Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Best Self-Help Books

In his book All Things Considered, G.K. Chesterton commented on what was, in his day, a new genre of book (I hesitate to use the word "literature" in this case): the self-help book. In his essay, "The Fallacy of Success," he writes.

"There has appeared in our time a particular class of books and articles which I sincerely and solemnly think may be called the silliest ever known among men. They are much more wild than the wildest romances of chivalry and much more dull than the dullest religious tract. Moreover, the romances of chivalry were at least about chivalry; the religious tracts are about religion. But these things are about nothing; they are about what is called Success. On every bookstall, in every magazine, you may find works telling people how to succeed. They are books showing men how to succeed in everything; they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books."

Of course, since Chesterton's day, self-help books have improved immensely, right? We are no turn-of-the-twentieth-century rubes. Oh no. We are a sophisticated and intelligent culture. Which is why I have culled for us the five greatest titles in self-help books. No matter who you are, you can benefit from these fine books. *

* Note: I haven't actually read any of these books. I'm making my judgment entirely based upon the titles.

5. Bowl Better Using Self-Hypnosis 

4. How to Land a Top Paying Pierogi Makers Job

3. How to Live in Your Van and Love It

2. How to Avoid Huge Ships

... and the number one best self-help book ever ...

1. How to Good-bye Depression: If you constrict anus 100 times everyday. Malarkey? or Effective way?

May these books greatly enrich your life.


Erica said…
I really want to own the book "How To Avoid Huge Ships", just to say I own it and can now avoid huge ships if necessary.