Friday, November 9, 2012

From off-beat to startling, these new books are testaments of the times

Probably the scariest of these discoveries is Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?  Subtititle: Trick questions, Zen-like Riddles, Insanely Difficult Puzzles, and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You Need to Know to Get a Job in the New Economy. It was written by William Poundstone, author of How Would You Move Mount Fuji?which sounds like another candidate for this post.

Here’s one for the doom-sayer on your Christmas list: The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht. It includes a searchable CD with all 11 handbooks (Really? How many worst-case scenarios can there be?) plus wallpapers, screensaver, and more. From the blurb: The worst of the worst, all in one place! Avoid the perils of mountain lions and blind dates, avalanches and teenage driving lessons, runaway golf carts, and Christmas turkeys on fire. Boasting more than 500 pages, this sturdy addition to the Worst-Case Scenario library could stop a bullet - just one more way to be prepared for the worst.”  

And for trivia junkies, I give you the Weird-O-Pedia, “The Ultimate Book of Surprising, Strange, and Incredibly Bizarre Facts About (Supposedly) Ordinary Things.” It was compiled by Alex Palmer who, in spite of writing for such illustrious journals as The New York Post, Huffington Post, and Writer’s Digest to name only a few, appears to have entirely too much time on his hands.  No, I didn’t know humans were the only animals who eat spicy foods, that Germans eat an average of 71 pounds of apples a year, or that apples, celery and strawberries have the highest levels of pesticide residue when they get to the produce aisle. I didn’t even want to know that. He also includes a lot of potty-type stuff, so don’t buy it for Aunt Mable.

But this one really tears it: Goodnight iPad, a parody of the gentle classic Goodnight Moon, the one our kids and grandkids couldn’t go to bed without. Supposedly penned by Ann Droyd (right), the intent is to be relevant for the next generation.  So…is everything that happened before iPads irrelevant? Wow. How did we survive on nursery rhymes and fairy tales from medieval Europe?  Granted, it may be a hilarious spoof aimed at grownups. I don’t know. Amazon doesn’t have the Look Inside feature on it. So for now I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

No comments: