I spotted 801 Things You Should Know by David Olsen in the newer stacks at the Norfolk (Nebraska) Public Library the other day. I decided to bring it home because it looked like something to enjoy during the busy holiday season.
Curiously, the book is packaged like a popular paperback but it’s categorized as reference. Indeed, it has the potential to be one or the other. In its present form, it should have been edited down and aimed more at the popular market.
There are eight sections included in 801 Things You Should Know. Each section contains alphabetically listed topics that are given a short, rudimentary sketch. If you are already a well-read individual, you will not learn very much from the book. The entries do serve as good memory prompts, though.
If, for example, you turn to the section, “People and Culture”, you’ll find an entry refering to…
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