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The Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information    by Noel Botham & Travis Nichols order for
Totally Awesome Book of Useless Information
by Noel Botham
Order:  USA  Can
Perigee, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although this is a very quick read it is also the kind of book you'll want to return to again and again as well as share with friends.

In the regular sense of the word, this is not really a book. There are no characters, there is no plot and you'll be hard pressed to find any action. That being said, what you will find here are page after page of snippets of information that will make you smile, shake your head in wonder and definitely insist on sharing with family and friends.

I was less than five pages into the book before I had to test the accuracy of this useless piece of information; 'One in every four Americans has appeared on television.' My wife was talking on the phone with our daughter in Washington, so I broke into the conversation. 'Have either of you two ever been on TV?'

The disgusted reply came from my daughter. 'Dad, how could you forget that Mom was on Jeopardy years ago? And, yes, I've been on TV too!'

Oops! Well, I stuck my foot in that one, but it did bear out the odd fact. In fact, all three of us had been on TV at least once so that defied the odds.

That's what happens when you read this collection of random but fascinating information. You are tempted to share, jot down or at least in some way mark the material that captures your fancy.

For example, you'll discover that squirrels can climb trees faster than they can run on the ground, rats can tread water for three days without stopping and reindeer like to eat bananas.

Not into weird animals facts? How about geography? Did you know that Venice has four hundred bridges or that the farthest point from any ocean is in China? Or that Singapore is the only country with only one train station?

Then there's the 'I'm not really surprised' category of facts. These include such informational gems as cows pass about sixteen times a day and more toilets flush during the halftime of the Super Bowl than at any other time of the year.

I already knew that the Oreo was the world's bestselling cookie and that the sandwich was invented and named after the Earl of Sandwich. But, I didn't realize that Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy or that Totally Hair Barbie is the best-selling Barbie of all time.

As you thumb through this book you'll probably think to yourself, 'Wow, who would have guessed that?' Or, better still, 'Who cares?'

But, that is precisely what makes this such an entertaining, fun little book. This is pretty useless stuff that may help you win a trivia contest or make it onto Jeopardy, but perhaps little else!

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