10 Books You Won’t Believe Were Published

…and the reviewers who actually read them.

1. People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It

peopleAuthor Gary Leon Hill tells of his family’s work luring dead spirits from the bodies of very alive people they’ve held hostage.

There are actually quite a few Goodreads reviews of this one, and it seems to generate love-hate (but mostly hate) reactions:

Anita Dalton rated it 1 of 5 stars

Unusual beliefs make the world more interesting. But there are times when bad, bad writing combine with bad, dangerous information, and I am left with nothing but snark. If Penn Jillette read this book, he would s#@* blood.


Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars

Anyone with an open mind should explore the pages of this non-fiction journey. It’ll make you think about things that you wouldn’t naturally consider. I loaned this to a co-worker and haven’t seen it since!

Maybe the spirits took it?

2. How to Avoid Huge Ships

huge shipsThe kicker with this one is that it’s labeled as the “Second Edition.” It’s hard to imagine what the first edition might have left out. Unsurprisingly, Poets & Writers hailed it as the “worst book ever” back in 2011, despite its $131 price tag and huge underground following. They also rounded up some of its snarkiest Amazon reviews, which are well worth a read:

Reads like a whodunnit!, December 21, 2010

By Citizenfitz (The salt grainery) – See all reviews

I bought How to Avoid Huge Ships as a companion to Captain Trimmer’s other excellent books: How to Avoid a Train, and How to Avoid the Empire State Building. These books are fast paced, well written and the hard won knowledge found in them is as inspirational as it is informational. After reading them I haven’t been hit by anything bigger than a diesel bus. Thanks, captain!

TOO Informative., December 25, 2010
By Dan (Ontario Canada) – See all reviews

Read this book before going on vacation and I couldn’t find my cruise liner in the port. Vacation ruined.

3. Living with Crazy Buttocks

crazy buttocksAccording to the blurb for this 348 page book, “No one’s got a wickeder eye for the absurdities of contemporary culture than Kaz Cooke. In Living with Crazy Buttocks she sets her sights on Barbie, NASA, celebrities, firemen, archbishops, cosmetic surgery, internet gurus, The Bill and Ben-Hur. She even takes a long, hard look at Ricky Martin’s bottom.”

We still have no idea what this book is about, and neither does its only Amazon reviewer:

4.0 out of 5 stars Title alone deserves a Pulitzer March 27 2010

To be fair I have to say I have no idea what’s between the front and back covers of this book, but to be honest, WHO CARES!? Just having a book with this title in your Library instantly will take your collection from Drab and ordinary to exciting and racy, go ahead and take the plunge, you know you want to. BTW weren’t those belt vibrator Jiggy exercise machines dangerous to your internal parts, I thought I heard that somewhere?

4. The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification

shopping carts

Look out for this field guide in an Urban Outfitters near you: “A must-have for anyone with a passion for shopping carts and a love of the great outdoors. In The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America author Julian Montague has created an elaborate classification system of abandoned shopping carts, accompanied by photographic documentation of actual stray cart sightings.”

Raven‘s review
4 of 5 stars

bookshelves: social-commentary
This is an absolutely amazing, weird, odd, thought provoking,interesting book. It’s a quick read, being made up of primarily photographs, but it will make you look at shopping carts in a whole new way. Very interesting.

dental practice5. Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way

“Genghis Khan is one of history’s most charismatic and dynamic leaders – and you will need all his skill, strength and tenacity to succeed in both dentistry and business. This how-to book on survival and empire-building in the dentistry business is ideal for anyone who owns, aspires to own, or is involved in managing a practice.”

Curiouser and curiouser… I imagine the chapter marked “The practice manager as problem solver” does not include advice on planning wholesale massacres of entire civilian populations, but who knows?

Unfortunately there are no reviews online to tell us anything for certain.

6. Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality

oral sadismWith chapters titled “Psychotherapy of the Dead” and “The Scale of Mental Abilities Requiring Thinking Somewhat (SMARTS),” this book is (thankfully) a parody of psychology journals and not the dry academic study its title suggests. Still, with a critic’s review calling it “For the Jung at heart!” this book lands firmly in the WTF section of your local bookstore.

Gayle Gordon rated it 4 of 5 stars

Shelves: non-fiction

Ever wonder how to cure childhood? Why dead people don’t pay their bills? How to diagnose a patient’s mental disorder by how he parks? This is the book for you! You don’t have to be a psychologist or psychiatrist to appreciate this book, but it probably helps! I’m no shrink, but I thought it was a riot!

7. Cheese Problems Solved

cheese problemsYour burning questions about cheese, answered.

“Arranged in practical question and answer format, Cheese Problems Solved provides responses to more than 200 of the most commonly asked questions about cheese.”

Mike Lester‘s review
bookshelves: to-read

Finally! Hope for the rest of us. Now on to the Arab/Israeli conflict.

Traci marked it as best-titles-ever

Cheese Problems. Solved. There is a market for people who have problems with Cheese that can only be solved by a book. My world expands every day, even when I don’t leave my office.

8. Do-It-Yourself Coffins: For Pets and People

coffinsWhat’s creepier than a DIY book on how to craft your own coffin? That it has 17 customer reviews on Amazon. And that the author refers to them as “special boxes.”

“Here is one project you will not want to put off till tomorrow.” How true, in matters of decay you’re really in a race against time. Unfortunately, this book probably won’t do you any favors in that department:

By moyer on May 14, 2013
End product lacks that “wow” factor everyone wants in a quality coffin. I personally wouldn’t be caught dead in one of these…

Zero Stars!
By Eric Garwood on July 31, 2000
I have built one of the coffins following the directions in the book. Some measurements are missing, and some are not correct. This cost me in materials and time. Beware!

9. Knitting With Dog Hair

“Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You’ll Never Meet.”

knittingdoghair.jpgBecause why waste all that precious fluff at the bottom of your vacuum cleaner?

But before you judge, it’s worth noting that 12 out of 14 reviewers gave this book 5 stars. Here are a few standouts:

5.0 out of 5 stars How much is that doggy in the window? Aug. 16 2000

By Mary Z. Cox
Golden retriever scarves, Grand Pyranees hats, Siamese socks,and Samoyed sweaters! I have to admit that if I ever seek another dog, I’m going to be looking at the silky haired retrievers instead of short haired varieties that offer little more than dander and love. No more bulldogs or boxers for me–I want a dog that I can brush, spin, and knit big soft golden retriever sweaters. Truly a breakthrough in pragmatic thought!

5.0 out of 5 starsFInally, a book to recycle something I have more of than any Oct. 18 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Reading Sept. 12 2001

By Cheri Provenzano

It has made me more comfortable to know that there are others who do this and not that I am just spending too much time in the woods (As I have been accused of by neighbors).

If this is what the dog lovers are up to, I don’t even want to guess the crazy uses cat-people have come up with for their hairballs.

10. Bombproof Your Horse

bombproofTo be fair, this is just a really poor title for a very practical book on horse training. But that doesn’t mean we can’t all still point and laugh.

Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars

I can’t say my horse is cured yet, but this book has given me some great ideas!

Traci marked it as best-titles-ever

I don’t feel so strange dressing my dog in a hazmat suit anymore.

4.0 out of 5 stars fun for horse and human
By A. MacNeil
I don’t believe that it is truly possible to bomb-proof any horse.

Do you have a ridiculous book on your bookshelf? Tell us the craziest titles you’ve uncovered in a comment below.