The Pessimist's Guide to History: An Irresistible Guide to Compendium of Catastrophes, Barbarities, Massacres and Mayhem - Stuart Flexner, Doris Flexner This is one of the most entertaining and (sadly) accurate books I've ever read. If all the history books that were put under my nose in school resembled this, I'd have learned a lot faster and with a lot more will than I did.

That's not all it is, though: this is funny. For someone who has real trouble holding onto any faith in the human race, and someone who has a dry sense of humor, this book is perfect. I read it over and over again simply because I enjoy it. Sometimes I just pick it up once a day for a month or so and read one of the entries, just to keep myself in line.

I wish everyone would read this book. It's the ultimate way to remind oneself not to repeat the mistakes of the past, and to get a smile out of it at the same time.