The Penguin Book of Hell, Scott G. Bruce, ed.
3000 years of eternal damnation – what’s not to like?
As Philip Pullman said, “Now that I know what Hell is like, I shall take more pains to avoid it.”
Imperial Boredom: Monotony and the British Empire
Jeffrey A. Auerbach
Who could resist a compendium of mind-numbing imperial experiences where tedious ceremonies and endless paperwork, not exotic thrills in distant lands, are the order of the day?
That may be one for your your British friends, if they aren’t too touchy . Those in the US might prefer
Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life
Christopher E. Forth
Definitely one for a gloomy friend who likes a thoroughly researched and capable book, academic and rigorous in tone.
Gert was more taken by the trivia:
In 1602, the Dominican priest Tommaso Campanella suggested that cities close their gates to fat people and that children who were out of shape at 14 should be exiled.