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Mental Floss Presents Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  769 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Loaded with meaty trivia and tasty, bite-sized facts!

mental_floss is proud to offer a delicious, hearty helping of brain-food that's sure to fire up your neurons and tantalize your synapses. Condensed Knowledge is a mouthwatering mix of intriguing facts, lucid explanations, and mind-blowing theories that will satisfy even the hungriest mind!

Ingredients include:

5 tiny natio
...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Woodge
Sep 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: knowledge-junkies and ignorant doofuses
This compendium of factoids is a fun read but probably not something you'd read all at once. It's kind of like a bathroom reader (not that I'm doing that). And in fact, I did read this in several chunks over a span of months. Topics include art, history, science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc), pop culture, religion, economics, philosophy, and so forth. And it's written in a cheeky manner with all sorts of fun sidebars. I learned a lot! I remember some! Here's one thing sort of apropos from t ...more
Lisa
Dec 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the purpose of this book, as the title proclaims, is to make me feel smart, then it failed at its purpose. I didn't feel that I was reading anything deep and engrossing; on the contrary, it felt like a guilty pleasure written for someone with ADD. However, it was undeniably fun, and a great thing to pick up when you only have a few minutes (in line at the grocery store, on the commuter shuttle, etc).
Natalie
Apr 29, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
The title says it all - it's condensed knowledge. Once you start really getting into a topic the book covers, it stops and goes on to the next one, and you feel as if you haven't really learned much at all. The "Mental Floss" magazine is delightful and thoroughly covers its topics in minute detail, so I'd looked forward to reading this book expecting the same. If there was a subject on which I wanted to know more, however, I had to go running to Google.
Kelley
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is of the type often called a "bathroom book" in that you can sit down with it and read bits and pieces of it at your leisure.

If you are not familiar with "Mental Floss" magazine, they are devoted to non-trivial trivia; odds and ends of history, science, the arts, geography that all have importance but are often ignored. This book follows the same philosophy that knowledge is fun and learning new "stuff" is entertaining.

It is well worth the time spent with it.
Kim
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I subscribe to "mentalfloss" as I am a trivia freak! I love the mag and I enjoyed the book, although I already knew a good chunk of it. I had one problem with this book and it was not the book itself, but the fuckhead moron who took it upon themselves to correct a LIBRARY book in INK mind you,when they felt a fact or several were wrong. The book was true as of the time of publishing in 2004. Get a grip!
Greg
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really more a coffee table or bathroom reading book than a true book you would read cover to cover. It has short snippets about interesting topics so you can hope to glean some general trivia knowledge one morsel at a time.
Jennifer
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of little bits of random knowledge. From the writers at mental_floss (my new favorite magazine), this book is perfect for reading when you don't have a lot of time but you want to feel smarter.
Eclarep
Dec 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for those times when you don't have enough time to get invested in complicated things like plots. I read much of this book while traveling. It was interesting enough to make me forget about how afraid of flying I am.
Jamie
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by Mr. Winslow himself! An awesome book, for both reading AND keeping in the shitter. My copy is kept in my guest room. It's awesome. All my guests think so.
Alan
Trivia divided into sections on biology, chemistry, physics, economic, philosophy, and religion. A lot of fun. Good bathroom reading.
Bridget
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh. Somewhat interesting factoids but dry presentation. Didn't get halfway through. Sorry Carrie!
Jan
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boring, library-copy
I love "trivia books" but this "condensed knowledge" read more like mini textbooks and I didn't have the patience to do more than skim through it, sad to say.
Susan
Dec 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smug facts for smug people. What's not to love?
Jen
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-at-library
I love this magazine, and the book doesn't disappoint. A great compendium of trivia.
Tiffany
Apr 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to know stuff..
Random facts and history about everything from pop culture, art history, and religion to philosophy and on..and on, and on.
Mark H
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the magazine is great, but this book is a big yawn.
Tracey
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A fun read for trivia mavens.
Trevor
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonphixion
I couldn't read something like this cover to cover. This book is best consumed in small doses, a la "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader". I shall say no more! =P
Chad
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mental floss is a great magazine that is stocked full of trivia. They take complicated subjects and make them very entertaining
Jennifer
May 02, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought this was going to be a fun read of interesting historical facts. It wasn't. It read like a typical dry history book. I couldn't finish it.
Grace
Mar 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little tidbits of knowledgable goodness!
Kristen
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Another great bedside book.
Boogoalo
Oct 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Mental_Floss wacked out attitude! Very fun
Chelsea
fun. good bathroom book. :)
Remo
Este libro me lo compré gracias al magnífico (grr) sistema de publicidad de Amazon. Cuando te compras un libro, te pone cuatro o cinco enlaces diciendo "Los consumidores que compraron el libro este que se acaba de comprar usted, también compraron..." y te pone unos cuantos libros de la misma temática que el tuyo. Y claro, es difícil resistirse; de ahí mi gruñido al decir que el sistema es bueno.
El libro en sí no rompe moldes. Se trata de una colección de miniartículos, en clave humorística, sobr
...more
Debby
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book of organized lists of "random" facts in various subject areas was a decent sampling of topics that I wouldn't otherwise have sought out, so in that sense, it was an educational and reasonably entertaining read. It's a good book to have available when you have only small bits of time, but sitting down and just reading it for an extended period was kind of a "ho-hum" experience, as it was dry and draggy in spots. As to the "Feeling Smart Again" part of the title, I don't think I retained ...more
Luda
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ממוצע, חסר קו מקשר ורק נקודות מעטות היו באמת חידשו.
הרבה יותר כיף היה לקרא את האוניברסיטה הקטנה של המדעים
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15...
Brianna Collins
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a very good book to feed your info-addiction, with many lists and a humorous look on things. It's like the Mental_floss team put many of their magazines into one clear and concise book.
Dara
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11327537
Theresa
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I dig the magazine, but I don't know what it was with this book. Somehow the smugness felt overwhelming.
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