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People's History of the Peculiar Paperback – 8 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press (8 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936740834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936740833
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,561,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Whether you are a trivia buff or not this book will keep you entertained. Young and old will enjoy the variety of subjects in this book." --Nonfiction Book Reviews "This is a very extensive gathering of the odd, the curious, the strangest of occupations, illnesses, phobias, places, artistic endeavors, and more. If you are one who enjoys reading about the weird things and happenings that surround us, you will have a great time perusing this book." --City Book Review "Nick Belardes' People's History of the Peculiar has many layers, and that includes thinking about life and people and planets and everything else with or without mass in a brand new way. I mean, truly, what's more crucial than a sense of wonder? This book is a compendium of blistering funny facts, outrageous anecdotes and all kinds of zany information you really need to know. --Carolyn Leavitt, from the foreword "Hello trivia lovers, this book is for you! [...] This would be a great gift for the "hard to buy for" person on your list." --Peanut Butter and Whine "If you want to learn some really out of box tidbits of information, this is definitely the book to read!" --Dad of Divas Reviews "This book has many fun facts in it you can throw out in conversation." --Princess Among Superheroes "An interesting book of facts that we have enjoyed together." --Not in Jersey "It will open mind to wonder and wander about interesting facts." --Life Ascending

About the Author

Nicholas Belardes is novelist, journalist, illustrator, memoirist and poet. He's author of Songs Of The Glue Machines (poetry: 2013), "Letters From Vegas" (Invisible Memoirs: I Speak From My Palms; memoir: 2013), Illustrator of New York Times best selling novel West of Here (2011), author of Random Obsessions (nonfiction, reference: 2009), the first Twitter Lit, Small Places (2008), and Lords, (fiction: 2005). His latest book, A People's History Of The Peculiar will be published by Viva Editions in 2014. His journalism has appeared on the homepage of CNN and his artwork has appeared in Memoir Journal, Knock Literary Magazine and 826 Seattle's What to Read in the Rain (part of acclaimed author and philanthropist Dave Eggers 826 National). Nicholas currently teaches for Random Writers Workshop (RWW). He launched RWW in 2009, a low-cost writing critique, lecture and discussion group open to the public in Bakersfield and Fresno, California. He has most recently taught for Memoir Journal's The (In)visible Memoirs Project, and has taught at Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, the Art Institute of Las Vegas, and has guest lectured at UCLA, BARD College, various museums, libraries, galleries and writing groups. He has performed at the Texas State University's Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, The Beat Museum, MTV's Rock N' Read, The Levan Center, art galleries, coffeehouses, pizza houses, bookstores, and more. Caroline Leavitt is the New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and eight other award-winning books. She lives in Hoboken, NJ.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Entertaining and informative. A great read and enjoyable for all the family.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Trivia Smorgasbord! 20 May 2014
By Michael OConnor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Trivia buffs should enjoy Nick Belardes' 258-page grab-bag of trivial facts, feats and assorted oddities. A 2014 Viva Editions release, it's an informative, fun read.

The book is divided into various chapters: 'Unnatural Sciences;' 'Idiosyncratic Inventions;' 'Mysterious Places;' 'Eccentric Authors and Fantastic Art;' 'Odd Occupations;' and so on. Amongst the trivia bits 'n' pieces are the rate of desertion in the War of 1812, the Philosopher's Stone, the Gigantoraptor, 25 of the longest movies ever made, Mothman, J. Robert Oppenheimer's mental state, 25 weird jobs, haunted Las Vegas, famous self-published works, 25 useless patents, Wizard of Oz slipper trivia, expatriation trivia, 'tree man' disease, peculiar delicacies, urban legends and so on.

Some of the material in A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE PECULIAR will be old-hat to hardcore trivia buffs. Having said that, there's still enough new info in Belardes' book to make it worth a look. Bottom line: Can we ever have enough trivia books!?! Recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book! 9 May 2014
By Dad of Divas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was a great book that really opened my eyes to so many little tidbits of information that were both interesting and bizarre. I was amazed at some of the information shared and in the way that the book was written I was happy to find how easy the book was to read. With short sections you can really get through so many of the sections quickly, making the book very easy to read and to enjoy. All-in-all, I was really impressed and if you want to learn some really out of box tidbits of information, this is definitely the book to read!

*I received this for review - all opinions are my own*
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book make me smarter! 24 May 2014
By sheryl schlocker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had this book for a week and read from it daily now to give my brain cells a boost. Added bonus, I have really good freaky factoids to bring up at parties and social gatherings -people can't hear enough about Founding Father Thomas Jefferson's grandson being an axe murdered and how it was covered up alll this time. I can tell author NIck Belardes must have been his student's favorite history professor and he is now my favorite..A fantastic read, all in all and reveals strange secret things we all need to know. I highly recommend!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
WTF? 16 Oct. 2014
By C. P. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There's more than a few books out there along these lines. I'm not sure I've ever run across one, though, that was so stream-of-consciousness. This is just one random thing after another, with many of them leaving you scratching your head why it was ever included. Here, for example, is a complete entry from Odd Occupations:

"There's a job that needs to be done at your local wastewater treatment plant, and maybe you're the right person to do it. Chris Bell is a California wastewater treatment plant operator. A normal day for Chris might involve doing mechanical work a pump or on one of two methane-operated cogeneration units. When he first started, he never thought it was odd, and even to this day still doesn't see it as offbeat. He said people probably can't imagine being in charge of their own food and waste."

And here's one from Amasses from the Past (called Soldier's Spell):

"There are mysteries in what makes a soldier and how soldiers cope with what they do. Here's aquote to ponder from historians Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton in their book The Dominion of War: "Soldiers always die in war, and those who survive must somehow make sense of those deaths and of their own survival." If they have to make sense of it, why do they do it? Military historian John Keegan has mentioned a soldier's spell that many military personnel seem to fall under: "the spell of an entirely different world."

And, finally, here's an excerpt from Louisa May Alcott's daily journal and a blurb from a chapter on medicine (both in toto):

"Weighed - 143. One pd. Less than a month ago. But am much better. Sleeping well, eat bread & butter, some meat, & take water. Hooray! Cut out my dress took a walk. Headache discharged & felt better."

"Multifetal Pregnancies
The incidence of twins has dramatically increased in the United States since the 1970s, to dramatic proportions."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well, I didn't know that.......... did you? 11 Aug. 2014
By Connie Gruning - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well, that’s weird!! Yup, I said that almost every single page! What a FUN book for trivia lovers like myself. Author Nick Belardes has a hit on his hands! I love learning odd tidbits of weird and random things. This 244 page book is jam packed full of interesting and unique facts. Everything from small glasses, DIME SIZE glasses where strapped around the head to aid in DRIVING?!?! Glasses the size of dimes?!! Ummmm no thank you.
Truly interesting cover to cover!
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