Way back in the stacks: Highlighting the quirky, weird, or unique titles found in Durick Library

By Audrey Sinclair

As you wander through Durick library, weaving through stacks of books, trekking up and down the winding staircases and inevitably walking in circles, you’re bound to catch sight of some strange titles.

Here is a list of some of the library’s more interesting titles that I’ve seen over my four years, as well as some that were recommended to me by the library staff.

Malleus Maeficarum
(The Hammer of Witches)
Heinrich Institoris (1487)

A 15th century witch hunter’s manual translated by Christopher S. Mackay.
“This is a wonderful resource for European history classes,” says John Payne, director of the library.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
Max Brooks (2003)

Instructions on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, with details on how to attack, defend, flee, and take shelter. The book also includes a list of recorded attacks from around the world.

The Handbook of Death & Dying
Clifton D. Bryant (2003)

This book is a “carefully researched, well-organized, informative, and multi-disciplinary source on death studies,” according to its summary.

Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Physical Phenomena
Jerome Clark (1993)

S., or Ship of Theseus
J. J. Abrams & Doug Dorst, or V. M. Straka (2013)

Abrams and Dorst’s book, Ship of Theseus, compiles the work of fictitious author V. M. Straka. Abrams and Dorst expand the mystery by adding hand-written notes in the margins by two readers uncovering Straka’s hidden identity by passing the book back and forth. The pages come stuffed with inserts, papers, a decoder, and doodles within the pages.

MouthSounds: How to Whistle, Pop, Boing, and Honk for All Occasions – And Then Some
Fred Newman (2004)

Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food
Jon Krampner (2013)

Handbook of Games
Neva L. Boyd (1945)

A book of over a hundred games for all ages compiled in the 1940s.

Virginia Satir (1972)

A family and communication therapy guide to understanding a growing a healthy family.

Nuclear War: What’s In It for You?
Ground Zero (1982)

From the back cover: “Nuclear war could happen tomorrow! The good news is… you might be killed. The bad news is… you might survive! Here is everything you wanted to know about nuclear war… but were just too scared to ask.”