The Areas of My Expertise

by John Hodgman | Humor |
ISBN: 9781594482229 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/24/2022
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, May 24, 2022
I got this softcover at a local Savers thrift shop, for another release copy.

I adored this wacky book when I first read it; in general it reminded me of the humor of Monty Python or Douglas Adams, but with its own blatant-lies/fun-with-trivia spin. It's very entertaining indeed, and goofy beyond belief {grin}. The cover alone suggests the madness within, as it's slathered with blurbs about the contents as well as excerpts of same, plus "some largely accurate comments made in print about this book".

The book's so dense with gigglesome material that it's best suited for reading in very small bits at a time. The author claims that this book contains all knowledge, pointing out that this is possible (despite its small size compared to that of library collections) because, among other things, libraries contain many novels, and "novels, historically, are longer than they need to be and contain long sections that convey no knowledge," leading into a passage about the (literal) padding of novels. And that's just the beginning...

The book's so random that explanations are useless. Tidbits: each section opens with the "lycanthropic transformation timetables" for a particular period, with transformation data for different types of werewolves ("loup-garou: howling", "North American werewolf: wolfish mood"). The Fifty-Five Dramatic Situations. Where to sell your short stories. "Basics of snow and ice warfare." "Great Rivalries in Dungeons & Dragons." "What you did not know about hoboes" - with its related lists of 700 hobo names ("Stewbuilder Dennis, Cholly the Yegg...").

In the section "Five Secrets of Successful Negotiation" there's this item: "Think like a ninja. But note, it is not appropriate to dress like a ninja." The author adds, "It is acceptable to dress like a samurai." Nice to know!

A table of "All Kinds of Squirrels." The section about states and their nicknames. "California, current nickname: The Golden State. Old nickname: Mexico. Motto: 'Do Not Fear Our Giant Prehistoric Trees'."

Great fun!

[There's an extensive and amusing TV Tropes page on this book, which I'm citing in part so that I can refer people there for amusing quotes instead of having to come up with them myself!]

Released 1 mo ago (5/25/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library, Horse Hill Nature Preserve in Merrimack, New Hampshire USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this lovely day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

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