Yet another thing that I would prefer NOT pop...

We had several popup books a few weeks ago, so I wasn't going to do another popup book post, but I absolutely love the cover of this book! Seriously, though, a popup on menopause?? What's next? The children's popup book on death?

The cover is brilliant, though. The flower (presumably the menopauseur) has clearly taken advantage of her doctor's offer of drugs -- lots of drugs -- to help with the symptoms. In fact, I'm pretty sure she doesn't care if the next hot flash causes her to burst into flames, 'cause she's feeling no pain. I assume that the reddish swirlies around her must represent hot flashes, and the blue ones must represent night sweats, or some other lovely symptom. When you open the book, if you turn to the hot flash page, a blowtorch comes at you and burns off your eyebrows, the night sweat page dumps a bucket of water on you, and the mood page appears blank, until a hand comes out of nowhere and smacks you upside the head. The stars on the cover art are clearly meant to represent sharp objects that randomly poke our heroine and make her extremely irritable. At least, that's what they would be doing if she weren't so happily drugged. When I finally reach that stage in life, I'm taking every single drug my doctor will offer me (and, because I live in California, I have more options than some of you), including every clinical trial that offers to end my suffering. I watched my mom go through it for almost 10 full years (much of that while my sister and I hit puberty -- poor Dad!!!), and there's no way I'm going to suffer in silence (or even suffer yelling and complaining like Mom did)!

I wish I could see inside this book! Amazon shows a couple pages, including a board game and quizzes! What else should be in this book? Tell me your thoughts!


Whenever I feel that my life sucks too much...

... I read this book.
Death is a subject too often thought of as a "heavy," depressing topic. What happened to the fun? What happened to the humor? What happened to making fun of death? Oh ... that was just MY family? Ok.

I absolutely adore the dinosaur's expression -- he looks so incredibly shocked and sad all at once. Deceptively simple yet amazing artwork, in my completely uneducated-about-art opinion.

Check out the pictures from inside (note, the ones of the old man are backwards, so start from the right or it won't make sense). Hilarious. I'm totally buying this book.

Happy Hump Day.*

(*please note: in no way am I implying that this book is appropriate for Hump Wednesdays on this blog. Even MY family isn't THAT weird. I'm just rejoicing that we're half way through the work week.)


Whose Line....?

Do you remember the television show Whose Line is it Anyway?" Originally a British TV show (actually, earlier than that it was a British radio show, but I digress -- damn you Wikipedia!), hosted by Clive Anderson, it was later copied in the US with Drew Carey as the host and regulars Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie and Wayne Brady. One of my favorite bits on the American version would have Colin and Ryan as infomercial pitchmen discussing (in that annoying way informercials do -- trust me, don't fall asleep in front of your TV if you value your sanity -- infomercials will sink into your brain and slowly destroy you) a CD set of songs about some topic randomly chosen from the audience. They mention a song style and a title and Wayne has to create a song on the spot. When I saw this book, I really thought it had to be a joke in that same vein, but I checked all-knowing, all-seeing, all-selling Amazon, and it's an actual book.

And check it out! It's got YODEL arrangements!! How awesome is that???

Of course, if you're not musically inclined, you shouldn't be excluded from the lumberjack song craze, right? For you, there's an absolute must-have for your vinyl collection:

Imagine, you are getting ready for your romantic evening; you've cleaned the house, dinner is in the oven, the wine is breathing (or whatever wine does when you uncork it and leave it to its own devices), you've got on your sexiest dress and highest heels, and Mr. Perfect should be here any second. How do you set the mood? Lumberjack songs!!! Put that baby on the spindle and get ready for more fun than is allowed in 12 states!!


I Felt a Little Dirty Clicking on the "See Larger Image" Link on Amazon

For your Hump Wednesday viewing pleasure (if you are THAT kind of person, anyway):

I'm kinda cheating here, since this was on Fail Blog, but.... Who thought this was ok? Especially with that creepy expression? At least we know why the boy is blushing.


Um... ew.

Are you a scab picker? I have to admit that I am. I don't know why, but I can't leave the little buggers alone. I mean, I'm not going to pry up a surgical staple, but there's something relaxing (to me) about pulling up the just-healed edge of a pile of red blood cells and platelets and peeking underneath. Actually, I don't even have to look at it -- it's more the sensation under my fingernail. Is that weird? That's not weird, is it? Why are you running away?

Anyway, apparently I'm not the only one with an odd fascination with the body's protective system. Here's an entire book about scabs. It claims to be the complete book of all scab knowledge (after all, "ALL" about scabs should mean ALL, right?). I may need to buy this and see if there's a name for my condition.

And if you liked the scab book, here's another by the same author. Clearly, the cover artist has never, ever, seen real breasts.


Dinner will be a bit late this evening....

It's that time of year again. Time to pack up the kids into the station wagon (or minivan for you yuppies) and set out on the open road for a long adventure, replete with the sounds of summer: "Are we there yet?" "He's touching me!" and the ever popular "I have to pee." This year, instead of stopping at questionably clean diners in the middle of nowhere, why not try cooking out with the family? This handy guide will make it a breeze to cook just about anywhere! Just think -- not only are you saving money by not having to tip that creepy waitress with the two teeth and the vericose veins mimicking an interstate highway map, but you'll be saving the world by using an already-existing heat source to cook your cuisine.

And for those of you who prefer to have even less impact on the environment, you can make sure you leave no morsel along the side of the road. Accidentally hit a skunk while reaching into the back seat to change the DVD? No problem! Throw it in the cooler and then throw it on your car engine when it's time for dinner!

And for those of you who, like me, prefer to travel on two wheels instead of four, there's the age-old question of what to do with all the bugs that get caught in your teeth. This book answers that question. I know for a fact that a Harley engine gets hot enough to fry an egg on (bump the pipes one time with a bare leg and you'll never question that again!), so you don't even need a car for this cuisine!




I'm not sure if they hired a third rate cover artist or if this is intentionally not supposed to look like William Shatner -- Shatner's "appearance" in Season One of Family Guy looked more like him than this! -- but that's supposed to be everyone's favorite overacting starship captain. From Amazon:

It's Shatner VS Shatners! William Shatner? William Shatner. WILLIAM SHATNER!!! It's the first ShatnerCon with William Shatner as the guest of honor! But after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner. Featuring: Captain Kirk, TJ Hooker, Denny Crane, Rescue 911 Shatner, Singer Shatner, Shakespearean Shatner, Twilight Zone Shatner, Cartoon Kirk, Esperanto Shatner, Priceline Shatner, SNL Shatner, and - of course - William Shatner! No costumed con-goer will be spared in their wave of destruction, no redshirt will make it out alive, and not even the Klingons will be able to stand up to a deranged Captain Kirk with a lightsaber. But these Shatner-clones are about to learn a hard lesson...that the real William Shatner doesn't take crap from anybody. Not even himself. It's Shatnertastic!


So is this guy cool because he is super-PC and has friends from both genders and a plethora of racial groups? Or is it because of his awesome haircut? Or is it because he's nice to the kid in the Bill Cosby sweater? No matter. I think he needs more practice.


Happy Mammary Monday

Happy Mammary Monday! Although if you're like me, you'll feel like we somehow went from Thursday to Monday, without a weekend. Whoever said Time is a constant is/was on crack. But it's definitely Monday again, and I thought I'd present a book that can be informative, amusing, and useful!
Some of us (I include myself) would never, ever be interested in making our breasts any larger than they are. In fact, if the book promised to help shrink them to a size where I could buy cute lacy bras instead of hammocks big enough for a honeymooning couple to string up between two palm trees on the beach, I would be first in line to buy. So, for those of you who would for some reason like to increase the weight you carry around your neck and across your back muscles, this may be the book for you! I'm a little puzzled, though, about what exactly we're seeing on the cover. I see the boobs, surrounded by a black swimsuit, but is that a chubby arm on the near side, and another on the far side? Or some other body part?

Then, for those of you who would like to improve other parts of your female anatomy, here's another potentially useful book. Not only can you color in the pictures, but you can learn new hairstyles for your vajayjay. My favorite comment on Amazon.com: "The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas isn't just a coloring book. It's inspiration. When first presented with this, I strummed through it thinking it was a joke. But I soon realized that this is a guidebook for redecorating your vagina, especially if it's been around awhile and you feel like you've run out of new ways to dress it up. I put aside the crayons, except to use to draw in accessories like scarves and snoods, in favor of spray glitter, various stick-on mustaches, mini-flower and seed arrangements. (I didn't like the seeds -- too elementary school, hence, creepy. You don't want a bean and seed turkey down there, believe me!) My current favorite is stick-on beadwork in an ornate Tiffany-esque peacock design. (Tip: surprise your ob/gyn with a beadwork speculum! He'll flip!) Also, if it's your bridal day, try a delicate self-adhesive Velcro surprise for your honeymoon. Your partner will never forget it!"


Only for Manly Men

Apparently, this book is based on a short-lived and now defunct blog that demonstrates how men can use feminine hygiene products for everyday things. For example, a tampon can plug the hole in the bottom of your fishing boat or can be used to clean a gun. I think Rex's last post made me remember this book (gun cleaning and all that....).


Sultry Sunday Special — "He Bop!"

From Rex Parker's "Pop Sensation" blog ...

Paperback 306: Bantam 826
(1st ptg, 1950) (ex-lib)

Title: High Sierra
Author: W.R. Burnett
Cover artist: Harry Schaare

Best things about this cover
  • "Yeah, so, I like to grab the shaft real tight with one hand, like so, and then rub the tip back and forth with the other hand, real slow, like so, you see? And then ... what? What're you mugs starin' at? Ain't you never seen a guy polish his gun before?"
  • I *love* the expression on her face. It's like she's saying, quietly, out of the side of her mouth: "Uh ... are you seeing what I'm seeing?" Clearly the dude with the cards is as stunned as she is ... staring intently ... clawing the chair arm ...
  • In other news about the guy stroking his rod: those are some high pants. Tie-swallowing pants. And the girliest suspenders imaginable.

Best thing about this back cover:

  • Only the Cincinnati Times Star really appears to be tapping into what I'm seeing on the cover.

Page 123~

Roy was appalled at the change in Big Mac's appearance and sat studying him covertly. Mac had lost a lot of weight and the skin under his chin hung in pale folds. His hands shook and he kept drinking glass after glass of straight whisky.

I can't help but picture a haggard, embittered, world-weary, alcoholic Mayor McCheese.


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Some things shouldn't pop....

As a little kid, I enjoyed popup books. The thrill of turning the page and being surprised by an elephant, a tree, or a flying trapeze was too much for me to resist! There's a wonderful connection that a child makes with something that literally springs off the page.

Why, then, did someone think THIS was a good idea???
I have no interest in turning the page and seeing a big hairy spider jumping out at me! Or, worse yet, a clown! Ack!! That would send me to the psych ward!!

This is little better!

Imagine, a gaggle of clowns (or is it a pod? a flock?) popping out into your face? Or an image of you naked in the middle of the office! Or a long, dark hallway with too many shadows and too many doors. Or ... whatever your worst nightmare entails (I expect details in the comments, people!! Nightmares and phobias!) This book is unnecessary, and like the one above it, very likely to cause permanent psychological trauma.

Then there's this one.

This one, I have to say, has potential.


Maybe your time would better be spent elsewhere....

My sister is one of those odd people who spends literally hours in the bathroom. Not doing her hair, fixing her makeup or shaving various parts of her body. She's sitting on the toilet. Reading. Sharing a house (and later -- for one awful year -- an apartment) with her meant constantly being told I could pee in "just a few more minutes." I'm not sure why she found that to be the most comfortable seat in the house. To my knowledge, she didn't have any severe bowel problems that required a long-term commitment. She just liked the privacy. And maybe the accoustics. I never understood it.

However, for any of you who are like my sister, and really enjoy being in the bathroom, here's a lovely book for you. Personally, I would never do this to my bathroom, even if I could sit in the living room to actually make the creations. Why? Do I hate origami? No! Having lived in Japan for a while, I found it to be a delightful part of their culture. Do I have an aversion to toilet paper? Ask some of my childhood neighbors and you'll find that I had quite an affinity for the stuff (and quite a good throwing arm!). The problem is this. When I walk into someone's "guest" bathroom and the towels are very lovely and perfectly arranged, I feel a little guilty using them. I know that's what they're for, and I know that (since I've just washed my hands) I won't be rubbing mud all over them, but it just makes me uncomfortable. Thus, I'd feel like my guests might feel that, if there's origami on the roll, they shouldn't use it. The sign of a good hostess is to make one's guests feel as comfortable as possible. This could cause discomfort, and therefore cannot be allowed in my home. Plus I'm kinda lazy.

However, for those of you who like the idea of bathroom origami, there's this book:
Now your towels and your TP can all be decorative in the extreme. I actually like towel origami -- when I visited Egypt, the young men who performed the maid services in the smaller hotels and especially on the Nile cruise ships would always leave the cutest origami on the beds. Here were some of my favorites (the crocodile attacking the snake was in the hallway) for your entertainment:



Won't somebody think of the children????

There's so many awesome things about this cover, but I just have to commend the props master for giving the doll a "black eye"!

Thanks to Awful Library Books! If they weeded all these books, there'd be nothing left to snark on!


Outside looking in

Many years ago, while in a college cultural anthropology class, I read several articles designed to demonstrate that looking at a culture from the outside often gives a distorted picture of that culture or people. My favorite example was Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, a facinating look from the late '50s at a culture - familiar to most of us - from the point of view of someone completely unfamiliar with said culture. I highly recommend reading it (and let me know if you can't identify the people being discussed). In that same class, we read another essay that purported to be an extraterrestrial's view of Human society, indicating how Humans worship balls of all sorts. Our television and in-person gatherings are often devoted to balls, as is a large percentage of time and/or space on our news-dissemination services. In fact, there's apparently one ball-focused gathering that takes place on a particular Sunday in February when millions upon millions of Humans from all over the world (although most particularly in the central part of the North American continent) stop all other life activities and worship a brown oblong ball and the priests who are permitted to handle it. Facinating. (I tried to find the essay for you, but googling "worship" and "balls" doesn't really give the result I was looking for - don't try it at work!)

These essays and others like them have stuck with me for years. When I visited Egypt, I wondered how much of the interpretation modern scholars impose on the tomb and temple paintings is as "accurate" as ball worship and the shrines of the Nacirema. Most of the prominant scholars are separated by distance, religion and culture, but also by thousands of years of development and change. Did they take these images completely out of context, simply because much of the other cultural indicators were lost?

What hope, then, for future generations to understand American society, when books like these are found by our distant descendants?


Stock up for your next road trip!

So you're planning a road trip with the kids this summer, but you want to do it old school, the way your own parents did with you. No DVD player or PSPs, no iPods or books on tape. You want the family to experience the joy of togetherness, trapped in a wood-paneled station wagon with no air-conditioning, sweaty thighs sticking to the vinyl seats, kids complaining about siblings entering "their space" on the seat, middle kid whining about having to sit on the hump, with radio stations fading in and out as the miles wear on.... Ahhhh, good times. Or, at least, they make good stories to tell the younger generation. Seriously, though, if you're going to do this kind of old school trip, you need to have a good songbook of old favorites ("She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" and "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" are always big hits!) and some games to play. Licence plate bingo gets a little dull when traveling through the Dakotas, as you're more likely to pass a cow than a car, so here are some books that will help you pass the time, while teaching valuable lessons to the kids!

First, we have What Bird Did That? A driver's guide to some common birds of North America. Finally, you'll know which bird to blame for that atomic blast covering your entire windshield! Next, we have the ever-popular Flattened Fauna: A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets and Highways (Revised). Now you'll be able to distinguished a squished woodchuck from a splattered opossum and look like a pro!
Finally we have That Gunk on Your Car: A Unique Guide to Insects of North America. What a treasure this is. They come at you so fast and leave such a colorful mess that you can't help but wonder "what the hell was that??" (This is also useful for motorcycle riders to help figure out what kind of protein they just swallowed.) Fun for the whole family!

And finally, when you get home from your trip, tired and sweaty, you'll want to know what kind of animals crapped all over your lawn while you were away. Was it the neighbor's cat again? Or are coyotes coming down from the hills for the summer? Or were the rumors of bear sightings true? Now you'll know exactly with this handy dandy guide. What Shat That?: A Pocket Guide to Poop Identity.
Happy trails!!


Um, what??

This has to be the funniest title I've seen in a long time. I imagine that to male readers, it's also quite frightening. You're curious what it's about, aren't you? Admit it. You are. Ok, here's part of a review on Amazon.com:

Imagine a world without men where the only way a woman can reproduce is with the help of a giant computerized incubator and a genetically engineered sex toy. Now imagine that this sex toy is intelligent. It has emotions and a soul. It hopes and dreams and it falls in love. This is the premise of Carlton Mellick III's RAZOR WIRE PUBIC HAIR. One of the main characters "The Sister" is a nymphomaniac who is covered from head to toe in vaginas. Celsia is an Amazon warrior with pubic hair made of razor wire. The main character is a genetically engineered hermaphrodite sex toy named Celsia 2 who longs to be loved by his/her owner. Oh, but wait, there's more ... there's sex starved zombies, hordes of marauding rapists, twat frogs, a hoota beasts that is basically just a big hairy vagina with legs, and still another giant talking and apparently quite wise vagina built into the wall of the mansion in which many of these creatures reside. What's most bizarre is that none of this seems to be there for pure shock value. In fact, this perverse menagerie of beings are presented in such a matter of fact manner that it is as if the last thing the author wants is for you to be shocked by them. He wants you to just accept them so that he can just get on with his story. And what a story it is! RAZOR WIRE PUBIC HAIR is the touching tale of a living, breathing, thinking, sex toy that is hopelessly in love with its owner who views it as little more than an object. This book could be a metaphor for so many sexual relationships where one partner is dominant and the other is submissive, struggling to be seen as more than merely an object of lust but as a potential true love.

If anyone reads this book, you are obligated to provide a full book report here!


Sultry Sunday #33 - The (at one time) weekly "Pop Sensation" crossover

I used to post stuff here. Not sure why I stopped. I'm starting again. Maughta sent me some cheesy Rex Stout pbs in the mail, so maybe I'll snark those in the near future. Til then, this ~RP

Title: False to Any Man (Bantam 80, 2nd ptg, 1947)
Author: Leslie Ford
Cover artist: "Kohs"

  • When the Bride of Frankenstein sleeps, she dreams of the facades of junior high schools.
  • I sort of like the torn cover effect, but the rest — it's both nonsensical and ugly. The color scheme alone is a nightmare.
  • "Colonel Primrose" already sounds like someone I'd like to kick in the balls.

  • If only this book were about a "gimlet-eyed" cat.
  • Always sad when the original cover is light years better, design-wise, than the paperback.

Page 123~

"He sure am smart, ain' he?" William said, with quite genuine enthusiasm.

In case you were still entertaining some idea of actually reading anything written by this woman...


[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Unemployed? Broke?

Feeling a little short on cash at the end of the month? Check out this book -- it'll truly change your life.

I stole this from Monday's Fail Blog. I couldn't find any evidence that it's a real book, but it made me laugh. I hope it brightens your day too.


Where's Waldo?

Hell hath no fury like a cover artist apparently told to capture a scene from each chapter of the book! Yikes! There is so much going on in this picture that I'm too tired from looking at it to read the book!


The Phuture is Phallic!

Happy New Year, Judge a Book readers (at least those who use the Gregorian Calendar!). From Shushie:

This book isn't awful, just outdated now at 30 years old. It was briefly mentioned this morning on CBS's Sunday Morning show as part of a 30 year retrospective comparing technology then and now, but of course I had to check and I was certainly surprised to see how several public libraries still hold this title as part of their collection -- hopefully in a special section for discussion or nostalgic purposes only considering that in history according to this book:
- Between 1980 and 1990 household computers cooked our meals and kept a diary for the people living in the house; the first domestic robots were used as household "slaves" to do simple tasks; energy saving features were built into all new houses; and the world tree planting programme had begun.
- Between 1991 and 2000 the household computer now ran the robot slaves to do most work formerly done by the human housewife so that women could go to work or spend their time on leisure activities; we all started talking on wrist-radios; and the USSR launched its "cosmic greenhouse" as part of its space station complex which helped further the design of future space cities.

Yeah, but all I see are phalluses!

Penis in Spaaaaaaaaaaace!


I (BikerPuppy) am a single woman hoping to eventually find the man of my dreams. That's why I make fun of the romance novels -- because I'm jealous that they portray as obtainable what I've been so far unable to obtain. This is not for lack of trying, but where does a professional woman meet a suitable man in this day and age? Bars? No, I'm not 22. Book stores? Hasn't worked so far. Dog parks? You'd think this would work, but the men I meet there are married or gay, without exception. That leaves internet dating, which I'm in the process of trying, with mixed results.

However, the cover of Hamilton's book illustrates the danger we face as single women (I guess men face the same danger) looking for love online. It's easy and safe to talk and flirt online and on the phone, but eventually you're going to meet in person. You never know what you're going to get. Fortunately for me, I've never had anyone show up with a razor blade (or at least not one that they've shown to me), but I've had guys show up who are clearly 15 years older than their pictures, who are now covered in tattoos (when their pics showed unmarked skin), or who think it's ok to show up for a first date in ripped or dirty clothing. I guess, given the razor blade alternative, I should be content.

Thanks, Flirt cover artist -- you've scared me into closing my Match.com account and trying Plan B.