Wednesday, May 04, 2011

mental_floss Genius Instruction Manual

mental_floss Genius Instruction Manual
Ed. by Pearson, Hattikudur and Green
Copyright 2006
Collins - Nonfiction/Humor
198 pages

I have to be perfectly honest. I have very little to say about the mental_floss Genius Instruction Manual. If you've read anything by the mental_floss guys, you know they write with a fresh combination of wit and humor. Their Genius Instruction Manual is about par for the course. Note the subtitle, if that's what it is: "Disguise Yourself As a Genius!"

Well, that's a nice thought and all, but it's really just a book of facts and ideas that are hilarious and goofy and, hopefully, accurate. I can't vouch for the accuracy, although I can tell you I don't understand string theory any better than I did, before. And, I can also tell you I was entertained, I smiled a lot and occasionally nodded (I've known a few people I consider geniuses and some of them do fall into the "eccentric" category -- making chapters like, "How to Dress Like a Right-Brained Genius" feel almost too spot-on).

Do I think I could hold my own at another one of those conferences I've had to endure -- you know, the kind where you're surrounded by PhDs of the snob variety? Lord, no. I still think I'm better off just smiling, nodding and avoiding their questions (or, better yet, hiding in a hotel room).

The bottom line:

Entertaining, amusing, diverting nonfiction, heavy on the humor. Don't expect to converse with a genius without making a fool of yourself after reading this book if you haven't succeeded, already.

Isabel's take:

"I liked the chapter entitled, 'How to Go Crazy Like a Genius'. It proves I am already genius material. Also, it tastes almost as good as my left paw."

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Sounds like a fun book and Isabel is very pretty!

  2. Jenny,

    It's definitely a fun read. Isabel thanks you (and so do I)!

  3. In the past I have loved the Mental Floss magazines, so I think I would probably really enjoy this book. When science is given flavor and humor, it's a lot easier for me to digest and enjoy. I am glad you liked this one, and am putting it on my list!

  4. Zibilee,

    If you like the mental_floss magazines, you'll like the book. I agree -- it's a lot more fun to read factoids about science, history, etc., when they're written with a big dollop of humor.

  5. Anonymous10:04 AM

    I've never heard of mental_floss (hangs head in embarrassment) but I LOVE humorous non-fiction books, so I'm off to track this one down. Thanks for the great review!

  6. Wereadtoknow,

    I probably wouldn't have heard of mental_floss if not for the fact that I happened across an issue in an airport book shop, long ago. It was very entertaining. I also read The Mental Floss History of the United States, recently, and absolutely loved it. Look that one up, too, if you like history. It's loads of fun.


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