Linux From Scratch is a book that teaches you how to compile what I would call a "distributionless" GNU/Linux. Using an existing installation, you bootstrap a statically linked compiler and set of build tools, then recompile everything needed for a basic GNU/Linux system. Additional "hints" provide tips for building other things you might want for a server or desktop system: X11, GNOME, PPP, or whatever. It's kind of a vendor-neutral de facto distribution. It could even be construed as a set of instructions for aspiring distribution makers.