If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People?

by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, Harmony Books.

True to its subtitle, “If Ignorance is Bliss …” is filled with smart quotes covering hundreds of subjects ranging from acting to Zen. But not all the statements in this quote anthology are wise. Consider the predictions of Lord Kelvin, who opined that “Radio has no future,” and that “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” It’s also worth noting that there are three pages of quotes devoted to success, yet only a single page allotted to failure. (And we all know that failure is much more interesting than success.)

Nevertheless, the authors—who also penned the best-selling “Book of General Ignorance”—have assembled an impressive collection, useful for reference, recalling amusing anecdotes, or, as the case may be, providing a writer with a review-ending quote. How about this Antoine de Saint-Exupéry gem? “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”