Tag Archives: books

Sportsmanship……Books!

Tomorrow, I will be at Walker Stalker in Chicago! Tomorrow.

And this time, I am also planning on showing how my book cover parodies have become far more plentiful than they used to be. In the beginning, it was just Danger Crumples transforming Christopher Pike’s 1990s YA output, as seen here –

I do think with Danger Crumples I may actually have parodied these covers into being more coherent stories. Oops.

However, now that most of these are only available as postcards and I had more plays on piggie names in mind – more pigs have gotten their own book series and three of the paintings will be on display for the first time and also possibly the last time, I tend to make new things for every show that I do because I have a lot of ideas and very inspiring piglets.

Peregrine, crime boss and queen of my herd, finally got her own book series – Prey Street. And once again she meets with her most frightening enemy – the phone. This time she let Merricat pick it up, as if that would help.

 

Finny got a series too! Finnybumps, it’s very specific and allows him to intimidate Salem, just as he tries to from across the room every day.

 

This is my favorite new book cover parody. Ozma’s 80s horror paperback. There’s always been something ominous and yet flashy about how cute she is, which could only be expressed by painting her while drinking a lot of Tab.

 

Walker Stalker! Tomorrow! I know I’m no Jerry, who I won’t be able to see because I’ll be at my table, and I’m clearly not King Ezekiel, who I won’t be able to mention Hellraiser: Hellworld to (um, that movie has Khary Payton, future apparent (I haven’t seen it) downer Superman Henry Cavill, and the best but somewhat -to put it lightly – misused person on Vikings, Katheryn Winnick all in it, what a strange world we live in), but I hope someone comes and sees me anyway because I have a very wide range of stickers this time.

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Two trappers find human feet in a pile of mush. This is one job the carpet cleaners mess up badly.

39. Overdue – Richie Tankersley Cusick

This book is seventeen years old. That means I’m old. Dude. I mean, I knew I was old mentally with my luddite tendencies when it comes to television, phones, cassette players, and the stone wheels on my horse cart, but still. Because this book is technically a mystery it doesn’t seem appropriate to let anyone in on who the killer is without saying “Spoiler Alert,” but really this book is old enough that I shouldn’t have to. It’s a dilemma that took up a whole paragraph.

Anyway, the killer is my favorite part because, as one might guess from the title, this book is about a library (sort of) and finally, finally, the librarian is the killer! And really she only killed one employee and some girl who wasn’t very nice to begin with and maimed or injured several others. I did take issue with her reasoning – an unrequited love from like forever ago with narrator Kathleen’s father. Kathleen also happens to be a library employee who never should have been trusted with minding the library while the killer librarian was “gone” but still in town setting up elaborate maiming scenarios that she marked with copies of Anna Karenina and The Phantom of the Opera.

Kathleen is a traditional Richie Tankersley Cusick heroine, she and Martha from Trick or Treat could be best friends who scream and fly into histrionics every time something happens in the shadows or they lose track of the male who is supposed to be in the same building. Kathleen spent an awful lot of time not doing anything library related while in the library. She wandered around scaring herself, she didn’t shelve anything, she barely checked out any books, she went to the hospital and let a non-employee mind the building, she had no concept of time, she let some random college student behind the counter, and she never had the keys to the door. Frankly, the librarian could have murdered her for being a terrible employee alone. I was honestly surprised that the maiming and murder was not part of an elaborate attempt to get Kathleen to quit. I’ve watched a lot of Deadly Women, it wouldn’t surprise me; but Miss Finch, librarian, was not given much of a personality and then she walked into the library after she set it on fire. Nobody respects libraries enough.

Pammy’s got a book! Run! Or if you’re Kathleen the protagonist, scream and flail and refuse to calm down! Seriously though, people should not tell people to calm down, it does not work.

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not another was-band

44. Tell-All – Chuck Palahniuk

It’s seemed in the past couple of years that Chuck Palahniuk is writing books in entirely different languages. Pygmy took me forever to get into because of this. Tell-All, because of my general familiarity with celebrity-type things and enough Hollywood history to almost get the jokes, was more accessible. But somewhat less pleasant in a way. At least the dude in Pygmy was obviously trying to destroy something. Here it’s the personal assistant suspecting the next husband in a line of many husbands. And I cannot stand when people randomly bold things – I don’t care what they are – let the context of the sentence provide the emphasis! Don’t annoy my eyes!

The plight of the personal assistant is of interest to me. I once became an office assistant only to be confronted with slightly personal assistant-esque duties on occasion. This did not suit me. I prefer people who can do things for themselves, which is why if any shade of PA duty comes my way I will run in the opposite direction. Some people don’t mind it. I emphatically do. So in a way I could understand the motivations of Miss Coogan. But not enough to enjoy the book the whole way through. If I don’t care whether or not the main character is murdered it can be hard to enjoy things.

Palahniuk is definitely an author who polarizes people. I generally enjoy his work, my favorite one is Rant. And his next one looks pretty good, he mentioned in an interview that he’s been reading a lot of Judy Blume and that should certainly help this author-voice randomness that he’s getting into. Judy Blume is awesome.

A little guinea pig dreams of world domination via starring on the stage and screen. If only she was big enough to be seen on stage and didn’t fit so easily underneath a stuffed turtle foot.

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She doesn’t have a name, just like Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth

38. A Nameless Witch – A. Lee Martinez

So…the nameless witch made more decisions and was more engaging than the majority of the female characters Martinez has written thus far. However, her appearance of being “made to seduce” is a bit of a cop-out. Dudes. I very much enjoyed Newt the demon duck and Penelope the broom as characters and the journeying was fun to follow along with. All in all a fun read, as per usual for Mr. Martinez.

 

Pammy staves off her cravings for human flesh with celery. How long will it work?

 

 

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Viva el Tub!

42. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt

The Sisters Brothers, Charlie and Eli, take the reader on a windy journey. It was so windy that I forgot what the main plot of the book was supposed to be about halfway through. But I like stories of journeying, unless the author subjects me to songs that the characters are singing while they travel and then I get put off, and The Sisters Brothers offers up some strange characters and situations along the way. There were several aspects of the book that were enjoyable enough to distract from its slightly misplaced plot – Eli’s newfound love of dental hygiene, a young boy who finds himself consistently unconscious, and eventually when the plot finds itself the oddness of the man the brothers were sent to assassinate and the blistering ending of an attempt to pan for gold while some rather wily beavers observe them were all nicely described and rather pleasant to read. But for me, this book belonged to Tub. Tub is a horse that isn’t all there, gets attacked by a bear, and leads a generally miserable life overall. I was consistently worried about his welfare (thankfully, not unlike Eli) and knew that since he ended up being a character I was concerned about, he wasn’t going to make it through to the end. And it seems like the writers of Westerns have a tendency to kill off some sweet horses…

 

Twiglet was my Tub. She managed to avoid being attacked by bears by staying in her sheep sheets.

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Coming of age involves a lot of change

43. The Traveling Vampire Show – Richard Laymon

 

This book contains many, many changes of clothing. So many changes of clothing that I was unable to maintain my suspension of disbelief as it’s supposed to take place over the course of one day. One day in which the three main characters ruin so many shirts! The “day” before the actual vampire show takes place is like three hundred and seventy-five pages long. It was nearly endless and perhaps if one were to be sucked in by the adolescent characters it would have been okay. I was distracted as all hell. In 1963, apparently American small-town male teenagers spent most of their time wandering around, creaming their jeans while crushing on their one female friend who totally makes out with the narrator (oops! Accident!), ruining their shirts in the name of chivalry and feral dog attacks, and running their endless inner monologue about boobs – the boobs of their one female friend, the boobs of their sister-in-law, the boobs of their friend’s sister that they don’t even like, and the boobs of the vampire Valeria that they won’t even see until she gets inexplicably naked toward the end of the book. In Laymon’s world, clothes are endlessly ruinable. They have no durability whatsoever. Therein lies the lesson of The Traveling Vampire Show.

 

Belvedere cannot ruin his Cosby sweater, it’s a permanent fixture. He is less than intrigued by vampire shows, his incisors are razor sharp as it is.

 

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Has Andrew Zimmern written a book yet? I should probably know the answer to that, being a librarian and all.

15. Medium Raw – Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential is a great book, you can truly get a feel for the workings of a kitchen and I really enjoyed Bourdain’s portrayal of the kinds of people it takes to make a restaurant work. Not unlike a public library, it takes a combination of high art and low art to make everything run smoothly and employees who get it do well and employees who don’t get it need to leave. When I picked up Medium Raw I was looking for a bit more confirmation of those ideas…but it’s a little bit too disconnected to solidify anything. I guess I wanted a more composed valentine rather than a collection of articles. Sometimes when people put out books that are collections of articles it makes me wonder if they were not forced to make choices or focus. If the cover said this was going to be a collection of articles published elsewhere I would have been totally up for that, because the choice would have been obvious. Usually, unfocused collections turn up after an author dies because someone pretending to be altruistic publishes whatever they can find “for the fans.” Even though I’ll still read every one of these collections that involves Kurt Vonnegut I feel a bit icky about them.

The best part of Medium Raw is the bit about Justo Thomas cutting fish. The respect and reverence that Bourdain has for the man is well-deserved and freakishly obvious. And it was well reinforced by Thomas’ appearance on Top Chef All Stars, it was nice to see him in action after reading about his skills.

 

Morty is like a surgeon with his little incisors. Corn cobs beware!

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Promotional Ridiculousness.

So, Pickles has decided to grace the cover of my very first Amazon Kindle publication:

 

Night of the Squirrels: Dawn of the Interns is the first in a young adult trilogy concerning the squirrelpocalypse. It has disappearances and robots and werewolves and purple stuff and witty quips and academic achievement and SUSPENSE and an isolated boarding school and mad scientists and taxidermy and the Q virus and wooded areas and bleeding and specific pop culture references and walkie talkies and friendship and bones and someone who finally gets to use their damn graduate degree – for a price. If you enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spaced and Dog Soldiers and Daria, you have a high potentiality of enjoying this book. Book-wise, if you enjoy the work of Christopher Moore, A. Lee Martinez, Kelly Link, and young adult novels of the 80s and 90s you also have a high potentiality of enjoying this book. Music-wise, if you enjoy the work of The Raveonettes and Electric Six and Danzig and The Gun Club you really have a high potentiality of enjoying this book. If all of these things do not sound familiar to you, that’s okay, there’s also some very down to earth characters, both male and female, who have relationships and friendships and really, it’s about them and how they relate to each other during the confusing and intriguing early stages of the squirrelpocalypse that none of them are aware is in its early stages. Dawn of the Interns is a synthesis of many things resulting in a totally original romp of highjinks and realism. And Pickles is on the cover!

There’s also a more conceptual plot description with names on its purchase page: http://www.amazon.com/Night-Squirrels-Dawn-Interns-ebook/dp/B00520KQ66/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1306200117&sr=8-12

I am about forty pages and some editing away from finishing the second volume of the trilogy, which will feature Duncan on the cover. No, guinea pigs are not squirrels, but they fit the 70s horror aesthetic I wanted for the Kindle covers and are very, very cute.

I will be creating some blog entries that have some insights about my book, this is the first of approximately two that I have planned. Shameless self promotion! Shamelessness!

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