30 March, 2016

The QI book of general ignorance: the noticeably stouter edition by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson.

Most readers will have seen the QI programme on television (where QI stands for ‘Quite Interesting’) in which Stephen Fry is the quiz master of a game- show that seeks out interesting facts and exposes popular myths and beliefs.

This is labelled as “The Noticeably Stouter Edition”; there have been a number of QI books published and this further volume in the series. It is a thick little paperback that is packed with facts and trivia.

It contains about 300 different topics,  Each starts with a simple question, then there is about a page of background, explanation and researched facts, which generally discredit the conventional understanding of the question.

The subjects are diverse – the universe, history, famous people, biology, medicine. The first question raised is “How many wives did Henry VIII have?”  We all know it was six.  But no, after reviewing the details of each of his marriages, we find out that legally, it was two.  And “How many toes has a two-toed sloth?” – the correct answer is six or eight.

What is the best floor of a building to throw a cat from?  The answer is anything above the seventh floor. From seven and above, cats are able to orientate themselves into a shape to reduce their velocity and land safely. Below seven, they can’t do this fully and can land with more impact.

This is a fun book to just pick up and delve into anywhere.  You will be amazed and amused.  Finally, how many commandments are mentioned in the Bible?  Ten?  Wrong.  The answer is 613.

Title: The QI book of general ignorance: the noticeably stouter edition.
Author: John Lloyd and John Mitchinson.

Reviewed by: Ana, Central Library

Ana enjoys reading and listening to music, travelling and many other things. She reads fiction, non-fiction and from genres, crime: the Scandinavian crime writers, Patricia Highsmith and some others.

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