Jeopardy! tapes a week's worth of shows in a single afternoon? Jennings's record"/>

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

Ken Jennings, Author . Villard $23.95 (269p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6445-8

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)

Reviewed on: 05/29/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 529 pages - 978-0-7862-9258-5
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-1-58836-552-1
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8129-7499-7
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