“Duh! 100 Bar Trivia Questions You Should Know (And the Unexpected Stories Behind the Answers),” edited by Christopher D. Short. (Simon & Schuster/TNS)

Bar trivia is the best kind of trivia. Where else can you flex your knowledge of "Cheers" and early 20th-century dentistry? Where else can you pay $9 for a beer and maybe get a free pitcher if you win every round? Geeks Who Drink, the company behind trivia quizzes in bars throughout the country, wants to make sure you have a fighting chance at winning that pitcher.

Their new book, "Duh! 100 Bar Trivia Questions You Should Know (And the Unexpected Stories Behind the Answers)" (Adams Media) covers topics ranging from the formula for Palmolive soap to the location of the Great Barrier Reef to Hannah Montana's alter-ego.

This wouldn't be much of a trivia book if it just gave you the answers, though. Over the course of 100 diverse trivia questions, Geeks Who Drink make sure that participants not only know the "what" but the "why" and "how" to every fun fact.

Each question in this book is followed by a brief explanation, about the length of your average Wikipedia entry, to provide context for the Qs and their corresponding As. Wondering why the Phoenix Suns' mascot is a gorilla? Credit goes to a gag from Western Union parody Eastern Onion, which put a guy in a gorilla suit on the Suns' home court. The rest is history.

Only by learning our history can we avoid making the same mistakes, and only by learning the history of obscure subjects such as Earl Grey tea and Dostoevsky's gambling debts can we secure a trivia night win. Editor Christopher D. Short, who's responsible for much of Geeks Who Drink's impressive trivia repertoire, has gone a step further and included footnotes with further background on the brief but thorough entries in the book.

These are written with the same conversational ease as the entries themselves. Short cracks wise about Jiminy Cricket and FDR's membership to the Shriners fraternity, a quasi-secret society known for their headwear of choice, the red fez.

"Duh! 100 Bar Trivia Questions You Should Know" might not provide you with the means to go toe-to-toe with a Jeopardy champ like Ken Jennings ("If I didn't already know everything, I would have learned so much here!" he says of this book) but it will certainly give you a strategic advantage at the next bar trivia night. Even if you don't partake in the tradition of drinking and head-scratching and coming up with a goofy name for your team (and my friends have come up with some doozies, the worst probably being "Quiz Khalifa"), you're bound to learn a ton of facts that you may have never even realized you wanted to know.

"Duh! 100 Bar Trivia Questions You Should Know" is now available.

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As chief editor of Geeks Who Drink since 2010, Christopher D. Short has read, looked at, listened to, written or rewritten some 200,000 distinct pieces of trivia _ and those are just the ones he was paid for. In 2011, Short became the 14th-ever six-time champion on "Jeopardy" (he's still the one who earned the least money). He lives in Crawfordsville, Indiana with his wife, son and a pitifully small dog.


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