All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge
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All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  31 reviews
For the bestselling miscellany market, an NPR librarian's compendium of fascinating facts on history, science, and the arts

How much water do the Great Lakes contain? Who were the first and last men killed in the Civil War? How long is a New York minute? What are the lost plays of Shakespeare? What building did Elvis leave last? Get the answers to these and countless other...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Wiley
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Meh. As a rule, I like collections of inesential knowledge, but this one didn't quite do it for me. Perhaps it was because I bristle at statements like "Most Librarians - and other well-organized types - consider lists to be an essential element of life, without which everything would descend into chaos." I'm not sure we're that much more into lists than other white collar professions. Of course, I am writing this on goodreads, so perhaps she has a point..
Crystal Zen
"I Love FACTS! This was full of great information!"
This was a terrific book and I would definitely listen to 'All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge' again. It was an eye-opener. I love learning the origin of things, their meanings and the thought and history behind things. There were several moments and facts that I particularly liked in this book. I like the meaning behind the names of Italian food. That was great. I also love the fact that quarks come in flavors...more
Blog on Books
Plastic Soup? Fullerenes and Buckyballs? Giant Meat Flowers? Talk about useless knowledge, this book is full of it! Resting somewhere between the Guinness Book of World’s Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, comes “All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge,” a lightweight compendium of oddities and curiosities that will alternatively bore you or boggle the mind (depending on the topic) if you’re not careful.

In dividing this ‘knowledge’ into three sections (Memory an...more
This book is written by my colleague Kee Malesky who patiently answered my question about 'how the book writing was going' every time I saw her at work. I really enjoyed reading the introduction to the book. Kee highlights main reasons on why us librarians are librarians. Often times Kee's name is the librarian named on the air, but she was gracious in the introduction and acknowledgments to recognize the team of librarians that NPR has.

Instead of pulling out facts included in the book that I fo...more
Michelle Cavalier
I, like most readers I know, am a huge fan of random facts and who better to deliver them to me than one of NPR's many reference librarians. Kee Malesky's book, "All Facts Considered," is written as a series of interesting facts grouped together under three main categories (History, Science, and Art). Each fact is explained in a few paragraphs or less. Malesky says that librarians have to be well versed in a wide range of facts because on any given day they are questioned about countless unrelat...more
David Ward
All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge by Kee Malesky (John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2010)(001) is the kind of trivia book I enjoy - useless but interesting true facts and back stories. Here is an example: "We all learned that there are three) states of matter--solid, liquid, and gas--but there is actually a fourth [plasma]...Plasma is an ionized gas whose atoms have released electrons due to the influence of heat or another form of energy, which thus alters the electric...more
I love fiction will all my heart, I really do, but at the end of the day I believe the best stories lie in history. That being said, I like to know things others don't really care about. How many children did our 10th president John Tyler have? 15. Richest man on the Titantic? John Jacob Astor IV. When was the modern bikini first introduced? Post WWII. Now you can see my curse. That being said, any book titled The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge is going to grab my attention.

This wa...more
For facts and miscellany, NPR librarian Kee Malesky is the ultimate guru. This collection tends toward the ridiculous and useless end of the fact spectrum. (Ever wonder how much water the Great Lakes contain, or who was the first man killed in the Civil War?) But that makes it all the more enjoyable to read.
This is a compendium of trivia and other assorted facts from a fact checker/librarian at NPR. The book is organized into sections and has a nice flow between items, each of which gets a short, descriptive section, from 1-2 paragraphs to 1-2 pages. Some of the facts were new to me (Emily Dickinson was in fact a redhead), while others were more well known to me, particularly in the science and nature categories. The book is easy to pick up and read piece by piece and is obviously well researched w...more
Mar 17, 2011 Abby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NPR fans and curious people
Recommended to Abby by: Ruth
This book is like reading Jeopardy. The longest that any chunk is a page and a half and some are only a paragraph or two. But this is a collection of some of the most odd and interesting facts ever. I laughed, I was amazed, I got teary... A perfect book for when you don't have lots of time. And for people who love odd and obscure pieces of information.
Bryce Holt
Trying to meld the likes of Richard Zacks' "An Underground Education" and "5 People Who Died During Sex" by Karl Shaw, this is insipid information that should fall flat to any reference guru. At least Zacks was shocking and Shaw was fun. A total snooze.
Aug 02, 2011 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: nf
Akin to a sports-stats book with a sense of humor, Malesky's (how cool is her job, librarian to NPR????) neatly organized fact-book is filled with fascinating information and a resource list that fulfills my Good Reference Work needs. Fun.
Lynn Lerch
A great book for trivia readers and others who just like trivia. The author of this book is NPR librarian who gives us many facts and figures. As a former library asstant (paraprofessional position) I found it very informative.
Filled with so many facts about things that were totally interesting to me and others that I didn't care about but were interesting to read about anyway. It was a great read and fun to share with others too.
Megan Richardson
Normally I like books like this, but this one fell short. Some of the information was interesting, but it wasn't organized in any sort of way. Might be a good coffee table book, but other than that...
A fun book of the random facts that kee Malesky has found while doing research for NPR shows. Some I've heard before, others are entirely new. If you love random trivia this is a fun book for you.
Charity (CJ)
My husband and I used to keep a book of jokes and funny anecdotes on the back of the toilet. This book could take its place.

(Received as an Advanced Reader Copy from Goodreads.)
Absolutely delightful facts in an easy-to-understand format. I had a blast reading this! Lots of learning, with enough weirdness and silliness for me. I hope to see more from him!
Just a book of useless information and trivia that few people care about but thats why i love it one of the few books that sort of just list facts and i love it
From the introduction:
"Facts and information are the nourishment, the lifeblood, the raison d'être, and also the bane and despair of librarians and researchers."
Jack Tomascak
An interesting grouping of facts and context surrounding them. Good bathroom / leisure book to skim through, not digestible well when consumed traditionally.
Great read for librarians who deal in facts all day long. Unfortunately, too many to recall. But it has a very helpful index!
Lots of fun facts in here (and well researched by none other than everyone's favorite NPR librarian, Kee Malesky).
well- skimmed. i decided it was most fun to work from the index. like emily dickinson. was a redhead. who knew?
Paul Childs
Lots of interesting snippets in this book. It was a quick read and had some stories in there I hadn't heard of before.
If you want to know how to write an unfocused, unentertaining book of trivia, read this for a stellar example.
Fascinating potpourri of facts. I read it in the bedroom but good for bathroom reading too!
A delightful collection of trivia delivered in occasionally witty style.
Lots of little known facts, all of which I have already forgotten!
I love books filled with trivia and related facts.
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“Facts and information are the nourishment, the lifeblood, the raison d'etre, and also the bane and despair of librarians and researchers.” 2 likes
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