QI: The Book of General Ignorance
I've loved QI since it first appeared on our screens. It's an irresistible formula to me and a welcome chance to champion intelligence in an increasingly dumbed down, ignorance driven world of Big Brother and Little Britain.
(and I know Little Britain is meant to be ironic but it, like Catherine Tate, has been appropriated by the chav scum to celebrate their culture or lack thereof).
In Stephen Fry, they found the perfect front man, funny yet a genuinely huge intelligence to back up the humour. And yet, although obviously possessed of a massive brain, he just doesn't seem crass enough to point out how much more intelligent than you he may be:
From the introduction to the book:
"People sometimes accuse me of knowing a lot ..... This is a bit like telling a person who has a few grains of sand clinging to him that he owns much sand.... We are all sandless, we are all ignorant.
It's the ones who think they know what there is to be known that we have to look out for."
So over the last few weeks since getting it for Christmas I've been dipping in and out of the QI book. It's very similar in nature to the New Scientist books (something about Wasps and Penguins as I recall). Lots of interesting facts about many, many Quite Interesting things. Naturally, it's a novelty book, it's a Christmas book, but it's great fun.