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Download The Areas of My Expertise: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Areas of My Expertise: An Almanac of Complete World Knowledge Compiled with Instructive Annotation and Arranged in Useful Order Audiobook, by John Hodgman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 5 3.48 (42 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Hodgman Narrator: John Hodgman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2006 ISBN: 9781429586450
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In the great tradition of the American almanac, The Areas of My Expertise is a brilliant and hilarious compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom on all topics large and small. Although bestsellers such as Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Book of Lists were certainly valuable, they also were largely true. Here is a different kind of handy desk reference, one in which all of the historical oddities and amazing true facts are sifted through the singular, illuminating imagination of John Hodgman, which is the nice way of saying: he made it all up.                                          

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik Dryden | 2/20/2014

    " If you've seen John Hodgman's commentaries on the Daily Show, you pretty much know what to expect in his book. He is an expert in any area he declares himself to be, and confidently shares, here in almanac form, his dubious wisdom. Overall, this book was hilarious, but I would recommend it in small doses. His humor is quite dry, and can get a little tiresome if read all at once. Still, I laughed a lot, and I'm looking forward to reading more of his stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trickey | 2/7/2014

    " Mildly entertaining. Unfortunately, when you compile mildly entertaining in over 200 pages it can become somewhat boring. But for those of you who enjoy fictitious information presented in clear tables and correlating graphs, than you will enjoy this book. If you can't imagine reading a list of 700 hobo names, than I recommend skipping it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe Viola | 1/23/2014

    " Frustrating. Funny moments throughout but too spread out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J | 1/20/2014

    " Hilarious bathroom read. Snippets of real actual factoids (hint: "factoid" does not mean what you think). Even the Hobo Name list, though long and a little exhausting sneaks in unexpected chuckles. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 1/17/2014

    " I really wanted to like this book because I love Hodgman's work on The Daily Show. However, I think his brand of humor just isn't made for print. Upon reading other reviews, it looks like the audio book is the way to go. I think I gave it a good honest effort by reading the first 70 pages, but it was just too random and weird to keep going. And believe me, I'm not usually a person who uses the words "random" and "weird" in a negative manner. I just didn't find it funny at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deadbeatgrandpajoe | 12/16/2013

    " Funny in some parts, not so in other parts "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 12/15/2013

    " Man, funny. I read this for SSR and would find myself stifling laughter. Some of my students saw me and thought I was nuts because I hadn't informed them that I had switched to a new book. They thought it was pretty messed up to be laughing so hard at In Cold Blood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 11/9/2013

    " Just like when he's on The Daily Show, except written, and more disjointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 10/15/2013

    " Hodgman is wonderfully ridiculous in this almanac of lies and made-up facts. Sometimes uneven, but never less than clever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Taft | 10/13/2013

    " One of the funniest books I have ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 10/10/2013

    " Audiobook of this one. I really appreciated the feature of the separate 700 hobo names list...set to calming and appropriate music. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cecilia | 10/8/2013

    " Everyone needs to read this book. Now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mat Montgomery | 8/28/2013

    " Complete world knowledge, now complete. Begin here and do not stop until "That is All". Read all the hobo names, or better, listen to John Hodgman tell you all the hobo names while Jonathan Coulton plays guitar in the background on the audiobook. It is marvelous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamison Shuck | 8/21/2013

    " Some parts were kind of dumb but other parts had me cracking up with laughter, especially the chapter on hobos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 T. Justin | 7/10/2013

    " Batshit-insane in the very best way. Power to the Hobos! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph Monti | 4/30/2013

    " Really funny. John Hodgman has a great sense of humor and it shows in this book. Very daily show-esque. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Patrick | 2/4/2013

    " I got 148 names right here for you buddy "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brett | 11/8/2012

    " I read his second book first and thought it was hilarious. I didn't find this one nearly as funny. But I kind of feel like if I had read this one first it could have been the other way around. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 10/20/2012

    " A very quick and funny read. Quirky sense of humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug Stringham | 10/2/2012

    " Hodgman is a joy to listen to. AOME only deepened my own font of useless knowledge. More please. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monkey | 9/3/2012

    " the world would be more interesting this book was non-fiction. john hodgmen reads his work on the audio addition and his delivery is sublime. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew Blocker | 10/25/2011

    " Love the sense of humor of John Hodgman, Jonathan Coulton is a nice bonus "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Osho | 9/13/2011

    " While Hodgman ostensibly creates a humorous almanac (in the historical tradition), his entries and helpful footnotes also build a world of hobos, portents, and conspiracies. A pleasing read for anyone, but especially for people who read reference books for pleasure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 9/7/2011

    " I learned about hoboes, their ancient practices, secret symbols, and plans to take over the US Government. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris Freeman | 7/7/2011

    " What's wrong with me? This book is supposed to be funny.. and sometimes it was, but much of it just wasn't. I think it was too much of that over-the-top cynical ironic Conan O'Brien Simpsons Daily Show humor. It just never let up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ezra | 7/5/2011

    " Could have done with a few fewer hobo names. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 5/19/2011

    " Funny. Some parts are gold, but there is quite a lot of dross in between. Harldy a laugh-a-minute, but there's definitely some section worth remembering. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 D'Arcy | 5/5/2011

    " Hilarious. Facts you could care less about but make you want to keep turning the pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 4/13/2011

    " I don't seem to find this book nearly as amusing as many of my friends did. But I must admit when I found James Fenimore Cooper, Terry Gross and William Carlos Williams tucked away among the list of 700 hobo names I did 'LOL'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 4/3/2011

    " I actually knew most of this already. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kati | 3/17/2011

    " I audiobooked this one--my first time! I think it took me way longer to listen to it (especially since I listened to all 700 hobo names) than it would have to read it, but you can't read Jonathan Coulton's musical and comedic contributions, so I think audiobook is the way to go for this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 3/13/2011

    " Strange but fabulous. We listened to the audio-book as read by the esteemed author and enjoyed his narration (especially of the tables) even more than a standard read. Be warned: if you're not that in to hobos this book might not be for you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deadbeatgrandpajoe | 2/25/2011

    " Funny in some parts, not so in other parts "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lucius Kwok | 2/17/2011

    " Got only a 1/5 through this book in before I realized how a little popularity and fame can make a mediocre book a best-seller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 2/13/2011

    " This was one of those fun non-sense books that is a good break from reading a normal novel. It definitely doesn't have to be read front to back and is fun to just read random chapters out of order. I only read it front to back to make sure I didn't miss anything. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dmarchant | 2/3/2011

    " Not my cup of tea.....I'm sure there is humor somewhere in this, but it took me the second time and gritting my teeth to get through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Honey | 1/23/2011

    " It made me laugh out loud. That's high praise from me: very very rare for anything to have me cracking up over and over til the book is done. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kate | 1/12/2011

    " I am all for random humor, but this was not funny.

    And I did not like the charts at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephen | 1/4/2011

    " I would give this one a 2.5 if half ratings were an option. There are parts I really enjoyed, but most of the comedy was taken past the point of humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reading Sarah | 12/30/2010

    " This book was hilarious and delivered on everything promised. I loved that Jonathan Coulton was involved in the audiobook and that while the audiobook covered the same material as I imagine the print book has there is no way that it was a direct reading of the book. So entertaining and wonderful! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lily | 12/28/2010

    " I can't really describe this book, so I'm not even going to attempt to. It's a fictituous almanac; sitting down and reading it straight through, cover to cover, is almost impossible, but it's great to carry around and read portions of whenever you need a laugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 12/15/2010

    " It's like a melancholy, mythical history of the United States. "

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About the Author
Author John HodgmanJohn Hodgman is a writer, comedian, and actor. He is the author of three New York Times bestselling books—The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All. After an appearance to promote his books on The Daily Show, he was invited to return as a contributor, serving as the show’s "Resident Expert" and "Deranged Millionaire." This led to an unexpected and, frankly, implausible career before the camera. He has performed comedy for the president of the United States, at a TED conference, and in a crypt in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Finally, he is the host of the popular Judge John Hodgman podcast, in which he settles serious disputes between real people, such as "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" and "Should we tell our children the TRUTH about Santa Claus?" He also contributes a weekly column under the same name for The New York Times Magazine.