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The Book of Useless Information

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  1,151 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
What you may so cavalierly call useless information could prove invaluable to someone else. Then again, maybe not. But to The Useless Information Society, any fact that passes its gasp-inducing, not-a-lot-of-people-know-that test merits inclusion in this fascinating but ultimately useless book...Did you know (or do you care)...

• That fish scales are used to make lipstick?
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by TarcherPerigee (first published June 26th 2006)
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Madeline
Nov 28, 2009 Madeline rated it it was ok
Fantastic bathroom reading. Here, have some random facts:

Every time Beethoven sat down to compose music, he poured ice water over his head.

Eosophobia is the fear of dawn.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

The average woman consumes six pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.

Charles de Gaulle's final words were "It hurts."

The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses.

If a statue of a person on a horse depicts the horse with both front legs in t
...more
Greg
Jun 16, 2009 Greg rated it did not like it
I love trivia but I simply couldn't keep reading this book only 89 pages in.

At first I found the book enjoyable, and used the trivia as a jumping off point for further research. But the research usually revealed a whole other side to the story. For example, the book says David Rice Atchison was President of the US for one day. Some of the circumstances around that day are extraordinary, but he was never sworn in or officially assigned President.

I got upset when I read the infamous "Nova in Mexic
...more
Michael Meyerhofer
May 22, 2008 Michael Meyerhofer rated it did not like it
I usually love this kind of "odd fact" book, but "The Ultimate Book of Useless Information" is nothing short of a train wreck. I noticed right away that even for a book of random facts, the sections are poorly written with almost no continuity or interesting detail. More importantly, though, it takes only a few minutes to spot errors that are so glaringly obvious, one wonders just what kind of rock this alleged author crawled out from.

For example, the author states that if the ice caps melted, t
...more
Kim
This book is full of random, silly, cute, odd, useless, interesting and funny little facts.

I'll spare you all from summing up a few but I do recommend reading it. It's one of those ideal 'I have a few moments to kill' books.

Cute!
Nicole
Apr 28, 2016 Nicole rated it did not like it
I was excited to get my hands on this book. However, I was disappointed because the facts are poorly researched. I thought this book would inspire many unique essay topics for my college classes, but upon some simple research I found that most "facts" I wanted to find more information on turned out to be false.

Conor Warren
Dec 26, 2015 Conor Warren rated it did not like it
A lot of the stuff in this book wasn't true upon further checking. I could tolerate a couple of mistakes. . .but this book just makes a lot of mistakes; it can also be very misleading.

Not trustworthy. What is the point of trivia if the shit you are saying isn't true?
Steve Scott
Sep 13, 2014 Steve Scott rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
This should be titled "The Useless Book Of Often Inaccurate Information". If you do a quick Google search of some of the "facts" stated herein you'll find some of them anything but factual.

Squirrels can't get rabies? Nope. Any mammal can, according to the CDC. Squirrels don't often contract it, but they could.

Mozart wrote "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" when he was five? Nope. When he was 25 he composed a number of variations on the already existing and very popular tune.

Attila the Hun was a dwa
...more
Laura
Oct 04, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: noone
Shelves: trivia
As a connoisseur of useless fact books, this one is unimpressive. Some facts within the book contradict other facts within the same book, for instance, on page 249, it states "the penguin is the only bird that can swim, but not fly." However, on page 244, it is stated that "the emu...can't fly, but it can swim."
Compared to the ultimate (my choice of descriptor - not referring to the specific book) Uncle John's Bathroom Readers, Mental Floss and the newer Armchair Readers,the Useless Information
...more
Cathie
Jan 02, 2014 Cathie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who like trivia
Recommended to Cathie by: kailan
Funny, interesting book full of, well, useless information! Some of the facts are really interesting, some not so, some of it I already knew (yeah, I already had my own reservoir of usless knowledge) and some left me shaking my head going "no way", "you can't be serious?!", or some other like statement. I shared tidbits of this book with whoever would listen and it started some really interesting and a few bizarre conversations. Useless information is good for conversation fodder.

I don't know if
...more
Jaclyn
May 29, 2011 Jaclyn rated it really liked it
I loved this book, but let's be honest, I love all things random. Fill 300 pages with useless information, and you have one very happy reader. The reason this book is not five stars is that Botham spent too long on the animal kingdom. I much rather would learn that Tommy Lee Jones and Al Gore were freshman roommates at Harvard or Louisa May Alcott hated children. She only wrote Little Women because her publisher asked her to. On that note, I better go get out Trivial Pursuit because at least one ...more
Sam
Jan 23, 2009 Sam added it
Noel Botham's The Book of Useless Information, mesmerized my mind but giving me facts I found out and I didn't need to find out. Did you know that 2 out of 5 guys admit that they don't say I love you to their wife. You get filled with wonderful knowledge about facts from U.S. Presidents to Egyptians from 500 B.C. You may know some facts and yet you may be dumbfounded about learing a new fact. I recommend this book for the fact of you will become a more knowledgeable person full of useless inform ...more
Niki
Aug 18, 2009 Niki rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Niki by: Stumbled upon it
Essentially just random facts about random things. Totally insane and amazing stuff in here, I read snippets all the time and bore people with my new facts. I have bought this book for a few people already and I'm always getting emails from them with great facts they found.

Example: In Saskatchewan, it is illegal to frown at a cow.

Waynes World was shot in 2 weeks.

And I'm forgetting all my facts already. Time for another re-read!
Carson The Great
Apr 29, 2008 Carson The Great rated it it was amazing
Funny! Learn things you never though you needed to no, and probobly don't. Back Cover:

Did you know...
That fish scales are used to make lipstick?
Why organized crime accounts for 10 percent of the U.S.'s income?
The name of the first CD in the U.S.?
The last year that can be written upside down or right side up and look the same... and much, much, more!
Mike Da Silva
May 22, 2008 Mike Da Silva rated it really liked it
This is the type of book that was made for bathrooms. You can pick it up, flip it open to any page, and read away. Full of interesting little tidbits you never needed to know.
Bill Bennett
Aug 20, 2014 Bill Bennett rated it liked it
Recommended to Bill by: bought it at a used book sale
a fun read, but probably not all that accurate. The author said it all with his last entry "97% of all statistics are made up". Keep it in the bathroom to fill the time, it'll humor you.
Sheila
May 13, 2008 Sheila rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love learning new and odd facts!
Al
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it liked it

From the creators of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Useless Information comes another enlightening, entertaining, and ultimately useless assortment of trivia.

If you find yourself transfixed by the most trivial of trivia, or mesmerized by the most minor of minutiae, The Useless Information Society's latest findings can satisfy your every need. This wide-ranging collection will fill every nook and cranny of your brain with information you'll surely never need, but will enjoy lear

...more
Emily Gonzalez
Nov 13, 2014 Emily Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So... I totally get some of the reviews. Some of these facts are not only useless, but boring as well. I mean, you can pick a topic and start talking about every uncommon fact about it, and bam! There you have it, a full book of useless facts about something in particular... It's not that interesting to read ten facts in a row about something you literally have no interest in. Useless, but then again... Useless information will remain useless. Although it was slightly boring to get through, some ...more
Mike
Feb 21, 2010 Mike rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ramon Duterte
Jun 04, 2011 Ramon Duterte rated it it was ok
Not really a book, so much as it is a list of facts. I mean, it literally just lists facts. "Nutmeg is poisonous if injected intravenously." Done. Next fact. "Penguins are the only bird that can swim but can't fly." Bam. Next fact. Repeat.

So it's actually great for bathroom reading or for those quick, couple minute waits. I actually moved this book from my tablet to my phone for that reason.

But as a book it's pretty lame, and I also have a problem with some of the facts, since I know some of the
...more
Andreina
Sep 18, 2012 Andreina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book is really interesting. This book is all about facts -useless information of course, but information nonetheless- that won't appear on any school quiz or anything like that, which is a shame because this book has really interesting facts and kept my attention all the way through the end.

I'm lucky to have a thrift shop nearby, and they have all these kind of books in stock. I picked this one up on a whim, thinking "maybe I can use this information one day, and impress people with all thi
...more
Jarrett Shapiro
Nov 02, 2013 Jarrett Shapiro rated it really liked it
This book is interesting, and my only complaint so far is of its randomness, but the author(s) make up for that by organizing much of their information into sections. This book doesn't necessarily draw you in at all, but is a great read for a time killer if you just want to know useless information. I definitely think this is worth a read if you like to learn things, but I will mention that this is not a story, there is no plot, no characters, and no climax. If you can get past that, it is worth ...more
Ana
Dec 15, 2007 Ana rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This sort of book was created thinking of someone exactly like me, from the adorable squirrel on the cover - 'Squirrel! There's a squirrel on the cover! I must get it!' - to the oodles and oodles of self-admittedly useless information contained therein which i absolutely loved to absorb. Not really a 'to be read in one sitting' book, I found it to be the best book to dip into right before going to sleep. Nothing relaxes me more than learning about the favorite food of the Basques, or some other ...more
Julien V
Aug 11, 2016 Julien V rated it did not like it
OH GOD WHY... Pourquoi je me fais autant de mal? Même dans une toilette sans rien d'autre à lire, ça serait horrible. En ebook (gratuit, thank jeebus) c'est de la pure torture.

L'information inutile est elle-même très souvent fausse, ou incroyablement datée. Quelqu'un pourrait arranger au hasard des bouts de wikipedia et ça donnerait quelque chose de plus fiable.

Est-ce que j'ai encore des cellules qui fonctionnent? Une capacité de jugement critique? Arrgh!
Phleghm
Apr 19, 2011 Phleghm rated it liked it
Perfect toilet reading. Surprisingly addictive, considering there is no story whatsoever, and most of the information as such, is uselessly useless. And sometimes bullshit haha. But, the exceptions are what makes up for it.

Don't consider it a book, rather a newspaper of sorts, and it will work.

The only question I have now is.. What the hell do I do with this huge amount of more or less useless information in my head?
Tyler
Sep 22, 2008 Tyler rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves useless facts
I think this book was very good for anyone who likes to hear about facts that arent very useful in daily life. But for any information junkie i would recomend this. i like this book because it teaches you things that probally you didnt know. but for people looking for an actual novel i dont recomend this book to you. This book gives lots of good facts and funny laws and all diffrent kinds of things that you would probally like to learn about.
Puna
Oct 21, 2014 Puna rated it did not like it
Take all this useless information with a grain of salt. It clearly weren't researched very well...if at all. Had to stop when I read a 'fact' I knew was TOTALLY false. "One of the many Tarzans, Karmuala Searlel, was mauled to death by a raging elephant on the set." Um, no. He's name was Kamuela Searle, he played the son of Tarzan & Jane, and he was injured by an elephant on set but only missed a few days of work.
Eric
May 07, 2015 Eric rated it did not like it
Zero stars. I thought this might be a bit of light entertainment, but I can't bear to read any further. Many of the supposedly little known facts are actually quite well known, and due to what I can only assume was very poor or at least lazy research many are out and out wrong. Honestly, I doubt much, if any, research was done at all. I did not and will not finish this. Even an hour of your life is too much to waste on this book.
Rosa Folgar
Feb 10, 2011 Rosa Folgar rated it liked it
lots of random things I never knew before. Things you never even thought to wonder about. Was a good read for those boring as heck moments in life, like line at the bank or waiting in the car for someone. Not a page turner per se, but its not written like a novel. Its really just listing of a bunch of useless facts, that at least are fun when they pop in your head and spark conversation. LOL. enjoyed it.
Hadi Wijaya
Jul 26, 2011 Hadi Wijaya rated it it was amazing
I like to read this book in the middle of relaxing. There are many useless but funny facts that make you smile to know those facts.

This book is actually better to be read daily, don't go too fast. Read it like you read news in newspaper. The information is very much unchangeable so don't worry about it.

For me, I have recapitulated some very interesting facts and will post in my blog to memorize it.
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In 1995, a secret society was formed comprising Britain's foremost thinkers, writers, and artists to explore the world's most bizarre nooks and crannies and to trade and share useless information (or, as founding member Keith Waterhouse, playwright and journalist, would have it, "totally bloody useless")-usually over a pint or two at a local pub. Now, The Useless Information Society shares its fin ...more
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