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40 Worst Book Covers and Titles Ever
March 7, 2014 5:56 PM   Subscribe

Exactly what it says on the tin -- 40 Worst Book Covers and Titles Ever These things have got to be real, no one could ever dream this stuff up.

I think that these are as good as a link I remember, from here I think, a link to images of comical record albums -- do you remember that link? I'd love to see that again, too, be a great companion piece for these.
posted by dancestoblue (65 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
How to Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way? (Paperback)
posted by msalt at 6:04 PM on March 7 [9 favorites]


no one could ever dream this stuff up.

but i was taught that was how you made book covers

this is going to take a lot of work to process
posted by LogicalDash at 6:07 PM on March 7 [8 favorites]


Some of these books and their covers show far more humor and intelligence than the person who whelped this list into being.
posted by Thing at 6:10 PM on March 7 [42 favorites]


do you remember that link?

Ah yes, I remember that link well. Like it was yesterday. But links like that don't come around every day. What we have here is fool's gold, but that was the real stuff, it was. Real funny stuff. I believe I saw it over on BoingBoing, maybe Kottke, and some say it was even on Facebook. Somebody even got me the book version for Christmas one year, from the Barnes and Noble I believe it was. I remember it well. But you can't keep a book like that for very long. And so I gave it up to a Salvation Army, amidst some of the very album covers it mocked no doubt. But I think of it often, I remember it well. Maybe they should put that book of funny album covers on this list of funny book covers, so that you might link it here. That would be very meta, as they say around here. They don't really say it, but they do sort of mutter it under their breath. That's so meta. I believe that's what they do, but I don't really know, because you can't hear through a computer monitor. And I don't like to meet people.
posted by swift at 6:19 PM on March 7 [5 favorites]


What? Some of these are GREAT.

Eating People is Wrong and How to Make Money in Your Spare Time are quite good.

Apples don't poop, though. At least, I have never seen them do it, and my research into their anatomy does not reveal any mechanism that would allow them to do so.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:25 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Speaking of poop, this is incredibly useful information if you actually have to do this sort of thing.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:26 PM on March 7


The "Mommy Drinks Because You're Bad" cover is a photoshop, based on the comments at boredpanda.
posted by bunderful at 6:26 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


I bet this guy also refuses vaccinations for his children.
posted by symbioid at 6:29 PM on March 7


> How to Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way? (Paperback)

Nishigaki, you magnificent bastard - I read your book!

It was one helluva ride. Not an easy read.
posted by codswallop at 6:29 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


The cover of How to Make Money in Your Spare Time is pretty successful, I think. My first reaction was to chuckle at the joke, and then with closer examination of the author, wonder if it was a joke after all.
posted by jamincan at 6:30 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


The Hitchens one is a classic, as the book debunks the myth of Mother Theresa as benevolent, harmless nun. The "the" is just a "the" but the rest of the words are an assortment of puns and pokes in the eye.
posted by anothermug at 6:35 PM on March 7


"Eating People is Wrong" has a cover illustration by Quentin Blake and is therefore Great Literature.
posted by murphy slaw at 6:37 PM on March 7 [17 favorites]


anothermug, Hitchens apparently had also considered for that book: "Sacred Cow" Which I also liked.
posted by Trochanter at 6:43 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Hitchslap!
posted by anothermug at 6:52 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


The Amazon reviews for "How to Avoid Huge Ships" are worthy of mention.
posted by Behemoth at 6:54 PM on March 7 [7 favorites]


"Reusing old graves" -- that's a real issue some places. In New Orleans, the water table is only a couple of feet below the surface, so they can't use dug graves to bury their dead. Instead you have cemeteries full of marble structures above the ground, and the law is that a new body can be put in one of them if it's been at least a year and a day since the last one. (The bodies aren't in coffins, either.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:54 PM on March 7


Hasn't it been scientifically proven that the site linked in the fpp is one of those ebaumsworld2.0 deals where all the content's all 'found on the web so I presumed it to be public domain because either I am an idiot or more likely I am a disingenuous ripoff artist' ?

No offense to the OP- it's not like it's not enjoyable 'content', even if it's pretty evenly divided between obvious intentional jokes, stuff that's funny because 'boner' used to mean something different, and photoshops. Without the amazon links, I'd probably just sigh at it and move on.

This is why it's not good to think too much about the internet, because it makes you feel about a million years old, and instead of wondering who the low-functioning, robotic, fucking void is behind those 1.9M (are you fucking serious?) pageviews, you start hating yourself for not getting that money yourself because fuck. And then you end up too jaded to even snark about it on metafilter. Which, god forbid.
posted by hap_hazard at 6:55 PM on March 7 [15 favorites]


I have read at least three of those books, and owned at least two.
posted by briank at 6:56 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Whoever came up with this idiotic list seems to think they're the only person who understands humor. Well, them and whoever their target audience is. But not old people. Humor is a new invention.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:01 PM on March 7 [5 favorites]


Everyone Poops is a charming book we read to our fascinated pre-semi-pooper.

How to Shit in the Woods is something every hiker/camper should read.

Others: well, pretty funny or creepy, yeah. Of course: cultural/linguistic context changes are what makes most of them strange in 2014.
posted by kozad at 7:03 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


"Eating People is Wrong" is a reference to the song "The Reluctant Cannibal" by Flanders & Swann (starts at 2:02 here).
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:03 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the quilting lady knows quite well what stripping is. It's like the person who compiled this doesn't like puns, or something.

(Whether or not one likes her ideas on everything, Catharine MacKinnon's question about the humanity of women seems like a question that still needs asking in many places where women still hold status more like property than people, and for that matter in the rest of the world with regard to what we ought to be doing about that.)
posted by Sequence at 7:20 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Needs more Cooking with Pooh.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:22 PM on March 7


An epic exercise in missing intentional humour. From the comments:

The author of this article probably has another pointing out how klutzy and stupid Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were.
posted by oliverburkeman at 7:25 PM on March 7 [19 favorites]


I knew that the "Mommy Drinks" was a fake! The artwork stirred some long ago memory of a book from childhood.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:26 PM on March 7


I own "How to Shit in the Woods"
posted by deadbilly at 7:30 PM on March 7


What a humorless person. Most of these books are fine.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:37 PM on March 7


This list is too harsh on Roger Welsch. Tractors are certainly Very Important to the well-being of us all, and Roger's just trying to share his considerable (I'm guessing) knowledge of their upkeep and maintenance with us, WHILE MAKING US BETTER PEOPLE, TOO. So lay offa Roger, listicle meanie.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:42 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


I received "The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice" as a book award in school about 15 years ago, and only just realized in this post there was a naughty subtext to it! I went to a religious (Protestant) highschool, and was so distracted by the dramatic revelations in it that I never noticed the obvious joke.
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose at 7:45 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


But if God loves me, why can't I get my locker open?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 7:48 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


Avoiding Huge Ships is easy, unless you're in the middle of a busy shipping lane in a small boat. I seem to recall it being an enormous problem for round the world sailors.
posted by wotsac at 7:48 PM on March 7


I've only constricted my anus 26 times and I already have a splitting headache


I think I'm in big trouble
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:50 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


I've seen most of these and plenty of other doozies pass over the buying desk at my store.
posted by jonmc at 7:52 PM on March 7


Somebody has a little problem with the poopie...
posted by Chuffy at 7:53 PM on March 7


Exactly what it says on the tin -- 40 Worst Book Covers and Titles Ever

That's not at all what's in the tin.

Also, there is no tin.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:54 PM on March 7 [6 favorites]


P.S. Albums + Albums + Albums ...
posted by Sys Rq at 7:58 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I read the Hitchens book when it came out, and wondered why it hadn't been called "God fodder."
posted by goofyfoot at 8:03 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


I own a copy of this book, a fascinating account of the intersection of geometry and mechanics.
posted by Tube at 8:05 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


deadbilly: "I own "How to Shit in the Woods""

Me too. Sitting (as it were) on my bookshelf, it has an amazing ability to draw the eye, so almost anyone who so much as looks at the bookshelf is drawn in, and reads the title out loud.
posted by notsnot at 9:03 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


'Why cats paint' is a real book, but a spoof - it's a deadpan examination of cats alleged artistic urges.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:10 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


"Castration: The Advantages and Disadvantages" raises the obvious question of what the fuck the advantages could possibly be?

Powells books in Portland used to (and may still, I haven't been there in a while) have an amazing ever-changing display of books that had been brought in that would put this listicle to shame.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:35 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


dancestoblue: "I think that these are as good as a link I remember, from here I think, a link to images of comical record albums -- do you remember that link? I'd love to see that again, too, be a great companion piece for these.
posted by dancestoblue (41 comments total) [add to favorites] 4 users marked this as a favorite [!] [quote]
"

dancestoblue, I was willing to believe you were just being coy, and phrasing your post that way to draw clicks... but you really don't get the jokes, do you? These books aren't at all like that list of awful albums; these are witty titles for humorous books (except for the odd zinger like Hitchens' hit piece).
posted by IAmBroom at 9:46 PM on March 7


Well, someone's not noticing either gentle or self-depreciating humour. I'm also developing a soft spot for Roger Welsch and his tractors, mainly by reading the 'Look Inside' and there is charm there.

Who can't admire the author of 'Weed em and Reap' ?
posted by quarsan at 10:00 PM on March 7 [3 favorites]


How to Shit in the Woods is a great book.

The Practical Pyromaniac is awesome too. It's sitting on my desk right now, part of planning for the kids' camp for this summer.
posted by bonehead at 10:05 PM on March 7


I can attest that the Welsch books are fairly good, he can spin a yarn. I may even own both of the titles there.
posted by maxwelton at 11:06 PM on March 7


Wilde was wrong, the humourous listicle is the lowest form of wit.

Especially when assembled by somebody with a worse sense of humour than the books they try to mock.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:09 PM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Oh come on how do people not know who Catherine Mackinnon is?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:29 PM on March 7 [4 favorites]


"Castration: The Advantages and Disadvantages" raises the obvious question of what the fuck the advantages could possibly be?

Supposedly it might increase your life expectancy, although that still leaves the question of whether you would consider that to be an advantage, post-castration.
posted by mayhap at 11:44 PM on March 7


"Oh come on how do people not know who Catherine Mackinnon is?"

Most people don't know who she is. I had a mate who read the grauniad and she was on the cover of the G2 section many many years ago, and when I said "Hey look, Catharine Mackinnon," he just looked at me blankly. Unless you are involved in areas where she is active or know about her work with Linda Lovelace then it is likely you won't have heard of her.

These books are great. The avoiding large ships one was all over the internet in about 2002.
posted by marienbad at 12:24 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


"How to Raise Your IQ by Eating Gifted Children"

Highly recommended. Ask me! It works!

OTOH: Many of these just seem deliberately provocative to catch an eye, in hopes of a sale. What's wrong with that? Lots of these are very dated, so why would you expect it to make sense today?

Poorly titled article, really. The titles are dated, not the "worst ever". I mean, "Games You can Play with your Pussy" is a perfect, British title. It's only funny to Americans, who, after all, eat candy branded as "Fanny Farmer", so who are they to poke fun?!
posted by Goofyy at 1:27 AM on March 8


40 Worst Book Covers and Titles list ever.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:18 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I mean, "Games You can Play with your Pussy" is a perfect, British title. It's only funny to Americans

Mrs Slocombe's pussy suggests otherwise.
posted by howfar at 3:50 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


A lot of these books are taken from the annual Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year, which has been running since 1978 and has also produced such must-reads as 'People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It' and 'The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais'
posted by Hogshead at 5:07 AM on March 8 [2 favorites]


Everyone Poops is a charming book we read to our fascinated pre-semi-pooper.

Yup. We read the same book way back when we were raising nascent potty-poopers.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:19 AM on March 8


This list is missing my favorite, The Jewish/Japanese Sex and Cookbook and How to Raise Wolves.
posted by pony707 at 5:24 AM on March 8


All these books look awesome. Replace "worst" with "best" and this list would be alright.

I need a copy of Anybody Can Be Cool, because I would really like to be lovingly admired by a entire cadre of ethnically diverse and attractive young women at my earliest possible convenience.

Being a bass player has been of more limited utility in this endeavor than previously advertised
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:42 AM on March 8


Is that The Pocket Book of Boners in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?
posted by tommasz at 8:21 AM on March 8


No, it's just some book I'm fucking.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:28 AM on March 8 [3 favorites]


the authors of "why cats paint" are also responsible for "dancing with cats", which someone gave me years ago, i can see it from where i'm typing now.

the booksellers/diagram prize has also given us such deathless titles as "managing a dental practice the genghis khan way" and "bombproof your horse", for when just leaving the horse in the barn isn't an option. perhaps my all-time favorite is "dildo cay" (that's an island).
posted by bruce at 1:13 PM on March 8


Worst book covers and titles ever?

I still regret not buying celebrity stalker Dessarae Bradford's self published endevour - "I Fucked Adam Baldwin In His Ass" - when I had the chance.
posted by hoodrich at 2:04 PM on March 8


My SO and I just laughed for a good 5 minutes straight at "Images You Should Not Masturbate To."
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:18 PM on March 8


How To Avoid Huge Jokes
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:39 AM on March 9


This cover shows an actual forest in Germany. No one knows who planted the swastika, which is only visible during a few weeks of the year, and it wasn't discovered until after the end of WWII.
posted by Gordafarin at 1:05 PM on March 9


"Castration: The Advantages and Disadvantages" raises the obvious question of what the fuck the advantages could possibly be?

Duh, he stops bugging you for sex. Oh, you mean self-castration?
posted by msalt at 5:43 PM on March 9 [1 favorite]


Avoiding Huge Ships is easy, unless you're in the middle of a busy shipping lane in a small boat. I seem to recall it being an enormous problem for round the world sailors. And anti-nuclear activists on surfboards.
posted by Kerasia at 12:40 AM on March 12


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