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Living the Good Life

This category covers everything like gardening, entertaining and other “lifestyle” titles.

Oh Behave!

Conduct Principles coverComplete Conduct Principles for the 21st Century
Newton
2000

Submitter: I feel this one speaks for itself. We may have identified the worst book ever. You’re welcome. We are a public library serving a population of 70,000 nowhere near the author/publisher in Massachusetts. I can only assume there was a suggestion for purchase which nobody here noticed came from…Massachusetts. On Amazon, this book has 21 5-star reviews. The reviewers can be divided into two groups: most of them have reviewed nothing else, while a small number of them have reviewed many self-published books and given every one 5 stars. Among the people quoted praising the book on Amazon is pro-apartheid former South African President F.W. de Klerk. Nothing says good manners like tear-gassing people who want equality. Of course, after de-accessioning it we kept it in the workroom to help pass the time on night shifts. Every page continues to delight. For example, just now I opened it at random and discovered Chapter 115 is called “Be Careful: Don’t Make a Sexual Harassment.”

Holly: From the back cover: “Some of its innovative contents may help solve the problems the Western culture can not.”  That’s fantastic. The author has a Ph.D. from MIT – also promising! But the text in the examples that Submitter included is so simple and basic – it doesn’t seem very innovative at all! “Have good manners like a real gentleman/lady” is good advice, but you need waaaaay more detail on good manners to actually fix culture. I’m not sold. I’m all for books on etiquette, but this is not the one for public libraries.

 

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Do You Know Any Special People?

Special People
Letch
1990

Submitter: This one brings immediately to mind people who are labeled “special,” but it isn’t that kind of book at all. It’s more of a “These are the people in your neighborhood”. This is the hard cover version. It’s just now leaving the Children’s Room at my library, but I thought it was such an awful example of “special people” (especially the last one…), I thought I’d send it along to you.

Holly: Mary does love a good clown. I like the diversity of the characters. If it is in good shape and circulates well, it isn’t the worst thing ever, but I agree about the title being a bit misleading.

Mary: Clowns are not “special people”. They are evil and are sent to destroy us. I would hate to mislead the kids.

More People In Your Neighborhood:

Body Watchin’

Slim Goodbody

How the Jewish People Lives Today

Deviant Minorities

Jobs for Deviants

 

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“Modernize” Your Home

Home MOdernizing Guide coverHome Modernizing Guide: New Life for Old Dwellings
Sherwood
1979

Submitter: This was pulled for weeding from the shelves of our public library.  While much of the  information is still valid, there have been many improvements in materials and techniques in the 26 years since this book was published.  Most pages are just text, some have line drawings and diagrams, and the few photos are also in black and white.  I’ll confess to bursting out laughing when I saw the cover!

Holly: I’ll see your 26 years and raise you 10 more. It’s been THIRTY-six years since this was published, and it shows every single decade.

 

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