Pointedy Phallic

How's it hangin'? Apparently to the left.

This is like the anti-phallus book. It's all sharp and pointy and you want to yell out, "No! Don't touch it!" There's nothin' right about that. I wish the side and back of the book continued with the chick picture so we could see her face making that sexy-pouty-lip-lickin' kinda face. 'Cause you know that's what she's doin'. Or have I been watching too many beer commercials?
(I want to take this moment to prostrate (prostate) myself at the feet of BikerPuppy, who's been doing such and excellent job keeping up slack. Don't worry, Maughtamom, I'll start doing my own blog again, but it's always nice to have help.)


In keeping with the childishness I demonstrated with my last post, I thought this would be a great book for Friday. Nothing phallicky today (sorry!), but at least a good send-off for the weekend. I wasn't going to post it, but the comments on the Moose with Loose Poops post made me think I'm not the only one who appreciates juvenile (and somewhat scatological) humor. Teehee!

As with the last book, it's the title that gets me. Did they really not think of it when they titled this book? Or are they just as bad as I am, laughing to themselves ("poop!!") as they send the book out for distribution? I would suspect it's the latter, but given some of the awful book covers we've seen, it might be that some publishers are just more clueless than I give them credit for.

Enjoy! (And think of this next time you make cookies!)


Um.... what?

Sorry for posting twice in one day, but this made me laugh so hard I couldn't wait to put it up. Actually, I almost peed my pants. I know I'm not really laughing at the cover. My juvenile sense of humor can't get past the title. I'm sure this is a wonderful book to teach kids about being sick, but... the word "poop" is in the title! I just can't stop giggling. Make it stop!! Poop!!!


Is there anyone who looks at the cover of The Singing and doesn't think of the painting "American Gothic" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Americangothic.jpg)?

From what I can glean from the reviews on Amazon, this book (and the series) borrows heavily from The Lord of the Rings. Having not read Croggon's book, here's what I believe, based solely on the cover: Where Tolkien's world is both bright and vibrant and dark and ominous, Croggon's world is drab and dull and ugly. A weak sun and a bleak landscape surround characters who hold little interest for the viewers. The boy either has a haughty expression, looking down his nose at the reader, or is about to sneeze. The girl is holding a lap harp, but does the picture engender any interest about her playing abilities? No. Do you wonder where they are going? Or why they stopped here? No. Surround that drabness with orange and you have the epitome of boring.

At least with American Gothic, you wonder what the lady is looking at, why her husband is holding the pitchfork tine-side up, and where they got their ugly curtains.


Stay silent!

This has to be one of the dreariest covers I've ever seen. I guess that's supposed to be a waterfall behind her, which is nice (although not "silent"), but we are looking at her through a dirty, mossy pane of glass. Grubby.

I have nothing against poetry, although I'm more a fan of poets like Shakespeare and Frost than the stuff in this book (Amazon will let you read a few pages). I don't even mind "dark" poetry - I'm quite fond of Poe, actually.

However, with this cover, this book just screams "dull and depressing" to me. The hat she's wearing is very unattractive, for one thing, and I'm pretty sure her shirt is made out of sack-cloth. More depressing, though, is her strained expression. I can't tell what she's trying to convey. It's not exactly a mysterious expression, just ... weird. Like she's horribly constipated or something. Doesn't make me eager to read this.



This cover makes me very uncomfortable. Why, you ask? Is it because the handsome vampire (apparently the hero of the series) is about to bite this woman on the neck? No. That's standard vampire fare. Is it because the only touch of color is the blood-red (well, more like coral-orange) on her lips? No, though I can't figure out why her lips are red rather than his. Is it because she apparently thought tattooing a bat on her boob was a good idea? Absolutely ouch, but no, that's not it either.

This cover makes me flash back to those hot summer days when, as kids, we would all play with water balloons. Remember that? Epic battles in the streets of your neighborhood? (When I did it, it was before the Super Soaker could take out a whole team in one fell swoop, and before hitting someone with a balloon was a lawsuit-in-the-making.) Remember how, occasionally, you were preparing to whip a balloon at your friend, but you'd grab it too tight? It would strain, strain, strain, and then burst all over you. That's what this cover reminds me of. Maybe her dress is too tight, but I think it's more likely that she has too much silicone in those implants. They look dangerously overinflated!! Any second now, our hero will be saturated, not with blood, but with saline. Yikes!


Sultry Sunday #22 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

OK, so it's Sultry Monday. I was away for the weekend, during which I made a new purchase. It ties in nicely with the last post, re: how (not) to use babies on book covers. Enjoy.


Paperback 200: Perma Books M-4026 (2nd ptg, 1955)

Title: That None Should Die
Author: The insanely prolific Frank G. Slaughter
Cover artist: Charles Binger

So I had an early 70s movie tie-in of Chester Himes' "Cotton Comes to Harlem" all cued up and ready to go as my 200th Paperback ... and then I went to Plattsburgh.

Best things about this cover:

  • This doctor is

a. preparing to shoot the newborn at the ceiling like a rubberband
b. preparing to make "newborn tea"
c. deciding whether to keep it or throw it back
d. looking Way too long and hard at the baby's genital region, or
e. so handsome that nobody cares what he's actually doing

  • I love how the mother is the very least important figure on the cover - almost like an afterthought, or a shorthand visual cue to let you know that the baby is alive and he didn't steal it.
  • "That none should die, Dr. Rand Handsome ingested the mysterious, rune-inscribed baby before it could explode."

Best things about this back cover:

  • "That story alone is fascinating" - uh, no, sorry it's not.
  • If this description makes the book sound anti-socialized/nationalized medicine, that's because the book *is* anti-socialized/nationalized medicine. The first (teaser) page has as its headline: "President announces medical care free to rich and poor alike!" - in this book, that's the terrifying Orwellian future. Because we all know that real doctors are all driven by "ideals" (see cover), unlike nameless bureaucrats who want only to flatten all social distinctions and erect statues of Lenin.

Page 123~

"I shouldn't be saying this, I suppose, but you look like a better class of man than we usually get in a job like this, and I hope you're going to stay with us."

He added, "I mean, I'm not gay or anything, but dear god you're handsome."



Aaauuuggghhhh! Run!!!

OMG!! If THAT is what's coming to me, I'm not waiting until it arrives!! It's a giant, levitating, half-headed baby! Run for your lives!!
I honestly can't tell what they were thinking. The book is a comedic novel, according to amazon, and takes place at a Southern university. Ok, that explains the buildings. But what's so funny about a ginormous, angry-looking baby without clothes?
Being an avowed non-mom, I would never, ever pick up this book. I'm curious about the rest of you, especially the moms. Does this attract or repel you?


Nothing says "poetry" better than a ton of white space and stark black lettering. Or maybe it's my non-artistic self just getting in the way again. Maybe I'm supposed to see the sorrow of the world represented by the separation between our hero ("Poetics") and the object of his affection (the rose). Or maybe it's supposed to remind me of some specific poetry: "A rose by any other name...." No. Wait. That's Shakespeare, not Aristotle. Hmmm, what could I be missing? Or could it just be that this is a dumb cover? Could it really be that simple?


Sultry Sunday #21 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Peer into the shocking world of ... "The Farmers Hotel"

Paperback 197: Bantam 1594 (1st ptg, 1957)
Title: The Farmers Hotel
Author: John O'Hara
Cover artist: Barye Phillips

Best things about this cover:

  • It's @#$#ing John O'Hara and the best blurb provider you can get is Book-Of-The-Month Club News!?!?
  • The design on this cover is Fantastic. It's all a bit too cramped with text for my tastes, but the pictures, small though they are, are vivid and dramatic, and the use of color blocks to build a hotel-like structure - inspired! I especially like how "John O'Hara" functions visually like a chimney and the "S" in "Farmers" is hanging out there like a rain gutter.
  • Hey, is that "Carrie Corrupted" sharing a drink with Joe Bow Tie? At first I thought that she was on her cell phone, but I think it's just a cigarette.
  • Is the lady with the G.I. a. dead, b. really drunk, or c. looking at an airplane flying overhead? Her neck is oddly ... unhinged.
  • You really don't want to check into the Red Room. That is the lesson I gather from this cover.
  • Paperback publishers must have loved O'Hara. He was a writer of "legitimate" fiction who sold off the racks and could be made, with very little fudging, to sound like a writer of soft-core sex fiction. The fifties were all about trying to get glimpses of "brief, shocking intimacy" without being called a perv.

Best things about this back cover:

  • The G.I. and his lady have moved to a small cabin and are now fighting / dancing.
  • Love the campy, dramatic quotation from the Times!
Page 123~

The quiet of the room was almost total, but not peaceful.



It's Phriday!

This cover is from the American printing of one of my very favorite books (the first in a trilogy). Sorry, it's a bit dark, but you can see a bigger brighter image on Amazon at (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/055327211X/ref=sib_dp_pop_fc?ie=UTF8&p=S001#reader-link).
Generally, I think this is a well-done cover depicting a scene from the first chapter of the book. What's the problem, then, you ask? First I'll give you the less obvious, and then move on to the reason this is perfect for Phriday. The woman kneeling is the main character, ready to reject the world and devote herself to temple life. Yet, for some reason, even as she prepares to take her vows and turn her back on the pleasures of the flesh, she feels the need to coat her face in cosmetics? And do her hair up all gorgeous? And apply a fresh coat of nail polish? Um... no. Second, the soldier behind her is the Commander of her father's army. He's in his late 50s or early 60s in the book -- not his 20s. Would it really be so hard to make him older? Readers aren't THAT shallow, are they? Are they? Also, he has just come from a furious battle in which his army was decimated and he, himself, was injured, yet is depicted wearing ceremonial armor without a speck of blood to be seen. Huh??

Ok, now to the obvious. You all know where I'm going, don't you? What is going on with the front of his armor? I'm sure this guy is a strapping young soldier, but not even HE could need protection that far down, could he? And why is it shaped like that? It's like a neon sign, pointing to ... well, actually to the ground, but it is obviously a subliminal message meant to make women swoon. And we might, if only we weren't so distracted with the purple feathers on his head.


Pinhead in Orange

Let me start by admitting I'm no fan of "modern" or abstract art. The hallways outside my office are filled with Jackson Pollock and Paul Klee, and other kindergartners' drawings. When walking past them, my reaction ranges from rolling my eyes to getting furious that our company's dollars are being spent on a picture of a line. My rule is: If I can do it, it isn't art.

The cover of Buddhism for Mothers just irritates me. I would never read this book, just because of the cover. Seriously, why would the "artist" shrink the woman's head down to the size of a pool cue? What is that supposed to signify? To me, it implies that once you DO read it, your head will implode and will have no brain left for rational thought. Also, you will be sucked into a world resembling the inside of an orange Jolly Rancher. With creepy little trees growing in the distance. Or are they even trees? They are shaped more like rat poops.

The text at the top bugs me too: "This is an excellent, practical guide to Buddhism not just for mothers, but for everyone who has ever had a mother." What?? Are they trying to say it's for everyone? Why not just say that? It's hurtful to those who never had a mother. They are specifically excluded, and that's just mean.


Sultry Sunday #20 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Rex Parker here with the latest Sultry Sunday vintage paperback write-up - have at it!


Paperback 194: Gold Medal 122 (PBO, 1950)

[For Kathy P]

Title: One Wild Oat
Author: MacKinlay Kantor
Cover artist: Willard Downes

Best things about this cover:

  • "I regret that I have but one wild oat to sow for my country."
  • I looked up ENNUI in the dictionary and found this picture.
  • "Whatsa matter, baby? Don't you like it here in my cave?"
  • Neither liquor, nor cigarettes, nor, uh, whatever Native American bauble she's playing with there, could move Louise to give Rock Handsome the time of day.
  • This painting went up for auction on-line a couple of years ago
  • Don't you love it it when booksellers put price stickers directly onto the covers of vintage paperbacks covered in delicate, easily destroyed Perma-Gloss? I know I do. (Sticker is probably removable - I just never tried, as the Perma-Gloss on the cover is virtually undamaged)

Best things about this back cover:

  • "My dear girl" ... "abide" ... was she abducted by a randy English butler?
  • I'm guessing that "Middlefield" represents the Middle-class standards of Middle America
  • Love how the last paragraph reads almost like a non sequitur. So casual. Like she was contemplating hanging new curtains.

Page 123~

The scent of mulled wine was in her nostrils, the ringing of Prokofiev in her ears, as - shaking, still reluctant - she awarded herself to LeRoy for that sacred moment, and touched her face against his.

I'm sorry, but "nostrils" pretty much sucked the sexy vibe right out of the room.