I finished a trifle book, Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages by Leland Gregory, which was offered as a free Kindle book through Amazon.com.
Lightly entertaining, this book is a collection of short pieces of trivia covering odd news events, ironic meanings behind words, and misconceptions about incidents in (mostly) American history. Examples include Paul Revere, William Tell, lost nuclear weapons (the author seems fixated on this topic), lemmings, and multiple April Fools Day jokes.
One interesting story was about Des Moines natives, the Cherry sisters, who in the late 1800s were billed as “America’s Worst Act”. When the sisters found out that the billing wasn’t just for publicity, they sued for libel, but quickly lost when they demonstrated their singing and dancing for the court.
Certainly diverting and highly fit for waiting rooms, it definitely isn’t a serious tome. Frankly, I quickly became tired of the puns which ended each story.
2 1/2 out of 5 stars (finished November 27, 2010)