Peculiar Nonfiction

~posted by Frank

Nonfiction is vast. When you look beyond cookbooks and biographies, you’ll find some niche titles that you may not have known there was an audience for. Here are some of the most singular works of nonfiction published in the past year; perhaps one of these oddball titles is just the one for you.

History fans should check out Bog Bodies Uncoveredwhich explores the well-preserved bodies buried in bogs two thousand years ago throughout Northern Europe. There’s also Ivory Vikingswhich tells the story of the Viking Empire through the discovery of a 12th century walrus ivory chess set on a Scottish beach in the early 1800s.

Three curious books for art fans include: Codex Seraphinianusan illustrated encyclopedia of surreal images and an unknown language from Italian designer Luigi Serafini that is reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch; Strange Material, where textile artists tell stories through embroidered, sewn or knitted fabric; and Beyond the Dark Veil, which features over a hundred death and mourning photographs from the Victorian Era from the Thanatos Archive in Woodinville.

Are you crafty? Take a look at Cats in Hats, where you can knit or crochet everything from a Unicorn hat to a Punk Mohawk for your kitty; if humiliating your pet isn’t your thing, try Pretty Funny Tea Cosies for more than two dozen whimsical knit and woven designs. For the woodworker looking for something new, The Big Book of Wooden Locks provides nine examples of extraordinary (and functional) locks and keys. 

Cooks of a certain stripe will go for The Book of Tripe, which doesn’t stop there – gizzards, kidneys, feet, brains, tongue, udders and testicles are featured in this cookbook for fearless foodies. Or you can geek out over the Geeky Chef Cookbookwhich has food from your favorite shows. If you’re into Game of Thrones for the lemon cake recipe, then this is the cookbook for you.

Finally, if you’re sick of the same old platitudes from self help and spirituality books, you must check out Manual of Psychomagic from avant garde Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. From eczema and morning sluggishness to amorous jealousy and “incomprehensible weeping,” there’s a solution to every problem – but unless you’re a claustrophobic who’s ok with covering themselves with honey and being buried naked for three hours, it will likely be a jaw-dropping read rather than a practical manual for healing.

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