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Friday, 31 December, 2010

Book Tree

This would be a nice display even if it weren't Christmas. It's at the University of San Francisco library, and is made from the National Union Catalog.  It's called the NUC Christmas Tree.

NUC Tree

(via Things Organized Neatly)

Permalink | Posted in Books @11:27am | Comments (4)

Sunday, 19 December, 2010

Some People Are Horses

A book written by Jason the Horse: What if You Are a Horse In Human Form?

This book discusses openly what many have known but very few have ever revealed, even to family members and close friends. Today there are many horses in human form in the world, and they are here to help their race—and humanity.

What if You are a Horse in Human Form? was written to comfort, inform, and encourage these equines, most of whom have never met another in their situation and fear that they are all alone. Here they will find information that will facilitate their own journeys of self-discovery to learn why they are here and what the equine race wants them to accomplish. This work will also be of help to the human relatives and friends of these horses-in-human-guise.

What if You are a Horse in Human Form

Also available as an audio book.

(Thanks Jim)

Permalink | Posted in Books @12:13pm | Comments (15)

Wednesday, 15 December, 2010

Amazon Gives Book Sales Info

Great news for authors: Amazon gives Nielsen BookScan to authors.

In a move to provide authors with a service their publishers have not, Amazon is making current Nielsen BookScan sales data available to authors on its site, the company announced Thursday. Authors typically wait six months or more to receive royalty statements from publishers, which contain book-sales information.

Authors with books for sale on Amazon who have signed up to use Author Central, the site's free author portal, will be able to see the book-sales information.

The data, provided by Nielsen BookScan, include nationwide sales information from Barnes & Noble, Target and other big-box brick-and-mortar retailers, from Amazon.com and from some independent booksellers. Nielsen estimates that BookScan captures 75% of print book sales in the U.S. retail market.

It's pretty interesting, but information isn't available for specific books. For example this chart shows only my three top-selling books, plus an aggregated "all other books" (dark blue, at the bottom).

book sales

Permalink | Posted in Books @1:35pm | Comments (8)

Wednesday, 17 November, 2010

How To Buy Stuff

I'd buy this book online, but I don't know how: Amazon.com for Dummies.


Permalink | Posted in Books @12:43pm | Comments (4)

Tuesday, 16 November, 2010

Bush Not Plagiarist

You'd think his ghost writers would be more careful: Pakistani journalist upset by Bush’s ‘plagiarism’ of his works.

bush_writing A journalist from Pakistan says he is disappointed that his work was plagiarized by former President George W. Bush in his recently published book Decision Points.

"It is never a compliment when politicians plagiarize ideas or comments from journalists without acknowledging their work," Ahmed Rashid told BBC News. "Unfortunately it happens all the time."

In his book, Bush describes an incident that occurred during Afghan President Karzai's inauguration, but Bush himself was not present at the inauguration.

The anecdote lifted from Rashid's article describes the meeting of a warlord and President Karzai. According to Grim, the anecdote was lifted from Rashid's article almost word for word.

But it's OK:

The publisher of Bush's Decision Points, Crown Publishing, says its similarity with other works only proves the accuracy of the book.

The photo shows the ex-president wearing a light blue tie.

Permalink | Posted in Books @12:28pm | Comments (6)

Wednesday, 10 November, 2010

Pedophile Guide Doing Very Well

Guess what's almost in the top 100 Kindle list? The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure.

That's right. It's currently the #116 bestseller. And that's just because of the controversy: Threats of Amazon boycott over sales of ‘Pedophile’s Guide.

Amazon.com Inc. is selling a self-published guide that offers advice to pedophiles, and that has generated outrage on the Internet and threats to boycott the retailer.

The availability of "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" calls into question whether Amazon has any procedures — or even an obligation — to vet books before they are sold in its online stores.

The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure

Right now, the ebook has 1,573 1-star ratings (the lowest possible), and 27 5-star ratings.

By tomorrow, it will probably be in the top-20. The author, "Phillip R Greaves 2nd" is probably pretty pleased with his self-published success.

Shown here is a reader-submitted image for the book.

And here's an article about the author: Author Of Pedophile Book Says He Has Sold One Copy Of Creepy Title.

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:12pm | Comments (33)

Book For Tea Party Offspring

Just in time for the holidays: The Tea Party Children's Book About How Obama Stole Christmas

liberal claus The Liberal Clause: Socialism on a Sleigh is written by David Hedrick, a Tea Party candidate who lost his bid this year to be the Republican candidate for Washington's third district.

You may remember him from this recent story where he is accused of physically assaulting his wife. I think I was the only person to buy a copy of The Liberal Clause last night because Hedrick came over personally to shake my hand, talking excitedly about what he'd created (the book costs $20 so I'm not surprised a lot of people passed).

The story, he told me, came naturally one night as he was making up a bedtime story for his children (the book is dedicated to them with the warning "Never forget that free goodies from liberal elves often come at a price"). The satire where Obama steals Christmas that Hedrick came up with on that fateful night was too good not to be illustrated and published for all children to enjoy.

The article has lots of images and excerpts.

(Thanks xsjsx)

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:50am | Comments (1)

Monday, 08 November, 2010

Driving Force Of Humanity

An excerpt from W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage.

An old drunk Parisian artist named Crenshaw sez:

book cover "Man performs actions because they are good for him, and when they are good for other people as well they are thought virtuous: if he finds pleasure in giving alms he is charitable; if he finds pleasure in helping others he is benevolent; if he finds pleasure in working for society he is public-spirited; but it is for your private pleasure that you give twopence to a beggar as much as it is for my private pleasure that I drink another whiskey and soda. I, less of a humbug than you, neither applaud myself for my pleasure nor demand your admiration."

The main character, Philip, asks:

"But have you never known people do things they didn't want to instead of things they did?"

Crenshaw replies:

"No. You put your question foolishly. What you mean is that people accept an immediate pain rather than an immediate pleasure. The objection is as foolish as your manner of putting it. It is clear that men accept an immediate pain rather than an immediate pleasure, but only because they expect a greater pleasure in the future. Often the pleasure is illusory, but their error in calculation is no refutation of the rule.

"You are puzzled because you cannot get over the idea that pleasures are only of the senses; but, child, a man who dies for his country dies because he likes it as surely as a man eats pickled cabbage because he likes it. It is a law of creation. If it were possible for men to prefer pain to pleasure the human race would have long since become extinct."

This is pretty much the basis for behavioral psychology. And it's a great novel.

Permalink | Posted in Books @6:39pm | Comments (12)

Thursday, 28 October, 2010

Bestselling Author

Decision PointsWho has the #1 book at Amazon.com right now? It's not me. It's George W. Bush: Decision Points.

In gripping, never-before-heard detail, President Bush brings readers inside the Texas Governor’s Mansion on the night of the hotly contested 2000 election; aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America’s most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for his historic and controversial decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, Iran, and other issues that have shaped the first decade of the 21st century.

About the Author: George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States.

It starts out like this:

"It was a simple question, 'Can you remember the last day you didn't have a drink?'"

And then, presumably, it gets better.

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:04pm | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 27 October, 2010


The cover photo of Tim Flach's photo book called Dogs.


That dog would make a good mop.

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:37am | Comments (9)

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

Mark Twain Copyright Confusion

A legal question: Is Mark Twain's 'New' Autobiography Covered By Copyright?

mark twain Mark Twain's autobiography, to be officially published for the first time 100 years after his death is already looking like it's going to be a best seller. The book comes out on November 15th, but it's already near the top of the bestseller lists on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble thanks to pre-orders.

If you weren't aware, Twain (real name Samuel Clemens), wrote this autobiography towards the end of his life, but demanded that it not be published until 100 years after his death (some of it, he demanded be withheld for 500 years). Allegedly, he did this so that he could say what he wanted without worrying about the people he spoke ill of ever finding out.

Also, it's not your typical autobiography. Apparently, it was more or less stream of consciousness, concerning whatever he felt like talking about. He would get up in the morning, talk about whatever he felt like, and people working for him would take it all down in dictation.


The folks putting out the book are claiming a brand spanking new copyright on the work.


According to the handy-dandy copyright term and public domain chart for the US, unpublished works from authors who died before 1940 are in the public domain. That would indicate that most of the work should be in the public domain. Separately, even if we look at the chart for published works, a work published in 2010 is supposed to be granted copyright for 70 years after the death of the author. We're 100 years after the death of the author -- so, again, it should be public domain.

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:20am | Comments (22)

Wednesday, 20 October, 2010

Learning About Black Confederate Soldiers

In Virginia: 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers.

A textbook distributed to Virginia fourth-graders says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War -- a claim rejected by most historians but often made by groups seeking to play down slavery's role as a cause of the conflict.

The passage appears in "Our Virginia: Past and Present," which was distributed in the state's public elementary schools for the first time last month. The author, Joy Masoff, who is not a trained historian but has written several books, said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Here's the site for Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Warning: A little soldier will appear and talk to you from the bottom of your monitor.

Masoff sez:

"I am a fairly respected writer."

She's also the author of Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty.

oh yuck

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:18am | Comments (7)

Monday, 11 October, 2010

Book Thrown At Obama

They threw a shoe at Bush, and now this: Obama has book thrown at him in Philadelphia.

The Secret Service says it questioned and released an overexuberant fan of President Barack Obama who had tossed a paperback book near the president at a Philadelphia rally on Sunday.

"Spokesman Ed Donovan said the man had written the book and hoped the president would read it. Donovan said agents concluded the man posed no danger.

"Obama seemed not to notice the book that landed near him on an outdoor stage after he finished speaking to a large crowd Sunday. The president had turned his back to shake hands with people on another side of the stage."

In this photo, the book is circled to make it easier to see.

book at obmam

Looks like a pretty thin book. If I ever see Obama, I'll toss an Excel Bible at him.

Permalink | Posted in Books @12:50pm | Comments (12)

Saturday, 09 October, 2010

Woman Shoots Self Every Year

A photo book: In Almost Every Picture #7.

In almost every picture #7 tells the story of a Dutch woman whose life is seen from the point of view of a fairground shooting gallery.

The chronological series begins in 1936, when a 16-year-old girl from Tilburg in Holland picks up a gun and shoots at the target in a shooting gallery. Every time she hits the target, it triggers the shutter of a camera and a portrait of the girl in firing pose is taken and given as a prize.

And so a lifelong love affair with the shooting gallery begins. This series documents almost every year of the woman's life (there is a conspicuous pause from 1939 to 1945) up until present times.

At the age of 88 Ria van Dijk still makes her pilgrimage to the Shooting Gallery.

Here's the shot from 1969:


(via Metafilter)

Permalink | Posted in Books @4:42pm | Comments (13)

Thursday, 07 October, 2010

Advances In The Used Book Business

Back in the old days, someone who sold used books had to know what they were doing. Not any more: Confessions of a used-book salesman.

usedbooks I make a living buying and selling used books. I browse the racks of thrift stores and library book sales using an electronic bar-code scanner. I push the button, a red laser hops about, and an LCD screen lights up with the resale values.

It feels like being God in his own tiny recreational casino; my judgments are sure and simple, and I always win because I have foreknowledge of all bad bets. The software I use tells me the going price, on Amazon Marketplace, of the title I just scanned, along with the all-important sales rank, so I know the book's prospects immediately. I turn a profit every time…

At first, the books that I had for sale fit nicely on a single bookcase. Then two bookcases, and then two more—tall ones. Then also the shelves at the back of a closet, and then a second closet. I now have about 1,000 books listed on Amazon. When it feels as if someone's always buying something, that means the business is going well. Lately, I've been averaging about 30 books sold per day

Here's his Amazon shop.

Permalink | Posted in Books @3:38pm | Comments (23)

Saturday, 02 October, 2010

Five Types of Humans

From Elsie and Ralph Benedicts's 1921 book: How to Analyze People on Sight.

five types Human Analysis differs from every other system of character analysis in that it classifies man, for the first time, into five types according to his biological evolution.

It deals with man in the light of the most recent scientific discoveries. It estimates each individual according to his "human" qualities rather than his "character" or so-called "moral" qualities. In other words, it takes his measure as a human being and determines from his externals his chances for success in the world of today

These types are:

  • The Alimentive Type ("The Enjoyer")
  • The Thoracic Type ("The Thriller")
  • The Muscular Type ("The Worker")
  • The Osseous Type ("The Stayer")
  • The Cerebral Type ("The Thinker")

These types can also be combined. For example, you might encounter a Thoracic-Osseous.

Here's a small excerpt that describes vocational options the Cerebral Type.

The brain system is large in all men and women who achieve distinction in writing, or in other lines where the brain does most of the work. Unless combined with the Muscular, this man writes much better than he talks and usually avoids speech-making.

If he is a pure Cerebral his ideas and writings, however brilliant, will seldom bring him financial independence unless he gets a Muscular, Thoracic or Alimentive business manager and strictly follows his directions.

The Cerebral can work in any locality, partly from the fact that every spot in the world interests him. But he should avoid ranches, livestock farms, lumber camps, construction gangs, ditch-digging and saw-milling jobs, for he lacks the physical strength to stand up to them

The book is available in several formats, including Kindle.

Permalink | Posted in Books @7:27am | Comments (5)

Wednesday, 29 September, 2010

Tea Party Coloring Book

Start 'em young: The Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids!

Teaches children (and parents) about the origins of the Tea Party and what it involves. A very pleasant song, coloring and activity book on Liberty, Faith, Freedom and so much more! Get involved, participate, self reliance, freedom of choice, work, government-of-for-by the people, Leadership, Ingenuity, Jobs and responsibility!


Permalink | Posted in Books @9:44am | Comments (17)

Wednesday, 22 September, 2010

PIG 05049

It's a book: PIG 05049.

Christien Meindertsma has spent three years researching all the products made from a single pig. Amongst some of the more unexpected results were: Ammunition, medicine, photo paper, heart valves, brakes, chewing gum, porcelain, cosmetics, cigarettes, conditioner and even bio diesel.

Meindertsma makes the subject more approachable by reducing everything to the scale of one animal. After it's death, Pig number 05049 was shipped in parts throughout the world. Some products remain close to their original form and function while others diverge dramatically. In an almost surgical way a pig is dissected in the pages of the book - resulting in a startling photo book where all the products are shown at their true scale (1:1)

Here's a photo of all of the products on display:


Buy it here (it's not cheap): PIG 05049. Kindle edition not available.

Permalink | Posted in Books @8:39am | Comments (10)

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