#369 on Amazon as I write this.
Here’s another review that I like:
This is a terrific book. It looks like it’s about Jeopardy and it says it’s about Jeopardy and it’s called Prisoner of Trebekistan but guess what? It’s actually about finding out how to do something really hard that you really don’t know how to do. And how that changes your life forever.
You learn how to study for Jeopardy–or anything, really–so for that alone, it’s worth having. I taught college English for ten years, which is why I think all college freshmen ought to have this book. It teaches you how to learn and it shows you that the point of learning is the way that new knowledge enlarges your world and changes you, not the knowledge itself. Don’t you wish you’d known that when you were eighteen? I wish I’d known that this clearly last week.
It’s a very funny memoir with a plot, or several, and high stakes: the author’s entire life. It’s a story about figuring things out. It’s about failure. Repeated, abject, public failure. It’s about how new knowledge changes the things you see every day. It makes you burst out laughing and frighten the cat. It’s a page-turner you can’t put down, especially if, like me, you have never followed Jeopardy and you don’t know what happens in the end. Even if you do know how it comes out, you’ll be completely fascinated by this look behind the scenes of the show.
And, in the course of the book, the author outlines the Eightfold Path to Enlightened Jeopardy, which turns out accidentally to be a wise and funny guide to a happier and weirder and far more interesting life.
That’s pretty impressive.
My favorite part is how the author learned more and more and more arcane and far-flung facts to play Jeopardy and how that completely changed the world for him. I’ve never seen a more convincing argument for learning everything you possibly can. You get out of your own skull, outside your limited experience, and discover how much more interesting and complex and wonderful the world is.
You get to the end of the book so excited that you want to jump out of your chair, call all your friends, hug everyone, quit wasting time, and go see the whole world–you want to do every important thing right now!
What a terrific book!