The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes

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One of my favorite things to read is The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes by Clifton Fadiman. The book contains over 4,000 anecdotes by more than 2,000 famous people.

Here are a few examples:

A devotee of cigars, Mark Twain was temptuous of those who made a great to-do about giving up smoking. He always claimed that it was easy to quit: “I’ve done it a hundred times!”

Henry Ford was once asked why he made a habit of visiting his executives when problems arose rather than calling them to his own office. “I go them to save time,” explained Ford. “I’ve found that I can leave the other fellow’s office a lot quicker than I can get him to leave mine.”

On arrival at a Chicago hotel, Thomas Du Pont found that a lady who had previously occupied his room had left behind a frilly nightgown. He summoned the manager, handed him the garmet, and instructed, “Fill it and bring it back.”

If you decide to buy it I recommend the Kindle edition simply because the paperback edition is massive. I also recommend not trying to read it straight through; I enjoy flipping it open to a random page and to just start reading regardless of whether I’ve heard of the person or not because it exposes me to a lot of history that I probably would never learn about otherwise.

As one of the Amazon reviewers commentedI envy you if you are discovering this for the first time. Check it out.

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