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16th century warfare manual shows rockets strapped to cats and doves

Textbooks on the art of war have been around for centuries in one form or another. One of the most interesting examples is Armamentarium Principale Oder Kriegsmunition und Artillerey=Buch by Frank Helm. This 16th century book details the manufacture of bombs, canons and other types of artillery involving gunpowder.  Instructions include strapping rockets to the […]

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Alice meets Salvador… with surrealist style

Like so many of us, Salvador Dali would have enjoyed visiting Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. In 1969, the Spanish artist, famous for surreal melting clocks, illustrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Only 2,500 copies were produced and one of them sold for five figures last month. Our first list of 2014 also includes a collection of rare […]

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New edition of Codex Seraphinianus for weird art fans

Ever since the Codex Seraphinianus was originally published in 1981, this book has fascinated fans of the unusual. The crazy surreal artwork. The language that no-one can decode. Luigi Serafini is author of the world’s weirdest book in our humble opinion. Italian artist Serafini still maintains an air of mystery when asked about the Codex book. […]

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Literaturwurst or the fine art of sausages made from books

I’d like to introduce a new genre to both bookselling and cooked meat – it’s called Literaturwurst. I give you German artist Dieter Roth, who apparently created around 50 ‘literature sausages’, according to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which put on a Dieter Roth exhibition earlier this year. To make each sausage […]

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How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb

I was at a dinner last night when someone, a customer of AbeBooks actually, told me about this book. I thought he was joking. How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb by Peter Kuran was published in 2007.  It’s a serious book about photography and the technical aspects of photographing an atomic bomb while exploding. Author […]

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Henri the Existential Cat on the price of literary fame

How do you promote a book? With a clever cat video, of course. Henri the Existential Cat muses on the price of literary fame for his owner, William Braden who has written Henri Le Chat Noir (subtitle The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat). Sounds like fun. Henri’s wisdom includes “Kittens dream at 1 week, have nightmares […]

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Codex Seraphinianus – the world’s weirdest book

Some people think it’s one of the weirdest books ever published. An art book unlike any other art book. A unique and disturbing surreal parody. Grotesque and beautiful. It’s very hard to describe. Codex Seraphinianus by Italian artist Luigi Serafini is a window on a bizarre fantasy world complete with its own unique (unreadable) alphabet and […]

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How to Sharpen Pencils and more odd book titles

The Bookseller magazine has announced its shortlist for the annual oddest book title of the year, the Diagram Prize. As always, there are some wonderful contenders. Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis by Tom Hickman How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior How […]

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Introducing the 50 Shades of Grey party game

Right off the bandwagon – an interesting Christmas present!  The 50 Shades of Grey party game. “A romantic, liberating party game that’s designed to entertain, surprise and reveal how you see your friends and how they see you. Laughter, smiles and occasional winks are all a part of the fun. For Ages: 18 – Adult […]

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The original Google – The Google Book by V.C. Vickers

Here is the original Google from 1913 – The Google Book by V.C. Vickers, who was an English economist, humourist and artist. Educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, Vickers was a high flier in the City – over the years he was a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of London, a director of Vickers […]

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