CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 8 . . . . December 9, 2005
I find trivia books are not the easiest to evaluate. It is difficult to ascertain the level of authority of such urban legends, jokes and the like; however, the acknowledgments do thank several people for their help in fact-checking the information. A table of contents and an index are helpful to readers interested in locating specific stories about the strange antics of humans.
The format of this book, with its small bites of information, seems to me to be more of a huge list than an actual book. For that reason, comment on the quality of writing is limited. They Did What? is certainly an easy title to browse, and it is well organized with one set of wacky stories logically linked to the next. One proviso - my own lack of experience as a reader of trivia may have not caught repetitions from other books. The audience for this type of book may have already read some of the factoids listed. Hopefully, there are a few surprises still in store. Although trivia books are usually found in the nonfiction stacks, I would consider They Did What? best for recreational reading.
Recommended with reservations.
Lee Anne Smith is a youth services librarian and Head of the Cambie Branch for Richmond Public Library in Richmond. BC.
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