A People's History of the Peculiar: A Freak Show of Facts, Random Obsessions and Astounding Truths

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Did you know that Thomas Jefferson’s grandson was an ax murderer? Do you delight knowing that some dinosaurs were as teeny tiny as hens? Wonder what it’s like to live in Hell Town at the End of the World? How about an ailment so surreal it’s named after Alice in Wonderland? In A People's History of the Peculiar, historian Nick Belardes has dug into the raw source material found in historical archives, scientific studies, and libraries the world over to find facts, lists, definitions, and astonishing information guaranteed to provide readers with the best cocktail conversation topics for many years to come! Also found here are first-person interviews with people who can explain the unexplained, from the permanently puzzling Mothman conspiracy to secret Star Wars Jedi religious cults and the charmingly eccentric reason why British aerospace engineers sent teddy bears floating out into space. These real-world facts are outlandish enough to sharpen the brain and occupy readers’ minds for hours of entertainment.
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About the author

NICHOLAS BELARDES is novelist, journalist, illustrator, memoirist and poet. 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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Apr 8, 2014
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781936740925
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Language
English
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Genres
Humor / Form / Trivia
Reference / Quotations
Reference / Trivia
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Today, my boss fired me via text message. I don’t have a text messaging plan. I paid 25 cents to get fired.

Your girlfriend dumped you, your car broke down, your boss passed you up for the big promotion. Life’s not fair, but there is one sure-fire way to ease your pain–laughing at someone else who had an even worse day than you did.

Enter the devastatingly funny world of F My Life, where calamity is comedy. Covering every disastrous pratfall in love, work, family-life, and more, F My Life proffers other people’s ruinous, real-life happenings to brighten your gloomiest day: someone getting dumped through a greeting card, ignored at their birthday party, or insulted by their own grandmother. Spanning everything from ironic twists of fate to down-right shameful moments, F My Life’s squirm-inducing stories are schadenfreude at its finest. So today, take solace in knowing that at least you’re not that guy. There now, don’t you feel better?

Today, my boyfriend broke up with me. I cried and told him that I loved him. He gave me a quarter and told me to call someone who cared. I threw the quarter in his face and ran. I waited for the bus, but when I got on, I realized I was 25 cents short of the fare. I walked home in the rain.

Today, my mom walked in on me looking at a 1978 Playboy. She asked if I found it in the basement. I said yes. Then I realized she was the centerfold.

Today, I got in line at the grocery store. The woman in front of me looked right at me, turned to her friend, and said “That reminds me, I forgot to get acne cream.”


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Did you know Thomas Jefferson’s grandson was an ax murderer? Don’t you delight knowing some dinosaurs were teeny tiny as hens? Before buying that plane ticket, don’t you NEED to know which exotic islands still have cannibals? Wonder what it’s like to live in Hell Town at the End of the World? How about an ailment so surreal it’s named after Alice in Wonderland? In Random Obsessions: Trivia You Can’t Live Without, historian Nick Belardes has dug into the raw source material found in historical archives, scientific studies, and libraries the world over. You’ll also read first-person interviews with people who can explain the unexplained, from the permanently puzzling Mothman conspiracy to secret Star Wars Jedi religious cults, and the charmingly eccentric reason why British aerospace engineers sent teddy bears floating out into space. Truly trivia you can’t live without, Random Obsessions is filled with facts, lists, definitions, and astonishing information guaranteed to provide you with the best cocktail conversation for many years to come! Your guide, Nick Belardes, has devoted his life to poking around the peculiar and perplexing. Explore the unknown stories behind why the nation’s capitol didn’t stay in Philadelphia, why some fossils are smiling, and how, if Preparation H existed in the early 1800s, Napoleon would have won Waterloo. These real-world facts are outlandish enough to sharpen your brain and occupy your mind for hours of reading. This book is so fascinating and fun, you’ll become obsessed, too!
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