The Jeopardy!

Study Guide

By Jeopardy! contestant

Bill O'Donnell

The Reading List

The people at Jeopardy, or Millionaire or Weakest Link will not give you any clues about what to study. In fact, due to the systems in place to prevent cheating, even the producers of the show won't know the exact material until the day of the show. So you'll have to decide what to study.

These are books, tapes, videos and other resources I actually used. (I figure I spent about $3,000 on Jeopardy between travel and books. It was worth it.) Yes, I am trying to sell them to you, via a link with The price is the same as if you went directly, but I get a 5% commission which I promise will only go into my four year old son's college savings. You can, and should, study according to your identified weaknesses, but this list may save you some of the shopping around. A lot of them are audio books, because I used my commute time to study. (Audio books implies audio cassette unless CD is specified.)

A note on kids books. Non-fiction books for children, especially for teens, are great sources of information. They usually cover the topic in a very introductory way, but are usually thorough enough to hit all the important issues. You can't learn everything, so just learn the basics about as many different things as you can.

Click to purchase through

Literature You'll need to know major authors, works, and major characters.

The Poetry of Walt Whitman, Audio Book with study guide

Short cut to Art & Literature, Audio CD Book

The History of English Literature, Audio CD Book

Lives of the Authors, Audio Book

Vintage Reading - from Plato to Bradbury by Robert Kanigel

Shakespeare You'll need to know the major plays, their plots and major characters. Shakespeare is really fun - one of the best things about Jeopardy was getting reacquainted with the Bard. If you can rent Mel Gibson's video version of Hamlet I highly recommend it, forsooth 'tis better than BraveHeart!

Hamlet, Audio Book with study guide

Macbeth, Audio Book with study guide

King Lear, Audio Book with study guide

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Audio Book with study guide

The Merchant of Venice, Audio Book

Julius Caesar, Audio Book

Essential Shakespeare, Audio Book

Children's Shakespeare, Audio Book

Shakespeare Stories (Kid's Book)

Shakespeare Stories - Histories

William Shakespeare, A & E Biography Video

Hamlet, Starring Sir Laurence Olivier, Video

An Introduction to Shakespeare

Mythology You'll need to know at least the Greek and Roman gods and their stories. Knowing a Norse tale or two may be helpful as well.

D'aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, Audio Book

Bullfinch's Mythology, Audio Book

Wishbone, The Odyssey (kids book)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology

Great Books You Ought to Know at Least the Plots of:

I found the study guides that some of these audio books come with very helpful.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Audio Book

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Audio Book with study guide

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, Audio Book with study guide

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Audio Book with study guide

Paradise Lost, by John Milton, Audio Book with study guide

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Audio Book with study guide

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Audio Book with study guide

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Audio Book with study guide

The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, Audio Book with study guide

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, Audio Book

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, kids book

Don Quixote, by Cervantes, Audio Book

Geography Know all the states and their capitals, the Canadian provinces (Alex is from Canada, there is always a "Canadian Question"), and all world capitals and major cities. Study a map, globe or atlas and make lists until you have them memorized. Also watch the news on CNN or listen to NPR on the radio to get in depth news. Jeopardy often asks about countries that have been in the news.

Don't Know Much About Geography, Audio Book

History Know the major wars, explorers, past and present leaders of important countries, major inventions, Presidents, Vice Presidents, English Royalty and big scandals.

Time / CBS News People of the Century, Audio Book

Lives of the Presidents, Audio Book

The Lives of the Kings & Queens of England, Audio Book

Instant Genius - The Constitution, Audio Book

Instant Genius - US Wars Before 1900, Audio Book

Instant Genius - US Wars After 1900, Audio Book

The American Century I, 1889 - 1929, Audio Book

The American Century II, 1929 - 1945, Audio Book

The American Century III, 1945 - 1965, Audio Book

The American Century IV, 1963 - 1989, Audio Book

The Complete Idiot's Guide to British Royalty

Don't Know Much About History, Audio Book

TIME Magazine American Legends

Entertainment & Celebrities My "weakest link." Know who won the Oscars, film directors, movie stars, who's hot right now, musical groups, mixed drinks, fine foods, and popular television.

Instant Genius - Wine, Audio Book

101 Great Movies for Kids, by Jeffery Lyons

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Movies, Flicks & Film

People Magazine, Great Cover Subjects, Audio Book

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, Video

People Magazine Celebrates the '80s

The Director's Vision, A Guide to 250 Great Filmmakers

Art and Artists Know famous American painters and their works, Impressionist painters, major themes and movements, French artists, Leonardo and Rembrandt, major museums in New York and Europe. Sister Wendy is a great help! (She was a Final Jeopardy question once too!)

Shortcut to Art & Literature, Audio CD Book

Lives of the Artists, Audio Book

Instant Genius - Modern Art, Audio Book

Art for Dummies, by Thomas Hoving

Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Modernism, Video

Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Grand Tour, Video

Sister Wendy's American Collection, boxed set Video

Classical Music Know major composers in Europe, major works, types of instruments, American musical theater, major operas and their plots. I discovered I really like opera too, like Shakespeare it's full of blood, sex, intrigue and action!

Opera for Dummies, Audio Book

Lives of the Musicians, Audio Book

Jazz, History of America's Music, by Ken Burns, Audio Book

Classical Music for Dummies, Audio Book

Philosophy and Religion Know major religions, religious holidays, religious leaders, philosophers and their ideas and books. Find an old high school philosophy textbook.

Instant Genius - Philosophy, Audio Book

Instant Genius - World Religions, Audio Book

Don't Know Much About the Bible, Audio Book

Sports Know major pro teams and stars, college teams, their mascots and cities, championships, Super Bowl and World Series winners, major scandals, basic history of major sports.

Sports Illustrated Moments of Glory, Audio Book

Sports Illustrated American Heroes, Audio Book

America's Greatest Olympians, Video

Famous Athletes, Kids Book

20 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century (Kids book)

Football All Stars (Kids book)

Story of the Olympics (Kids book)

Great Sporting Moments

Jeopardy Links

This page is not affiliated with or endorsed by Jeopardy! Sony Pictures Studios, Alex Trebek, or any company or entity connected with America's most popular game show. The author does not believe any of this content damaging to Jeopardy and recommends that everyone watch the show. For the official Jeopardy website, click on their site below.

Visit the Official Jeopardy! Site

My Jeopardy Experience Jeopardy auf Deutsche 2001 Tournament of Champions - Behind the Scenes
Preparing for Jeopardy! Jeopardy Database of Champions Advice on beating the buzzer from Karl Coryat
Play Jeopardy Online Help on the 2/3 rule and more Math for Jeopardy Contestants Jeopardy Fan Club Site
Jack Archy's Funny Jeopardy Week Karl Coryat's really good site about becoming a contestant on Jeopardy! O'Donnell Photography - See what I really do!

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