10 Personal Development Books You’ve Never Heard of Before

by Daniel Brenton

in Oddly Obscure

… and will probably never hear of again.

    A quick exploration of the newly digitalized U.S. Government Copyright database reveals personal development books we’ve all missed — for better or worse.

Fans fall out of the sky for Richard Flock
Rare photo of obscure personal development author Richard Flock shortly after his retirement, signing autographs for fans.

    Out of curiosity more than anything, I spent some time with the newly digitalized U.S. Government Copyright Office database, and stumbled across a number of registered personal development books that, had history been slightly different, may have become mainstays … or not.
    As far as I have been able to determine, all of these are either long out of print or never made it into publication.
    Here, then, are ten not-quites, also-rans, or dead-last-but-finisheds, lost to us all. – DB

1937: Think and Grow Hair, by Napoleon Frill.

1960: Success Through a Vertical Bodily Attitude, by W. Cement Wall.

1968: The Greatest Ego in the World, by Claude Bambino.

1970: Jonathan Horatio Pigeon, by Richard Flock.

(Flock followed this in 1977 with Delusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Paranoiac.)

1971: A Separate Legality, by Carlos Capias ad Satisfaciendum.

1976: Your Extraneous Bones, by Dr. Dwayne Dwyer.

1980: The Way of the Peaceful Curmudgeon, by Dan Grindstone.

(I did manage to find Grindstone’s book many years ago, and I point to it as a major influence in my life.)

1984: You Can Heal Your Wife, by Louise Melee.

1989: The Seven Habits of Strongly Offensive People, by Steven Cranky.

And, only a couple of years ago in 2007: Personal Improvement for Smartie-Pantses, by Steve Urkel.

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Copyright © 2009-2012, by Daniel Brenton. All Rights Reserved.

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