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Comic John Hodgman Shares 'More Information'

Book Tour is a Web feature and podcast. Each week, we present leading authors of fiction and nonfiction as they read from and discuss their work.

If you're reading this, you're probably a Daily Show fan. Or a This American Life fan. Which means you're probably familiar with John Hodgman.

The Daily Show's bespectacled "fake expert," Hodgman also plays a personal computer in a national ad campaign and contributes segments to This American Life about such topics as whether flight or invisibility would be a more awesome superpower.

Hodgman's new book, More Information Than You Require, is a compilation of humorous fake trivia, and it's a continuation of his last book, the best-selling The Areas of My Expertise. And it begins on Page 237 –- exactly where The Areas of My Expertise left off.

Hodgman is a former literary agent who grew up in Brookline, Mass., and attended the same public high school as Conan O'Brien. (O'Brien, who is a few years older, went to Harvard for college; Hodgman is a Yale man.) A few weeks ago, Hodgman advised the titular host of The Rachel Maddow Show that fake expertise begins with searching your brain for half-truths and received wisdom.

"You ask yourself, 'What is it I think I know?' and you say it with a straight face," he said. "And if you can't think of what to say, there's always the Internet."

This reading of More Information Than You Require took place in October 2008 at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

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Neda Ulaby
Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.