One of America's favorite pastimes has always been games, and some of the most popular games are centered around trivia. "Jeopardy!" has been on television for close to 50 years and almost every pub now hosts a trivia night.
The library has books to help you improve your chances when a trivia challenge arises. Browse the Dewey 031 shelves for treasuries of imponderables and books of lists. Titles like "Quizzing," "The Trivia Café," "10,000 Questions" and "Uncle John's Ultimate Challenge" can involve the entire family in the fun. Also look for specialty trivia books throughout the collection.
We have trivia titles on the Bible, science, music, TV shows, "Star Trek," American history and sports. Presidents are explored in "Oval Office Oddities," "Presidential Trivia" and "Facts about the Presidents."
Remember to check the Children's Library for "Smart About the 50 States," "Go America," "Bart's King Sized Book of Fun" and "The Question and Answer Book." Kids can learn a lot through quiz games.
Test your own knowledge with the "Best of Cash Cab" or any of the volumes in the "Jeopardy Quiz Book series." Ken Jennings is the all-time champion on Jeopardy, winning 74 times. His book "Brainiac" explores the world of trivia experts. His "Trivia Almanac" contains 8,888 challenging questions and his latest book "Because I Said So" examines the wisdom behind old wives tales. Another recent book "Final Jeopardy" describes the quest to perfect Watson, the game playing computer that ultimately beat Jennings at his own game.
If you are comfortable going online, visit the EBSCO or GALE databases on the library's Research and Learning link on its webpage. Type in the search term "trivia" and several magazine and newspaper articles with recent trivia questions will be listed -- including Maclean's Magazine's weekly general knowledge quizzes.
We'll leave you with a trivial quiz: 1. What Strait links the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean? 2. What movie about a fish was the top grossing movie of all time until "Star Wars" topped it? 3. Who was the first president born in the 20th century? 4. From what metal is the Statue of Liberty constructed? 5. What does an ichthyologist study? 6. What two monopoly game pieces can be worn?
Answers: 1. Strait of Gibraltar, 2. "Jaws," 3. John Kennedy, 4. copper, 5. fish 6. shoe and hat.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Access the at www.mymanatee.org/library
Kevin Beach is the Library Operations Supervisor