Burnsie--Secret Agent Book Cover Critic

My dear friend, the director of the S-town library, gave me a beautiful Channukah gift of this book (people see crazy covers and they think of me, go figure!).

My cover was a little different. Apparently my dog objected strongly, because before I could take a picture to upload to share with all you fine book cover critics, he did this:

Secret Agent Burnsie strikes again! Guess hydrocephalic cats freak him out, too.

p.s. 'Cause he's just so cute, here's a pic of the perpetrator (and his co-conspirator, Phoebe):


A new twist on an old dull...

I've never been a fan of Jane Austen's novels. I don't dispute their literary value or their appeal to millions of readers, but I've always found them dull and lifeless, with equally lifeless characters.

But THIS version...! These are undead lifeless characters! I may have to check this one out!




I know we're in a period of popular culture where vampires are all the rage, so it's no surprise that there are a lot of vampire stories out there. And I know that people have their fetishes, so stories (or book covers) depicting a little light S&M don't really shock me either. But this one just grosses me out. If I were her, the second I felt that icky drip hit my lips, I'd scream the secret safe word ("Dolphin!!") and demand to be untied. Then I'd run far, far away.

Does anyone find this cover (as a whole) appealing? I know our male readers will enjoy the main image, but really, when you add in the bloody cherry.... Or maybe that's the subtext?!?! She just lost her virginity! Still. Ewwwww.


Love is in the Air....

It's Christmastime, and along with the smell of freshly baked cookies and the twinkle of lights under a blanket of fresh-fallen snow, love is a sign of the season. So let's celebrate true love, Judge A Book style!

I admit it. I'm a hopeless romantic. Despite hating most chick flicks (I make my dates very happy, because I'd much rather see the new sci fi flick than the new romantic comedy), I really love seeing the hero and heroine get together at the end of an adventure. It warms my (otherwise bitter) heart. In fact, the idea of "together forever" is something to which I actually aspire. I really think, though, that I'd prefer the chance of eventually splitting if "together forever" means being permanently encased in a block of ice. Ouch. Ever kissed someone when the temp is sub-zero? It's a bit like licking a lamp-post in the winter. I especially don't recommend it when you're frozen solid in a huge ice cube.

On the other extreme, we have this couple. Being that it's Harlequin, I can easily predict the story and even the dialog. Story: Woman has misfortune and ends up in sad, unfamiliar surroundings. Woman meets man who seems dark and mysterious and she takes an instant dislike to him. After he saves her life or her chastity from someone truly evil, her dislike turns to passion, although she fights it. Eventually, she gives in and gives herself to him, body and soul. Dialog: "Darling, I want to be with you forever. You make me feel so safe and loved." "I feel the same way, my love. You light a fire in me. In fact, I can feel it burning me up inside. Seriously, it feels like it's burning me up outside. Oh my God, I'm actually on fire!!!!"


A brief Phriday greeting

Awww, what a sweet little book about a pre-pubescent girl and her d... what in the name of all that is good and true are all those penises doing behind her?? It's like an invading army, led by the, er, "tower" in the middle!

That's not a stone he's holding.

More like "Dead Eye" -- but I think they just wanted to get "long" in the title.


Hump Day, Paranormal Edition

Hey, y'all. So I asked all my fans on ye olde facebook today what theme we should have for Wednesdays and Ashley V came through with a winner.

Presenting Hump Wednesday, a day for taking aim at all those cookie cutter romances that litter the grocery store book aisle.*

Today's target is paranormal romances.

Wow, there's a lot of crap going on. Ice, weird tribal tattoo things, some sort of gate, and a whole lot of words. You think with all this going on, they could give some thought to our heroine, rather than making her look like some kind of albino stripper. Oh, wait, is she the vamp? That makes sense to me!

As Twilight has taught us, stalkers are sexy. Especially ones with big poofy lips and explody-hands. Quick poll: would you read a romance that called the hero a "stalker"? Nope, me neither.

Are they transparent? They're transparent, aren't they. Sex'd be a bit more interesting if you could evanesce, wouldn't it? No more cuddling or awkward "relationship" convos anymore!

*no offense meant to the authors of these books, I know they work hard and are cooler than I!


Mammary Monday...Now Put it Away

Hmmm, I wonder what this book is about.

I hope that's the author picture!

(Thanks, Adam, now put your eyes back in your head!)


A quick interruption

Hi y'all,

If you receive JaBbiC by feed, you may need to change your feed address to http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/twfW

Carry on.

It IS the Rabbit!

Does anyone remember the book Bunnicula? All I remember is that the bunny sucked the juices out of vegetables. The family would wake up in the morning and there'd be colorless vegetables in the cage. Damn, that book freaked me out. But not quite as much as this cover horrifies me!

Thanks go out to reader Susan V. and Jon Scalzi's Whatever blog. I think I may have to read this book!


Baby Chains

Forget the old ball and chain, it's kids that really keep you tied down.

Even if you live in a technicolor world...and are apparently married...and getting it on with a pregnant "other woman"...am I the only one who thinks that being a "mistress" may not be the most romantic title on earth?? Or is this all about the old S & M...nah, not enough black leather on the cover.

Thanks to Erin and whomever invented ellipses...I really like them.



Are you a fan of Judge a Book by its Cover?? Prove it! Join the Judge a Book by its Cover facebook page. Be an angel, doll.

Boneless Animals and Hairy Clams!

From our friends over at Accidental Dong comes this gem for Phallic Phriday, Boneless Boner.

They may not have spinal cords, but they seem to have a "bone" to me!


Night of 1000 Baby Names

Wednesday Redux! Enjoy this post from long ago. It's terrorific!

But enough about me...

CAUTION: If you are especially easily frightened or have nightmares don't, whatever you do, look at the following book! You've been warned.

Anyway, faithful page Jeremy brought in the bookdrop today, and this book was on top (sorry for the fuzziness, but the original image is so horrific you'll actually be glad not to get the full impact):

SWEET FANCY MOSES! 1000s of staring zombie babies. Lock the doors, don't turn out the lights, but please, STOP STARING AT ME!!!

I'm gonna be awake all night. Who's this desperate to figure out what to name their kid, anyway? We all know it'll just be named Madison or Makayla or Matthew.


Good Monday Morning!

This is a phenomenon of fantasy novel covers that I just don't understand. Slightly bigger pic of the cover art below (Title is In the Rift.)

Why would any sane woman (maybe I presume too much?) wear a cloak, a fur chastity belt, fur-lined boots and all-over leather for warmth in a harsh winter climate, yet leave her chest completely uncovered? I suppose it's a good strategy for luring silly male adventurers into her wily trap, but it can lead to all manner of health problems. Seriously, that's sensitive skin she's leaving open to frostbite; after all, nothing is more attractive than a woman whose nipple has cracked off from cold, right? Eww. I'd point out that she apparently carries her dagger in a scabbard meant for a full sized sword, but that's outside the scope of a Mammary Monday post.

On the same theme, this girl (I assume it's a girl from the brassiere, but the face makes me question that assumption) is so impressed with her own abs that she's willing to risk losing her tatas to the cold just to show them off! Not to mention that bare skin is a terrible defense against a spear!

I'm going to start a new Facebook group: Women for more sensible armor. Who's with me??


Er... mammary Tuesday anyone?

I'm a day late with this, but hopefully it's funny enough to make up for the delay.
I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be some sort of evil all-seeing eye (and perhaps a goofy play on the title -- See of Monsters?), but all I see is an enormous nipple on an even more enormous tata, being supported by a rope bridge. I guess when your boob is that big, you can't find a really cute, lacy bra (I mean, this must be a ZZZZZZZ cup or something), but a bridge?? Hire a seamstress! And please, for the sake of decency (and the sanity of those poor people escaping across your bra) cover that eyenipple!!


What are you trying to protect against?

Yikes! This has to be the most frighteningly overdrawn "armor" I've ever seen. It's like the artist couldn't stop adding to it once he or she got going. For starters, unless this is some sort of powered armor (it moves itself) or is made of aluminum foil, I doubt she's going anywhere. As it is, she's forced to stand with her feet almost painfully far apart! But maybe that's just to let her tail show? Or are those swords hanging from her back? It seems to me there's no way she can reach them if they are. I suspect she can't reach the guns on her legs either.

Are those dinosaurs on her shoulders? I suppose we all could use extra "allies" if we need them, but I'd hate to have carnivorous monsters attached so close to my head. Imagine the breath you'd smell when the wind was from the right direction....

And what is with the raised bubble? Maybe it can lower to cover her head, but if it did, she'd look like a mon calamari!

And to top it all off, she's wearing jewelry! Looks like she just got back from Mardi Gras.


Sultry Sunday #32 - The weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

Today, not just a twofer or a threefer, but a fourfer — continuing my countdown of the 57 books I recently acquired at my local University's Book Sale. Please enjoy Books 8-11.


A Mess of March ... I'm moving all the NGAIO MARSH titles to the front of the queue (literally, Roger Daltrey sang the word "queue" as I typed it just now ... freaky coincidence) because one of my readers seems to have a thing for her :)

Book 8: Singing in the Shrouds (Berkley, 1960)
Cover artist: photo?

  • A book that takes on the collapsing telecommunications system, apparently
  • Her miniskirt has its own miniarm.
  • Finally, someone has tamed the wild, native, animalistic mystery novel and made it "civilized literature." Where's my houseboy with the tea!?

Book 9: Death of a Peer (Pocket 475, 1947)
Cover artist: Aargh, uncredited

  • This lady's got Fear Hand (TM). In fact, she appears to have a double case of it.
  • Ouch. Skeleton key to the eye. That's gotta hurt.
  • Well if it's WEALTHY, of course we care...

Book 10: Death of a Fool (Avon T-254, late '50s)
Cover artist: Uncredited

  • Fear Hand! (TM)
  • Jenny recoils in horror as she sees that her gardener has failed to blow all the leaves off her front lawn. And squirrels on her bird-feeders!? Oh, the humanity.
  • Inspector Alleyn arrives to cut through the heathen nonsense of the simple souls. Civilization! God save the Queen, wot!

Book 11: Swing, Brother, Swing (Pocket 762, 1951)
Cover artist: Lew Keller

  • "Swing, Brother, Swing ... for Hepcats only, man!"
  • Secret ingredient to all good mystery cover copy — just add "... with DEATH!"
  • I'm sorry, I started laughing at "accordion" and haven't stopped yet


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


We're going to Pump You Up!

Stolen shamelessly from Awful Library Books is this little gem guaranteed to increase that most important muscle...no, not the lurve muscle, we'll leave that for Phridays, but rather the MIND muscle!

Because not only does he have shiny shoulders and no neck, but he has a Doctorate! In education!!* And he's apparently overcompensating with that party-in-the-back hair.

*You ever notice that the only people who put letters after their names are writing books only tangentially related to said degree?



Admit it. You read that title as "Black Ass Blood" the first time, didn't you!

If this woman stands up straight, she won't fall over, but only because her butt sticks out as much in the back as her boobs do in the front. They balance each other out.

Don't get too close, Mr. Skeleton -- she could poke your eye out with those pointy gravity-defying mams!

*Sorry Maughta, I couldn't find any good Phallic Phriday covers, so I went with the easier-to-find mammary/booty cover.

And just because it amused me so much last time, behold: another Jimmy Doohan novel!

I'm pretty sure his head is actually a space station in this one. I am sure this appears somewhere in the story:

"Doohan Station, this is Derra Privateer, requesting permission to dock with Nostril 1."

"Permission granted, Derra Privateer. Please proceed through mustache for decontamination prior to docking."


Sultry Sunday #31: The Pop Sensation Crossover

Hey. It's been nearly four months since I posted over here. Uh... sorry? I was busy? The dog ate it? Anyway, behold this woman:


Paperback 302: Bantam 407 (1st ptg, 1948)

Title: Behold This Woman
Author: David Goodis
Cover artist: William Shoyer

Best things about this cover:

  • Only four?
  • Behold these boobs!
  • Love the guy's hand: "... must ... not ... fondle ..."
  • Notice how often woman is front and center on pb covers while man is off to side, lopped off, seen from behind, kind of in shadows, etc. Woman is meant to be a very particular dish, while man is usu. a kind of Everyman. Or Anysap, I guess.
  • Now that I look more closely at the picture, I think that the guy is an interior decorator who is having a coronary after witnessing the pink rococo orgasm that is this room.

Best things about this back cover:

  • I'm going to go with ... the knife jammed into the window sill. Yes, that's the best thing.
  • Actually, I'm loving the little blue and pink Yes / Buts.
  • Wow, the original cover girl for "Behold This Woman" was all kinds of ugly.

Page 123~

The gray-haired man was annoyed. "What do you mean, help you?" he said. "What do you take me for, an ignoramus?"


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


From our good friends over at Boing Boing (via my good friend, Rima) comes this truly delightful Phallic Phriday installation for your perusal and enjoyment.

There's so much to love about this cover I don't even know where to begin! Should I start with the naked woman with bubble-boobs holding a smoking dildo, or the slathering-mawed vagina dentata we've got going on in the lower right? Nah, let's just skip to the chase, shall we, and focus in on the turgid and pointy shaft our hero (he of the many extra muscles) is wielding against said vaginal gaping maw. Eeeek!


Phallic Phriday '70s Style!

Looks like our friends over at Retrospace are havin' fun with book covers! Check out what's on tap for their book club this month!

Look, do you even need me to spell it out anymore (spell it out, get it!!)? Candles = phallus. Hot chick with her thighs wide open clutching a candle on a book cover = Phallic Phriday phun!


For those of you who like to learn a skill while you read...

Did you know there is actually a market for mysteries revolving around knitting? And needlework? And crocheting? And scrapbooking? Well, now you know. Each of these below is part of a series.

From Amazon: When Angelina's body washes up in the cove, Izzy and her knitting group vow to discover who hated Angelina enough to want the woman dead. A knitting pattern for a scarf rounds out a cozy many will find an ideal beach read.

Dyer Consequences (A Knitting Mystery)

From Amazon: Readers may guess early on who’s responsible for the mayhem, but, happily, the why unwinds more slowly. Knitters will welcome the pattern for the same cloche hat that Kelly is knitting, and a recipe for pecan pie goes down easy, too.

Unraveled Sleeve (Needlecraft Mystery)

From Amazon: And when she dreams of a murder before it happens, she really isn't going to get any rest until she untangles the crime.
By Hook or by Crook (Crochet Mystery Series #3)

From BN.com: Meet the happy crafter who believes every mystery should be unraveled.

Death Swatch: A Scrapbooking Mystery (Scrapbooking Mysteries)
From Amazon: Well-developed main and secondary characters mesh nicely with the vibrant setting and with details on the design of scrapbook pages.

Now I'm not knocking these as hobbies -- I have actually knitted quite a few scarves in my time (and potholders, and anything else rectangular). But it never occurred to me to seek out knitting mysteries. I wonder if there's crochet sci fi? "As I crocheted the last few stitches to my new space suit, I thought ahead to how the needlework on my cargo captain patch might be designed...."