Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

060: Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry M. Robert


060.42: Robert, Henry M. Robert’s Rules of Order Revised for Deliberative Assemblies. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1943. 307 pp.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 000: Computer Science, Knowledge, and General Works
  • 060: General organizations and museology
  • 060.4: Special topics of general organizations
  • 060.42: General rules of order

If you’re running even a halfway-serious meeting, assembly, or convention, you need some way of bringing order to the proceedings. Without common rules, deliberative assemblies devolve into chaos. First devised in 1876 by U.S. Army Colonel Henry Martyn Robert, these rules help to allow groups of peoples to understand what happens when, when people can speak, when and how motions can be voted on, and how to decide on many complicated matters.

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130: Occult America by Mitch Horowitz


130: Horowitz, Mitch. Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation. New York: Bantam, 2010. 258 pp. ISBN 978-0-553-38515-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 130: Parapsychology and occultism

In 1774, Mother Ann Lee emigrated from England to New York and started a small but important movement in America: the Shakers. Their belief in a more mystical Christian God led to accusations of heresy from mainline believers. From this small band of radical believers sprang pockets on mysticism throughout America over the last 250 years. Mitch Horowitz’s Occult America takes a slightly off-center look at American history through the lens of those who believed, prayed, practiced, and lived a little differently from the rest of us.

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939: The Road to Ubar by Nicholas Clapp


939.49: Clapp, Nicholas. The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands. Boston: Mariner, 1999. 274 pp. ISBN 0-395-95786-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 930: History of the ancient world
  • 939: History of other parts of the ancient world
  • 939.4: History of the Middle East to 640 CE
  • 939.49: History of the Arabian Peninsula to 622 CE

The ancient city of Ubar is clouded in myth. It controlled the frankincense trade for the Arabian Peninsula and became quite a wealthy oasis. Then, as told in the Koran, it was smote from the Earth for favoring wealth over worship. The city of Ubar was gone forever. Nicholas Clapp’s The Road to Ubar weaves together history, archaeology, technology, and even a little luck to rediscover the history of the Arabian Peninsula. With the help of an archaeologist, a geologist, and a real-life adventurer, he travels through the vast Arabian Desert to take back what the desert hid for so long.

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687: Jeans by James Sullivan


687.1: Sullivan, James. Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon. New York: Gotham Books, 2006. 265 pp. ISBN 1-592-40214-3.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 600: Technology
  • 680: Manufacture of products for specific uses
  • 687: Clothing and accessories
  • 687.1: Specific kinds of garments

Despite how advertisers keep treating as a new and exciting clothing, jeans, and the denim they are made from, have been around for hundreds of years. Blue jeans are named after their place of first import, Genoa, Italy, and denim comes from the material serge de Nimes, a cotton blend from Nimes, France. Materials for jeans arrived in the America almost right after the Pilgrims did. Denim jeans have been part of the social and manufacturing landscape for so long that they seem almost ineffable. James Sullivan’s Jeans, however, goes a little deeper into the history of jeans to find a chronicle of rebellion and globalization.

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123: As Luck Would Have It by Joshua Piven


123.3: Piven, Joshua. As Luck Would Have It: Incredible Stories, from Lottery Wins to Lightning Strikes. New York: Villard, 2003. 181 pp. ISBN 1-4000-6055-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 120: Epistemology, causation, and mankind
  • 123: Determinism and indeterminism
  • 3: Chance

In As Luck Would Have It, Joshua Piven investigates nine chance occurrences and how they inform our view of the world and the circumstances of our lives. It’s a quick little book, to say the least. It covers the following stories:

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212: The Proof of God by Larry Witham


212: Witham, Larry. The Proof of God: The Debate that Shaped Modern Belief. New York: Atlas & Co., 2008. 195 pp. ISBN 978-0-9777433-6-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 200: Religion
  • 210: Philosophy and theory of religion
  • 212: Existence, ways of knowing, and attributes of God

In the late 1070s CE, Anselm, a Benedictine monk at the abbey of Bec hit upon a wondrous proof of the existence of God. Being a monk, it was rather in his best interest to ensure that one could not think away God’s being, but the argument he devised has guided religious logic for nearly 1,000 years. The Ontological Argument, as it has since been named has influenced the writings of Ockham, Descartes, and Bertrand Russell. On the other side, Anselm has garnered Thomas Aquinas, Kant, and David Hume as detractors. Larry Witham’s The Proof of God is a chronicle of the life of Anselm, and how his work and politics shaped modern religion.

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802: Literature Lover’s Book of Lists by Judie L. H. Strouf


802: Strouf, Judie L.H. Literature Lover’s Book of Lists: Serious Trivia for the Bibliophile. Paramus, NJ: Prentice Hall Press, 1998. 391 pp. ISBN 0-7352-0121-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 802: Miscellany

Judie Strouf’s Literature Lover’s Book of Lists is a simple exercise that gather a lot of information. It bills itself as a “compendium of useful, whimsical, and necessary information for people…who love to read.” The 198 compiled lists try to order, categorize, and codify the entirety of literature for those crave such information. It has every Pulitzer Prize winner and their works, poem types and literary devices with examples, landmark books and speeches from every major Western period, lists of literary genres, and so on and so on.

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