Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Be Thankful If You Don't Own These Covers

Image credit.
Thanksgiving is just ahead of us, and this will be my last post until after the holiday weekend. Rather than taking the regular ole angle, I thought we'd go for something slightly twisted by giving you three covers you should be thankful you don't own. And if you do own these, bless your heart. 
This post originally ran at Book Riot on June 15, 2015. 
I am a sucker for covers. I don’t even pretend to be unbiased or resistant to their powers. They sway me, entice me, generally thrill me. Once in a while, though, a cover will make me…blush, swing my head around, and sometimes cringe. Those special covers that pack a gut punch or bring up the hairs on one’s arms are special finds. I kind of want to celebrate them, but I also want to hide them in the freezer.
The first book in this category that always, always comes to mind is Alissa Nutting’s Tampa. It’s just a button hole. I realize this, but sometimes a buttonhole is not just a buttonhole, especially in the context of this novel’s plot.
Your House is On Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye gives me the creeps all around. The “bad seed” vibe is overwhelming, between the child’s intense and ghostly stare, to the eviscerated animals hanging in the background. It doesn’t get much more “Children of the Corn” than this.
Mysteriously dark divots, and hair, and just…do I even have to expand? This Lolita cover was part of a redesign contest, and this particular entry came from Adonis Durado, a talented poet, illustrator, and designer. While it’s fitting enough to this classically squicky novel, I find myself hoping to never discover this hair on the soap. If you want to see more subtly yucky covers, check out the Flavorwire post.
Hit me with your best shot. What are your favorite questionable covers?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Lost Ocean: A Coloring Book to Test Your Mettle

Johanna Basford's coloring books are some of the most popular on the market these days for their intricacy, creativity, beautiful illustrations, and whimsy. Her newest, Lost Ocean, is just as gorgeous and fanciful as her previous books, The Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, but in some ways it's even more intense.

The grown-up coloring groups on Facebook have been all a'buzz about this volume...some good, some bad. If you're familiar with Basford's previous books, there have been some changes. The American version of Lost Ocean doesn't have a dust jacket (doesn't bother me one bit), and some say the paper is of a lesser quality, but I haven't had a problem with it. Her previous works were also published on a cream paper while this book is a much brighter white, which I personally prefer.

While some of the images in this book are far more intricate than some of the images in her earlier works, I still think there's a great mix of super tiny, maze-like coloring and images that are more open and allow for a little more freedom in the shading and are, in general, a rest on the ole hands.

The image above is one of my favorites. I haven't started it yet, but it's high on my list of images to get 'round to. This skull is the one I started with. I've made a lot of headway since this was taken, and I'll post the finished image on my Instagram.

If you're interested in seeing more of this book, I've linked a flip-through video down below.

Penguin, October 2015
ISBN: 0143108999
Bought it!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Gift Guide: Fun Things for Book Lovers

I don't often do gift guides, but this year it seems like I'm seeing an influx of cute, fun, quirky things that I know I would love, and my guess is that many of you will love them, too. Have a swap coming up? Have a wishlist to share with your family? Here ya go...

The folks behind Sushi and Queso Designs are friends of mine, and they are so, so talented. Their shop sells paper goods, art prints, printables, and lots of other really adorable, quirky items.

One of my favorites is this print combining books and travel.

In My Book card/bookmark combos will always be a favorite. Given the recent coloring craze, these might also be a nice gift for the colorer in your life. These cute cards have a bookmark panel that detaches. Double duty!

There are a slew of coloring books based on books coming out here lately. I did a whole post about it over at Book Riot, but given my recent re-reading of Harry Potter, I think you probably know which of these coloring books I'd snatch up first. It's gorgeous! If Outlander, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, or Sherlock are more your jam, those are available, too. 

Finally, if you're feeling crafty, why not do what my husband did? If you know your friend or loved one will adore a specific book cover, you can remove the cover and frame it. 

My husband gave me this framed Penguin Threads edition of The Wizard of Oz for our first anniversary. The removal requires a hand towel, an iron to melt the binding glue, and some patience, but the result is stunning. I'll see if I an find the specific instructions and link them in the next day or two. 

So there you have it! Some bookish ideas for yourself or someone else you'll be gifting to this year! If you're more in the mind of ordering a book or a bookish item, you might want to take advantage of Barnes and Noble's 30% off coupon on Black Friday

Images by Freepik