Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift Tips for the Bookish: Bookcases

No, not those bookcases.
Arty and unusual bookcases may work wonderfully as property porn in homemaking magazines, but as actual gifts for book lovers, they're pretty sh*tty. Most hold less than fifty books, and their fashion-not-function designs make any sort of practical categorization almost impossible. And the prices! That silly see-saw design retails for a whopping $1,899! Hell, I wouldn't push such a purchase in the best of economies, never mind our current one. So what sort of bookcases am I pimping?

Bricks and boards.
You can buy a cement block for $2 and a six foot long 2x7 for $3. That's an entire 6'x6' bookcase for less than $50! Now, I know what you're thinking. 'But my bookish friend is gonna think I'm cheap.' Not if you tell 'em it's a one-of-a-kind-artistic-recreation-of-the-classic-collegiate-model, they won't. If they try and call your bluff, simply kick a bottom brick and step out of the way. Ka-boom! That's one less present you'll have to buy next year.

Inkwell Irregulars, Assemble!

Here's an easy post: A list of links to bookish blog posts made by our Inkwell Irregulars. Not only does it save me the time of sorting through an unwieldy assembly of AP articles featuring the words 'book,' 'publisher,' and 'bookstore,' it links you (our beloved blog reader) to them (our other beloved blog readers). Incestuous? Sort of. But this is a cult -- that sort of thing is par for the course.

Rachel Stark is a sick sadist who wants to see your kids cry. Why else would she be trying to figure out How Sad is Too Sad in Children's Books?

While the Northeast is busy b*tching about the first snow of the season, Brandy Lee takes the polar opposite approach, highlighting her favorite books with snow in the title.

While we're on the subject of seasonal lit, allow me to point you towards See Heather Write's mini-post highlighting holiday-themed excerpts from a few of her favorite authors.

Pol Culture's Robert Stanley Martin has taken on a Herculean task. He's translating Dante's Divine Comedy, complete with links to applicable illustrations and annotations. And you're doing what? Making Christmas cookies?

Speaking of over-achievers, I Love Rob Liefeld's Sandy has been compiling various 'Best Comics Of' lists from across the internet, aggregating them into lists of The top 50 comics of 2005, The top 50 comic of '06, The top 50 comics of '07, and The top 50 comics of '08 -- with The top 50 comics of '09 soon to follow.

Well, that's it for today. If'n you'd like to join our slowly expanding band of backwoods, book-loving belligerents, click here. All we ask is your life-long devotion, adoration, and a firstborn or two.

Book News, In Brief

The winners of this year's Pimp My Bookcart awards have been announced. Although highly impractical, my favorite is The Lexington Public Library's third place winner.

An 87-year-old WWII veteran who stole one of Hitler's art books back in 1942 has come forward to return the book. Cuz heaven forbid a genocidal madman's possessions go missing.

In an effort to assist the nation's countless crumbling brick and mortar bookstores, HarperCollins has announced that they will join Hatchette and Simon & Schuster in delaying the e-book release of certain titles.

On the flip side, US magazine and newspaper publishers Conde Nast, Time, Hearst, Meredith, and News Corp. just announced that they would soon be launching a digital newsstand for "the electronic devices of the future."

The Guardian UK is out to hurt some feelings, asking their readers to list their picks for The Worst Books of the Decade. Then, as if to put a preemptive halt to the haters of hate's hate, they went and asked their readers to share their favorites.

Alfonso Frazetta, the no-acclaim son of legendary cartoonist and illustrator Frank Frazetta, was arrested on Thursday after driving a backhoe into an Allentown, PA museum owned by his father. The 52-year-old disappointment was attempting to steal $20 million worth of his pop's paintings.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cool Covers from Recent Releases

Bent Objects: The Secret Life of Everyday Things by Terry Border
Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham

The Mighty Book of Boosh by Julian Barratt & Noel Fielding
I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs
How to Be Inappropriate by Daniel Nester

Adaptation News

Daily Motion has an 'exclusive peek' at Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Click here to view.

Tom Clancy fans curious to know which book the next Jack Ryan film will be based on may be a bit disappointed. I'll let CHUD deliver the bad news.

Chipper movie based on chipper book uses chipper imagery for chipper inspiration. Or: The Road has end-of-the-world images inspired by Katrina aftermath.

A clip from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film, along with a chat with its director, is available here. Then again, you could just watch the whole film illegally here.

Jonathan Lethem's insane sci-fi/noir Gun With Occasional Music has been optioned by the producers of the absolutely nuts Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans. This could be a very kooky combination.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We Must Do This!

Photo stolen with pride from We Sing Sin (who borrowed it whole from fuckyeahreading!).

Gift Tips for the (Comic)Bookish:
Criterion Prints

Over the last few years, the universe's premier dvd company, Criterion, has been commissioning some of my favorite comic book artists to do covers for their releases. Last December, as if answering a silent prayer by an alternate reality's non-atheistic me, Criterion began selling this artwork as limited edition, giclée prints. If your (comic)bookish friend or family member has ever expressed their adoration for any of these artists, buying them one of these prints is guaranteed to make them your b*tch.
(And really, isn't making b*tches what the holidays are all about?)

Cover to Robinson Crusoe on Mars.
Art by Bill "Stray Toasters" Seinkiewicz.

Covers to The Madmen and Monsters Collection. Art by Darwyn "DC: The New Frontier" Cooke.

Cover to Divorce Italian Style. Art by Jaime "Love and Rockets" Hernandez.

Cool Comics Links

Considering a career in manga translating? Matt Thorn has some sensible advice.

Cuz everyone loves a list (or two), here's Paste Magazine's Best Comics of the Decade (and The Onion's).

Gay chicks are just as shallow as straight guys. Need proof? Check out AutoStraddle's looong post nominating The Sexiest X-Man.

The Cool Kids have penned a paean to Doctor Strange. Even better, they've put up a detailed list of the best Strange-centric story lines.

My favorite comics-related article of the past couple weeks comes courtesy of CBR: Timothy Callahan uses Greek philosophy to explain why a few new characters stick, while most just slip away.

Chris Sims saved a year's worth of Previews catalogs and sacrificed countless hours that he could've spent finding a way to give rich, Beverly Hills residents those sexy cheekbones all the starving Croatian kids have, all to bring you The Worst and Strangest Collectible Statues of 2009. Bless you, Chris.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gift Tip for the Bookish Writerish

The best part about this tasteful, tactful t-shirt? It's only $

Go, Look:
A New David Foster Wallace Short Story

At: The New Yorker. Via: The Comics Reporter.

Writers on Writing

"Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all." Franklin P. Adams

Tuesday's Tips for Flailing Writers

How many of The 14 Biggest Mistakes Even Best-Selling Writers Make have you made? And you're still unpublished? Weird.

The title sounds simplistic, but the advice is good: The Wall Street Journal asks successful authors How to Write a Great Novel.

Okay, so I probably should've shared this with you sooner: Men With Pens' 5 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before You Write a Novel.

If you read The Business of Writing's 8 Tips for Writing Compelling Imagery and still can't come up with a quick and concise way to describe your lead vampire's crypt/crash-pad, stick your over-priced fountain pen in your ear. Now push.

Let's finish this up with the best bit of writing-related advice I came across this week. Guide to Literary Agents has been posting query letters that "succeeded in getting writers signed with agents," as well as thoughts from the agents as to why the letters worked. Steal liberally.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Box Bookstores Are Like The Hydra...

...Cut off one chain retailer, and another will instantly pop up to take its place.

The Times Online reports:
Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer and scourge of bookshops everywhere, is planning a surprise invasion of the British high street.

Property landlords said that the American company, which has a market value of $59.1 billion (£35.6 billion), had launched a secret search for bricks-and-mortar stores to support its rapidly growing website. It is understood to be scouring the country for high-profile sites just as the Borders book chain is shutting up shop.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Gift Tips for the Bookish: Jane Austen Junk

Jane Austen note cards

Available for $12 here.
Emma necklace
Available for $44 here.

Pride and Prejudice board game
Available for $29 here.

Jane Austen hoodie
Available for $30 here.
I Love Mr. Darcy t-shirt
Available for $22 here.

Mr. Darcy's Proposal mug
Available for $14 here.

Mr. Darcy paper doll

Available for $10 here.
Jane Austen action figure
Available for $9.95 here.

Jane Austen-themed crossword puzzles
Available for FREE here.

Editor's note: For the record, none of the sites linked to here -- or anywhere else on our site -- provide us with any sort of payment, credit, or compensation. When we post something like this, it's because we think this sh*t's cool. When we accompany these posts with purchasing links, we do so only so that similarly interested parties can easily obtain these products without spending hours on Google or (gasp!) resorting to Amazon. Trust me, when it comes time to whore myself out, it'll be on a street corner, and I'll be in drag.