Book Report: Answers in the Form of Questions

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I’ve been sitting on this book report for a few days, because there were so many things to write about that I actually had a backlog! So, today let me share about Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! by Claire McNear. I wanted to read this book so much that I bought it twice. The first copy seems to have been taken from the office porch or delivered to another address. I do hope whoever got the book read it and enjoyed it!

As someone who’s been fascinated by words and word games my whole life, I was thrilled to learn this book came out. I enjoyed Answers in the Form of Questions, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the game of Jeopardy! (exclamation point mandatory) and its history. You learn a lot about how people prepare, as well as what people who have been on the show do later. Apparently, they hang out a lot and go to trivia events at various bars and restaurants.

I gained even more respect for good ole Merv Griffin, who invented that game and Wheel of Fortune (among others). I always thought he was that boring guy who asked Charro funny questions in the afternoon when I got home from school, but nope, he was a pretty darned smart and innovative television pioneer.

I enjoyed learning more about Alex Trebek and his personality. I had no idea how popular his mustache was or how upset people got when he shaved it off! Dang!

I guess this was the world’s most admired ‘stache.

There were a couple of things that I had trouble with in the book. McNear repeats the same information more than once in different chapters, so you read the same stories multiple times, as if she forgot she mentioned something. A good editor would have caught this and had her refer to the previous tale rather than repeating them.

The sun in the process of attacking my desk chair a few days ago. Note a Big Boggle game beside my chair. No one will play it with me. Sniff.

And the book really could have stood to have its publication delayed by six months or so, since it was written during the awkward time when many changes were about to happen for Jeopardy! People were about to retire, changes were about to be made, and Alex Trebek was still alive, but obviously terminally ill. It would have been nice to wait a couple of months or add an addendum with kind words about him and information on how the show is going forward. Maybe they will add something in a second edition.

I get that they probably rushed the book out to cash in on interest following Trebek’s death. It’s marketing!

Goodbye for now from my home office sanctuary. I’m enjoying the view of phoebes, meadowlarks, and mockingbirds until the sun attacks me every afternoon. I need a darker Roman shade!

something poetic

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