Smug pub quizzers beware - after reading this you'll find yourself quaking at the onset of the trivia round. Most of what you think you know is, in fact, wrong. Sorry. In an utterly charming way, your confidence in the modest store of facts you've built up over the years is shown to be totally misplaced. If you can handle this, then QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition) is a truly fascinating read. It's at least as amusing as it interesting in its debunking of popular misconceptions. Finding out why your notions are wrong is a pleasure when you're reading something that's been this painstakingly researched. That's not to say it's really worthy - some of the writing is laugh-out-loud funny. You get quotes from the show, too, and perky little illustrations. The links between the entries are often as subtle as the explanations themselves, or they're just quite droll, as `How many legs does a centipede have?' paves the way for `How many eyes does a no-eyed, big-eyed wolf spider have?'
If you're the kind of person who has a mental list of things you really ought to brush up on, expect it to have expanded in all kinds of unexpected ways by the time you're through. Your Ancient Greek, certainly, could do with a dusting down. Expect to confirm that you are, indeed, massively ignorant, but to find, miraculously, that a good read of this book is an excellent way to start putting that right.