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The Book of Lists by David Wallechinsky
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The Book of Lists

by David Wallechinsky (Author), Amy Wallace (Author), Irving Wallace (Author), David Wallechinsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Book of Lists (1)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
The original still the best when it comes to weird lists. It's almost as if authors Wallechinski and Wallace (x2) realised that this would be the perfect book to usher me into teenagehood. As a very callow youth I read this, and wondered who the hell William Carlos Williams (to name just one person) was, why the hell a protest against an English actor would lead to riots and deaths, and where the hell was Praslin Island?

Once I finished (and read over again and again), I went searching t answer the myriad questions I had from reading this book, and thus I can probably link "The Book of Lists" to my prodigious knowledge of useless trivia. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Sep 17, 2014 |
I really cant put into words how much this book affected me when I first read it as a teenager in the late 70's I had always had a thing for lists, I used to compile things like lists of crew for imaginary ships and carefully detail what each's duties would be. Then suddenly I discovered a book that was nothing but lists and I was in hog heaven! I remember taking it on the school bus and reading the more salacious lists to my friends, who were duly appreciative. But I also remember consuming in my quiet time all the other lists, the quoting of which would immediate signpost you as a hopeless geek. Lists of history, geography, politics, literature. I loved all of them. I've been a compulsive listmaniac ever since, and can be guaranteed to purchase on sight any book with "list" in its title. I have probably read now more than 200 list type books, but this one will always remain No. 1 in my heart. ( )
  drmaf | Oct 3, 2013 |
This book has a special place in my heart. If I recall, I discovered it in 5th or 6th grade and quickly acquired all of the series that I could. Even then, in the ‘90s, the book was hopelessly out of date and a few of the lists had to be taken with a grain of salt but, as I did not yet have access to the internet, this was one of the finest sources of random trivia and bizarre facts available to me. I loved every page of it (with the exception, I suppose, of the chapter devoted to sports) and poured over each list, taking down notes and lists of my own. Divided into sections by topic, Crime, Literature, Nature, Art, etc., there were all sorts of tidbits to blow my eleven year old mind. I remember bringing them everywhere so as to be able to look up amusing facts for friends and classmates at short notice, at one point dropping a copy into a mud puddle at recess and having to painstakingly dry the thick little paperback.

Compiled by a father, sibling team, the lists reflect the time period they were written, but have a witty, casual style and, in addition to lists of facts like the ten countries where the highest percent of men and women live to 85, there are lists consisting of the opinions of famous people such as the ten worst movies of all time (circa 1977). Whether it was the five most hated people in history (1970-1976), the nine dog breeds that bite the least, or fifteen authors who wrote best sellers in prison, I learned a lot (particularly in the section on sex). In the end, I feel that there was definitely an influence there on shaping my interest in organizing knowledge and sparking my eclectic, multidisciplinary interests in learning as much as I could.

Reading it today brought back this feeling of awe at the endless variety of weird stuff in the world throughout time, and I smiled as I remember being amazed or shocked by various facts that I now remember having been confirmed or questioned in my later education. The yellowed, slightly brittle pages still have that nice, slightly sweet tinge of a ‘70s era paperback, redolent of library book sales and middle school classrooms. The Books of Lists are probably entirely redundant now, what with new lists of bizarre, random amusing facts being posted by the hundreds daily on websites such as Cracked and BuzzFeed. How much influence have these books had on the other 20 and 30 somethings who make these online compilings? I wonder. ( )
1 vote Spoonbridge | Aug 9, 2013 |
The Book of Lists - The Original Compendium of Curious Information by David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace is a clever non-fiction collection of trivia and interesting stories and information broken down into the following chapters:
People
Movies
The Arts
Food and Health
Animails
Work and Money
Sex, Love and Marriage
Crime
War, Politics and World Affairs
Travel
Literature
Words
Sports
Death
Miscellaneous

The book gets its title because all information contained within each chapter is presented in list form. For example, in Chapter 1, People, we have a list of 6 People Whose Names Were Changed By Accident; which happens to include: Buddy Holly and Oprah Winfrey.

Here are some of my favourite lists from the book:
8 Memorable Lines Erroneously Attributed To Film Stars (Movies)
10 Famous Insomniacs (Food & Health)
10 Really Unusual Medical Conditions (Food & Health)
The Cat Came Back: 9 Cats Who Travelled Long Distances To Return Home (Animals)
15 Famous People Who Worked In Bed (Work & Money)
11 Most Unusual Objects Sold on eBay (Work & Money)
Witticisms of 9 Condemned Criminals (Crime)
29 Words Rarely Used In Their Positive Form (Words)
10 Celebrated People Who Read Their Own Obituaries (Death)
16 Famous Events That Happened In The Bathtub (Miscellaneous)

The Book of Lists is the perfect book to have on the coffee table so that others may enjoy the obscure trivia and hilarity within its pages. I also found it a great accompaniment to a novel I was reading at the time; enabling me to interchange quite easily depending on my mood.

The Book of Lists contains a wide variety of interesting tidbits, and I just hope I can remember them all. ( )
1 vote Carpe_Librum | Jun 24, 2013 |
Addicting and charming. I've spent too many hours idly leafing through this book. As reviewer relah says, who would have though O.J. Simpson would top the 1976 list of boys' and girls' top 10 heroes and heroines. ( )
  TadpoleAngel | Feb 1, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (95 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wallechinsky, DavidAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, AmyAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, IrvingAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallechinsky, Davidmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Swanenburg, B.D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swanenburg-Lopes Dias, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Flora, with love, David; For Sylvia, with love, David, Amy and Irving
First words
"The human animal differs from the lesser primates in his passion for lists of Ten Best," wrote H. Allen Smith.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688031838, Hardcover)

The People's Almanac Presents the Book of Lists

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Thousands of facts are presented in lists grouped under such headings as "What's in a Name," "America the Beautiful," "Crime and Punishment," "Arty Facts," "From Head to Toe," "The Sporting Life," and "Coming Attractions"

» see all 2 descriptions

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