NF Display April 2013


Like any month, I wanted the April display to be fun.  Then a few months ago I found Encyclopedia Paranoiaca : the indispensable guide to everyone and everything you should be afraid or worried about / Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf.  That pretty much sold me for a display concept.  Only one problem, there's only so many silly yet serious dangers of the world books out there.  So I went a bit broader, and have started generally describing the display as "crazy books."  The label is applied differently across the various titles, and I've included books on conspiracy theories, secret societies, superstitions, oddities, and books generally on how humans are speeding towards their own species demise.


I did actively avoid books focusing on bigfoot/aliens/ghosts/etc beyond the obvious inclusion of a book on Area 51.  Those have a place in an October display some point down the line.

One advantage I have noticed about such a small display is that it becomes immediately obvious (to me at least) when someone takes a book.  About half of my original title seed list was checked out when I set up the display.  Titles on display keep going out as well.
  • Encyclopedia paranoiaca : the indispensable guide to everyone and everything you should be afraid of or worried about / Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf 
  • A culture of conspiracy : apocalyptic visions in contemporary America / Mark Barkun
  • Founding fathers, secret societies : Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians, and the decoding of the Great Seal / Robert Hieronimus, with Laura Cortner
  • Among the Truthers : a journey through America's growing conspiracist underground / Jonathan Kay
  • Encyclopedia of strange and unexplained phenomena / Jerome Clark
  • Mirage men : an adventure into paranoia, espionage, psychological warfare, and UFO's / Mark Pilkington
  • The mythology of secret societies / J. M. Roberts
  • Area 51 : an uncensored history of America's top secret military base / Annie Jacobson
  • The real story of risk : adventures in a hazardous world / Glenn Croston
  • The secret architecture of our nation's capital : the Masons and the building of Washington, D.C. / David Ovason
  • Nuclear roulette : the truth about the most dangerous energy source on earth / Gar Smith
  • Our final hour : a scientist's warning : how terror, error, and environmental disaster threaten humankind's future in this century--on Earth and beyond / Martin J. Rees
  • Armageddon science : the science of mass destruction / Brian Clegg
  • Counterknowledge : how we surrendered to conspiracy theories, quack medicine, bogus science and fake history / Damian Thompson. 
  • Inside secret societies : what they don't want you to know / Michael Benson
  • A dictionary of superstition / Iona Opie and Moria Tatem (eds)
  • The blunder book : colossal errors, minor mistakes, and surprising slipups that have changed the course of history / by M. Hirsh Goldberg 
  • Pandora's Seed : the unforeseen costs of civilization / Spencer Wells
  • Incredible Coincidence : the baffling world of synchronicity / Alan Vaughan
  • Paranormal America : ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts, and other curiosities in religion and culture / Christopher D. Bader, F. Carson Mencken, and Joseph O. Baker
  • Fugitives and refugees : a walk in Portland, Oregon / Chuck Palahniuk  
  • The areas of my expertise / John Hodgman
  • Voodoo science : the road from foolishness to fraud / Robert Park
  • Supernatural : your guide through the unexplained, the unearthly, and the unknown / Colin Wilson
  • Why people believe weird things : pseudoscience, superstition, and other confusions of our time / Michael Shermer
I keep having to find more titles for this display!  Which is proving to be an interesting (and entertaining) challenge.  I started out with a short list of titles, over half of the titles on the list above are add-ons.  By the end of the month I will likely get even more creative in my selections.  I'm glad I went with "We're all a little mad here!" as it lets me play fast and loose with the display's scope.

I really wanted to include Stranger than fiction : true stories by Chuck Palahniuk, but our copy is MIA.  However searching for that title led me to another book of non-fiction oddity by Palahniuk, so everything worked out.  John Hodgman's books count as "we're all a little mad here" all on their own, even without delving into their actual content.

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