Book – I Used to Know That
Author – Caroline Taggart
Year – 2008
Genre – Facts
Pages – 190
I have referenced this many times over the past couple of years, but I am a big fan of fact books. I love little tidbits of trivia, and occasionally – just occasionally – I may be known to bring them out in conversation with my friends. This particular fact book comes with a little bit of a twist however, namely that instead of giving you brand new nuggets of information, it takes a look back to your school days and the kind of information that you probably knew well enough then, but would forget as time goes on.
The problem with this, is that most of these subjects at school I hated. Maths is dull. Science is boring. Why would you revisit them? Don’t get me wrong, I know I am a geek, and actually find these subjects pretty interesting, and read about them in my spare time, but it is the revisiting of basics such as long division and a definition of osmosis that makes them dull. Popular science books manage to get across difficult ideas such as relativity and particle physics in an accessible way, so regressing back to the basics that I couldn’t be bothered to remember anyway was not particularly exciting.
The whole book picks up about two thirds of the way in, when we get a run down of the history of all of the Presidents of the USA, and most of the British Prime Ministers – not something I particularly learnt in school, but pretty interesting. Then we get some geography notes – I am a bit of a geography geek as well I am afraid – and some ‘Miscellanious’ such as art and music. This bit boosts the book immensely, and added a couple of points on to my score, but only allow that for yourself if you are a history/geography buff, because otherwise, this stocking filler isn’t really worth reading – it would be better to leave it in the stocking.