Bruce’s Lucky Dip: New Year, New Hobby 2017 Edition

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I haven’t run a Lucky Dip post since 2015 apparently, so it’s high time I got back into it.  In case you are unaware, in my Lucky Dip posts I pop a search term into the Book Depository’s mighty search engine and bring you the most chuckle-worthy results.  I last ran the New Year, New Hobby lucky dip in 2015 (was it really that long ago?!) and have decided to repeat the performance today.  Sit back and peruse these ideas for potential new ways to spend your time in 2017.

For the person who remains traumatised by 2016 and has begun the year with a grim outlook:

diy-coffins

Do-It-Yourself Coffins For Pets and People: A Schiffer Book for Woodworkers Who Want to Be Buried in Their Work by Dale Power

For the person who remains traumatised by 2016 and has decided to take matters into their own hands:

diy-drones

DIY Drones for the Evil Genius by Ian Cinnamon

For the person traumatised by 2016 who would rather forget the whole thing and masquerade as an animal:

animal-hats

Animal Hats: 15 Patterns to Knit and Show Off by Vanessa Mooncie

For the person traumatised by 2016 who would rather forget the whole thing and BECOME an animal:

transform-yourself-into-any-animal

How to Transform Yourself into Any Animal: A DIY Guide to Surgical Procedures by Orca Man

For the person excited about new beginnings, and too much time (and too many hamsters) on their hands:

homemade-for-hamsters

Homemade for Hamsters: Over 20 Fun Projects Anyone Can Make, Including Tunnels, Towers, Dens, Swings, Ladders and More by Carin Oliver

Or indeed, too many cats:

cat-castles

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver

And finally, one for the booklovers…a sensible one, I promise:

bookcases

Bookcases: From Salvage to Storage (14 DIY Designer Projects) by Aurelie Drouet

I hope you’ve found something in this lot to inspire the creative juices for the coming year.  Do tell me how you plan to spend your down time and whether you plan to write an amusingly-titled book about it, won’t you?

Until next time,

Bruce

Bruce’s Lucky Dip: New Year, New Hobby?

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It’s been a ridiculously long time since I last posted a Lucky Dip, so what better time to do it than my final post of the year!  For those of you unfamiliar with my Lucky Dip feature, it involves me typing a random search term into the Book Depository’s search engine and bringing you the wacky, unexpected or just plain hilarious results.  Today’s Lucky Dip will feature that evergreen search term, DIY.  I invite you to sit back, relax and allow these offerings to inspire you to try a new (and eyebrow-raising) hobby in 2016.

First up, for those who like a bit of a tipple during the holiday season, it’s time to collect up all those wine corks and get cracking on….

DIY Wine Corks: 35+ Cute and Clever Cork Crafts by Melissa Averinos

diy wine corks

I would suggest springing this book on your guests AFTER they have imbibed said tipples and then see who can make the best crafty item from the book.  If corks are not your thing however, you can always fall back on good old stretchable rubber with…

The DIY Balloon Bible For All Seasons by Sandi Masori & Rachel Porter

the diy balloon bible

I’m quite impressed that this book markets itself as something for ALL seasons.  Much better value than a DIY balloon book that only features one or two seasons.

If art and craft seems a bit tedious to you, why not spice up your life with the…

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture by Robert Bruce Thompson

illustrated guide to home chemistry experiments

But don’t blame me when the police come knocking after they’ve been tipped off by alert (but not alarmed) neighbours who are worried about what you might be cooking up in your home lab.

Chemistry too mundane and pedestrian?  Looking for something totally wacky and unexpected?  Been wanting to refashion your leftover tinfoil into a stylish new hat? Well look no further than…

DIY Satellite Platforms: Building a Space-Ready General Base Picosatellite for Any Mission by Sandy Antunes

diy satellite platforms

I will be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what a space-ready general base picosatellite is, but it doesn’t sound like the kind of thing one could whip up at home.  Please someone buy this book, try it out and get back to me.

If satellites are a bit too airy-fairy for you and you’re looking for something more down-to-earth, I have just the thing. Literally.

Compost Toilets: A Practical DIY Guide by Dave Darby

compost toilets

The less said, the better, on this one, I think.  If, however, you are looking to move into a more environmentally friendly, chemical-free lifestyle in 2016, you may well be interested in taking a slightly less drastic step in the bathroom with…

DIY Toothpaste: Teach Me Everything I Need to Know About Homemade Toothpaste in 30 Minutes by 30 Minute Reads

diy toothpaste

 The perfect starter present for that friend who will spend hours bleating on about the dangers of modern living on every social media site going, but can’t devote more than 30 minutes to creating a solution.

I hope this Lucky Dip has inspired you to widen your horizons for 2016.  You can thank me later for jazzing up your list of New Year’s Resolutions.

And while you’re thinking of challenges to undertake in the new year, why not have a look at the reading challenge hosted by the Shelf-denizens: The Title Fight Reading Challenge 2016!

Title Fight Button 2016

We’d love to have you aboard!

Until next year,

Bruce

Bruce’s Lucky Dip: My first book (of titles one wouldn’t expect in a My First book)…

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Morning all! Today I will be presenting a lucky dip, which involves typing a term into the Book Depository’s search engine and carefully mining, processing, polishing and presenting to you all the diamonds in the rough that you perhaps wouldn’t normally encounter in your day-to-day book searchery.

This time around, I thought I’d search for that perrenial favourite of children’s literature – the “my first” book.  You know the type. My First Book of Colours, My First Book of Horses and Ponies…..how odd, I hear you ask, could this search really get?  Well sit back my friends and enjoy My First Lucky Dip of My First Books for Odd Children and Others…

For the budding politician, thespian or other precocious child: 

My First Monologue Book: 100 Monologues for Young Children (Kirsten Dabrowski)….Initially I read that title as one thousand monologues.  Still, at 100 there’s probably about 95 too many here.  I can imagine this kid being a right old hit at dinner parties later in life, can’t you?

my first monologue

For the budding philosopher or pint-sized lover of classical literature:

My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents and Giant Bugs (Matthue Roth/Rohan Daniel Eason) … actually, I wouldn’t mind this one myself. I’m quite happy to have classic literature dumbed down for me so I can look intelligent at parties without having to actually read the original.

my first kafka

For the budding sociopath:

Hack/Slash: My First Maniac (Tim Seeley)…admittedly, I don’t think this one’s for kids…

my first maniac

For the budding granny, grandad, craft or fashion enthusiast:

My First Cardigan Workbook: Knit Your Way to Success with 8 Top-Down Cardigans (Georgia Druen)….notice that the title indicates that success will come with the cardigans.  Who’d have thought – all this time people have been chasing success through money, hard work, cheating…when all they had to do was foster a love for the twin set.

my first cardigan

For the budding geneticist or evil cloning genius:

My First Book About DNA (Katie Woodard)..I can just picture a whole generation of small girls using this book as the first step in cloning a whole army of Dollies…

my first dna

And finally, for the slightly impressionable young Harry Potter fan:

My First Little Workbook of Wicca (Violet Rieth)…nope, I didn’t see that one coming either!

wicca book

If you know of any unexpected (yet welcome!) My First titles, please do share them in the comments!

Until next time,

Bruce

Bruce’s Lucky Dip: Unlikely Pursuits for your Weekend…

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imageIt’s time once again for a Book Depository Lucky Dip! For those uninitiated folk, this consists of me typing an enticing search term into the Book Depository’s engine, and then hand-selecting the finest results for your viewing pleasure.

Given that in Australia it is currently the peak of the summer/school holiday boredom season, and parents are seeking more elaborate ways to escape from their hyperactive and ever-present offspring, I have selected the search term “Things to Do”.  Parents, you can thank me after you have successfully adopted some of these new avenues to personal growth.

For those wondering what to do with that extra whalebone they’ve got lying around the craft room:

corset building

The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners (Linda Sparks)

For those who like to spend quality reading time in the bathroom:

52 things to do while you poo

52 Things to Do While You Poo (Hugh Jassburn) …if that is his real name….

For the disenfranchised Twentysomething set:

retirement park trailer home

Things to Do in a Retirement Home Trailer Park…When You’re 29 and Unemployed (Aneurin Wright)

For the God-botherer looking for a shortcut to paradise:

anxious christians

Good News for the Anxious Christian: 10 Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do (Phillip Cary)

For those too busy to pursue leisure activities in the prime of their working life:

to do when you're dead

100 Things to Do When You’re Dead (Rob Bailey)

And my personal favourite,

For those who live in locations with plummeting land values, or conveniently located adjacent to a museum of military history:

tank spotters guide

Tank Spotter’s Guide (Marcus Cowper/Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

This is my personal favourite not so much because it is a guide to spotting tanks (that may proliferate in one’s local neighbourhood one presumes) although that is reason enough.  What I love most about this title is the fact that it is compiled by the Church of Latter-Day Saints.  Now, to members of the CoJCoLDS, there may be some bleeding obvious reason why tank spotting is a reasonable and expected leisure pursuit, but as I do not count myself amongst this membership, the authorship of this book seems bizarre at the least, and therein lies its worthiness as pick of the bunch for this foray into Lucky Dipping.

Other contributions are most welcome, if any of you are aware of a not-to-be-missed title relating to “things to do”.

Until next time,

Bruce

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World Mental Health Day: A Cheeky Lucky Dip…

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Happy World Mental Health Day everyone!  I’m very pleased (especially in the current circumstances round the shelf) that the powers that be only require us to have one mentally healthy day per year, so that’s as good a reason to celebrate as any.

Today I present to you a Book Depository Lucky Dip that hopefully suits the occasion – for the uninitiated, the BD Lucky Dip involves me typing a random search term (or terms) into the Book Depository’s search engine and picking the most surprising or giggle-inducing results for your viewing pleasure.

So in thinking about Mental Health (or lack thereof), the terms that sprang immediately to mind were cats, irritating musical instruments and crafting.  Please, sit back, relax, and make yourself feel better by  perusing a lucky dip that may have you questioning the sanity of others and affirming your own….or vice versa.

For the sufferer of paranoia who is also handy with a ball of yarn:

kyo moKnit Your Own Moustache: Create 20 Knit and Crochet Disguises by Vicky Eames

For the person who appreciates the profound mystical connection between heavy metal music and diminutive stringed instruments :

metallica uke

Best of Metallica for Ukulele by Steve Gorenberg

For those who laugh in the face of hypoallergenic craft supplies:

crafting with cat hair

Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with your Cat by Kaori Tsutaya

For the hunting enthusiast who believes fur is murder:

craftydermy

Craftydermy by Tracey Benton & Ziggy Hanaor

For those who like to ponder life’s big questions:

would you eat your cat

Would You Eat Your Cat?: Key Ethical Conundrums and What They Tell You About Yourself by Jeremy Stangroom

And finally, for the ultimate thrillseeker:

fun with accordion

Mel Bay’s Fun with the Accordion by Frank Zucco

Clearly, I have acquitted myself of my duty on this most important of days, to contribute to the ongoing mental well-being of my readers with this varied and enticing collection.  You can all thank me later.

Until next time, may all your brain receptors be flooded with feel-good hormones,

Bruce

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Bruce’s Lucky Dip: Paper Dolls You Never Played With as a Kid…

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It’s lucky dip time again, and have I got some ripping (pun intended) offerings for you today! For those who don’t know, my lucky dip feature involves typing a carefully selected term into the Book Depository’s search box and presenting you with the delightfully weird results.

So, paper dolls. Those favoured playthings of fleshlings fond of fun in two-dimensions. Who would’ve thought that scratching the surface of such an innocuous activity would  uncover a veritable treasure chest of oddity? Well, after the utter strangeness encompassed by the range of colouring books on offer, one probably shouldn’t really be surprised.  But one will be.

For your perusing pleasure, I present to you some of the real gems of paper-related play – click on the covers if your appetite for origami-esque shenanigans is whetted!

For the Buddhist who wants to add “right-dressing” to their list of rules for living:

dalai lama paper dolls

 

In a similarly religious vein, for the paper-doll enthusiast with a penchant for swift, undetectable revenge:

voodoo paper dolls

For the book enthusiast who really wants to get inside their favourite author’s head…and wardrobe:

literary greats paper dollsI’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’m only certain of Shakespeare out of that lot…can anyone enlighten me as to who the rest are? Is that Sylvia Plath in the straight jacket? Virginia Woolf? And the bloke on the right looks like a close relation of Colonel Sanders the KFC man, but I’m guessing is somebody more literary minded….

For the pet-lover whose real-life animal friend is averse to wearing cute little outfits:

lucky cats paper dollsFor the man in your life who always liked to play with his sister’s dolls as a little boy:

naughty girls paper dolls

And my personal favourite….***DRUM ROLL PLEASE****…..

For the political enthusiast who wants to recreate famous scandals in their own home:

richard nixon paper dolls

Now before you start scratching your head at the utter surreal-ness of the book immediately above, the BD has a whole range of paper doll books featuring American presidents and their families.  So whatever your political persuasion, there is a paper doll out there for you, voter!

If paper dolls are not your thing, I have also recently discovered two more fantastically different colouring books that I just had to share with you:

For the littlest scholar of feminist philosophy:

girls are not chicks colouring

And for the colouring enthusiast who can’t resist using one of those fancy rainbow pencils:

sometimes the spoon colouring book

 

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and flex your creative muscle! And be sure to chime in with any other exciting paper-doll or colouring related titles that we need to know about.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce’s Lucky Dip: Tales of the Nunexpected…

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Nuns. Those habit-wearing, good-habit-enforcing ladies of virtue.  One could be forgiven for thinking that a search for tomes about Nuns could turn out to be a banal and unrewarding exercise. As it turns out though, one would be mistaken.

For those unfamiliar with Bruce’s Lucky Dip feature, it involves my good self entering a particular search term into the Book Depository’s mighty search engine, and collecting the most interesting and unexpected results for your perusal.  To that end, I present to you some of the fruits of this most enlightening of search terms…..”Nuns”….arranged in ascending order of raised-eyebrow-height:

Nuns Having Fun Calendar 2013

nuns having fun

The perfect gift for those misguided souls who believe that nuns do little more than eat, pray and love.

Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art and Arson in the Convents of Italy

nuns behaving badly

I can only assume that the arson resulted from overzealous use of candles during Adoration.

Nun Bowling Kit

nun bowling

This delightful little kit provides the perfect post-Christmas-dinner activity for everyone from Great-Grandma Mary down to little baby Paddy.  As the tagline promises, “It’s Sinfully Fun!”

Flying Nuns Kit

flying nuns

For the slightly more irreverent nun-fancier, this kit includes a miniature catapult and Judgement Day landing mat.  Alternately, use it as a platform for giving expression to your repressed desire to be Sally Field.

Nun-Chuks Kit

nunchucks two

For the most extreme of nun ninjas (or nunjas, as I prefer to think of them), those with aggression impulse control issues relating to early experiences in Catholic schooling, or simply those who support the practical application of the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers”, these nun-chucks actually have nun-shaped handles. Genius.

The Secret Life of Nuns

secret life of nuns

Nuns. In compromising positions. Not for good boys and girls.

So there you have it. Just a smattering of the nunexpected on offer for those prepared to delve into more spirited forms of book-hunting.  As ever, please feel free to chime in with your own nun-related tomes!

Until next time,

Bruce