Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong” as Want to Read:
The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,586 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
From the brains behind The Book of General Ignorance comes another wonderful collection of the most outrageous, fascinating, and mind-bending facts, taking on the hugely popular form of the first book in the internationally bestselling series.

The original Book of General Ignorance was published in 2006. It has since been translated into twenty-six languages and sold over 1
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Crown (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Second Book of General Ignorance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Second Book of General Ignorance

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
David Ward
Jun 01, 2016 David Ward rated it liked it
The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know is Still Wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (Crown Publishers 2010) (031.02). This is a big book of short essays. The essays serve to debunk commonly held truths and beliefs. As it turns out, much of the shared store of general human knowledge is just plain wrong, as this book demonstrates over and over. Some of the topics include: “How many legs does an octopus have?”, “At what temperature does water freeze?”, and “Where d ...more
May 01, 2015 M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yan-okumalar
En az ilk kitabi kadar akici olan bu kitabin, tipki ilki gibi en buyuk eksikligi "referans" gostermemesi. Ornek olarak, ucaklarin diskiyi asagi atmadigini soyleyen bolumu, sadece Ingiltere'nin ucus kurallarina kati uyma zorunlulugu nedeniyle iyi uygulanabiliyor olabilir ama Turkiye'de bazi firmalarin dondurulmus diskiyi ucaktan asagi attigi rapor edilmistir.
Dolayisiyla kitapta gecen "bu asla olmaz, boyle bir sey asla yapilmamaktadir" gibi kesin ifadeler gu
Dane Cobain
Mar 14, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’ve read my review of the original Q.I. Book of General Ignorance then you ought to know roughly what to expect. Lloyd and Mitchinson, the two men who were behind the show’s creation in the first place, are back again to debunk some more of the myths and misunderstandings that plague our modern society. If you’re anything like me then you like to be correct, and this book is the perfect book to help you be just that.

I mean, this really is just an extension of the first book – it’s as simpl
As always, wonderfully entertaining for what it is. It's a whole bundle of totally random facts, most of them setting right false assumptions: naturally, it's not very organised, although there is a contents page if you want to try and skip to a specific point. It's a pleasure to read, and I really liked that it has quotes from the show at the end of some sections -- the only problem is that then generally I've seen the episode, so I'm not ignorant about that particular subject.
Paola Gabriella
#49: Un libro basado o que se convirtió en un programa de televisión
3.5 estrellas
Este libro lo compré porque adoro totalmente el programa QI y apenas vi que uno de los libros de hecos curiosos escritos por las "dos cabezas pensantes detrás del programa" sabía que necesitaba tenerlo.

Es un libro que disfruté mientras leía, pero que me costaba animarme a tomarlo en el primer lugar. Al ser una recopilación de datos curiosos no es como si la intriga te mantiene al borde de tu asiento y te hace necesi
Mar 24, 2012 Manda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve become quite interested in factual books as of late and the second book of general ignorance is perfect to fill my need. Facts are something that has always interested me and can be used in almost any situation. Say you’re at a party for instance and the party just isn’t in swing mode but rather like an old people’s home? Throw a fact into the air, that’ll get people talking or just have people looking at you weird while secretly making mental notes to avoid you for the rest of the night.

Anyone who is a fan of the British television show, QI (a mock game show, known for it's humor and intelligence) knows how hard it is to see one of the books associated with the program and simply pass it by. When I saw this I knew that I couldn't just leave it on the shelf, knowingly walking away from something that is connected to a group of people that I hold so dear in my squishy, nerdy heart.

Also, it has a bright yellow cover and you should know that yellow covers are a weak spot for me.

Martin Valbuena
Oct 20, 2016 Martin Valbuena rated it liked it
This book contains many amazing facts that you wouldn't believe to be true until you read it yourself. It also contains an index telling where you can find which fact even those that aren't specifically about that fact but still in one of the paragraphs. This allows one to better find things they want to read. One of my few complaints is the fact that unlike the first book which contained many interesting quotes on the side this ones seem to have some comedic skits surrounding the subject which ...more
Jun 30, 2014 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This has been sat in our bathroom along with a range of similar books, and I've read it over the course over a few months by reading a question and answer every now and then and slowly working my way though the book. I wouldn't recommend it to be read in one sitting, but it's enjoyable to read in small doses to learn something new. While I imagine most people would dip in and out of it randomly, it's arranged thematically, with one question often leading into the next and works well being read i ...more
Very similar to the first book. The idea wears thin after a while but was still interesting enough to get me through. I think I'll wait a while before I read the animal edition.
Allereerst, de Nederlandse titel is verkeerd en geeft een verkeerde indruk van de inhoud van het boek. De originele titel is 'The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong', en moest dus vertaald worden als, bijvoorbeeld, 'algemene onwetenheid', aangezien er feitjes worden behandeld die je vroeger wel geleerd hebt, maar nu niet meer weet (en ontkracht worden) of die, afhankelijk van de omstandigheden, triviaal of irrelevant zijn. Maar in elk geval zijn veel ...more
Nick Davies
Jan 17, 2016 Nick Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not completely straight-forward to review non-fiction - especially a book such as this without a specific 'subject', and which probably is read by most people as a toilet book or coffee table book.

This was, however, full of interesting trivia and pretty enjoyable mental strolls.. and I thought the theme of 'general ignorance' - i.e. in disproving all those things which so many of us assume to be the case - did work well, a lot better than many of those 'did you know...?' books without as c
Mar 29, 2014 Tom rated it liked it
The first thing that came to mind in reading this book was Cecil Adams Straight Scoop column. This seems to be a British take on the idea of researching trivial or outlandish topics. More specifically, John Lloyd attempts to debunk popularly held beliefs. Whether he always does this successfully, I think, is a matter of opinion. However, the book is quite entertaining, full of all kinds of little factoids presented in a wry and amusing way.
Feb 12, 2014 Eddie rated it liked it
I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this, given that I try to rein in my trivia buff side and avoid the black hole of pedantry, and also because I can't stand QI. Unsurprisingly, it is a bit pedantic, there are some fairly meaningless excerpts from QI, and Stephen Fry's introduction irritated me just as much as I expected. With that said, it's an entertaining distraction.
Jul 24, 2013 Abhimanyu rated it really liked it
The book was fun. I cannot possibly see water in the same light here after. The end bang about immortal Turritopsis was awesome. I never realized how much entertaining being wrong and then corrected was before the first book of general ignorance and this tome backs that up. It was a scientific, historical and linguistic roller coaster ride that will not fade from my memory that easily.

The book follows a simple pattern.
Hey, you know this popular notion that you swear by? Well, that's wrong. This
Apr 18, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
This is a rather silly book but it is perfect for bathroom reading, being divided into several hundred "chapters" by a Q&A format. Like the first "Book of General Ignorance" (2006), it draws on the British television game show "Quite Interesting." A quiz show, the last round of QI is called the "General Ignorance" round. In it, questions to which the answers are seemingly obvious are asked but the answers are never what is commonly believed to be true. The host of the television show, Stephe ...more
Koen Crolla
QI is one of the most insidiously anti-intellectual programmes on television right now; so harmful precisely because it presents itself as ``smart''. Its General Ignorance segment and, by extension, this book, distil the worst of it: self-satisfied, under-sourced trivia, misinterpreted and at best (though usually not even) only technically correct, presented by smug idiots who think their lack of qualifications makes them, if anything, more suited to talk down to the general public.
Garbage like
Todd Burnett
Hmm.... An interesting read ... if you want to read interesting things.

This is a bit of a factoid compendium. It'll make you think. It won't make you go "Wow! Cool! Awesome!" at any point.

If you're into trivia, QI, or are just a fan of factoids, then I'd recommend this book.
Luis Cardenas
Oct 13, 2016 Luis Cardenas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esas preguntar que uno nunca se ha hecho y aquellas respuestas que uno asumía eran las correctas son el contenido de este pequeño gran libro de la ignorancia, que no deja de sorprender y de aumentar el numero de detalles útiles que pueden ser esgrimidos en cualquier conversación o fiesta.
Dec 10, 2015 kashiichan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who watches QI will have heard these factoids before, but the book is a great reminder and still very interesting. Quotes from the episodes are included for some entries, which is a nice touch and really make me want to re-watch the show.
Mar 12, 2015 Lorraine rated it really liked it
If you love QI, or just love reading about random things, then this is a book for you! From the non-existance of fish to the origin of the word cleavage, it is filled with marvellously strange and interesting facts.
Feb 24, 2014 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
An interesting book, but it doesn't pack the same punch that the first one did. I blew through the first one, and this one I had to force myself to get through. One thing I didn't understand about this book is why the authors decided to punctuate it with their own quips and conversation snippets. The jokes weren't funny (though maybe that's just me), and a few times they were just absurd. I started ignorning them about 1/3 of the way through. I would say the original Book of General Ignorance ge ...more
Daren Girard
Jan 11, 2014 Daren Girard rated it liked it
This is another “second” book. It is a compilation of trivia that focuses on common misconceptions. There are 187 entries on various topics from history, science, geography, sports, etc. Each question seems obvious, but you soon find out that the “conventional wisdom” or “rule of thumb,” can be wide of the mark. There are many fascinating (but useless) facts that make it fun to read.
Mushisho Azhar
Dec 22, 2015 Mushisho Azhar rated it really liked it
It was informative, witty and quite entertaining. You get to laugh and learn something new (or correct your wrong knowledge)
Sergei Kasoverskij
Feb 10, 2016 Sergei Kasoverskij rated it really liked it
As in the first book there is a shift into UK and US specifics. But overall great and hilarious.
Jan 10, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. I love how it can twist everything you know and tell you everything you have been taught is wrong to some degree. Who knew that Octopuses actually have two legs and Celtic priests wore horned helmets, not the Vikings. I mean really. This is a brilliant book for people who love facts, and love learning weird things that actually come in handy if you like to counteract what people think they know about everything. There are a bunch more in the QI book series and I implore you a ...more
Anita Williamson
Mar 10, 2014 Anita Williamson rated it really liked it
I guess I enjoyed the first one so much that I read its sequel.
Anna Belsham
Aug 09, 2016 Anna Belsham rated it it was amazing
Learning interesting things in bite-size chunks :)
Rachel England-Brassy
May 15, 2014 Rachel England-Brassy rated it really liked it
totally useful useless information. wonderful.
I bought this simply becayse I love the TV show so much, and I surprised myself by actually reading the entire book without skipping over some of the less interesting parts. I had thought that I would do that, but the whole book was actually very entertaining. At times really funny (loved the little quotes from the TV show) and mostly interesting in some way.

The only thing that was slightly annoying, was that I knew some of it already from watching QI on the television. But I got over that. Def
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mental Floss: Scatterbrained
  • The Secret Olympian: The inside story of the Olympic experience
  • That Book: ...of Perfectly Useless Information
  • How Hard Can It Be? (World According to Clarkson, #4)
  • Never Shower in a Thunderstorm
  • mental_floss: The Book: The Greatest Lists in the History of Listory
  • Why Can't Elephants Jump?: And 101 Other Tantalising Science Questions
  • You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters
  • D.I.Y. Dentistry and Other Alarming Inventions
  •'s Ultimate Book of Bizarre Lists: Fascinating Facts and Shocking Trivia on Movies, Music, Crime, Celebrities, History, and More
  • You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News
  • The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College: College
  • Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words
  • The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome
  • Napoleon's Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped
  • The Book of Useless Information
  • The Utterly, Completely, And Totally Useless Fact-o-pedia
  • 1,001 Facts That Will Scare the S#*t Out of You: The Ultimate Bathroom Reader
John Hardress Wilfred Lloyd CBE is a British comedy writer and television producer. Lloyd was Trinity College, Cambridge, where he befriended and later shared a flat with Douglas Adams. He worked as a radio producer at the BBC 1974–1978 and created The News Quiz, The News Huddlines, To The Manor Born (with Peter Spence) and Quote... Unquote (with Nigel Rees). He wrote Hordes of the Things with And ...more
More about John Lloyd...

Share This Book

“The phrase “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” is often said to refer to a metallic grid with circular holes in it, set under a pyramid of cannonballs on a ship’s deck to keep it stable. When this “brass monkey” got cold enough, the metal contracted and the cannonballs all popped out. In fact, the phrase means exactly what it says; the fake nautical euphemism is an attempt to make its rude humor more acceptable.” 1 likes
“Black holes generate sound. There’s one in the Perseus cluster of galaxies, 250 million light-years away. The signal was detected in 2003 in the form of X-rays (which will happily travel anywhere) by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory satellite. No one will ever hear it, though. It’s 57 octaves lower than middle C: over a million billion times deeper than the limits of human hearing. It’s the deepest note ever detected from any object anywhere in the universe and it makes a noise in the pitch of B flat—the same as a vuvuzela.” 0 likes
More quotes…