BOOK CLUB: Think you know everything? Think again


December 04. 2013 12:59AM
By Terri Schlichenmeyer Weekender Correspondent



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Ah, you remember high school.


You remember goofing off and skipping class, “stacking” someone’s locker, figuring out how to cheat on tests, and testing the limits of whatever poor sub had the misfortune to be called in to teach that day. You remember it well.


Unfortunately, you’ve forgotten much of what you actually (supposedly) learned back then. But maybe that’s a good thing, according to “The De-Textbook” by the writers of CRACKED. What you learned might have been wrong anyhow.


For twelve-plus years, your behind was planted in a chair Monday through Friday from too-early o’clock until mid-afternoon. Yep, you went to school that whole time, but what do you have to show for it? Are you still clueless about some of life’s most important things?


Do you know, for instance, that T-Rex was practically baby-sized, compared to the largest creature that ever walked the planet? Yeah, even whales are smaller than that reptile was. And another thing: there are critters way scarier than dinosaurs – like living, “giant versions of the creatures you’re already scared of.”


Did you know that there are a lot of activities you’re doing wrong? Yes, everyday things like sitting, breathing, sleeping, bathing, brushing your teeth, and… um, other things you do in the bathroom.


Once upon a Midsummer’s Night, you might have thought that Shakespeare was a musty old dude, but he was actually pretty bad (in a good way). This book will tell you the naughty bits from the Bard. You’ll also learn which books you’ll never see, which is one “massive literary… tease.”


Read this book and learn what two common things Abraham Lincoln never saw. Find out why your Mama dresses you funny (by 1920s standards). See how Mozart had a potty mouth, why the Zuni language may be closely tied to Japanese, or why science doesn’t know how a bicycle works. You’ll see how your brain double-crosses you and causes you to make the world’s worst decisions. You’ll learn how the movies are wrong, how history is error-filled, what researchers have to say about Thomas Jefferson, and why the good ol’ days weren’t so good.


Oh, and lemmings? Not jump-off-a-cliff dumb. Just sayin’.


Let me start at the beginning: there’s a pretty good amount of profanity inside “The De-Textbook.” There’s also an awful lot of funny stuff. Amazingly, both are wrapped around real, true facts that you’ve probably never heard before.


And that’s the basic premise of this book: to debunk myths, share the nasty little secrets of everyday life, settle arguments, and set history straight, in a fun way. Readers with curious minds can browse this book, open it up and read one page, sit down and read it all, or skip parts without feeling guilty. Books like this, in fact, are great to have around when you want to read but don’t want to read much.


If you always wondered what your high school classes never taught you, this book will fill you in quite nicely. For you “The De-Textbook” is one you don’t want to skip.


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