Friday, December 28, 2012


This book was a gift from someone who knows I love 3 things in life. Cats. Bad Book Covers. MURDER. 

FILE M FOR MURDER: by Miranda James.

This pudgy cat is intense. He's looking through these books because someone got murdered and he's going to solve the case! The secrets are in the books! Please tell me this is a detective cat and he can talk like that Wishbone kids show or something. Probably not, but that would be cool. 

What I got:
Well. No. The cat belongs to the main character, a very affable widower called Charlie who is a librarian and has two very nice full-grown children and many charming friends in the community of Mississippi where he lives. He gets caught up in criminal cases a lot, and this time his daughter is in trouble and some jerk ex-boyfriend of hers gets murdered.  

The cat, "Diesel", is his big Maine Coon he takes everywhere and walks around on a leash. Diesel doesn't speak or solve murders exactly but he "warbles", "chirps", "mutters" and all kinds of strange descriptions of cats making cat sounds. He is also awesome and gets Charlie attention from all the ladies in town. Seriously, what I've learned is that women apparently love men with cats. So if anyone wants a date, get yourself a giant cat on a leash. BAM. The ladies can't resist it. I mean, I even had a soft spot for Charlie by the time the book was over. He was very charming and kind and clever and - SEE? SEE THERE? Works every time. 

My biggest issue with this book was how damn anticlimactic it was. They worked up forever to the end and then literally there was no fight involving giant cats or anything. I was totally expecting Diesel to go crazy and attack the murderer. I was disappointed. 

Cover Execution:
Meh. There was a cat and he does go to the library with Charlie but one of the biggest issues is that I didn't even NOTICE the butterfly on the book. It blends right in and explains the cat's doings about those books and his intense look. I call this a failure in legibility more so than a bad cover. But I also like cats and books so I'm biased. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I need to find these books. I love pulp covers so much. 


How horrifying! That cat has murdered a fish!

Well this place must suck but the space-cravat is amazing.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I am a believer in the mantra that you cannot judge a book or genre entirely without at least reading one of them to better understand them. I've lately been making tons of fun of Avengers slash fiction (just don't ask why this comes up in my life so often)... and I figured I'd better find one with a cover and just get it over with so I can make fun of Marvel Slashfic forever. Particularly Stony. Shut up about Stony, women of the internet! IT IS NOT A REAL THING. These two would make a terrible couple. 

I am going to regret this endeavor. 

SEMAPHORE by Devil Doll.

For one glorious moment I thought maybe this book was about Tony Stark and Steve Rogers fighting the Devil Doll from Trilogy of Terror at the top of Stark Tower. This is how hard my mind subliminally rejects this whole genre. However, okay... Slash. Right. Steve's making a stupid puppy dog face and I guess Tony's all looking wistful. This seems innocent enough, but my God, I'm scared. Also, what the HELL is a "semaphore"? I had to actually look up a word that titles a SLASH FICTION and this enraged me. "Signaling method"? 

Okay, okay... they are going to like, flirt and give some kind of mansigns to each other that they would like to engage in a relationship. They will have sex atop Stark tower, probably after drinking, because Tony is really good at drinking. There. That's my guess. 

What I got:
... I'm... wait. 
Let me explain how this went. It was 99 pages long. Which was, pretty effing longer than I expected. And honestly, I was charmed with it for a while. It was like reading a bizarre "Avengers slice-of-life" story where they just hang out together and cook and talk and you get a little insight into what a superteam does on their days off. (And what kind of Halloween parties they throw). There were some hilarious and actually well-written moments (Namor, I love it when you show up anywhere)- some parts that made me feel sad (the drawn-out, realistic breakup between Pepper and Tony;  the friendship between Steve and a 90 year old granny being his most meaningful connection), and epic moments of partying by Thor and the Asgardians that seemed to feel, well- all comic-booky and adorable and generally people felt in-character. 
There were several cultural bits thrown in for relevance, and cameos by other Marvel universe characters- and I'm going to even argue that the bit making fun of Twighlight was funny as hell. 

Listen, long story short and avoiding talking about Stark/Rogers action which was pretty clearly described (I admit I skipped over a lot of it, I just.. I can't.) - I was shocked to find that the whole thing felt... "wholesome"? I was expecting something horribly written and somehow awful and dumb and it just came off like a sweet love story fluff-fiction about two broken-hearted people falling in love and... and... for the love of God it had a freaking cookie recipe from Clint Barton at the end!? 

CURSE YOU DEVIL DOLL. Just because your stupid story wasn't horrendously bad doesn't mean I'm not still on Team Pepperony forever! 

Cover Execution:
Stark and Rogers do it in Stark Tower after 55 pages of doing a lot of soul-searching and talking about feelings and staring longingly. Could it have killed Devil Doll to find a picture of Chris Evans that wasn't Chris Evans and looked more like Steve Rogers? WHAT THE HELL. THAT IS MY COVER CRITIQUE? I need to go ... wash my mind with bleach. 

(I laughed when Steve exclaimed "Holy Cow!". I did. Did they just "50 Shades" us?!)

Sunday, November 25, 2012


This was a gift from a friend I've been saving up to read for a time when I really needed a good boost. I'm a really simple soul and sometimes you just need to read a book about killer bastardizations of My Little Ponies to make you smile, you know?


YES. This badass pony and his girlfriend have just slaughtered a dozen Carebears. These ponies are awesome. They will go on adventures and fight evil bears and prance in the moonlight under the starry sky. DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME, LOTUS ROSE. 

What I Got:
Sometimes, a book tries just too hard to be bad. And then your mind flips over wholly and looks for shining literary wisdom and beautiful, harmonious metaphor in it. Let me regale you with what I believe Lotus Rose's true meaning was:

The beautiful temptress will lead you astray, betraying your heart and drawing you into danger she yearns for. Regardless of your genuine macho nobility, and the amount of your own childhood you will rip apart in your quest; (leaving behind a bloody, crying mess of nostalgia)- she will only draw you deeper into misery. Innocence is lost along the way as you fight to impress her. You will experience drugs, perversions, lies, and lose your very soul in a hopeless, naive floundering of machismo. In the end she and her issues are revealed as intense self-destruction, anorexia, and cold indifference to your love. She will cast you back from the land of shadows you have followed her deep into; her final redemption will be giving your empty shell life again, forgetting she existed. She will twist forever in her misery as you move on with your life. 

Shit was deep. I feel like Hemingway could have taken some notes here. 

Cover Execution:
Technically Dust doesn't get that tramp stamp for a while into the book, and never appears with Machoponi as he slays the don'tcarebears. And they have porcupine quills for some reason. Other than that, spot on. 

PS: Lotus Rose is a goth guy who is working hard to copywrite the corruptagram, the tattoo on Dust's hindquarters. I'm serious. 
PSS: Friendship is Magic.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I had to take a cross-country flight recently, and I forgot my Nook. So I needed something to pass the 4.5 hours of boredom that was at least more exciting than crossword puzzles. Staring at me from the airport book store shelves were about 100 copies of this glossy-covered paperback. It seemed like a sign... clearly this was the time to find out what all this Fifty Shades of Nonsense was about. 


You know, well... I like this cover. It's minimal, I like the business serif font, and I have a penchant for ties. Also this is a decent attempt at a Windsor knot, but slightly disheveled. Oh I see what you're doing there. You shameless book. 

Also, I've heard all the Bingo Club grannies are in a twitter over this book's titillations  I expect a man with a tie to get saucy and have sex with some woman (who probably has poor self esteem and no sexual experience). The man will be exceedingly rich and handsome and well dressed and suave and introduce said woman (and Bingo Club grannies) to bondage involving ties. This is going to be way better than crosswords. 

What I got:
.... Let's make one thing clear. This book isn't a smut romance novel. This book is pretty much straight up porn. I gambled and got WAY more than I expected. Another thing: It's writing is GOD DAMN HORRIBLE. I mean... I was reeling from how amazingly awful it was. Or maybe it was a-swoon from the scandalous nature, I'm not sure. Either way, reeling. 

Plot summary: Anastasia Steele fumblingly meets Christian Grey. Exactly as expected he's some kind of super rich businessman with big buildings and lots of cars and all that stuff. He also has a dungeon in his basement and spends the whole book having sex with Anastasia and enticing her to engage in some kind of totally weird legal contract so he can spank her. I mean, among other things.

Ana is supposed to find some kind of awakening by listening to her "inner goddess". 

"My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves."
"My inner goddess fist pumps the air above her chaise lounge"
“My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.”
"My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping its hands like a five year old"

Who is apparently an inner moron. 

She also articulates her surprise upon discovering this series of sexual epiphanies by saying "Holy Cow!" Which is just... I mean. I guess this somehow helps these Bingo Grannies relate. But I just kept giggling at it. 

“Suddenly, he sits up and tugs my panties off and throws them on the floor. Pulling off his boxer briefs, his erection springs free. Holy cow! … He kneels up and pulls a condom onto his considerable length. Oh no … Will it? How?"

I'm also being very light on the lurid details here so you can just fill in the blanks as to how these things play out. I dare you to read it in public- which is apparently COMPLETELY OKAY socially, which I find the most fascinating part of this whole Fifty Shades phenomenon. 

Cover Execution:
Okay so it clearly goes out of its way to be ambiguous, yet suggestive. The tie does ah, come into play. So, halfsies here. 

Also, during the flight back I was finishing off reading the book while sitting next to a large, unwashed male who smelled rather offensive. We had the middle seat between us but he still managed to really permeate the area. Anyway, it became clear to me rather quickly that he was dreadfully uncomfortable with my reading material. It was like he was trying to melt into the side of the plane, pressing himself desperately against the window to escape my lurid eyebrow raises and snickers. He was trying to hide his whole head in his neckbeard, I swear to God.

I feel bad about this now but I totally played up my giggles and derisive snorts and "Oh My"s just to watch the poor guy try not to be horrified. It was somewhat empowering to terrify this young man simply with the power of FIFTY SHADES OF LADY PORN. 

Well, I mean... I was getting him back for not showering. Seriously, who gets on a plane smelling like a 3 day old con-LARPer? Not cool, bro. 

"Laters, Baby". 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The greatest thing e-books have done is let people publish things practically for free, and I'm pretty sure the covers are some of the best Photoshop jobs around. I picked this because apparently I am dreadfully amused by books about the terrors of bears. 

THE SUBSTITUTE by Terry Hayman.

This bear is about to mess up your day. He's got (totally natural) red eyes and big teeth and he's going to SUBSTITUTE his salmon dinner for your face! 

What I Got:
A man is sure his daughter is being selected by the evils of nature to serve as a sacrifice, because nature demands random teenage girls be killed to atone for our automobile exhaust and pollution of water supplies and such. He decides to go out into the woods and yell at nature and tell it to kill him instead. Nature then sic's every bit of wildlife, from robins and squirrels and a giant bear on him and literally rip him up and leave him to die. He survives as a bitter, wheelchair bound shell of a man missing several important body parts. 

This is why I never go camping. Nature hates us.

Cover Execution:
A bear eats off his manhood. You have every right to fear bears. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


It's been a while. I'm sure you've not missed my horrible reading adventures. Honestly, I've read a number of good and bad things the past months back but ignored this blog; but this title made me want to return to my chronicles.

HELLER by JD Nixon.

No bloody idea. Other than HELLER. HELLER must be this saucy chick figure here. (Like all true HELLERs her hair is insane, I might note). Some blond guy is going to try and get the drop on her and she's going to kick his ass. That's what HELLERs do. Asskick! Wait now I'm totally excited about this book. It's going to own. 

What I got: 
... NOPE. HELLER is a super imposing 6'5 blond man who is mysterious and smouldering and has hired short, inept girl to work PR for his surveillance company. Of course he has tons and tons of money and cars and a personal gym and lots of ladies and takes in stray goth kids and burn victims. Tilly the inept young PR lady pines about HELLER and constantly checks out how hot he is and somehow, ends up always fumblingly saving the day for her company. Oh, and to top it off she gets a creepy "HELLER" tattoo on her body to show her devotion. And fantasizes about her hot boss HELLER all the time. And looks at his magnificent mysterious European butt a lot. I'd like to know where the author got this creepy HELLER fetish and how I can stop her from writing any more of these things, because apparently there are 4 of them in this series. 

I hate this impostor Heller so much. I could better tolerate him if I wasn't so jealous of the personal gym and collection of cars. 

Cover Execution:
...Well. Heller is that... blond thing off to the side. And Inept PR is the figure in the middle. And... HELLER is probably stated about 10 times per page of text in this book.