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Butt Rot and Bottom Gas

The English language is full of words that sounds obscene but aren’t. Terms like arsole (an organic chemical compound) and crack spread (a calculation showing theoretical market values of petroleum). Words like cunctator (a person who procrastinates, delays, or wastes time) and spotted dick (a traditional English dessert made with hot, thick custard).

Seventh-grade language arts teacher Eric Groves Sr. has spent years listening to his students giggle after he used words like thespian, coccyx, and masticate. Now he has compiled hundreds of these foul-sounding terms into a delightfully innocent dictionary, complete with illustrated definitions of their true meanings. From air cock (a valve on a boiler) and bushmaster (a large venomous snake) to cummingtonite (a mineral) and beyond, Butt Rot and Bottom Gas is a wonderful reference for word lovers and the snickering seventh grader in all of us.

ERIC GROVES SR. is a middle-school teacher in California.

Posted by impart

The Big Book of Porn

Porn is more mainstream than ever-witness recent bestsellers by Jenna Jameson, Traci Lords, the Vivid Girls, and Pamela Anderson. Continuing this fine tradition is The Big Book of Porn, a friendly, funny celebration of adult movies. Chapters include:

• Know Your Classics: The 25 most important adult films.
• Great Moments in Porn History: From the first stag movie to the invention of the VCR.
• The Pantheon of Porn: These mini-bios of mega-stars like Seka and Ron Jeremy are filled with surprising trivia.
• It’s a Porn World, After All: Adult movies from Canada, Japan, even Afghanistan.
• Make Your Own Porno: All you need is a video camera, a willing partner, and these simple pointers (”Tell a story,” “Start with a bang,” “Parody a real film title”).

Best of all, The Big Book of Porn is illustrated with classic posters, stills, and production shots from the smutty ’70s to the present day. Provocative, authoritative, and laugh-out-loud funny, The Big Book of Porn is a proud celebration of history’s most scandalous art form.

SETH GRAHAME-SMITH lives with his incredibly tolerant wife in Los Angeles.

Posted by impart

The Big Book O’ Beer

If you’re looking for another stodgy, holier-than-thou “connoisseur’s” book, you’ve come to the wrong place. The Big Book o’ Beer celebrates the wide world of beer in all its shameless glory-from the highbrow to the Löwenbräu, from trendy Belgian microbrews to the famous “old man bars” of Las Vegas. It’s packed with amazing photographs and fascinating beer-related information about history, geography, science, arts, crafts, and more.

Want to tour the ten biggest breweries on the planet? Interested in making dazzling arts and crafts from old beer cans? Need a recipe for beer-flavored ice cream? Want to know the science behind beer bellies, beer goggles, and beer foam? The Big Book o’ Beer has it all-plus drinking games, drinking songs, vintage cans, classic advertisements, an “atlas of beer,” and too many other features to list here. It’s an inspiring tribute that every cervezaphile (a.k.a. beer lover) will cherish!

DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI is the author of The Perfect Drink for Every Occasion. His writing has also appeared in Details and Men’s Health. He lives in Philadelphia.

Posted by impart

Better Than Homemade

Who put the Minute in Minute Rice?¹ What, exactly, is Spam?² And why do Pringles come in a tennis ball can?³

Discover the answers to all these questions and more in Better Than Homemade, a freewheeling illustrated history of the packaged foods industry. From Green Giant and Hamburger Helper to Jiffy Pop and Jell-O, syndicated columnist Carolyn Wyman reveals the fascinating origins of your favorite “food” products-along with never-before-published advertisements, innovative packaging (cheese in a can!?), and hilarious “unauthorized uses.”

You’ll learn that Birds Eye frozen foods were invented by an Arctic adventurer; Kool-Aid got its start from an 11-year-old entrepreneuer; and Twinkies were once used to capture a gang of escaped baboons. Perfect for fans of the Food Network’s Unwrapped, this guide is the ultimate paean to processed pleasures!

CAROLYN WYMAN is the author of Jell-O: A Biography, Spam: A Biography, I’m a Spam Fan, and The Kitchen Sink Cookbook. Her food column for Universal Press Syndicate runs in more than 100 papers nationwide. She has written for the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New Haven Register. She lives in Philadelphia.

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¹Afghan prince Attaullah Durrani, who brought the idea to General Foods.
²According to Spam’s website, “Pork shoulder and ham, mostly.” Mostly?!
³To answer consumer complaints that potato chips were greasy and broke too easily.

Posted by impart

Be Safe!

We all know that life is full of hidden dangers-but what are you doing to avoid them? Do you know the safest lane on a highway? The best way to defrost meat? The cleanest stall in a public restroom?

Be Safe! is your road map to navigating the perils of everyday life. You’ll discover that June is the safest time to get elective surgery (it’s the month before the new class of medical residents arrive). You’ll also learn that Friday morning is the most dangerous time to go to the bank (historically, it’s when most bank robberies occur). Author Melissa Heckscher even explains why tuna is the safest kind of sushi (this deep-water fish doesn’t contain worms that thrive in warmer temperatures).

The perfect gift for a paranoid friend, Be Safe! will make you a stranger to danger!

MELISSA HECKSCHER is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is the author of Use This Book! and Date Him or Dump Him? When using a public restroom, she always uses the stall closest to the entrance (you should, too).

Posted by impart

The Jane Austen Handbook

Every young lady dreams of a life spent exchanging witty asides with a dashing Mr. Darcy, but how should you let him know your intentions? Seek counsel from this charming guide to Jane Austen’s world. Its step-by-step instructions reveal the practicalities of life in Regency England, including sensible advice on:

     •  How to behave at your first ball
     •  How to ride sidesaddle
     •  How to decline an unwanted marriage proposal
     •  How to improve your estate
     •  How to throw a dinner party

—and much more. Offering readers a glimpse into day-to-day life in Jane Austen’s time, The Jane Austen Handbook is the perfect companion for fans of her novels and their film adaptations, complete with detailed information on love among the social classes, currency, dress, and nuances of graceful living.

Posted by impart