Sunday, 20 November 2016

Alan Connor: The Joy of Quiz

I've sometimes thought how poorly off we quizzers are for books specifically about our pastime of choice. Not quiz books, I hasten to add, of which there are more than you can shake a stick at, nor even self-help books about how to become a better quizzer (may I recommend Be A Quiz Winner!, currently available on Amazon? Too late, I already did.) No, actual books about quizzing, as a hobby, a phenomenon, call it what you will. I've read and enjoyed Marcus Berkman's "Brain Men" and Ken Jennings "Brainiac", also Mark Mason's "The Importance of Being Trivial".

Adding to that list, then, may I point you in the direction of Alan Connor's "The Joy of Quiz"? Alan Connor is the Question Editor on "Only Connect" - or he was last time I watched. So he definitely knows his subject. He's a very entertaining writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book which I read in the matter of a couple of evenings. Of course, it maybe helped that I did get a namecheck, even if it was just in reference to my appearance on the Antiques Roadshow (nobody wanted to look at my Queen Anne legs or my walnut kneehole).

The book is about quizzing in general, but particularly about broadcast quizzes. As you may have gathered, I look on myself as at least a student of the genre, if not actually a connoisseur, so this was right up my street, for all the fact that it's been a pretty long time since I've written much other than reviews on LAM.

Cutting to the chase, if you love quizzes, I think you'll really enjoy it. Just google it, or go to Amazon and search for either The Joy of Quiz, or Alan Connor.


Dan said...

I stumbled across an advance proof of this book a few weeks ago. I took it to read on the train when I went to our first league match of the season, where it was seized upon by one of the opposing team, a certain Well Known Quizzer From TV. Obviously, he did what we all do in such cases, which is look for ourselves in the index - a problem, since, being an advance proof, there was no index. So he spent the next few minutes flicking through, looking for his name.

"Ah," he eventually said."Found something about me. Apparently, in 1992, I won a trip to Tenerife in a quiz. I can't for the life of me remember that."

Now, I wouldn't dare to suggest that the memory of a certain WKQFTV was fading, so you can draw your own conclusions. Apart from that, an interesting book, well written, and a perfect Christmas gift for any quizzer in your life. Hardback rather than Kindle edition, though.

Alan said...

Morning Dave! I hasten to clarify that your post popped up in my "Quiz Bits" RSS feed, rather than my trying to stalk each and every reader of The Joy of Quiz. (In other words, as they say on American radio: Long-time listener, first time caller, love the show.)

Thanks for reading and enjoying, which means a lot, obviously, and apologies for the only-passing reference to you and many other quizzing figures.

Quick note to Dan: the authority for that claim was one M Magnusson -- -- in a book published three years after the alleged holiday was alleged to have been won and the relevant index entry now reads "101, 102, 223–7".

Londinius said...

Hi Alan - no need to apologise! Great book, and as I said, a nice thing for any quizzer to find in their sticking on Christmas Morning.

Adam "Addy" Lewis said...

I dare say this is right up my street! I'll refrain from buying it just yet, however, as it 's entirely likely I'll end up with several copies on Christmas morning due to most of my family getting the same inclination ;)