By: Alex Palmer
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication Date: September 2017
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2017
Facts on just about every topic, from the normal to the bizarre, fill up the pages of Weird-o-Pedia, making it a very fun book to read.
In his introduction, author Alex Palmer explains that all around us are “unremarkable” things that, if you peel back the layers, will reveal “the strangeness underneath.” To explain further, he points out that the dust in your living room actually makes the air cleaner and that the cell phone you may be holding contains “…about 18 times more dangerous germs than the flush handle in a public bathroom.” (ewwww!) Palmer ends his introduction with a fact about zombie orb spiders and parasitic wasp babies that will definitely get your curiosity piqued so you want to read the rest of the book!
Weird-o-Pedia is broken down into twelve chapters, making it easy to find topics that intrigue you. Topics include Food & Drink, Mind, Body, Insects, Animals, Work, Play, and Around the House – there is definitely something here for all interests. The facts themselves are quite brief – most are just a few sentences, others a short paragraph. This format makes the book an easy read, one that you can turn to again and again, when you have just a few minutes to read, although you’ll likely have trouble putting it down. And yes, many of the facts are truly “weird.” For example, did you know that the brain cannot feel pain? It may be the center of the nervous system, but it has no nerve system itself. And for those of us with a “big booty” – rejoice! Researchers have found that booty fat is healthier than belly fat and indicates low levels of “bad cholesterol.” At the back of the book the author has included all of the sources he used in Weird-o-Pedia, broken down by chapter.
Quill says: Read this book, memorize some of the facts, and impress your friends with your wide breadth of knowledge.