Sunday, March 27, 2011

Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader

2004; 518 pages. Genre : Humor, Reference. New Author? : No. Overall Rating : 7*/10.

I can't see doing a formal review on an Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. I've read a couple of these; this one's as good as - but no better than - any of the others.

.What's To Like...
Here are a couple articles that I really enjoyed in this volume. Happy Eostre! (pg. 75) - a review of the various Easter traditions (bunnies, baskets, eggs, Sunday) and how they got started. Banned Books (pg. 80) - 8 of them, a couple of which (Little Red Riding Hood; the American Heritage Dictionary) you might be surprised that they were taken off the shelf. Word Origins (pg. 87) - how words like Marmalade, Dumbbell, Jinx came into our tongue. The Man Inside The Terminal (pg. 99) - meet Merhan Karimi Nasseri, and learn why he's lived for 15 years (as of the book's publishing) inside Terminal One of Charles deGaulle Airport.

.The Zombie Quiz (pg. 233) - Test your knowledge of the undead critters. Pay special attention to question #9 - what's the best weapon when trying to kill a zombie? Say Goodnight, Gracie (pg. 269) - eight of Gracie's best one-liners from the old Burns & Allen TV show. Sagan Says (pg. 390) - some great quotes by the late Carl Sagan. (Not) Coming to a Theater Near You (pg. 435) - a bunch of movies started but never completed. Including one "miss" by Uncle John, as Avatar is on the list. Apparently in 2004, this looked like one with no chance of ever being made.

"We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever." (Carl Sagan)
If you don't know what an Uncle John Bathroom Reader is (and I find that hard to imagine), head on down to your local bookstore or Target and pick one up. They are all equally good; so don't spend too much time deciding which one to buy.

.I suppose the only way to rate a Bathroom Reader is on its entertainment value. Some of the articles are "misses" (such as the one on Birthstones); but what bores me may amuse you. For every dud, there were probably 10-15 kewl articles, so we'll give UJSIBR 7 Stars; and especially recommend it for Trivia buffs.

No comments: