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A Book of Ages: An Eccentric Miscellany of Great and Offbeat Moments in the Lives of the Famous and Infamous, Ages 1 to 100
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A Book of Ages: An Eccentric Miscellany of Great and Offbeat Moments in the Lives of the Famous and Infamous, Ages 1 to 100

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews

The day we turn any age, we become contemporaries of everyone who has ever been that age, and it becomes our business to know that Bob Dylan wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” when he was twenty, Orson Welles cowrote, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane when he was twenty-five, Winston Churchill was fi
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Crown (first published January 1st 2008)
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Aug 27, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: anyone with a birthday
Shelves: birthday-gifts
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Rather than include all the obvious moments (Napoleon's Waterloo and Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling) I tried to collect as many of the odd and interesting moments as I could find in a few hundred famous lives: Freud seeing his mother naked, Charles Schulz having his cartoons rejected by his high school yearbook, Hemingway losing a suitcase containing all of his early stories, Keith Richards writing "Satisfaction", Coc ...more
Dec 05, 2009 Renee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randomchoice
I loved this book. I bought it as a gift for my dad last year and mentioned I'd be interested in reading it after him. I thought it'd be a 3-star book, but I'll give it 5.

The book is organized into 100 quick chapters, one for each year of age, and lists from 3-20 things that someone famous did at that age. What really makes the book great is that some of the people appear several times, giving it flow and building characters. Other items are grouped together humorously (like Moses followed by G
Feb 04, 2011 Twobusy rated it really liked it
Why is Secret Santa a great thing? Because it can deliver things like this to your doorstep. This was a gift from Alexa Stevenson, and I can see why she enjoyed it enough to share it — it's a collection of moments from the lives of the famous and infamous, organized by the year in their life in which it happened and relayed with a bone dry, Will Cuppy-esque touch of humor. It's a fast, intriguing read that offers intriguing glimpses into the lives of countless famous names... as well as a somewh ...more
Dec 27, 2008 Kari rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked this book. My sister Katie suggested I read it. I often find it difficult just to sit and read books like this in one sitting. The book is divided by years, and then seemingly random facts in each year's chapter. I really like the sarcasm woven into the facts. Of course this book also reaffirmed by previous thoughts that I would have to die before I'm thirty, and at the very least by forty-five. Or I'll have to live beyond ninety. Young enough to matter or old enough to get away with any ...more
Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 Alison C rated it it was ok
A Book of Ages is one of those volumes that epitomizes the term "bathroom book." Simply organized, it describes events occurring in the lives of famous people by citing the age of the given person when the event occurred. For example, the chapter entitled "Twenty-one" notes that Humphrey Davies invented laughing gas in 1799, when he was 21 years of age, while the emperor Nero murdered his mother at the age of 21. And so on. Entertaining, and clearly designed to be skimmed in short reading bursts ...more
Jan 30, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
This is full of the kind of random facts that I like to know! And I thought it was just me...

It is both fascinating and ironic to compare what famous people were up to when they were around your age with your own life, and I liked that among the names that were included there was a fair representation of writers, incl. James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, Carson McCullers, Norman Mailer, Lord Byron, etc.
Aug 06, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Loved this book - fascinating. It mentions events that happened to people separated by age. So things that happened to people when they were zero, then other people when they were one. It might be something funny, formative, disturbing or all of the above. It is just a collection of antidotes geared more to the boomer generation but still good for any age.
Aug 19, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
Such interesting tidbits about fascinating people told in a new way. Loved the tongue in cheek way in which some milestones were stated. Example: When discussing Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie, the entry ends with a description of said book as "the story of a high school girl who has issues". Gotta Love it!
Cameron Mcconnell
Fascinating collection of stories and vignettes about many prominent historical figures. Delightful the first time through and frequently pulled out a reference on birthday to measure myself against history's other characters.
Aug 17, 2010 K. rated it it was ok
work read
Ann Klefstad
Nov 12, 2008 Ann Klefstad rated it it was amazing
this is a really fun book by a dry wit; would make a good gift for any curious type . . .what I learned? That I am not alone in my eccentricity.
Jun 12, 2011 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
At last a fun and entertaining read. I love books like this that are just basically lists of facts. This is a very quick read for anyone that enjoys trivia.
Feb 18, 2010 Narr added it
Shelves: pick-at
A gift from Jane for my 34th birthday.
Mar 02, 2010 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: cathy-s-books
Great, random bits of information.
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Is this book useful? (Yes) 1 3 Nov 03, 2008 11:51AM  
At age seven, ERIC HANSON read a biography of Kit Carson and has been interested in famous lives ever since. He grew up to be a writer and illustrator whose artwork has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Harper’s, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Travel & Leisure, and Gourmet, among other publications. His fiction and satire have been published in McSweeney’s, the Atlantic, Smithsonian ...more
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