New & Noteworthy Titles

Merde: Excursions in Scientific, Cultural, and Socio-Historical Coprology
Ralph A. Lewin, Random House, 15.95 pb

A general science approach to the subject, primarily featuring factoids and anecdotes from the animal kingdom. The lavoratory suggests itself as the obvious room in which to showcase this title.

History of Shit
Dominique Laporte, Nadia Benabid (Translator), Rodolphe El-Khoury (Translator), MIT, 13.95 pb

Sadly, the hardcover edition is already out of print: it featured a black velour cover, offering an extra cachet as fetish object to the curiously inclined. As for the subject matter and presentation, it's exactly the kind of brainy fun we expect from MIT publications: lit-critty; obscure; ambitious; rebellious. Perhaps most amusing is imagining the arguments that must have taken place at editorial meetings concerning the title.

Temples of Convenience and Chambers of Delight
Lucinda Lambton

NB: All editions are out of print.

Graduate students, pay attention: the author in all likelihood actually obtained financing in order to travel Europe photographing pissoirs. Even more remarkable, the book succeeds on several levels. It's a beautifully laid-out coffee-table book of full-color photography featuring roughly 150 sumptous johns from past centuries; many of our customers bought it to peruse for interior decoration ideas as well.

How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art
Kathleen Meyer, 7.95 pb

Past the initial chuckle value, this now-classic title in fact provides useful information on its subject matter, as well as more general ideas concerning hygienic practices in the wild. A little difficult to imagine reading cover-to-cover, but our customers who do not live by books alone swear they've done just that when camping.

Outhouses by Famous Architects
Steve Schaecher, John Flushkin (Preface), 17.95 hb

Cerebral bathroom humor (insofar as this is possible...) as the author takes a speculative look at what-if architectural scenarios.

Ceramic Water Closets
Munroe Blair, ~12.95 pb, UK import. 40pp, 65 & 34 b&w illus.

[from the publisher:] '...traces the history and evolution of ceramic water closets through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with emphasis on changing designs, decorative styles and fashions trends, supported by explanatory diagrams and many original illustrations.' A very nice little item for collectors as well as generalists with several additional cachets: it's still in print (released 2002); you will absolutely be the first on your block to own a copy.