10 Best How-To Books Ever Written

Somebody once said there are more book titles beginning with the words "how to" than with anything else. Perhaps that's because we all want to learn to do things better.

I've spent hours combing library shelves for how-to titles. (I've also spent several minutes combing my hair, but that's another story.)

What follows is a completely subjective list of outstanding books that teach us how to improve ourselves. Warning: Some of these titles do NOT begin with the words "how to."

1. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie - written in 1936 - offers great tips on "six ways of making people like you," "12 ways of winning people to your way of thinking," and much, much more. It's one of history's greatest guides.

2. "How to Make Your Advertising Make Money" by researcher John Caples provides great advice for just about anybody, especially those looking for ideas to help them write better.

3. "Simplify Your Life" by Elaine St. James offers "100 ways to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter."

4."The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People" by David Niven, Ph.D. talks about the "traits, beliefs, and practices" successful people share.

5. "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom tells the true story of a dying professor who offers great lessons on living. It's a wonderful book for any reader.

6."Free Publicity" by Jeff Crilley. This "TV reporter shares the secrets of getting covered on the news."

7. "Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things" by Charles Panati discusses the origin of hundreds of "items, expressions, and customs," and offers fascinating facts.

8. "The Practical Guide to Practically Everything" by Peter Bernstein and Christopher Ma offers ideas and advice on many, many subjects.

9. "What Every American Should Know About American History" by Dr. Alan Axelrod and Charles Phillips discusses "200 events that shaped the nation."

10."Cracking the Network Code" by Dean Lindsay. This terrific book from Lindsay - a popular business speaker - offers ideas for "meeting, connecting, and developing long-term relationships with co-workers and others."

Rix Quinn wrote the new book "Words That Stick," a practical writing guide for people who hate to write. It's available from your local bookstore, or www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/">http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580085768/qid/

John Oliver's parody book about Vice President Mike Pence's family pet has sold out. The "Last Week Tonight" host appeared on "Ellen" on Tuesday to talk about his new children's book, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo." The book, which Oliver is using to troll Pence, coincides with the Pence family's release of their own children's book about the family pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo.

The American Library Association is facing significant financial challenges. The Trump administration wants to gut federal support for libraries. And librarians are fighting over whether its next executive director should be required to have a MLS degree...

The National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its 2017 awards tonight:

Poetry: Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)

Criticism: Carina Chocano, You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)

Autobiography: Xiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)

Biography: Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)

Nonfiction: Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)

Fiction: Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)

The John Leonard Prize: Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf)

The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Charles Finch

The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: John McPhee

About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 67% of Americans having read a print book in the past year.

And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a survey conducted in 2016, there has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18%.

Overall, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months. Each of these figures is largely unchanged since 2011, when the Center first began conducting the surveys of Americans' book reading habits.

Netflix will begin streaming the movie adaptation of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society in North America, Latin America, Italy, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia on April 20. Studiocanal will release the film in the U.K. on the same day, followed by Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany.

Accused by at least 10 women of sexual harassment, author Sherman Alexie has decided not to accept the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction that he won for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir (Little, Brown). His publisher has also delayed the release of the paperback edition.

The Guardian reports on the quandary facing romance authors--in the wake of #MeToo and Time's Up, how 'bad' should the bad boy be?

Introducing what will be an ongoing project, The New York Times writes, "Since 1851, obituaries in the New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now we're adding the stories of 15 remarkable women."

The obituaries published today include Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Bronte and Qui Jin (a feminist poet and revolutionary who became a martyr known as China's 'Joan of Arc.')

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington will star in and executive produce the TV series Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng's book.

Three women have gone on the record with NPR's All Things Considered--and at least seven others have spoken off the record with the show--about author Sherman Alexie's abusive treatment of them, confirming the anonymous and somewhat vague allegations that have been made recently online.

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