There are two major series that serve as introductory texts to various subjects. Those are the Dummies series and the Complete Idiot’s Guide series. Althought the Dummies series has more volumes in the series which one in indvidual volumes on the same subjects superior?
It will depend on the author. While the editors try to ensure that everything is up to a certain minimum of Duh, how good any one book is going to be is going to be depend on who wrote it and how good he is at teaching.
I’ve edited the thread title to make it more descriptive.
I can’t say which is better but Boosting Self Esteem for Dummies and The Complete Iditiot’s Guide to Enhancing Self Esteem are really funny titles.
So is Ventriloquism for Dummies.
I *love *the Dummies books. Any time I need to figure something out, I just go buy one. They also have a good online component, and you can sign up for a series of weekly emails on all spirts of topics.
I have tried K.I.S.S. books and a Complete Idiot’s guide, but the Dummies series, IMO, lends itself more to being both something that can be read straight through, or picked up and used more as a reference manual. Plus, I prefer how they are written stylistically.
You can always try the “…for Smelly, Impotent Pedophiles” books.
In general I think the “Dummies” books are better written.
ETA: And in fact, for the most part I think they’re pretty good, at least as introductions to whatever topic it is discussing.
Being neither and Idiot nor a Dummy I will not purchase *either *of these books.
(OK, I have a few of each. To be honest, I usually prefer the Dummies books.)
I had to look and see if this one actually existed. It turns out there is a book by this title, but it’s not an official entry in the “For Dummies” series, it doesn’t appear to be actually about ventriloquism, and it’s out of print (and makes me wonder if it could have gotten in trouble for trademark violation).
I hate the Dummies books. I think the layouts are much too choppy and chaotic and the cutesy factor is a real turnoff. I think some authors (i.e., Eric Tyson) overcome the general distastefulness of the design with quality content, but it takes a lot to do so.
I’ve never cracked a Complete Idiot’s book.
and also: Crash Testing for Dummies
I was in the supermarket once and saw a booklet in the impulse-buy shelves by the checkout called “Astrology for Dummies”. Yup, that about sums it up.
And this general theme is far from new. The Jewish scholar Maimonides wrote his Guide for the Perplexed nearly a thousand years ago.
I much prefer the Oxford University Press’ Very Short Introduction series to either the “Complete Idiot’s guide…” or “…for dummies” series.