Tuesday Toofer!

Hey y'all. So DocTurtle and I were out to dinner this eve and I said I was thinking of posting on my blog and he said, "you have a blog??" Seriously, I know I'm lame, but kudos and thanks to Rex Parker and Biker Puppy for keeping the home fires stoked. Y'all are my best friends that I've never met!

Anyway...some fun stuff that I've gotten in my e-mail lately (judgeabook (y'know) yahoo (ditto) com)

While it is true that all the cool kids hang in the library it is also true, as I've learned by moving from my previous incarnation as an academic librarian to my current life as a public librarian, that all the creepy kids hang in the library, too. And creepy old guys. Who smell like goats.

Thanks, Patrick!

And Jenna W sent this awesome link to IO9 with the creepiest crouching lady I've ever seen (not that I've seen that many crouching ladies, but I have been around). Hooker elves, too. Check it out!

Patrick tells me he'll be super gentle when sending me this cover from failblog:

It looks to me like little Timmy doesn't have to worry because Superman has, if that black stain is any indication, blown his superwad. Nothin' left but the cuddlin'.

And finally, a cover I found on my very own at my very own liberry!

In a perfect future world accordions cease to exist, they don't get spacier. But it's the expression on the guy's face (not to mention the blindfold!) that suggests to me this book would be better authored by someone from Ellora's Cave (a never-ending font of putrid covers!) or written by Pynk than the great (if sexually boring) Robert Heinlein. At least, I assume he was sexually boring. For all I know he was a furry.


Popular outcast?

Before I start snarking on the title and cover, I have to admit I'm a huge Star Wars fan. (Yes, I'm a geek. I also do logic puzzles for fun. But on the flip-side, I also ride my Harley with my dog on the weekends. Does that redeem me? No? Hmm.) I love all of the six SW movies (I've seen A New Hope at least 100 times), and I've read a good number of the "expanded universe" books (books that go beyond the stories and characters of the movies). That's why I find this cover so very disappointing.

First, let's discuss the title. "Fate of the Jedi" is a good new series/trilogy/whatever title. I'm fine with that. But "Outcast"?? Focusing on the Hero of the Rebellion? The guy who single-handedly (well, maybe with a little help from his buddy Han) saved the universe from the evil grip of Darth Vader and the Emperor?? What?? Ok, I admit, Luke was getting pretty weird by the end of Return of the Jedi, and even weirder in some of the books that tell a "later" story, but an "outcast"? I think Mr. Allston was just being lazy in picking a title.

Low, let's get to the cover's aesthetic appeal. Or, rather, complete lack of any aesthetics. Why is it just orange and blue?? The SW universe is an amazingly vibrant and dynamic setting for any story, but all we get is dichromatic blah. There's what appears to be a unique-looking city-scape behind Luke, that might be very visually stunning if it were in color(s). Not to mention either a new Death Star or a cool-looking moon in the sky -- why don't we get to see it clearly? And what's with making Skywalker all blue? They could bother with an extra color for his lightsaber but not for his clothing? What's that boring white strip along the bottom? It appears to be either another city-scape or Luke's EKG reading, but you can barely tell it's there, because... well, it's all white. And why does Luke appear to be disappearing into it? Does the cover bore even him?

I suppose it's probably hard to find artists willing to draw Star Wars art or characters at all, let alone in full color. Seriously, if you search the Internet, you'll hardly find any at all. I guess the publishers did the best they could. Blah!


Sultry Sunday #25: the weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Whoops, missed last week. Sorry about that. Moving right along ... carnies!

Paperback 212: Gold Medal 372 (PBO, 1954) - Canadian Edition

Title: Notorious (no, not that "Notorious")
Author: Day Keene
Cover artist: Uncredited

Best things about this cover:
  • The fact that the Canada-only "35c" price tag overrides the Giant "25c" sign in the middle of the cover painting.
  • Innocent country girl tries to make it in the big ... Carny?
  • "I want to look like her. Can you do that, leering carnival barker man?"
  • "So, whatcha got in the suitcase, lady?" "Murder." "Oh ... I see."
  • "Murder in her suitcase" - this makes me hope for something gloriously bloody, like a small chainsaw with which she starts beheading everyone in site: "Is this part of the show, mama?"
  • I Really wish the lady in the foreground weren't so damned shadowed

Best things about this back cover:

  • Say what you will about Day Keene, he could totally rock the 'stache.
  • Ferron! "They call me Ferron: The Iron Man"
  • "the main chance"? - is that Canadian for "the big score"?

Page 123~

Kelcey struck Ferron in the face. "Where's the money, carny? Where's the eighteen grand?"



We sometimes think they don't have a brain, but ....

Full title: The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush.
From the Publishers Weekly: "...Lim investigates what he sees as a particularly American phenomenon whereby most presidents have preferred to appear less, not more intellectually inclined than they actually were." Politics aside, it sounds like an interesting discussion, but the cover just creeps me out.

I mean, they say that clothes make the man, right? (Personally, I think if that were true, those of us who are still single and looking for Mr. Right could settle for Mr. Could-Be and just buy him the proper clothing. Trust me, doesn't work!) In this case, clothes are the man. Yikes. Ok, I get it, presidents don't want to appear like egg-heads that might make the average citizen feel dumb. Or something. But headless? And apparently neckless as well? That's just creepy. Apparently the White House has an amazing laundry facility. They can starch your shirt to the point where it can hold up a jacket, tie and collar, without you even in it. This could be why so many presidents seem so uncomfortable all the time. I suspect they use the same formula for the underwear as well.


It's Phriday!

I went for the blatantly obvious today: semi-graphic picture and juvenile title. Teehee. I recall my male high school classmates constantly informing their female cohorts that it does, indeed, have a mind of its own, and therefore, what it does is not the boy's fault. Never. His. Fault. Apparently, David Friedman agrees.

The book examines the penis throughout history, and provides such tidbits (according to Amazon.com) as: "...the Romans, whose generals were known to promote soldiers based on penis size, saw it as an indicator of earthly strength." I know some women who agree, and promote their boyfriends accordingly.

Funny how they didn't think his face was very important -- we usually see this with women, don't we? And I love how the "O" of "Own" exactly circles the object of discussion. I usually try to get a picture of the book cover without Amazon's "click to look inside" marker on it, but I thought it was appropriate for this book. Teehee. I'm looking forward to hearing how many of you are put off by the cover and how many of you might pick this book up just because of the picture. I suspect it may vary based on gender and sexual orientation (and who is at the checkout desk where you would borrow or buy the book).


Sultry Sunday #24 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Fabulous find for you today - a small paperback publisher from the early 50s brings you naked dancing and more smoke than you're apt to see anywhere outside of a Pink Floyd concert.


Paperback 207: Readers-Choice Library No. 8 (1st ptg, 1950)

Title: Green Light for Death
Author: Frank Kane
Cover artist: [Blickenstaff]

Best things about this cover:

  • "Is that a naked banshee over there in the corner? Doing the Lambada? O man, I'm so wasted..."
  • "Misunderstanding the concept of "War on Drugs" completely, Johnny Liddell began firing randomly at the smoke that filled the room."
  • I have "marijuana!" written on the ID sticker on this book's plastic bag, but I can't find confirming evidence that pot is at all involved in this story. I will say, though, that there are references to cigarettes, pipes, and smoking in general on virtually every page.
  • Love love love the naked dancer's necklace, captured in mid-air. Lovely.
  • Also love the disaffected Brando look-alike at the small of her back. For some reason, in my mind, he is French.

Best things about this back cover:

  • Text!
  • I'm not sure "accident or suicide" really warrants quoting.

Page 123~

Liddell's eyes sought out Mike Lane where he sat gloating like an obscene Buddha, his tiny eyes fixed hungrily on the cavorting girl, his head nodding in time to the music.

Unless Mike Lane is a fat Asian hip-hop fan, this simile sucks.



Sultry Sunday #23 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

OK, Rex Parker here, back from being sick / at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Yes, my life is exciting, thanks for noticing. Today, I actually feature books that contain good writing. For once.


Paperback 204: Ace G-512
(1st ptg / 1st ptg)

Title: The Girl Who Had to Die / The Blank Wall
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Uncredited / Uncredited

Yours for: $11

Best things about this cover:

  • There was this floating head that liked to eat sailboats, which made the tall, dark, mysterious man on the beach very sad. The end.
  • What is it with the rainy day covers on all these Holding novels? Dreary and decidedly unhot. More skin, please.
  • Actually, on third or fourth look, the streaks look less like rain than like the trim on some elaborate fur hat. Or a really, really bad haircut.

Best things about this other cover:

  • This is one of my favorite pieces of crime fiction ever written. Ever. Seriously, it's that good. And unusual. Super suspenseful, with really complex and interesting characters. Women that aren't just femmes fatales. Just great. Provides a fascinating glimpse into domestic life during WWII (i.e. while the husband is away at war). Wish it would stay in @#$@ing print!
  • More lazy art. Etch-a-sketch posing as op-art. And I think the guy from the other cover just walked through the book and ended up here. That lady is not a very good hider.

Page 123~ (from The Blank Wall)

"Here's something you might be glad of," he said, and held out three little capsules, bright yellow.



Yoooo hooo!

Instead of "The Amateur Marriage" this book should be entitled "The Amateur Homeowners." Or "The Amateur Exhibitionists." I had a neighbor like this once. Very disturbing. I'm pretty sure he had no shades or drapes on the window at all, because they were always open. Maybe he truly was an exhibitionist, but he frequently paraded around naked with a light on at night. Perhaps "paraded" is the wrong word, but he definitely walked around. Unfortunately, it wasn't Brad Pitt or Russell Crowe, you know, a guy you might enjoy seeing walk around in his bedroom. No, he looked a lot like Michael Moore. Very, very scary. I think he accounts for some of my neuroses.

Watch out!

There's nothing overtly wrong with this cover, right? A nice, fancy schmancy pen lying on a sheet of crinkled paper. Very nonthreatening. Why, then, do I feel an almost irresistible urge to step back from the picture? I felt it immediately upon seeing the cover, but it took me a moment to figure out why. I think I'm afraid of being written on. Maybe it's just me, but the pen looks very 3-D (kudos to the photographer or cover artist). I've had many similar-looking pens bleed all over me. I'm uncomfortable just looking at it. Maybe I'm neurotic. Maybe I've stepped over the line into crazy. Maybe.... I think I'll end here.