A Quick Vox Pop

Okay, folks, I need your help.

We’re in the early stages of development on a new series of books for adults – pocket sized illustrated guides on a range of subjects.

Here is the proposed list of subjects. Which titles would you buy? Please choose your top 10.

aborigines

ancient china

ancient egypt

ancient greece

ancient rome

architecture

astrology

aviation

barbarians

big cats

birds of prey

buddhism

cars

castles

cathedrals

christianity

cinema

civil rights

clippers

codes

communism

cowboys

democracy

deserts

dinosaurs

early civilisations

earthquakes

elephants

evolution

exploration

first humans

fishing

forensic science

ghosts

global warming

greek myths

heraldry

hurricanes

impressionism

islam

jazz

judaism

king arthur

longitude

medicine

modern art

moon

mountains

mozart

norse myths

native americans

picasso

planets

prehistoric life

railways

rainforests

renaissance

revolutions

rivers

sacred sites

shakespeare

sharks

shipwrecks

skyscrapers

space travel

stars

sun

troy

vampires

vikings

volcanoes

weather

whales

writing

And, at the risk of adding to our present predicament, do you have any other suggestions for topics we’ve missed?

One caveat: they need to have international appeal as our books are translated and sold in 42 languages.

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20 Responses to A Quick Vox Pop

  1. sledpress says:

    aborigines, to start with a bang
    vikings
    sacred sites
    Judaism
    first humans
    forensic science
    architecture
    evolution
    codes
    ancient rome

    You could look at this as a sort of quick and dirty verbal Rorschach of your readers, you know?

  2. Colm says:

    Here are some I thought might be interesting:

    evolution
    space travel
    Islam
    Christianity
    revolutions
    medicine
    first humans
    early civilizations
    forensic science

    I can’t also help thinking that philosophy might be worthwhile. Also plagues, torture, the Inquisition, psychology, great misconceptions, microbes, tsunamis, cults, drugs, robotics, genetics, war.

    I’ve made your task worse, haven’t I?

  3. aborigines
    ancient china
    ancient egypt
    ancient greece
    early civilisations
    first humans
    norse myths
    prehistoric life
    evolution
    revolutions

    Ok, I know, I have given in to my own special interests. How about myths in general, world wide.

    Good grief, I think I need to put away several hundred dollars so I can get the whole set.

  4. woo says:

    sledpress – thank you, excellent choices. And yes, the Rorschach angle is an interesting one, isn’t it?!

    Colm – yes, you have. But those are splendid ideas, damn you. 😉

    Archie – I love myths and ancient history, too, so I’m clearly in good company. And they should retail for less than $10 each, so hopefully they won’t break the bank (although they might conceivably break the shelves).

    First humans and Evolution seem to be leading the field so far…

  5. modestypress says:

    I can’t make any choices until I see them listed in Chinese. Of course, I will have to channel my late millionaire cousin who became a millionaire by becoming fluent in Chinese. She was very bright and an excellent businesswoman, so if she speaks to me, her advice will guide you on the right path.

  6. LazyBuddhist says:

    I’m afraid I have a bit of a mixed bag, and I have no idea what this says about me, but here ya are:

    architecture
    barbarians (mostly just to see if George W Bush gets his proper credit)
    castles
    early civilisations
    ghosts
    islam
    native americans
    revolutions
    sacred sites
    writing

  7. woo says:

    Mr Random – come on, just pretend they’re in Chinese already, please?…

    LazyBuddhist – a mixed bag is a marvellous thing. I will endeavour to shoe-horn Dubbya into the Barbarians book somewhere or other, just for you 😉

  8. ancient egypt
    barbarians
    cathedrals
    forensic science
    greek myths
    heraldry
    railways
    sacred sites
    troy
    vampires

    vikings

  9. Oops, the vikings weren’t supposed to be on my list.

  10. woo says:

    vikings raided your list did they? Typical.

    thanks – fascinating choices.

  11. doctordi says:

    Just ten?!

    Everything ancient
    Everything art (I guess they’re both cheating but I just can’t choose)
    architecture
    barbarians
    castles
    cathedrals
    cinema
    greek myths
    Shakespeare
    Troy
    writing

    See? I can’t possibly restrict my list to ten! And what about owls? Owls are awesome.

  12. woo says:

    You see my problem – restricting the list to the first ten to be created… AAAARRRGHHHHHHHH! But yes, owls are indeed awesome. I want one.

  13. Technically, owls would be included in birds of prey, wouldn’t they?

    My ten are:
    birds of prey
    hurricanes
    deserts
    impressionism
    mountains
    native americans
    rain forests
    rivers
    sacred sites
    weather

    Why Mozart and not Beethoven, Berlioz and Shostakovich? Why does Picasso get his own book, but Impressionism is all rolled into one volume? Picasso trumps Monet???? How about one on butterflies, another great one would be a book that explains how long each sort of litter lasts in the real environment: cigarette butts 100,000 years, styrofoam? plastic bottles? cotton hankie?
    Origami would be a cool guilde book, it could come with a pack of paper. Ballet, dance, percussion instruments of the world (get Micky Hart to write that one) history of Rock and Roll,

    Oh, the possibilities are endless, aren’t they?

  14. modestypress says:

    I posted a list. In English. The Vikings apparently took it.

    But yes, owls are indeed awesome. I want one.

    One day I saw a large owl catch something in our garden. I believe it was a “short-eared owl,” though it seemed to have large claws and a large beak.

    I then went out to work in the garden. I noticed the owl perched in a tree, looking at me in a very speculative manner. Obviously, it was a Viking spider. Instead of taking me, it took the list I posted for you.

  15. azahar says:

    Coming in a bit late here …

    ancient Greece
    ancient Rome
    big cats
    birds of prey
    dinosaurs
    early civilizations
    picasso
    prehistoric life
    shakespeare
    sharks

    Oh, and have you seen Pencil? It’s free animation/drawing software.

  16. woo says:

    Healingmagichands – lovely list of ideas, thanks. Yup, owls will be in birds of prey. And I agree – it is rather an arbitrary selection, but this is just the first few in what we hope will be a long-running series. Picasso and Mozart get their own titles purely because research shows that they are the artist and composer that the widest selection of people internationally can name. No idea why – its not as though either has an easy name to remember.

    Origami gets its own title in another series of a different format, along with knots and decoupage, and they all come with either paper or rope or whatever. And we have a separate series on environmental and social issues because that subject is so politically sensitive in markets like the US and China (i.e. our customers there don’t buy them!).

    Whittling the initial production list down to 10 is the hardest part, as you can see!

    Azahar – better late than never! Glad to see sharks made your list.

    Will have to check out pencil…

  17. I’m an origami fan and paper airplanes is one of my favorite forms of the art. It challenges not just your folding skills but also teaches you about aerodynamics. I remember a software called “The Greatest Paper Airplanes”. It teaches how to fold 50 different paper airplanes step by step with instructions and videos. Too bad the software is no longer distributed but there’s a website that teaches how to fold those 50 paper airplanes.

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