Non-Fiction Book

The Ticket Stub Diary

Still have your ticket stub from seeing The Rolling Stones in Wembley Arena? Of from the 11-inning Game 7 between the Florida Marlins and the Cleveland Indians in the 1997 World Series? Or maybe from a concert, performance, game, museum opening or other event that isn’t historically significant but is especially important to you. Tickets of all sorts can be preserved, organized and collected in The Ticket Stub Diary.

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The (Not For Parents!) Travel Book
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If you’ve visited our travel blog then you’ve likely already figured out: Spot Cool Stuff loves to get out and explore the world. Perhaps the only activity we enjoy more than exploring the world is exploring the world with kids. It’s magical taking a child on their first trip to a foreign country and introducing them to the richness of the planet. It can also be expensive. And time consuming.

That’s why we love the The Lonely Planet Not For Parents Travel Book. Its large, colorful pages offer children a fascinating, kid-friendly introduction to the countries of the world.

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Fashionary: The Fashion Sketchbook + More
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Fashionary describes their hard-covered, well constructed tomes as “sketchbooks tailor-made for fashion designers.” It is a rare case of a manufacturer underselling their own product.

The Fashionary book does indeed provide a fantastic forum for clothes creativity to flow. Each book contains 130 pages of templates: silhouette outlines of a male or female figure (depending on what Fashionary you choose) upon which aspiring designers can sketch out fashion ideas. The silhouettes are faint enough that the templates can be used as blank pages. And if you run out of templates, or want different ones to work with, more are available on the Fashionary website for free.

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Three Books To Help You Survive Anything

Poisonous snakes, cars careening off of roads into rivers, hurricanes and tornadoes, crashing planes stranding their surviving passengers on deserted uncharted islands, killer bees, gall stones, bad blind dates, eroding urban infrastructure—with these and many more everyday dangers it is amazing that anyone manages to live into adulthood.

Fortunately, there’s advice to be found. Here are three cool books that, taken together, will help you survive nearly everything:

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The Timelessly Cool Tao Te Ching

Driving home this evening we heard on NPR radio an excellent audio review of the Tao Te Ching. It’s been over 15 years since we’ve read the venerable Taoist text, and over 8,000 years since Lao Tzu first committed it’s words to rice paper, and still the Tao Te Ching is getting press and drawing attention. Why? Because you needn’t be religious, or new agey, or Chinese or even particularly thoughtful to find nuggets of simple truth expressed within the Tao Te Ching’s pages. We recommend reading the book slowly, taking in a single page or a few paragraphs per day. However you choose to read it, pick yourself up a copy if you don’t already have one collecting dust on your bookshelf. Some things remain eternally cool.


TV Can Make You Smarter

He his book, Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, author Steven Johnson examines the scientific research behind why watching certain television shows can increase your mental acuity. And we aren’t talking PBS documentaries here but crime dramas, spy stories and even reality shows. Especially beneficial are shows that include overlapping plot strands, develop a large number of characters and make make frequent use of flash-forwards and flash-backs. [via HubPages]


150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See

“Oh, how I love thy. Let me count the ways . . .” This is NOT a book of those sorts of love letters. These are real love letters, the sorts that the general public was never meant to see. Some of the letters in this book are beautiful, eloquent and poetic. Some are very much not eloquent or poetic, yet it surprised us how much beauty there was on those also. Other People’s Love Letters, complied by Bill Shapiro, is the sort of book that will cause a single and lonely person to cry into his or her gin and tonic. For everyone else, it makes a lovely gift.

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The Book of General Ignorance

Eskimos only have 4, not 32, words for snow. Ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand. At the time of Columbus almost no one believed the world was flat. There are words that rhyme with “orange.” And that story you may have heard about the horse and how Catherine The Great died . . . not so much. The Book of General Ignorance, by John Mitchinson, is a fascinating look at what you thought you knew. It is also useful for winning bar bets.


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