The Dangerous Book for Non-Boys
August 25, 2007 3:04 AM   Subscribe

I've read "The Dangerous Book for Boys" and I generally love those kind of books (information about anything with guides on doing stuff). What other books are out there that are in a similar vein? I'm a 21-year-old girl but would rather not have a "girly" book.
posted by divabat to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 59 users marked this as a favorite
The Poor Man's James Bond series is a collection of military manuals, crude drawings of improvised weapons and traps, crazy-dangerous bomb instructions, strange rhetoric, and step-by-step martial arts tactics.

Henley's Formulas is another interesting one. How to perform amazing feats like "eating" hot coals, making an ink you can ignite. It's from 1907, very strange and outdated.

I always liked the books Klutz makes. They come with their own props, like magic or science stuff, or juggling balls.
posted by evil holiday magic at 3:24 AM on August 25, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Boys reminded me of How to Hold a Crocodile.
posted by arruns at 4:19 AM on August 25, 2007

211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do might be worth a look too.
posted by dbateman at 4:47 AM on August 25, 2007

I grew up (back in the 70s) studying the Foxfire books. (There's a whole series.) Loads of stories and how-to's about back-woodsy stuff. For instance, the subtitle to the first book is "Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining."

I still remember the interview with Aunt Arie, who's pulling the eyeballs out of a pig head (part of it is excerpted at Amazon).
posted by booth at 5:23 AM on August 25, 2007

The Worst-Case Scenario Handbook series might be worth a look as well.
posted by keijo at 5:25 AM on August 25, 2007

Here's all of the Foxfires that Amazon has listed. (I didn't realize there were 12 of them!)
posted by booth at 5:25 AM on August 25, 2007

How to survive on land and sea is an incredible classic in this vein. And then there are the Worst case scenario books, too.
posted by visual mechanic at 5:27 AM on August 25, 2007

The American Boy's Handy Book is similar. (a few excerpts here).
posted by waterlily at 5:38 AM on August 25, 2007

Anything from Loompanics (most of it will probably have to be second-hand now, so it's a bit of a treasure hunt).

The Gingery books teach you how build your own machine shop from 99% scrap metal, among other wonderful things.
posted by flabdablet at 5:52 AM on August 25, 2007

I highly recommend "The Boy Mechanic" -- get the PDF from that page. I have all of them, they are full of hundreds of projects for young people, from building your own boat or camera to chemistry, etc.
posted by fake at 6:01 AM on August 25, 2007

If you're in the UK, TV survivalist (and countryside grazer) Ray Mears has produced a series of accessible books about outside matters.
posted by long haired lover from liverpool at 6:01 AM on August 25, 2007

any and all books by William Gurstelle! (eg " Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices", "The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets, and More Ancient Artillery", "Whoosh Boom Splat: The Garage Warrior's Guide to Building Projectile Shooters")

i'd second the recommendation for lindsay books' catalog -- they've got a bunch of new and old books of that sort.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:10 AM on August 25, 2007

I have The Boys and Girls Handbook: Full of amazing facts and figures given to me by my grandmother in 1985. I've seen it in second-hand bookshops in Brisbane. It has a lot of encyclopaedic information in sections such as the universe, the world and its people, the earth, the world of science, mythology, religion, history, arts and literature etc, and sections on hobbies and pastimes teaching macrame, knot-tying, philately, caving and spelunking, how to build a bivouac and light a fire, palm-reading, crochet, basic archaeology, and much, much more.

It's on and
posted by goo at 6:27 AM on August 25, 2007

Rosie Little's Cautionary Tales For Girls
by Danielle Wood looked interesting although not in the survivalist/how to vein you were asking for in your post.
posted by aetg at 7:12 AM on August 25, 2007

The Daring Book for Girls, maybe?
posted by The Deej at 7:33 AM on August 25, 2007

Woohoo! I just found The Boy Electrician in the Lindsay catalog. I had this out of our local library on a more or less continuous basis as a kid. A true classic.
posted by flabdablet at 7:35 AM on August 25, 2007

Have you browsed the miscellaneous section at Borders and Barnes & Noble? You can kill a few hours just looking at the stuff you'd find there, with titles like "How to Do Just About Anything," "Stuff Guys Need To Know" "How To: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know" "The Experts' Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do" "Pocket Ref" etc...
There's also the "Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things" series, but I think I've found that in another section I can't remember off the top of my head.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:26 AM on August 25, 2007

Make magagazine?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:32 AM on August 25, 2007

From the unregulated era of 1854 (when life was short anyway so what's the harm in playing with fire) comes The Young Man's Book of Amusement
posted by -harlequin- at 9:47 AM on August 25, 2007

Despite it's title, The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything isn't "girly."
posted by annabellee at 10:25 AM on August 25, 2007

Response by poster: Actually, I wasn't looking for survivalist - I'm not very outdoorsy! I do like the "everything in a book" concept - as I kid I used to have plenty of books that had sections on orienteering, wildlife, how to be a secret agent, cryptography, camping, cartooning, indoor games, etc - all in one book.

Some of those suggestions look interesting, I'll take a look!
posted by divabat at 1:35 PM on August 25, 2007

You Can Do It! is a great book, with all sorts of fun, interesting things.
posted by logic vs love at 3:13 PM on August 27, 2007

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