Book of General Ignorance


The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

Reviewed by Rebecca Colbeck

Think Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Flawed facts, misunderstandings and badly written history books finally get the heave-ho in this humorous, downright humiliating book of re-education based on the phenomenal British bestseller. The Book of General Ignorance challenges what most of us assume to be verifiable truths in areas like history, literature, science, nature, and more. It is a witty compendium of how little we actually know about anything. It’ll have you scratching your head wondering why we even bother to go to school. This book reveals the truth behind all the things we think we know but don’t. It will leave you dumbfounded about all the misinformation you’ve managed to collect during your life, and sets you up to win big should you ever be a contestant on Jeopardy! (or at least enough useful/useless information to impress your drinking buddies) Besides righting the record on common (but wrong) myths like Captain Cook discovering Australia or that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, The Book of General Ignorance also gives us the skinny on lesser points of our human history such as Cinderella wore fur, not glass, slippers and chicken tikka masala was invented in Scotland, not India. Some other tidbits…… How long can a chicken live without its head? About two years. What do chameleons do? They don’t change color to match the background. Never have; never will. Complete myth. Utter fabrication. Total Lie. They change color as a result of different emotional states. How many toes has a two-toed sloth? It’s either six or eight. How many penises does a European earwig have? a)Fourteen b)None at all c)Two (one for special occasions) d)Mind your own business Which animals are the best-endowed of all? Barnacles. These unassuming modest beasts have the longest penis relative to their size of any creature. They can be seven times longer than their body. Who was the first American president? Peyton Randolph. Thomas Edison said that we know less than one millionth of one percent about anything. Convinced as I was as to the untruthfulness of that statement (at least in my case!), I was surprised to learn that I may not even know that much! The Book of General Ignorance, and the rest in the series are available in all bookstores, including your University of Lethbridge bookstore. Save 20% on all general reading books this month with your non-perishable food donation to the SU Food Bank.

Events Calendar

Monday, August 6, 2018 (All day)
The Bookstore will be closed Monday August 6, 2018 for Heritage Day.