough in its definitions; and to illustrate usage by quoting from Shakespeare and other great writers.

    For the next 150 years, the Dictionary would define the language until the arrival of the Oxford English Dictionary.Johnson's was the dictionary for Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, Wordsworth and Coleridge, the Brontes and the Brownings, Thomas Hardy and Oscar Wilde. Modern dictionaries owe much to Johnson's work.

    This new edition, created by Levenger Press, contains more than 3,100 selections faithfully adapted from the original.Etymology, definitions, and illustrative passages appear in their entirety and are preserved in their original spelling.Bristling with quotations, the Dictionary offers a treasury of memorable passages on subjects ranging from books and critics to dreams and ethics.It also features three helpful new indexes created out of entries in this edition: Words found in Shakespeare's works; words from other great literary works; and piquant terms used in eighteenth-century discussions of such topics as law, medicine, and the sexes.Finally, Johnson's "The Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language," which he wrote eight years before the Dictionary and which is seldom seen in print, is reproduced in its entirety.

    To create his Dictionary, Johnson worked with the help of only six scribes and without benefit of a committee.Learned, curmudgeonly, passionate, and disciplined, he infused his work with a distinctive mix of scholarship, authority, and wit.For those who appreciate literature and love language, it is a browser's delight: An encyclopedia of the age and a dictionary for the ages. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still a Masterpiece, Just Wish This Ed Had More "Selections"
    Though at heart I'm strictly an OED man, and at work I tend to use the more practical Merriam-Webster's, I've always had a special place in my heart for Samuel Johnson's masterpiece, and I've cherished my facsimile copy (never had the $10,000 an original copy would set me back).

    I'm a huge fan of the quirky charm and literary excellence that went into this unabashedly biased dictionary, so I giddily anticipated this new edition. After flipping through it at the bookstore, however, I was a little disappointed that it didn't offer much over my old facsimile copy. Though the new edition does include Johnson's original "Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language," I have that printed in another volume, and the reduction of the book to "selections" really cuts the book too short to warrant my buying it again.

    That said, the entries that made the cut are still fabulous. You have to love a lexicographer ("a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge") who had the courage, interest, and patience to write an entire dictionary by himself but also had the modesty to admit that any mistakes were due to "ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance."

    5-0 out of 5 stars An all-star book available again for browsing
    .
    In the 18th century, dictionaries weren't just consulted, they were browsed. That was largely thanks to Samuel Johnson's mammoth 1755 achievement, wherein he defined not just the difficult words, but also common words found in everyday speech; to their definitions, he added illustrative quotations from the finest works -- creating a volume that was a pleasure to read, an education, and one which provoked the reader down long paths. If you have the AMS reprint of Johnson's Dictionary (reprinted in the 1970's) you know it's a heavy volume, and not easy to sit in your lap. But Jack Lynch has extracted over 3,000 of the entries into a volume you can not only hold in your lap, but enjoy reading: the print is not tiny, so it's no strain. And it's a pleasure to read.

    Jack Lynch has also provided an informative, breezy introduction, which puts Johnson's Dictionary in the context or prior efforts and those that followed, describes Johnson's task and process, and tells you the impact that Johnson had. A wonderful addition is in the back, wherein there are some great footnotes (such as, Johnson's definition of war was part of a US Supreme Court decision regarding the US decision to bomb Kosovo) and a reverse index of the types of words to be found... Jack Lynch ALSO provides a special Shakespearean index -- so you can look up which words Johnson supported with quotations from The Bard.

    I already had the 1970s reprint, as well as the Cambridge CD-ROM, and wasn't sure I needed this. But I'm glad I bought it, it's wonderful to have, even for me.(By the way, I am not related to Jack Lynch, so it's not like I'm a family member trying to boost his sales.) ... Read more


    19. So, You Want To Be Canadian: All About The Most Fascinating People In The World And The Magical Place They Call Home
    by Kerry Colburn, Rob Sorensen
    list price: $7.95
    our price: $7.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0811845354
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Sales Rank: 3113
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    Book Description

    So, you want to be Canadian? Who doesn't these days? Canucks are enjoying a major renaissance in attention, from their enlightened social policies to their wild and wooly pop culture. This playful, trivia-packed book is a long-overdue celebration of all things Canadian, from the mysteries of "eh?" to the difference between an Ogo Pogo and a Windingo to how to prepare moose stroganoff (mmm!). Featuring a dreamy list of Canadian hotties, a toe-tapping roundup of Canadian smash hit songs, a handy Canadian-American translator, and pointers on how to eat, dress, and apologize like a Canadian if you weren't lucky enough to be born a Canuck, So, You Want to Be Canadian demonstrates once and for all why Canada is so cool (formerly just cold). ... Read more


    20. The Civil War: Strange & Fascinating Facts
    by BURKE DAVIS
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0517371510
    Catlog: Book (1988-12-12)
    Publisher: Wings
    Sales Rank: 978
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Wonderfully entertaining look at some intriguing oddities, unusual incidents, and colorful personalities connected with the Civil War.Includes 25 names the war was known by, personal quirks of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and more, ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun reading
    Every Christmas, someone gives me a copy of this book. Even though I enjoyed it, PLEASE do not send me ANY MORE, as I have 9 copies already. This is a fun read, even if you are not a Civil War buff. It's historical trivia that goes a long way to show that people do not change. The ironic twists of fate, coincidence, the stupidty of war and the general folly of human nature. Here are stories of gallantry, humor, tragedy, fatal mistakes, famous onlookers and witnesses and sex, (oooh, hide the children!) From the human side of Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln to the "firsts" of the war (balloons used for signaling, underwater mines, large scale use of repeating rifles, telegraphs, etc) the casual reader will find plenty of tidbits to pass the time. I just wish the artwork had been better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars imagine that !
    If you thought you knew everything about the civil war than chances are you were wrong. I found out things in this book I never knew, like Robert E. Lee was buried without any shoes, an 8 year boy watched as Jefferson Davis was driven off to prison and that boy was Woodrow Wilson, plus so many other facts covered in this book.If you enjoy fascination facts than this book is for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars --Civil War Trivia--
    After a lifetime of reading, Burke Davis put together a book of amazing and interesting pieces of information that don't usually show up in the historical accounts of the Civil War.

    Here are a few examples of his research:
    The Civil War was known by more than twenty-five names. The most unusual: The Brothers War--The War to Suppress Yankee Arrogance--The War for the Union and The War of the Rebellion.

    Abraham Lincoln had smallpox when he gave the Gettysburg Address and several members of his wife's family were soldiers in the Confederate Army. Also President Lincoln admitted that one of his favorite tunes was "Dixie."

    General Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA had twenty-nine horses shot from beneath him during the war years. Belle Boyd started her career as a spy for the South when, at the age of seventeen, she killed a Federal soldier. After the war, about 3,000 former Confederate officers left the South and moved to foreign countries. And there's so much more to learn.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Civil War: Strange and Fascinating Facts (Wr. by Davis)
    Despite the title, these strange and fascinating facts may interest Civil War buffs, and not many others.

    Davis, the author of several history books, takes the little stories and factoids he has collected in research and put them all here in small episodes. To appreciate the value of these stories, the reader should have more than a passing knowledge of the Civil War. Many names, dates, battles, and the like are tossed around by an author who knows his subject, and requires his readers to know some, too.

    The stories here are very entertaining, covering subjects as varied as can be imagined. The Civil War was full of "firsts." Firsts include: successful submarine, hospital ships, tobacco and cigarette taxes, and presidential assassination. The book also mentions Confederate States president Jefferson Davis more than Abraham Lincoln, possibly because Davis is barely a footnote in high school history books today. Stonewall Jackson, Ulysses Grant, and Robert E. Lee are also profiled. One entertaining chapter debunks many myths surrounding Grant's drunken war behavior.

    Davis also gets serious, writing about widespread venereal disease on both sides, and the atrocities committed on civilians, which was evident on both sides as well.

    Davis' book was published in 1960, and once again the publishers have decided to reprint the book many times without updating it. Davis mentions the upcoming centennial of the war, and mentions descendants of the major figures of the war and what they are doing today, or at least today forty years ago. Another drawback here is the lack of an index, leaving a serious researcher to have to skim the book looking for useful information. The author also mentions prices for Civil War memorabilia at current auction prices...forty years ago. Davis writes that more people lost their lives in the Civil War than in all the wars from the Revolution to our most current conflict...Korea.

    I will recommend this book as a cursory page turner. As a displaced Texan who descends from three Confederate soldiers (that I know of), I appreciated Davis' balanced view of both sides of the conflict. Too often today we lose sight of the fact that over 600,000 people lost their lives in this war, and not many people know much about it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A solid look at many little-known aspects of the Civil War.
    This book was a welcome find when I was pulling together source material for my book, Everyday Life During the Civil War. As Burke Davis says, it is a serious book, and contains a wealth of information not easily gleaned from other sources; it is unfortunate that the words "strange" and "fascinating" seem to have given some the wrong impression of this work. I recommend it for anyone interested in the Civil War. ... Read more


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