Did you know Thomas Jefferson’s grandson was an ax murderer? Don’t you delight knowing some dinosaurs were teeny tiny as hens? Before buying that plane ticket, don’t you NEED to know which exotic islands still have cannibals? Wonder what it’s like to live in Hell Town at the End of the World? How about an ailment so surreal it’s named after Alice in Wonderland? In Random Obsessions: Trivia You Can’t Live Without, historian Nick Belardes has dug into the raw source material found in historical archives, scientific studies, and libraries the world over. You’ll also read first-person interviews with people who can explain the unexplained, from the permanently puzzling Mothman conspiracy to secret Star Wars Jedi religious cults, and the charmingly eccentric reason why British aerospace engineers sent teddy bears floating out into space. Truly trivia you can’t live without, Random Obsessions is filled with facts, lists, definitions, and astonishing information guaranteed to provide you with the best cocktail conversation for many years to come! Your guide, Nick Belardes, has devoted his life to poking around the peculiar and perplexing. Explore the unknown stories behind why the nation’s capitol didn’t stay in Philadelphia, why some fossils are smiling, and how, if Preparation H existed in the early 1800s, Napoleon would have won Waterloo. These real-world facts are outlandish enough to sharpen your brain and occupy your mind for hours of reading. This book is so fascinating and fun, you’ll become obsessed, too!
Nicholas Belardes is novelist, journalist, illustrator, memoirist and poet. He's author of Songs Of The Glue Machines (poetry: 2013), Letters From Vegas, Invisible Memoirs: I Speak From My Palms (memoir: 2013), Illustrator of New York Times best selling novel West of Here (2011), author of Random Obsessions (nonfiction, reference: 2009), the first Twitter Lit, Small Places (2008), and Lords, (fiction: 2005). His latest book, A People's History Of The Peculiar will be published by Viva Editions in 2014. His journalism has appeared on the homepage of CNN and his artwork has appeared in Memoir Journal, Knock Literary Magazine and 826 Seattle's What to Read in the Rain (part of acclaimed author and philanthropist Dave Eggers 826 National). Nicholas currently teaches for Random Writers Workshop (RWW). He launched RWW in 2009, a low-cost writing critique, lecture and discussion group open to the public in Bakersfield and Fresno, California. He has most recently taught for Memoir Journal's The (In)visible Memoirs Project, and has taught at Bakersfield College, CSU Bakersfield, the Art Institute of Las Vegas, and has guest lectured at UCLA, BARD College, various museums, libraries, galleries and writing groups. He has performed at the Texas State University's Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, The Beat Museum, MTV's Rock N'; Read, The Levan Center, art galleries, coffeehouses, pizza houses, bookstores, and more.Caroline Leavitt is the New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and eight other award-winning books. She lives in Hoboken, NJ.