The Noticeably Stouter Book of General Ignorance is fun to read and packed full of interesting facts. It's perfect for dipping into every now and again - most of the articles are only one or two pages long, and manage to cram in a surprising amount of information. They often veer off on unexpected tangents - one beginning with a discussion of the phrase `survival of the fittest' concludes with a rush of interesting facts about paperclips (in Nazi-occupied Norway they were used as symbols of the resistance, and only five out of every 100,000 sold are actually used to hold papers together). It's almost impossible to read a page without wanting to run to the nearest person, clutching the book and gibbering, "Did you know...? Did you know...?" (though this has the unfortunate side-effect of making you sound like an irritating know-it-all for the duration.)
This is more of a second edition to the original Book of General Ignorance than an entirely new book, so if you already own the latter it may not be a worthwhile purchase. If you don't, however, Noticeably Stouter has dozens of new articles, amusing quotes from the TV series interspersed throughout, and (for diehard fans), a list of all the QI guests so far. Another definite improvement is the inclusion of an index (subjects range from `aardvarks, colour-blindness of' to `zenzizenzizenzic, as failed neologism'). As well as aiding serendipitous browsing, this can be extremely useful when you confidently announce to a roomful of people that strawberries and raspberries are not, in fact, berries, then promptly forget why; or when you urgently need to calculate your pet's real age in dog years.
I've had to wrestle my copy away from visitors, who pick it up, start idly thumbing through it, and refuse to put it down for the rest of the evening. I've spent a number of rainy Sunday afternoons curled up with it on the sofa. I've spouted facts from it to dozens of long-suffering friends and relations. And I'm not quite sure if I feel more or less ignorant than I was when I started. Definitely a trivia book in a class of its own.