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Mental Floss: Genius Instruction Manual

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  183 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Remember that time you bumped into Stephen Hawking at the clambake and his monologue on string theory went completely over your head? Man, was that awkward. Or remember the time you were at a party and someone asked, "Who knows how to perform open-heart surgery?" and you were the only one who didn't raise your hand?

Well, put all of that embarrassment behind you. Want to da
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published October 31st 2006)
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Aug 17, 2015 puppitypup rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Trivia Hit and miss

Not a book I would normally read, I needed a short Trivia book for the Seasonal Reading Challenge.

I have mixed feelings on this one. The narration is, for the most part, funny and unpretentious, the math and science fascinating, but the rest, I could have done without.

(The rest being lots of facts about authors and artists I don't care for, all from an elitist, leftist point of view. I've never been one to idolize celebrity, that may account for my dismal reaction here.)

On th
Jan 14, 2009 gamb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trivial-pursuits
One of my previous bathroom books--it too functioned exceedingly well in that capacity. It didn't make me a genius, but it did make me laugh.

From the book's overview of Shakespeare's plays: "So poorly regarded that some scholars think Shakespeare wrote it as a joke, Cymbeline stars Posthumus (that's his name) , who gets kicked out of a kingdom for secretly marrying the king's daughter, which leads to a series of events so convoluted that in Act V, Scene IV, the god Jupiter descends from heaven a
Jan 23, 2016 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a shallow, often incorrect, not very funny attempt at a trivia book. As a rule I don't expect trivia books to be examples of great literature. I mean, come on, they were designed as call of nature reading. However, I am a stickler for them being correct. There were too many errors I caught off the top of my head in this text to believe that there were not many more I did not catch. As its premise is that it presents interesting facts, the admission of quite a few incorrect statements, es ...more
Jun 23, 2008 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an eclectic book of historical facts about geniuses, ranging from their choice in clothes, pets, sciences, and ways to hook up. For those who aren't geniuses, this is a way to make fun of them for being just as human. For geniuses who fit the bill, make fun of yourself.

This book pokes fun at the fact that genius is not just an inherent trait; it has its own culture. Thus, it is subjected to the same qualities that all other Groups exhibit.
Heydi Smith
This one was a little random for me but I love Mental Floss everything in general so it works.
Nov 27, 2008 Cassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love the "genius" writers at Mental Floss. So far I am learning quite a lot to fake my way through any conversational situation. I am enjoying reading this in bits and pieces. It is a fun, easy, humorous read. And I will definitely declare myself a "genius" when I am done.
Feb 26, 2013 Dayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect book to keep in one's purse or glove compartment. When going on errands, I always pack it up. What I love best in this book, is the summary of each of Shakespeare's plays. Funny!

Also, it was written by Peter and Paul of the Peter, Paul and Mary fame.
William Mckamie
Sometimes amusing. Mildly funny. Quick read.
Apr 27, 2008 Allanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, I do adore the books by Mental_Floss.

This one teaches you about geniuses and things that geniuses should know ... so you can at least disguise yourself as a genius.
Aug 22, 2009 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I laughed out loud several times. Which is a rare occurence for me when I'm reading. Or maybe I'm just reading the wrong books. Anyway...simply hi-larious.
Stephanie Griffin
Dec 23, 2013 Stephanie Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please read my full review here:
Michael Briggs
I thought it was a good read, but noting earth shattering is revealed. it is pretty intereating how genius is so close to madness...
May 17, 2013 Kendra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stopped reading when I reached the part where the author said Benedick was in love with Hero in Much Ado about Nothing.
Feb 25, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed how the book was written. Interesting to see what ties all of history's smartest people together.
Jun 25, 2015 Kanishka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

Is so damn awesome. it's such a fun read. and bonus, was co-authored by John green!
Jul 18, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, humor, 2009
This had some interesting facts. Something that I could focus on in the middle of the night.
This book is perfect for bathroom reading with its short-form article chapters.
Cheryl Lindstrom
a fun read, with some interesting facts.
Shahirah Rashid
It's official. I now ownthe geniusish.
Mar 03, 2012 Farah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stacy rated it it was amazing
Jul 19, 2016
Angella Rascoe
Angella Rascoe rated it it was amazing
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Jul 10, 2016
Caryn Lange
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Kai Sullivan rated it it was amazing
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Albert Wong
Albert Wong rated it it was amazing
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Roger Pavey
Roger Pavey rated it it was ok
May 22, 2016
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Randy Micek rated it it was amazing
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Mental Floss (also credited as mental_floss) is a trivia and humor magazine.

mental_floss is a bi-monthly American magazine, launched in 2001 in Birmingham, Alabama, that presents facts and trivia in a humorous way. is also host to a popular blog, which contains additional trivia, features, and interesting news articles.
More about Mental Floss...

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