Rach's Reviews > Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

Brainiac by Ken Jennings
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's review
Mar 28, 11

bookshelves: ebook, non-fiction, memoir, challenge-11-spring, 2011
Read from March 23 to 25, 2011

Something about trivia really fascinates me. I know probably as much trivia as the person next to me, and I don't particularly have a talent for remembering it, but I still keep wanting to learn more. My mom has always loved Jeopardy, so I grew up watching the show, and to this day, whenever I am at home at 7:30, we have Jeopardy on the TV, and I yell out the answers when I know them, whether I am watching by myself or not.

It's not like I didn't know who Ken Jennings was. I watched quite a few of his games when he was on Jeopardy, thought I can't say I saw them all. To be honest, he hadn't really crossed my mind in years, until his appearance on Jeopardy recently to play against Watson, the unbeatable super-computer. After that appearance, which reading an interview or something by him, I was struck with how witty and funny he was - he seemed like someone who would fit in with my friends, as we are quite the geeky group ourselves. I soon discovered he'd written this book, and that day, I bought it for my family's Kindle group.

I was expecting a funny, witty, well-written account of Jennings' time on Jeopardy, and I certainly got that. Jennings is self-deprecating, honest, and frank with his whole Jeopardy experience, from childhood obsession, to interview, to his final game. What I didn't expect was the detailed history of trivia in general, from the first question-write-in columns in newspapers to the game-show booms of the 1930s, 1950s, 1980s, and today. I really enjoyed every part of this book, especially the trivia questions sprinkled throughout the book. More than anything, this book made me was to learn more, to become a smarter, more aware person. And also, I really want to make it on Jeopardy one day. :)

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03/24/2011 page 151
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