Unusual Books (Not Chess)

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Simon Rogers
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Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Simon Rogers » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:53 pm

Just started going through a wardrobe with a lot of books.
I have some interesting and unusual books that I have bought over the years.
For some reason I have two copies of the book:
Star Trek: The Klingon Dictionary
At the time I bought the first copy, I wanted to impress work colleagues and speak Klingon.
I learnt a few words and numbers but found the rest of the language too difficult.
At the time I also remember Klingon was the second fastest growing language in the world.
You could also take a language degree at Harvard University in Klingon.
Apparently it is said, it is one of the most difficult languages to learn.
Has anyone else but unusual books.(Interesting ones, perhaps someone can start a new topic)

Simon Rogers
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Simon Rogers » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:24 pm

Sorry, that last sentence had a Stewart Reuben typo
It should've said:
Has anyone else bought or have been given any unusual books.
I remember seeing a book in a charity shop a number of years ago, titled "Toilets of the World".

Neil Graham
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Neil Graham » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:16 am

There's a chess publication by John Watson & Eric Schiller "The Big Book of Busts". Ask to see it next time you're at the bookstall - a brown paper bag is provided for you to take it away.

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John Clarke
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by John Clarke » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:18 pm

Simon Rogers wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:24 pm
I remember seeing a book in a charity shop a number of years ago, titled "Toilets of the World".
A book inspired perhaps by this bizarre recording from half a century ago?
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:27 pm

Lucinda Lambton sprang to mind from an old TV programme. She wrote a book entitled, "Temples of Convenience: & Chambers of Delight", available at only £5.60, sounds a bargain

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Temples-Conven ... 075243893X

Simon Rogers
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Simon Rogers » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:46 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:16 am
There's a chess publication by John Watson & Eric Schiller "The Big Book of Busts". Ask to see it next time you're at the bookstall - a brown paper bag is provided for you to take it away.
I have two copies of that book.
So I suppose I have a pair of busts. :lol:

David Robertson
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by David Robertson » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:55 pm

As unusual books go, THIS by Deborah Addington is highly rated and takes some beating.

Dozens of off-beat and crackpot books are recorded by Shaun Bythell HERE (2017) and HERE (2019). Both books are hugely entertaining (though, in truth, the fun palls somewhat by the second book)

My favourite, in a large field, is probably THIS

MSoszynski
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by MSoszynski » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:10 pm

How about...

The History and Romance of Elastic Webbing by Clifford A. Richmond (1946);

and

How to Avoid Intercourse With Your Unfriendly Car Mechanic by Harold M. Landy (1977).

Neil Graham
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Neil Graham » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:29 pm

"Bizarre Books" by Russell Ash & Brian Lake is wholly concerned with the daft, the ridiculous and the downright odd in book titles (complete with front covers). Whilst on the subject another of Russell Ash's titles is "Potty, Fartwell and Knob" listing some of Britain's more unusual surnames. Thankfully none of these seem to appear in the ECF grading list.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:36 pm

"Whilst on the subject another of Russell Ash's titles is "Potty, Fartwell and Knob" listing some of Britain's more unusual surnames. Thankfully none of these seem to appear in the ECF grading list."

Although there are some great names on Chessbase etc., which could entertain arbiters who like funny pairings.

I bought a fine book from "The Works" earlier this year, "Piping Traditions of the Outer Isles of the West Coast of Scotland", by Bridget Mackenzie. The piping refers to bagpipes of course, and is the fifth and final volume in the series. (The first 4 covered, North Scotland, Argyll, Isle of Skye, and Inner Isles".) This volume covers Lewis and Benbecula (where I have played chess events) and the Uists etc., so I know the area. The author studied at Oxford, then Glasgow University, where she then became a lecturer in Old Norse. The book is actually very readable. I admire authors who write on unusual subjects, but have to admit that the fact the price was reduced from £25 to 50 p had some influence on the purchase... (Digressing momentarily, we had a wonderful teacher of Latin and French at school, who sadly left to go to Reading University to lecture, but at some stage in his career, he wrote a novel in medieval French, presumably, just because he could.)

I am lucky too that in Somerset lies the "Bookbarn" at Farrington Gurney (there are a few "Midsomer Murders" type place names here, even a "Midsomer Norton"). The Bookbarn is a converted barn, that is now home to rather a lot of inexpensive books, with some more expensive collectors editions. I've got some interesting stuff there.

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John Clarke
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by John Clarke » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:56 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:16 am
There's a chess publication by John Watson & Eric Schiller "The Big Book of Busts". Ask to see it next time you're at the bookstall - a brown paper bag is provided for you to take it away.
I have one called "Bizarre Bras". A compilation of images from the annual "World Of Wearable Art" shows*, formerly held in Nelson, now in Wellington (but, sadly, cancelled for this year). Having slept on the question, I've decided it would be inappropriate to post any scans in a family-type forum of this kind ....

* Official website at https://www.worldofwearableart.com/
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Simon Rogers
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Simon Rogers » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:39 pm

Interesting website.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:47 pm

Neil Graham wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:16 am
There's a chess publication by John Watson & Eric Schiller "The Big Book of Busts". Ask to see it next time you're at the bookstall - a brown paper bag is provided for you to take it away.
What is this, Life on Mars?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Simon Rogers
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by Simon Rogers » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:13 pm

There has been some great and funny posts on here. Have you bought any Unusual Books non Chess books Justin? Has Stewart Reuben?

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MJMcCready
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Re: Unusual Books (Not Chess)

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:52 am

I think it depends on what you mean by unusual books. Material that is well-researched may seem unusual to some but not to others. Content that appears mainstream often strikes me as rather strange as its written for the general public and doesn't teach you very much if anything. Identifying purpose for writing is far from easy these days, which in itself is a damning criticism. Factor in self-publishing and a much broader market books are unusual for many reasons with little to do with the content and much to do with the publisher. Last summer I read something I wouldn't wipe my backside with. It purported to be a chronology of something yet an entire year covered less than a few basic sentences with no quotations and bibliography. It left me feeling that you can have anything you like published these days...well more or less.

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