By: Ripley's Believe It Or Not!
Publisher: Ripley Publishing
Publication Date: August 2019
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
The newest offering from Ripley's has landed, and like the previous books in this series, this one is lots of fun to read, study, and just plain enjoy.
Readers new to this series will first want to learn about the man behind the books (and the institution that is Ripley's), Robert Ripley. Beyond the Bizarre dedicates a few pages, as do all the books in this series, to the founder of Ripley's, and always has a few new facts about the man to offer. This year we're also treated to a few pages of media events new to Ripley's which include the Hollywood Christmas Parade and a new series on the Travel Channel hosted by Bruce Campbell, known to many as Ash Williams in the Evil Dead franchise.
Next up are several chapters that break the "bizarre" facts down into categories of: Believe It, World, Animals, Pop Culture, People, and finally, Beyond Belief.
Like Robert Ripley, who loved to travel the world in search of new and interesting facts, rites, customs, animals, foods, etc., this book brings the reader to remote, and not so remote, sections of the world. From a toad museum on the banks of the Thuan River in Yasothon, Thailand, to the first woman tattoo artist in the United States, this book isn't just a collection of odd facts, but a tour of many regions of the world. The Pop Culture chapter will undoubtedly be a favorite of teens with selfie facts, digital ink, a Spider-Man skydiver, and so many other social media and celebrity tidbits that they can't resist. I'm always partial to the animal section and while I've read every such chapter in the last ten annuals, I'm still fascinated by what's new this year. There is certainly something for every interest in this newest Ripley's book.
Every August Feathered Quill receives the latest in Ripley's annual "Believe It or Not!" series for review. A hardbound, high-gloss paper, quality product that always offers something new, this book is gobbled up each year here in the office and enjoyed before a review is posted. This year is no different - I spent several hours today going through Beyond the Bizarre, enjoying every page. There are so many odd facts that you might have trouble believing, if it weren't for all the fantastic pictures that accompany those facts. A goose with an arrow through its head, a Roman-style chariot vs. a Ferrri 458 Italia race, and a "Tractor Tree" are just a few of the hundreds of bizarre things you'll come upon in this book. If you, or your child, enjoy learning interesting facts from around the world, then you should definitely check out Ripley's Beyond the Bizarre!
Quill says: Another year, another Ripley's Believe It or Not! annual book of bizarre and fascinating facts. This series never disappoints. Enjoy!