Brain Pickings

Blog-Turned-Book Success Stories: Part Two

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Charting happiness, why you should tip your waiter, and how to tug at heartstrings right.

Last week, we spotlighted five of our ten favorite blog-turned-book success stories. Today, we’re back with the sequel.

INDEXED

It’s no secret we have an infoviz fetish, fueling our longtime love affair with the wonderful Indexed blog — Jessica Hagy’s absolutely charming graph-and-chart-driven visual exploration of, well, everything. With brevity and brilliance, Indexed has captured everything from the secret formula of James Cameron’s biggest hits to the challenges of proposing to a virgin.

So we have no words to describe just how much we’re loving Indexed, the book — a wonderfully curated selection from what’s already a treasure trove of gems.

WAITER RANT

Since 2004, one veteran New York waiter has been dishing out delightfully cynical musings about the inner workings of the restaurant world in Waiter Rant — a hilariously candid and unfiltered account of life in the restaurant service industry.

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip — Confessions of a Cynical Waiter captures the best, juiciest, most amusing of these stories, from chef scandals to patrons from hell, and promises a solid chuckle.

Thanks for the reminder, @femmmefatal

THE SECRET DIARY OF STEVE JOBS

He’s been worshiped and reviled, but what do we really know about the man who “invented the friggin iPhone”? Thanks to The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, a lot. Yeah, yeah, he may be fake, but we bet he’s a ton more fun than the real one.

The ensuing book, Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs — A Parody, is an absolute treat of humor, snark, and random rants against anyone from shareholders to Ray Kurzweil.

MRS. O

Some time ago, we interviewed Mary Tomer, who in 2008 launched Mrs-O.org — a blog chronicling Michelle Obama’s style.

That public fascination with the first lady’s fashion sense struck such a cultural chord that less than a year later, Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy hit the press. And it’s a must-read for anyone striving to understand the relationship between fashion, public persona, and popular taste.

1001 RULES FOR MY UNBORN SON

We have a strong aversion to cheesy heartstring-tuggers — cliche photos, contrived greeting cards, regurgitated quotes — of which the interwebs are full. But 1001 rules for my unborn son is positively the loveliest, most moving piece of universal-relevance-disguised-as-fatherly-advice. It combines precious nuggets of insight with just the right dose of quirk and randomness, producing powerful wisdom that doesn’t take itself too seriously — a priceless combination.

The book, Rules for My Unborn Son, is every bit as delightful.

BONUS

More recently, we were ecstatic to find out one of the smartest, most indulgent blogs out there, The Footnotes of Mad Men, got a book deal. The glossy tome, titled Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America, is out on July 20th, but is available for pre-order now.

We can’t wait.

Missed the first five? Catch up right here.

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