Garson O’Toole is known as “The Quote Investigator” and has made a name for himself on the Internet by looking into the origins and veracity of famous quotations, especially those that often find their way onto inspirational posters, high school yearbooks, and memes that your more senior family members post to Facebook. His book Hemingway Didn’t Say That is a collection of some of the most famous quotes he’s looked into, broken into various categories and judged in a way similar to what you’d see on the average Snopes entry.
While fascinating at times, the book does tend to drag and I’ll admit that it took me several months to read. It works better if you consider it a reference work or a book you’ll flip through, much like any of the many nostalgia-based books that are full of lists and profiles and don’t have a continuous narrative structure. Unfortunately for the Quote Investigator, that only works if you’re buying the book in hard copy and not for a Kindle–then again, maybe I’m showing my age by saying that I find browsing/flipping through a book on my Kindle way more tedious than physically picking one up off of the shelf.
You should read this book if …
- Are a Snopes addict.
- You love trivia.
- Don’t mind a book you can put down for a while and pick up without feeling like you need a refresher on the chapters you read.
- You are looking to something to flip through while you’re in the bathroom