Open Schott’s Miscellany 2009 (Bloomsbury, $30) to any page and you’ll find something interesting.  Broken up into sections that go from “The World & Gazetteer,” “Society & Health,” “Government,” to “Form & Faith,” this quirky almanac is full of random surveys, facts, figures, and even, which I thought was great, an “In Brief” section which handily sums up major stories and personalities of the last year.  There seems to be a little bit of everything here (do you know what QWERTY Tummy is? Well, I sure didn’t. Or how about Globaloney? Check it out on page 196).  This is a book that I will definitely keep where I can grab it for a quick, informative read.

Schott's Miscellany 2009: An Almanac Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781596915428
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA - October 28th, 2008

Modeled after spiritual devotionals, The Intellectual Devotional: Modern Culture (Rodale, $24) provides brief readings on modern culture (principally that of the American and English-speaking world), from Archie Bunker to Zionism. The 365 entries, drawn from categories such as Personalities, Literature, Music, Film, Ideas and Trends, invite reading one piece each day for a year, and each entry consists of a brief overview of the subject followed by “Additional Facts.” Authors David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim have made the entries light and uncontroversial—they’re a fun and informative way to brush up on what one really should know already.