Aug
01
2014

Strangest Book of the Week #3

Oooooooh. Spoiled for choice, this week.

I just as easily could have featured some of the ephemera I’ve found (postcards, handwritten letter from 1934, old newspaper comic also from 1934…), and this coming from just one guy who brought in eleven boxes earlier in the week. If he hadn’t come along, I don’t know what book I would have had to feature. This morning I mentioned that I was going to post something and Richie handed me the following book:

The Art of Talk

by Art Bell, 1995, Paper Chase Press ISBN 1879706539. Includes a signed photo!

Coast to Coast AM has randomly come up in office conversation before, but not since Mike has worked here (the dude is seriously into conspiracy theories). Joe and Richie were familiar with the radio show, me and Krischa not so much. Conspiracy theory central! Art Bell was the original founder of Coast to Coast back in 1984 and it is currently hosted by George Noory, but you can still go into the archives and listen to Art Bell’s Somewhere In Time show.

According to the omniscient wikipedia, “fans regard Bell as a master showman, noting that he calls his show ‘absolute entertainment’ and expressly says he does not necessarily accept every guest or caller’s claims but only offers a forum where they will not be openly ridiculed. Bell was one of only a few talk show hosts who did not screen incoming calls…”

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Some of the runners-up for the Strangest Book of the Week included a handful of old Ralston Health Club books from the late 19th, early 20th century. Proto-self help books. Just checking up on it, “Ralstonism” was very peculiar; maybe I’ll have to feature some of those next week. Magnetism and Life Electricity! and other very dubious and disturbing practices and beliefs, with some key similarities to the Eugenics movement.

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