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The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014    edited by Sarah Janssen order for
World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014
by Sarah Janssen
Order:  USA  Can
World Almanac, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

The odds are you probably didn't find an almanac under the Christmas tree on Dec. 25th, but don't fret. You can use a gift card or perhaps some of that cash you were given to buy yourself a copy of The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014.

This is more than just a handy reference book that can be used to check on a wide range of facts. Whether you want to know the telephone number for the Theological Society of America; what the figures were for U.S. meat production and consumption in 2012; who won the Tony Award for best musical in 1987; or the name of the state flower of Connecticut, you'll find the answer here.

A new addition to the 2014 edition includes a special section called Marriage in America: A Changing Picture. This section offers a look at the changing demographic trends behind the institution of marriage, family structures and social attitudes in the United States.

Other timely additions include Memorable Winter Olympic Moments and a Voter Guide that provides state-by-state key election dates and voter information.

At just over 1,000 pages there's plenty of room here for maps, color photo spreads and nation's flags as well as extensive lists of everything from composers of classical music, casualty numbers from the wars the country engaged in, top selling vehicles by year, and state government personal income rates, to the major dams and reservoirs in the world.

Because there is so much information crammed into this book, the format includes many pages with double columns. Also, the type size is obviously on the small side, so for those with less than stellar eyesight, a magnifying instrument of some type will come in handy.

Although I know of no one who tries to read this book from cover to cover, it is fun to just crack it open to any page and see what you find. In just one short sitting you could learn that the tallest building in the world is currently in Dubai and stands 163 floors (2,7717 feet) tall. Keep randomly flipping pages and you'll also discover that the largest of Neptune's 14 satellites is Triton, Germany has won the two-man bobsled competition at the last three Winter Olympic Games, and that the U.S. was number three in cell phone use last year (China and India were in the first two spots).

If you are interested in an eclectic array of fascinating material or enjoy besting your family and friends in trivia contests this is definitely a book you'll wish to add to your home library. Given the hours of pleasure it can provide, it will also give you the most bang for your buck!

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