Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hours of Pleasure

If you're looking for amusement, visit the web page of Xlibris, a self-described "book publishing company." This outfit is not even a vanity press, since no pretense is made of editorial integrity. The simple deal is this: you have a manuscript-- in the loosest sense of the word-- they produce a book (for a fee, of course), in the loosest sense of the word. The catalogue of books is a joy. Behold the nonsense people will commit to paper!

But this book makes up for it all.... the cover art is worth the price of the book. And don't miss the author pic!

I tried to get a copy via interlibrary loan, but no library owns a copy. So I purchased it. It will make a fine addition to my collection of kook books.


729 said...

A fabulous addition!

Kook Book Collection recommendations:

_Are You Rapture Ready?_ A book that prepares people for the coming rapture, complete with Biblical justifications, "end-time aliments" and "Rapture-Ready Rx's."
_That I Might Be Born_ A nightmarish "children's book" that combines Buddhism and Conceptual Art to "explain" the miracle of birth/rebirth. There is nothing like it, which is an excellent thing given the level of Kook it achieves. The fact that it was conceived as a children's book is only the start of its Kookhood.
_The New Sins_ by David Byrne. I've mentioned this book previously, and after careful review, have found that whether or not it was intended to be some kind of parody or joke, such parody or joke was rendered so badly and incomprehensibly as to land the book decisively in the Kook category.

Spiros said...


Nice ones. Some favs:
1. *How to Disappear Forever and Never be Found*

2. *Dictionary of Underworld Lingo* (published in the 50s, so it's way cool)

3. *People Who Don't Know They're Dead* (a recent acquisition)

4. *A Warm Moist Salty God* (apparently not a joke, but an important work of feminist theology... oh, wait... definitely a joke then)

Santa said...

I thought the "Sexual Satanism" book was a tongue in cheek spoof of feminist critiques of Christianity. Guess I was wrong.

Interesting that someone has decided to be the P.T. Barnum of publishers. Another rival is iUniverse. Check out a kook right wing sci-fi title called "America Decieved". The premise of the book is that America will use convicts as its new energy source by draining and harnessing the "life force" out of them. The book is so poorly written, I really wonder who encouraged this person to self-publish. It is amazing what some think is a good book.

Spiros said...


Will check out the iUniverse site: a name that portends great DOOM.

Santa said...

Spiros: For added fun, Google the term "Reader 11722". Apparently the kook author shows up on blogs & message boards to try and get sales. His tone deaf pitches to each blog board are truly comical and in touch with the rest of iUniverse. At BEA, iUniverse spent big bucks on a display of their upcoming titles. The cover designs look like they were concieved either by taste challenged 5 year olds or those with genetically inherited blindness. Doom stuff indeed.

Spiros said...


I'm intrigued. What suggests the blindness is genetically inherited????

Santa said...

Spiros: Having had experience working with blind people who were once sighted for part of their lives as well as those who never experienced the sense of sight, there seems to be a perceptual hold over in the people who were once sighted.

The once sighted seem to be able to piece together distance, tactile, and audio data, as well as accurate verbal descriptions, and come up with a somewhat credible mental image of how something might look based on descriptions since they had previous sight learning and experience to refer to.

By contrast, those who due to genetics never had a sense of sight seem to lack the ability to make the same type of mental image based on the data in a way that would reflect what the sighted person would also experience.

At least that was my experience in dealing with the two types of blind populations.

Spiros said...


OK. I think there's a debate John Locke gets into about these issues... (whether a blind-from-birth person could understand shape via tactile experience, or some such). I forget with whom. Someone else might know what I'm talking about.

Santa said...

Spiros: I remember the Locke argument vaguely, it's been some time since I read him. Just by observing the different types of communicated perception displayed by the samples of the two different groups I had contact with, I would agree that there is a difference.

In the same way, a person who starts to lose his hearing has a different perception of sound than a person born deaf when communicating with someone whose hearing is intact. I remember hearing the work of a working, born deaf recording engineer who was based in NYC that a student brought in for a critical listening. It was interesting to note the difference in the end product when all you can do is feel the different vibrations of pitches and feel the timbre & tone of things rather than hearing them. It was radically different than any other mix I have ever heard. I wish I could remember his name as he does not turn up in a google search so I think he may no longer be in that line of work.

Spiros said...


Paul said...

That problem from Locke originated with a letter from an Irish guy with a French name -- Molyneux: