Steve Caplin and Simon Rose, authors of last year’s bestseller, Dad Stuff, have this year written Stuff the Turkey: How to Survive Christmas with your Family, which deals not only with Christmas but with its well-intentioned hinterland.
“Those who can think beyond the annual excesses of Christmas may find their thoughts turning to the new year. Specifically, the resolutions we all make in the vain hope that, this year, we might just keep one or two. Most of us have every intention of turning over a new leaf, so here’s a simple way to do it. All you need is a book containing exactly 730 pages – that’s 365 individual sheets of paper. That way you can turn over a new leaf every day. Here’s our guide to some of the best 730-page books.”
1. Euclid 5 LDT Tractor Chassis Only Service Manual
Euclid Tractor Co, Part No: EU-S-1-33 LDT, 730pp
In the 1950s the Euclid 5 was to serious earthmovers what the Aston Martin was to James Bond, except with bigger tyres. They both had massive pulling power, a huge throbbing tail pipe and headlights that flipped down to reveal ground-to-air missile launchers (except for the Euclid 5). While the Aston Martin brand has been bought by Ford, though, the Euclid badge was sold to Hitachi.
2. Bed & Breakfast Guest Accommodation in England 2006
English Tourism Council, 2005, 730pp
The ultimate guide to over 10,000 establishments that will help you overcome your fear of muesli, yoghurt and other healthy breakfast fare. After digesting lavish descriptions of an average of 27 full English breakfasts per day, you’ll be cured of your cholesterol cravings for the rest of the year.
3. The Nepticulidae and Opostegidae (Lepidoptera) of North West Europe
Johansson, R et al, Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, 1990, 730pp
A hefty two-volume guide to the butterflies and moths of Scandinavia, with 54 colour plates. Most interestingly, this pair of books also includes 936 line drawings of “veins and male genitalia”. Essential for those who wish to be shown what a REALLY tiny penis looks like.
4. Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, vol 2 (1500-1504)
Thomas Dickson and James Balfour Paul, TannerRitchie Publishing, 730pp
The years 1500-1504 were largely uneventful in Scottish history. The only notable occasion was the wedding of James IV and Margaret Tudor in 1503, which led to the signing of the Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England. It lasted for 10 years, which is longer than most everlasting peace treaties.
5. A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
HW Fowler, Bern Porter, 1985, 730pp
The essential guide to good English, compiled by the editor of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary and, later, the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary. If he’d lived, Fowler would probably have gone on to produce the USB Flashdrive Oxford English Dictionary.
6. International Directory of Company Histories vol 9
Ed. Paula Kepos, St James Press, 1994, 730pp
Thrill to pulse-quickening, pioneering tales of business derring-do. Savour salacious stories of how companies like Blockbuster, Duracell, Reebok and Oshkosh B’Gosh were built. And if one volume doesn’t satisfy you, don’t despair. There are currently 89 volumes in the series, which should last you a lifetime.
7. The Monumental Effigies of Gloucestershire & Bristol
Ida M Roper, privately printed for the Author, 1931, 730pp
Only 100 signed copies were ever printed of this book by the noted west country amateur archaeologist and botanist who established the Ida Roper Herbarium. Whatever you do, don’t get this mixed up with Monumental Effigies in Bristol and Gloucestershire by ME Bagnall-Oakley (1902), which is another kettle of fish entirely.
8. The Malayan Civil List 1937
Government Printing Office, 1937, 730pp
All you ever need to know about the British establishment in Malaya, from the British Resident down to Goaler Grade 3, including postings, education, salaries and career histories. Not only was the book bound in leather but, you’ll be relieved to know, it was effectively treated with “a poisonous insecticidal solution”.
9. Chronological List of Antarctic Expeditions and Related Historical Events
RK Headland, Cambridge University Press, 1989, 730pp
From Captain Cook discovering “ice islands” in 1773 to tourist trips to Paulet Island in 1988, Headland describes an extraordinary 3,342 Antarctic expeditions in this exhaustively-researched book. Try not to obsess about the fact that it isn’t quite the last word in Antarctic expeditions. Sadly, Headland’s “The corrected revision of Chronological List of Antarctic Expeditions and Related Historical Events (2001)” has yet to find a publisher.
10. Systematic Classic of Acupuncture and Moxibustion
Huang-fu Mi, Blue Poppy Press, 2004, 730pp
A translation of the Jia Yi Ying, the first textbook on acupuncture, written in the fourth century. At last: a use for all those pine needles shed by your bargain Christmas tree.
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/dec/07/bestbooks