Oh so many delectable morsels have crossed my literary palate of late. So many delightfully odd things. And, unfortunately, so many that I was unable to rescue for later perusal. Quite sad when that happens, I assure you. But one can only save one book a day, and one only has so many hours in the day to devote to reading what I rescue. Alas.
Be warned; a couple of the titles this time are a little offensive. And I had to crop one of the covers for reasons that will be obvious when I get there.
We’ll start easy. Da Jesus Book is the New Testament, as presented in Hawaiian Pidgin. Yea, keke, we be talkin’ like dis while de Kahuna Jesus be spreadin’ dem miracles. It’s a far harder read than one might have suspected, especially because I feel the need to occasionally intone passages out loud to siblings, pet artists and occasional passers-by while doing a bad impersonation of Principal Kuno from Ranma 1/2. Hey, don’t knock it; I’ve made five bucks from people thinking I’m doing some kind of street preacher performance art! (Not really. But it gives me an idea…)
I’m really not sure what to make of this, except to say that people will buy anything. And now I want to go hunt down an ebonics bible. Just to see.
I wish this one had possessed the original dust jacket; it included a flap that made the book look like a doll box, Good Guys/Child’s Play style, complete with cellophane. Alas, it was too badly damaged. This is a kid’s book, obviously; probably for 4th or 5th grade, though I’m a bad judge and Scholastic didn’t see fit to give an age suggestion on the cover. Basically, kid stops at a witch’s garage sale, buys the titular plushie and takes it to school. Wackiness ensues. I was particularly amused by the notion that the teachers didn’t even think anything was wrong when the students started turning into zombies – can anyone really tell the difference between your average teenager and a flesh-eating, moaning monstrosity? – and the onomatopoeia involved. My favorite? “stump… schlurrrrrp” – generally repeated in triplicate – each time Zombiekins was making his way to his next victim.
This one caught my attention by virtue of being bright pink, but stayed in my attention and became my rescue that day more for what fell out of it than anything else. When I rifled through it to make sure the binding was intact and no pages were missing, I found these:
Yes. A pile of Kennedy-related news clippings. Seems an odd thing to find, right? Even odder when you realize the book is nothing but pictures of signs with the word “fuck” strategically replacing other words. Like so:
I give it an “A For Effort,” in that most of the photos are well-edited (though more than one just have the word in question basically duct-taped over something, and not all of them make as much sense as the above one does), and I snorted once or twice. Still. I’m not sure what about this book attracted a Kennedy aficionado. Perhaps the previous owner, like myself, located the book, articles already in it, and likewise snatched it for that reason. Perhaps it represents an unbroken chain, containing the secret truth of the Kennedy assassination, protected by an elite order of monks who have waited their whole lives to reveal this information and I, the unwitting recipient of such knowledge, will now be hunted by crazy Vatican-sponsored assassins! (Come at me, Sicarrii! ) Or maybe DaVinci Code was on TV again, and the articles were just kinda there. Either way, amused.
This one was grabbed primarily for the Joker-esque Ripper on the cover. Upon delving into its pages, I discovered the writing to be, frankly, atrocious, and little to none in the new and interesting ideas department. The fact that the cover claims it might offer a solution was honestly a little offensive, given the book is only about 150 pages of regurgitated material from Wikipedia. And actually, I think the relevant Wikipedia pages were better organized. Also, they lose points for not noting that the incredibly entertaining From Hell was related to the Masonic/Dr. Gull theory. Tsk tsk. And if you haven’t at least seen the movie (or, even better, read Alan Moore’s great graphic novel), then… what are you waiting for? Get on that. Like, right now. I’ll wait.
Back? Good. Switching to something a little more light-hearted. How could I resist? I used to be a fan of the Colbert Report, and its sister/mother show, The Daily Show, and when Mr. Colbert was staring at me from my workspace, telling me that I could be America, too, I had to obey. I was treated to 300 pages, give or take, that explained how the media is attempting to turn me gay, pets are trying to conquer America (and thus, of course, the world, since taking us out is the same thing. Just ask Stephen), what college is really for (not much; I got a full college education in just twenty pages, and Stephen assures me it’s just as good as any slip of paper from MIT or UCLA!) and more. If you have an irreverent sense of humor with a political bite, I recommend checking this one out. If only for his sidebars and footnotes, which would be worth the price of admission on their own.
Well, I managed to get through Scott’s sister’s book, so why not read a little more about Mr. Whacko, this time from the perspective of his girlfriend? Everything I’ve said previously regarding true crime books still stands up, except worse. On the bright side, Ms. Frey’s vocabulary is a trifle limited, so it’s a quick and easy read, but doesn’t bring anything new to the table at this late date, except for supposedly prophetic dreams where Laci supposedly tickled Ms. Frey’s daughter to death. Yeah, I dunno. It was a slow day when I picked this one up. It was that or a 15 page pamphlet about what happened on my birthday, so…
I haven’t sat down with this one, yet. I grabbed it basically for the inner flap text, which was laid out like the daily nutrition sidebar on your box of cereal, and noted that it was “not a significant daily source of vampires,” among other things. Alas, no picture of that was available, as it was hijacked upon arriving home and I have yet to get it back. Seems to be aimed at around the same age group as Zombikins, and details the evil plans of a cereal manufacturer seeking world domination, being derailed by a possible-leprechaun, Play Doe Scott. We’ll see how that goes, when I get it back.
This one came home entirely based on the fact that Dr. Lee on the cover, there, reminded me of B.D. Wong from Law & Order: S.V.U. Upon actually reading it, I found myself never wanting to watch SVU again. Yeah, it irritated me that much. See, the good doctor goes into his mind, which lets him time-travel to the time and place of the cases in question, where he talks to a collective consciousness of the time and place who gives their – often very biased view – of the case in question. And doesn’t really provide anything new or interesting about the case. I get what they’re trying to do, here, but as Yoda once said “There is no try. Only do.” And there I think they failed. Yes, cultural perception has often skewed our justice system – sometimes in favor of the alleged criminal, sometimes against them – but presenting it in this bizarre fashion ends up making it sound like bad fanfiction. Wait. Is there OJ-Trial Fanfiction out there? *checks* Dear god. There is. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
Oh, Dr. Laura. Dear, sweet, sex-scandal-involved Dr. Laura. What can I say about this one? Primarily that I’m surprised, with its incredibly strong anti-feminist viewpoint (often stated, to the level of beating you over the head with it, is that a woman’s job is staying at home, making her man feel good and letting him “handle the dragon slaying of working and providing for the family” while the woman stays at home, keeps her bitching to herself, and makes sure to give him nutritious home-cooked meals, lots of lovin’, and thanks god she has a man to protect her from the big wide world out there), that this book ever saw the light of day post 1970. While there are some good points in there, it feels way too reactionary, swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction of the typical “check your privilege!” shouts of those its railing against, and thus coming off just as bonkers as anything that crowd choses to shriek about. I laughed a lot while reading it, though, so that’s a plus. I guess.
And then there’s this one. I had to trim it, as the lady in question is naked, with all her bits hanging out. And that’s a lot of bits. I’ve got nothing against ladies with fuller figures; give me Rebel Wilson over Selena Gomez any day. But it’s still kind of a shock when you see that on the cover. And on nearly every page therein. (There’s one where she’s laying in a tub full of marshmallows.) I think, provided you’re not the sort who sees that sort of thing and feels the need to start posting comments in the “Oh my god, who would do this, it’s disgusting and anyone looking at this should hate themselves and go kill this chick” tribe (and anyone who’s ever seen a video on YouTube with a bigger girl in it will know what I’m talking about) you should probably go look it up and see for yourself. It’s amusing and sort of awe-inspiring in some ways. Plus, where else can you find a recipe for invisible meat-loaf? According to the back matter, she also has a sex-aid manual and a couple of other books, and I have to admit to a certain curiosity.
So there you have it. All caught up, now. Hopefully at least one of the above was interesting enough to make you want to learn more (or scared you enough to contemplate what other sorts of weird-ass shit finds its way through the publishing maze). Until next time, folks…