Introducing Encyclopedia Sonia

Reading in a bar because I am, in fact, that person.

You may know that all roads lead to Rome, but are you a person who knows that every (or rather, every second) Wikipedia link leads to philosophy? Or that Bill Clinton’s father, William Jefferson Blythe, Jr., was married five different times to five different women — two of them sisters? Or that Fig Newtons are named after a town in Massachusetts, not the famous physicist? (Okay, that was an easy one.) More importantly, are you a person that wants to know these things (and other random tidbits)?

If so: will you be my friend?

I’m Sonia, a nerd-turned-professional-nerd (also known as a researcher). Despite being paid to Google things, I’ve been known to continue to Google (different) things well past the midnight hour. Encyclopedia Sonia is my attempt to collate all of this information in one place that people can choose to read, instead of texting all of my friends and family, “Did you KNOW that the TV show The Good Place uses the same idea of Hell encapsulated in Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 play No Exit??” at four o’clock in the morning, thereby spoiling either a great sitcom or a great existentialist text, and everyone’s sleep cycle.

Here you will find long, college-essay quality diatribes on random issues (meaning they’re 30 pages long and written at two in the morning the night before I hit publish); lists of random, interrelated facts I found interesting; and gossipy breakdowns of my favorite Wikipedia entries, plus supporting evidence. The more obscure, the better. Here and there I also hope to share little glimpses into my life. Books I’m reading, tea I’m brewing, cocktails I’ve attempted to invent, and comedy specials I’ve enjoyed will likely all make an appearance. What won’t make an appearance? Short sentences, apparently.

Encyclopedia Sonia’s name is a reference to all of three things: (1) Encyclopedia Britannica, online encyclopedia platform and enemy of Wikipedia lovers everywhere, (2) Encyclopedia Brown, a book series I have never read but love the premise of as a mystery enthusiast, and (3) the fact that my childhood nickname was, in fact, “Sonia the encyclopedia.” (Fun fact: this is probably the most times I’ve ever used “encyclopedia” in a single sentence.)

So: welcome to Encyclopedia Sonia. Nerdiness required.

Encyclopedia Sonia is also available as a free newsletter, if Substack’s more your thing.




Probably somewhere reading a book, browsing a Wikipedia page, or brewing a cup of tea. Columbia University ’21. | she/her |📍 San Francisco, CA

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Probably somewhere reading a book, browsing a Wikipedia page, or brewing a cup of tea. Columbia University ’21. | she/her |📍 San Francisco, CA

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