Book Meme Challenge:
A Book that Makes You Happy
There are many books that make me happy. Giggly happy, crying happy, stars and butterflies happy, spiritually happy, emotionally happy, joyfully happy, (there is a distinction between joyousness and happiness,) intellectually happy, romantically happy, etc. After all, as a bibliophile almost any instance of written word is liable to make me giddy.
But for the purposes of this challenge I will here define “happy” as an “instantaneous sense of fulfillment, security, and self-satisfaction”. And with that in mind, I nominate . . . .
The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception (Declassified)
By (I-Could-Tell -You-But-Then-I-Would-Have-to-Kill-You)
This book purports to be a guide to typical spy activities like sneaking out of Soviet territory, concealing and using lock-picks, eluding surveillance, planting bugs unnoticeably, and dropping pills secretly in the enemy’s drink. All written by a “magician” who was hired by the CIA to train agents in these incredibly important tasks. Upon the advent of the ‘new warfare’ of deception rather than chivalry during the first half of the 20th Century, supposedly the newly formed CIA recruited professional tricksters to spread the wealth of clever misdirectional techniques with the arena of espionage.
All this has very little effect on my day-to-day life, but simply possessing the theoretic knowledge of how to trick and clever my way out difficult situations fills my heart with warm and fuzzy feelings of pleasure and confidence.
While in reality I am almost sure that this is NOT by any means or at any point (declassified or not) a real CIA manual, I am quite happy with a willing suspension of disbelief. The information is neatly and practically packaged, and it can be read in little chunks. Smoke & Mirrors? meet Hair-Raising Adventure Possibilities! All laid out in great detail with a dry, calm, prosaic manner. It is brilliant, BRILLIANT I tell you! Bwahahahaha!
In a very practical style, this book sets out explain a.) the historical necessity for this kind of trickery, b.) the main antagonist that spies must confront, ie: the Human Mind, c.) the ways in which the human mind can be misdirected, and d.) the precise physical and mental tricks that can be used. You have only to pick up the book for five minutes to gain a bit of useful, interesting and potentially dangerous information. And this makes me happy.
For some reason, I really love having this type of know-how at the tips of my fingers. It is the same reason that inspired me to take a gun-flighting class. Likewise, I would love to know how to pick pockets, survive a knife-fight, and talk my way out of a hostage situation. There will most likely never EVER be a need for me to have this information, but having it stored away in my head gives me a heightened sense of safety, and preparedness for facing the world at large. You never know what apocalyptal situations may occur!