25 Books to Read Before You Die
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


The Powell's Playlist | August 8, 2014

Peter Mendelsund: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund



We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing...... Continue »
  1. $11.87 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$4.95
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton Humor- Trivia

This title in other editions

Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

by

Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs Cover

ISBN13: 9781400064458
ISBN10: 1400064457
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $4.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: they auditioned for Jeopardy! Two years, 75 games, 2,642 correct answers, and over $2.5 million in winnings later, Ken Jennings emerged as trivia’s undisputed king. Brainiac traces his rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon. But along the way, it also explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself.

Jennings had always been minutiae-mad, poring over almanacs and TV Guide listings at an age when most kids are still watching Elmo and putting beans up their nose. But trivia, he has found, is centuries older than his childhood obsession with it. Whisking us from the coffeehouses of seventeenth-century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad: the quiz book explosion of the Jazz Age; the rise, fall, and rise again of TV quiz shows; the nostalgic campus trivia of the 1960s; and the 1980s, when Trivial Pursuit® again made it fashionable to be a know-it-all.

Jennings also investigates the shadowy demimonde of today’s trivia subculture, guiding us on a tour of trivia hotspots across America. He goes head-to-head with the blowhards and diehards of the college quiz-bowl circuit, the slightly soused faithful of the Boston pub trivia scene, and the raucous participants in the annual Q&A marathon in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, “The World’s Largest Trivia Contest.” And, of course, he takes us behind the scenes of his improbable 75-game run on Jeopardy!

But above all, Brainiac is a love letter to the useless fact. What marsupial has fingerprints that are indistinguishable from human ones?* What planet has a crater on it named after Laura Ingalls Wilder?** What comedian had the misfortune to be born with the name “Albert Einstein”?*** Jennings also ponders questions that are a little more philosophical: What separates trivia from meaningless facts? Is being good at trivia a mark of intelligence? And is trivia just a waste of time, or does it serve some not-so-trivial purpose after all?

Uproarious, silly, engaging, and erudite, this book is an irresistible celebration of nostalgia, curiosity, and nerdy obsession–in a word, trivia.

* The koala
** Venus
*** Albert Brooks

Review:

"Did you know that Trivia was a Roman name for the goddess Hecate or that Jeopardy! tapes a week's worth of shows in a single afternoon? Jennings's record-setting 2004 six-month stint on the syndicated TV quiz show won him $2.5 million and instant fame as he landed on Letterman, Leno, Sesame Street and Barbara Walters's 'Ten Most Fascinating People' list. Sprinkling trivia questions throughout his first book, the former computer programmer is a charmingly self-deprecating guide to the subculture of esoterica as he relates how he answered his first trivia question about the Wright brothers at four and made his chops on the ego-driven college quiz bowl circuit; confides how he mastered the 'tricky' Jeopardy! buzzers; bonds with professional trivia writers; and describes being bested by the puzzler 'Most of this firm's seven thousand seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year' (Jennings answered FedEx; H&R Block is correct). You don't have to be a couch potato to answer this: what's an eight-letter word for a highly entertaining, fast-paced read that demystifies 'America's most popular and most difficult quiz show' while pondering how trivia is a cultural phenomenon that offers a tidy alternative to life's messiness as well as instant camaraderie between people from different walks of life? (Sept. 12) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A report from the contestant's podium of particular interest to anyone who endeavors to become a human equivalent of Google." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Jennings offers his own unique philosophy on trivia: in an era of specialization, trivia is not trivial; it allows us to know a little bit about a lot of things. Trivia questions are scattered throughout the text, which makes the book interactive and fun." Library Journal

Synopsis:

This edition traces Ken Jennings's rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon. Along the way, it also explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself.

About the Author

Ken Jennings was born in Seattle but spent much of his childhood in Seoul, South Korea. A graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he worked as a computer programmer until becoming an unlikely celebrity due to his unprecedented record-breaking streak on the television quiz show Jeopardy! He lives outside Salt Lake City with his wife and son. For more information, visit www.ken-jennings.com.

To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www.apbspeakers.com  

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

writermala, June 16, 2012 (view all comments by writermala)
This book is a Jeopardy addict's delight; but more than that it is a well-written, humorous, treasure trove of information. Some parts about trivia are decidedly philosophical. For example, "It's rewarding to know a lot of great facts, but that knowledge is almost pointless if those facts don't help you get to know a lot of great people as well." or, "trivia, in other words, is bait on the fishing rod of education. By the time you've realized what you've swallowed, you're hooked." Knowledge is indeed a good thing; as the author, 75 time Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings says, "it's always better to know a thing than not to know it." Yes, "nerd" is the new "cool."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
patvreeland, August 16, 2008 (view all comments by patvreeland)
Really amusing, engaging read. Wry sense of humor punctuates background info on the people and "field trips" to the places where trivia reigns.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
bookends, February 22, 2007 (view all comments by bookends)
Light and breezy read about the history of trivia. Jennings weaves in a few tales of his 75 game run on Jeopardy, but this book mainly concerns itself about the history of trivia books and contests. As a bonus, there are stumpers throughout the book, with the answers at the end of each chapter.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(22 of 23 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400064458
Author:
Jennings, Ken
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Subject:
Trivia
Subject:
Questions and answers
Subject:
Television - General
Subject:
Popular Culture
Publication Date:
September 2006
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
269
Dimensions:
9.54x6.38x.98 in. 1.13 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. 10,000 Answers Used Trade Paper $2.95
  2. Encyclopedia of Useless Information Used Trade Paper $9.50
  3. Having of Wonderful Ideas & Other... Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. Don't Know Much about Anything:... Used Trade Paper $3.95
  5. Captain Underpants #08: Captain...
    Used Trade Paper $3.50

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Trivia
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Card Games
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Mental Puzzles
Reference » Trivia

Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 269 pages Villard Books - English 9781400064458 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Did you know that Trivia was a Roman name for the goddess Hecate or that Jeopardy! tapes a week's worth of shows in a single afternoon? Jennings's record-setting 2004 six-month stint on the syndicated TV quiz show won him $2.5 million and instant fame as he landed on Letterman, Leno, Sesame Street and Barbara Walters's 'Ten Most Fascinating People' list. Sprinkling trivia questions throughout his first book, the former computer programmer is a charmingly self-deprecating guide to the subculture of esoterica as he relates how he answered his first trivia question about the Wright brothers at four and made his chops on the ego-driven college quiz bowl circuit; confides how he mastered the 'tricky' Jeopardy! buzzers; bonds with professional trivia writers; and describes being bested by the puzzler 'Most of this firm's seven thousand seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year' (Jennings answered FedEx; H&R Block is correct). You don't have to be a couch potato to answer this: what's an eight-letter word for a highly entertaining, fast-paced read that demystifies 'America's most popular and most difficult quiz show' while pondering how trivia is a cultural phenomenon that offers a tidy alternative to life's messiness as well as instant camaraderie between people from different walks of life? (Sept. 12) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A report from the contestant's podium of particular interest to anyone who endeavors to become a human equivalent of Google."
"Review" by , "Jennings offers his own unique philosophy on trivia: in an era of specialization, trivia is not trivial; it allows us to know a little bit about a lot of things. Trivia questions are scattered throughout the text, which makes the book interactive and fun."
"Synopsis" by , This edition traces Ken Jennings's rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon. Along the way, it also explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.