I came across a volume the other day called "The Structural Design of the Cross Section of Buried Vitrified Clay Pipelines" and I could tell immediately that this was not going to be a "book of the month" pick for my wife’s reading club.
Similarly, "Make Your Own Cosmetics" won’t find its way onto the bedside tables of rugby club members.
Readers were invited to send in oddly titled books for women, and certain subjects cropped up repeatedly: such as health. Females have an insatiable appetite to learn about the workings of the human body at a level of detail that would horrify men.
Consider "The Holy Movement: Matters of the Colon". This is a 103-page book about digesting. "Debora Lee Meehan… shares with her readers her own personal battles," says the blurb.
An enthusiastic reader named J Lee Stouch added a rave review to this book’s Amazon.com listing: "This book was enjoyable, easy to read, and informative. I read it in one sitting, couldn’t put it down. When I finished, I felt like having an enema."
Well, I guess everyone has a different way of measuring the success of a book. But ladies, let me tell you, few men would say "it made me feel like having an enema" as a compliment.
The second most popular theme for books for women was self-esteem and personal relationships. Readers particularly liked the works of American author Ashleigh Brilliant:
1. "I May Not be Perfect But Parts of Me are Excellent"
2. "Appreciate Me Now and Avoid the Rush"
2. "All I Want is a Warm Bed and a Kind Word and Unlimited Power"
3. "I Want to reach Your Mind: Where is it Currently Located?"
4. "We’ve Been Through So Much Together and Most of it was Your Fault"
On the relationship front, a reader named Andrea said one particular book had helped her a great deal when dating: "The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Undead".
Wow, it sounds like you’ve had some bad luck with guys, Andrea.
On a related theme, "The Reptilian Agenda" is a book which argues that the world is not governed by men, but aliens disguised as males. The blurb says it contains: "Amazing confirmation that a reptilian extraterrestrial race has controlled the world for thousands of years." I thought this was rather far-fetched until I turned on a TV news report about the latest summit of world leaders. The majority of them have rough, dry skin and a kind of scaly look about them. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Not all books for women are wimpy. I liked "Nancy Drew’s Guide to Life", which gives surprisingly practical, masculine advice: "When bound and gagged, you can still tap out HELP in Morse code."
While we are being sexist, the late great George Carlin used to do a skit called The Book Club in which he made up book titles for women. Such as:
1. Rid Yourself of Doubt, or Should You?
2. Tremble Your Way to Fitness
3. Reorganizing Your Pockets
4. What to Wear On the Toilet
The last word goes to a male reader whose wife’s shoe-buying habits have prompted him to start writing a book for her: "How Many Feet do you Have Anyway?"
Give our sexist columnist a kick via his website: www.vittachi.com