I’ve just read the GQ thread on the 11 ‘secret’ herbs-and-spices used in KFC ‘chicken’. In the first reply, there was a good accounting of how the subject was answered in the book ‘Big Secrets’ by William Poundstone. I, owning all three books in the series (Big Secrets, Bigger Secrets, and Biggest Secrets), was prepared to dig up my copy until I read that post. After my surprise, I got to thinking. How many of you own one of the three Poundstone ‘Secrets’ books? How many own more than one? How many are like me, and have bought a full set? Any intelligent comparisons? For the interested, the books are just a set, not a series. Each of them is perfectly usable alone.
I’ve got Big Secrets, had it for many years.
Don’t have the other two, but I can’t wait for Episode One: Normal Sized Obvious Stuff
I have Big Secrets and loved it. I didn’t realize there was more than one. I just checked, and my local library has Biggest Secrets, which I’ll be sure to borrow out the next time I’m there.
I only have the first two. Invaluable references.
I’ve got all three. I enjoy them. I wonder, though, if the author came out with another one, what would it be called?
I have all three. I just love them.
The books are enjoyable, although it seems to me that the average size of the ‘secrets’ is actually getting smaller as the series goes on.
And we should not forget that one of the secrets Poundstone purports to reveal is that Cecil and Ed are really the same person.
So, Chief, which is it? (smiley supressed)
[semi-hyjack] I have a friend who thinks they should make a sequel to * As Good As It Gets * and call it * Even Better Then It Was Before* [/semi-hyjack]
For that reason, I think the fourth should be called Even Bigger Secrets Then What We Told You About Before.
I’ve had all three for years. In fact, I literaly (just before posting) loaned my copy of “Biggest Secrets” to a fellow worker who has drilled a hole in a bottle and bought a slab of basswood (someone else here already has a Coke bottle with an arrow through it – ths guy wants his own).
I love such vade mecum books. I also recommend 9in addition to the “Straight Dope” books, of course):
“Dictionary of Misinformation” by Tom Burnham
“On the Spoor of Spooks” and “A Natural History of Nonsence” by Bergen Evans
“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”
“Paranormal Borderlands of Science” and other books of reprints from “The Skeptical Inquirer” (edited by Kendrick Frasier)
“The Flying Circus of Physics” by Jearl D. Walker
I’ve got a bookcase full of such stuff, along with debunking books like Lawrence D. Kusche’s “The Bermuda Triangle Mystery — Solved!” and James Randi’s books. Fun to read and re-read.