Friday, March 07, 2014

I'll look to like - One thing that I like about book covers this weekend

A lot of people who work with books take book covers kind of personally. It goes like this:

One part "I love you I want you to look beautiful and cool"
One part "Don't make me look at your lame design"
5 parts "How do you expect me to sell this book when it looks like that?!"

Shake over ice, strain into a pitcher. Guzzle.


Leading to a profound sense of personal betrayal when one of your favorite authors ends up between the covers of something that looks like this:




Eeeuuurrgh. That poor man. He's Canadian, maybe that's why his publisher thinks that a murky 90's constructivist/disco album cover is the way to go. That thing looks like (the Human League) + (Stalin - mustache) x (abandoned on a roof).

The book cover trend I've had my eye on recently is graphic illustration - I mean graphic like simple shapes, not graphic like a knife through an eyeball. Like this:

Friday, January 10, 2014

6 Things That Piss Me Off About Book Covers This Evening

If you are not a person who arranges books for display more than about an hour every week, you may not have noticed these irritating recent trends. Aren't you fortunate that I am here to point them out and complain about them? Avast!

1). NO MAS. The handwritten title. NO! MAS!

THESE. With their klutzy lower-case cursive r's and their anemic a's and l's. And they all look alike. Don't you think it is weak design to just scrawl the title across the front of the book? It is weaker still to use that tilty skinny faux-handwritten title typeface - maybe you know the one? I call it Oliver Jeffers Handwriting Corrupted by Barry Sonnenfeld Credits Display Face.



This is the typeface I mean. Oh look, the title forms a star.
There wasn't ANY other way to have done that?

BUT THERE'S SO MUCH MORE...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013: INTERMISSION

At this point in your holiday, there's probably only one thing left to do.

SING. Sing, you motherfuckers - sing like you mean it, and dance.


BURN, BRIDGES, BURN - A Holiday Musical Spectacular (With Cocktails)



"Everyone's a Little Bit Spectrum"

We meet our 4 primary cast members (two married couples who are part of the same extended family), as they prepare dinner together prior to a large holiday gathering. Lots of oohs and ahhs as the group executes daring dance moves with knives while laughingly cataloging the quirks of each of their parents and siblings.
This upbeat comic number starts our show off on a cheerfully sarcastic note, and must be accompanied by a swinging retro-modern cocktail, such as this updated take on the Moscow Mule:

The Baltimore Donkey (from Maggie's Farm)
2 oz Tito's vodka
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz ginger syrup
dash of bitters
Shake with ice, strain into highball glass over ice. Garnish with lime twist.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Advil Calendar 2013 - GROWNUP GIFT GUIDE

Oh sure. I've bought presents. I don't believe in GOD and I have serious issues with CHRISTIANITY, but we do Christmas around here. There is currently a dead tree in my living room. I swear it's like taxidermy. Why people (my husband and children) think it's festive to watch a woody plant slowly desiccate inside is TOTALLY BEYOND ME.

But it's 10 minutes til 12 on Xmas Eve and the presents are wrapped and the pork roast is brining and I baked an apple pie that I suspect is basically raw on the inside and my husband made me a Negroni and Annie Lennox is on the iPod so... ok. Christmas.

Hey speaking of atheists who bake, did you read the Dan Savage review of the Sarah Palin book? You should. I can wait.

The really great point that Dan Savage makes here is that assholes like Sarah Palin are the ones who are ruining Christmas. Godless Dan Savage, baking cookies and taking them to his Jewish neighbors, keeps Christmas better than relentlessly god-bothering Sarah Palin, who buys her loved ones GUNS for Christmas.


So just in case you are a present-giver at this time of year, I have a few suggestions and observations.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013: NANCY DREW II: RETURN TO LITTLE TAVERN ON THE PRAIRIE

What's Jack Donaghy doing here? He's having a Nancy Drew (white
rum, diet ginger ale, lime). "For men, it's called a Hardy Boy," says Jack.

Last week I got to wondering, in a post I titled "Nancy Drew Turns 21," what some of my favorite children's book characters would drink once they were old enough to drink. I made fancy cognac cocktails for Maddie and Verity from Code Name Verity, took Claudia Kincaid drinking at a swanky joint in Manhattan's financial district, and shared a chamomile toddy with Mrs. Frisby.

But there are more. MORE.

I put the question to a few friends: "What children's book character would you most like to have a drink with once he or she has grown up?" And EVERYBODY - er, just about everybody - answered "Matilda" right away. Let's go get squiffy with Matilda!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013 LEMON DROPS ON ROSES EDITION



Ok then. Finally recovered from that frightening debacle on TV last week and don't you think it's just about time to talk about some of our FAVORITE things from this year? Yeeeeess. Unfortunately for you, sometimes my FAVORITE things are kind of horrendous and/or weird. Maybe inappropriate.

So let's dive in with a really nice one, kind of the best one:



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Advil Calendar 2013 Day It's All a Blur: COOKIE SWAP KEY PARTY EDITION



We do crack ourselves up, don't we Raylan?

I have turned a corner on this whole December bullshit. Yes. It is safe to say there was a corner back there yonder - and I stepped smartly around it. I know when it was, too - it happened this afternoon, the minute I put two trays of cookies in the oven and slammed the door.

THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE GETTING THEMSELVES INTO LETTING THIS LIBRARIAN BRING COOKIES


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013: F YOU FRIDAY - F.U. 2: F Harder

The last great drinking sitcom - Cheers - famously asserted that sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

Yeah, maybe.

But sometimes you want to go where not only will everybody not know your name, but you might actually have to assume a false identity, leave your ID in the car, and pay in cash.



YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARIAN PLAYS IT ON THE DOWN LOW

First, let me give you a quick rundown of this fucking week:

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Advil Calendar 2013 THURSDAY IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER EDITION

All right this is not a novel observation I'm about to make.

Let's be honest - is it ever? Am I ever out here on the Internet dropping the Bomb of Truth such that people stagger back from their monitors and run out onto the street, their lives completely changed? No. The only bombs around here are usually of the F- variety.

So, hi! Welcome to the 12th of December! We're right in the middle of the 24 days of Advil and maybe I should recap some of our progress before getting into the thing I feel like complaining about today.




Well that is kind of a lot. Maybe I will have that Bloody Mary while I'm making dinner. You, however - read on!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advil Calendar 2013 EXCITING GUEST WEDNESDAY Part Deux: The Exciting Guest Strikes Back!

You're going to say I'm lazy and I'm going to say... hold on. Honey, could you reach me my beer? Well ok obviously I am lazy, but not in this case. Okay kinda. Anyway.

I had the idea for Exciting Guest Wednesday a month or so ago, when I first decided to Advil it up again this year after a one-year hiatus. I solicited drinks recipes from friends, relations, business contacts, and the vermin who live beneath the porch. (Nobody wants that drink, by the way.)

And as I was getting together some of those recipes for today, I realized that the best drinksman I know, the person who makes me the most inventive, best-proportioned cocktails I've ever drink-drank-drunked - was sitting right next to me!


DAMAS Y CABALLEROS, QUIERO PRESENTARLES A MI ESPOSO,

Bob.