Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids by Ken Jennings
Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll stay like that!
Feed a cold, starve a fever!
Don’t touch your Halloween candy until we get it checked out!
Never run with scissors
Don’t look in the microwave while it’s running!
This will go down on your permanent record
Is any of it true? If so, how true? Ken Jennings wants to find out if mother and father always know best. Yes, all those years you were told not to sit too close to the television (you’ll hurt your eyes!) or swallow your gum (it stays in your stomach for seven years!) or crack your knuckles (arthritis!) are called into question by our country’s leading trivia guru. Jennings separates myth from fact to debunk a wide variety of parental edicts: no swimming after meals, sit up straight, don’t talk to strangers, and so on.
Armed with medical case histories, scientific findings, and even the occasional experiment on himself (or his kids), Jennings exposes countless examples of parental wisdom run amok. Whether you’re a parent who wants to know what you can stop worrying about or a kid (of any age) looking to say, “I told you so,” this is the anti–helicopter parenting book you’ve been waiting for.
Ken Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea, where he became a daily devotee of the quiz show Jeopardy! In 2004, he successfully auditioned for a spot on the show and went on an unprecedented seventy-four game victory streak worth $2.52 million. Jennings’s book Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as were his follow-up books Maphead and Because I Said So! Jennings lives outside Seattle with his wife, Mindy, his son, Dylan, his daughter, Caitlin, and a small, excitable dog named Chance.
Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids 3.5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
This book was so well written. I learned many truths behind the things my parents/family told me growing up, while also enjoying a well written joke on almost every page. Was well worth the money.
More than 1 year ago
Author Ken Jennings is the Jeopardy! contestant who held an incredibly long 74-game winning streak back in 2004. His book Because I Said So! is the Snopes of "parental folklore," covering a multitude of common things parents have said to their children, generation after generation.
Jennings explores these statements one by one, revealing what science has to say about each. He also looks into how some of the myths originated, which I found fascinating. Many statements turn out to be urban legends and old wives' tales, but a number of them are declared truth. Jennings ends each topic with a verdict (True, Mostly True, Mostly False, or False) and gives alternate solutions and suggestions for those he debunks. He shows his sense of humor, too: Popsicles by the pool? Fine. Peach vodka popsicles? Maybe less so.
I do think the book ended too suddenly. After the final "verdict," there were no closing or summarizing thoughts, only "This concludes Because I Said So!. Please visit our website..." That felt odd to me.
Ken Jennings has a very pleasant voice and speaks clearly. He also speaks quickly. Personally, I appreciated that, but once in a while he gets on a roll and it's almost too fast. If you prefer a slower pace when you listen, you may want to hear a sample before buying.
Jennings kept my interest throughout the duration of the audiobook (about 5 hours), and I actually found it difficult to hit the pause button. The amount of time spent on each topic was perfect. If you enjoy trivia, popular science, or tend to question the things people say, I'm sure you'll enjoy Because I Said So! as much as I did.
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