Thursday, May 22, 2008

The 10 Craziest How-To Books You Never Knew Existed

The best literature, both modern and historic, is a primary form of storing and imparting knowledge, a means of entertainment and pleasure, a source of comfort at times of duress and cause for much deep thinking and soul searching.

However, not all literature is a panacea of cultural, philosophical or artistic enlightenment. Some published books serve no other purpose but to entertain us and take our minds off the daily rigours of life. Want to know how to climb to the highest echelon of the Roman Catholic Church or start your very own church? Maybe you’re sick of your friends and would like to learn how to get rid of them?

Here are 10 books that will guide you in the paths of the ridiculous!


1. How-To Shit in the Woods

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Our once-pristine wildlands are threatened by ever increasing problems of pollution. Since its first publication in 1989, How to Shit in the Woods has been adopted by outdoor enthusiasts everywhere as part of the solution. In this updated edition, outdoorswoman Kathleen Meyer reviews the newly available portable potties, with special attention to individual trekkers in an all-new chapter, “Plight of the Solo Poop Packer.” Other topics include: the growing array of travelers’ field water-disinfecting systems, Giardia contamination and the now infamous critter Cryptosporidium, crotch-accessible clothing for women, and a fresh batch of “worst experience” stories, all peppered with irreverent musings. For the purist, there are more wise t.p.-less techniques from the Old World. Written with an effervescent sense of humor, this is a book for anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

2. How-To Have Sex in the Woods

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Sex in the woods is not as simple as it sounds. Sure, you know the basics (after all, if you don’t, you probably shouldn’t try it in the wilderness), but what about all the little details that should be considered before embarking on an alfresco rendezvous that can make the difference between love under the moon and stars and love on the cold, hard ground? For example, what sex essentials should be part of your first-aid kit? What kind of camping equipment provides particular comfort for two? What are the effects of the elements on condoms, spermicides, and other contraceptives? How do you find that perfect spot for your love den? And how about foreplay, personal hygiene, and protection from pesky plants or adverse weather conditions while you’re exposed?

3. How-To Be Pope

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Congratulations, Your Holiness, and welcome to your first day at the Holy See. After being elected by the College of Cardinals, you’ll need to don the papal vestments and get right to work. Armed with this manual, compiled over the last 2,000 years, you’ll be able to navigate the Why’s, How’s, and Who’s of your new life as Pontifex Maximus. What is your official job title? Why do you need to choose a papal name? Who does your laundry? While the church has long maintained an aura of complete secrecy to outsiders, the facts, figures, and historical anecdotes found here give the crucial information you’ll need to fulfill your papal duties.

4. How-To Start Your Own Country

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Can you really start your own country? Erwin Strauss shows you five different methods for doing just that, as well as everything you need to know about sovereignty, national defense, diplomacy, raising revenue and recruiting settlers. Includes dozens of new-country success stories. Why settle for being king of your castle when you can be king of your own country?

5. How-To Be Happy Though Married

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Marriage was God’s idea, and the best advice on the subject is still to be found in the Bible. In this modern classic, Dr. Tim LaHaye shows a new generation how to develop physical, mental, and spiritual harmony in marriage. This book makes a fine wedding or bridal shower gift. And it’s a good choice for any couple wanting a refresher course on what the Bible says about marriage.

6. How-To Rent a Negro

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Ayo, a conceptual artist who integrates social issues in her visual and performing art, offers a satirical look at race relations and the myriad ways that whites and blacks interact on a daily basis but fail to penetrate racial barriers. Ayo claims that all blacks have been “rented” at some time, placed in the role of token at work or in a social setting, or drafted to represent the entire race with an opinion on a current race-related topic. Whites tend to be the renters, employing blacks in particular social situations to demonstrate their awareness of race issues or to deflect charges of racism. Ayo’s pseudo-guidebook for renters and rentals offers a range of social issues and contact, from touching a black person’s skin or hair to racial profiling from police or coworkers. She offers quizzes for readers to determine if they have inadvertently been in the position of renter or rental

7. How-To Lose Friends And Alienate People

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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is Toby Young’s hilarious account of the five years he spent looking for love in all the wrong places and steadily working his way down the New York food chain, from glossy magazine editor to crash-test dummy for interactive sex toys. But it’s more than “the longest self-deprecating joke since the complete works of Woody Allen” (Sunday Times); it’s also a seditious attack on the culture of celebrity from inside the belly of the beast. And there’s even a happy ending as Toby Young marries - “for proper non-cynical reasons,” as he puts it - the woman of his dreams. “Some people are lucky enough to stumble across the right path straight away; most of us only discover what the right one is by going down the wrong one first."

8. How-To Become a Schizophrenic

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The author has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and part of the book is his own story, written in the form of a spellbinding novelette similar to I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. But more than that, the author also utilizes the ideas of Harry Stack Sullivan, Theodore Lidz, Gregory Bateson, R.D. Scott and P.L. Ashworth, W. Ronald D. Fairbairn, Anton Boisen and others—as well as his own experiences—to construct a solid theory which explains how and why he and many other people enter a state of mind called “schizophrenic.” Finally, Modrow tackles the entire medical model with its genetic and biochemical theories, its drugs, and various brain scan studies purporting to prove that schizophrenia is a brain disease, explaining why this is such a popular explanation for emotional distress, but why the theory is very likely false.

9. How-To Read a Book

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How to Read a Book, originally published in 1940, has become a rare phenomenon, a living classic. It is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader. And now it has been completely rewritten and updated. You are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them — from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading, you learn how to pigeonhole a book, X-ray it, extract the author’s message, criticize. You are taught the different reading techniques for reading practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science. Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests whereby you can measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension and speed.

10. How-To Speak with the Dead: A Practical Handbook

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The author discusses a general outline of the scientific facts and arguments on which the certainties of survival and communication are based, as well as information relative to mediums and communicating with the dead.

1 comment:

Bobbie Dawn said...


I saw this post in my google news alerts, I'm not sure what brought me to this, but I thought it was rather funny. Especially because I know people who own half of them. In fact, the first book (how to shit in the woods) is very popular and many of my friends have that, I also know about how to have sex in the woods, how to speak with the dead, and how to start your own country. If you were to read my blog, you might guess that it is because I know many crazy scientists, and you would be half-right, but really it is because I know many people that like to read - just like you. Great post.