We have all heard we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. Book could have a beautiful cover and suck, or it could have a sucky cover and be awesome. This goes for people too. I once dated a drop dead gorgeous Marine with zero personality. I mean, he was a nice guy and all but honestly, my dog has more personality than he did. I am sure he found someone who could appreciate him, just like all the books that I have put back. As much as I enjoy the art work on book covers, I find myself judging books by their title. The weirder a book sounds by it’s title, the more likely I am going to read it. Seriously, when left to my own devices, I find the weird stuff this way.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is now considered classic science fiction so this one probably doesn’t seem all that weird now. Imagine though, 9th grade (that was what? 1984?) and it’s the first time I’m in the high school library. I’m looking through the bookcases to see what is in the library. I come across this title and Enterprise NCC-1701 klaxon goes off in my head. Not only have I found an interestingly weird title, but it’s science fiction. I open the book and check out the start of the book.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of
the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded
Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles
is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-
descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still
think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most
of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.
Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these
were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces
of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small
green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
I get no further and I am yelling across the library to my best friend. It’s the library, so naturally I get told by the librarian to be quiet. My friend tells me to hurry up and read it where she can have it. The following day I am at the public library looking for rest of the books in the series. All because of a title.
The Roaches have no King was found at the public library in Virginia Beach on the new release shelf.
A colony of roaches lives in harmony with the human couple who share their apartment; when the tempestuous woman hurls meals against the wall, there is food for all. But one day she disappears. Her compulsively tidy successor has the kitchen redone; cracks and holes are sealed, food is stored out of reach. The roaches face starvation. One comes up with a diabolical plan: with the unwitting help of the local cocaine dealer, he will encourage a romance between the man and the pretty next-door neighbor, driving away the lady of the house and saving the colony. “Shades of Kafka, Swift, and Don Marquis. Daniel Evan Weiss has written an appealing, often mordant satire about the urban condition.
Obviously, I love satire. I showed the book to my husband who looked at me with the “what kind of weirdness have you found now” face and said “This is gonna be great.”
“If you say so.”
I said so. It was great. I never thought I would find myself rooting for cockroaches, but here I am. I have recommended this book to everyone I know. Not sure how many of them actually read it.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is another sci-fi classic that that no long has a title that seems weird. But it is weird. Honestly, when I first came across this book I thought it was going to be about an android and his pet android sheep, or about an android who counted sheep when he was plugged in to charge. This is what I get for not reading the blurb on the back of books. Obviously, that’s not what I got. I got Bladerunner, only the much better book edition. I got to reread it for my science fiction literature class. Everyone who chose to write their paper on this book over Asimov’s Foundation turned their paper title into a “Dick” joke. My paper was the Dystopia of Dick. English majors are just that kind of immature. We will gladly discuss the existential crisis of Dorian Gray with you for hours, but we are also going to make as many dick jokes as possible about Phillip K. Dick, no matter how much we like his work.
I actually have not read Punk Rock Jesus yet, it’s due to be delivered today. Being a graphic novel, I’ll probably breeze through it after it arrives. I also need a good distraction from the insanity of SCOTUS. There is nothing about this title that wouldn’t catch my attention. I mean one does not associate punk rock with Jesus. The premise is a clone has been made of Jesus Christ. As someone with a BA in Religious Studies, I can say that is total heresy and I’m here for it.
J2 causes both outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all, let alone the Son of God.
Because, of course that is what would happen.
Thomas McKael is the clones’s bodyguard and former IRA operative, who despite his turbulent past is hired to protect the new Jesus–a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.
When falling ratings force the network to cut Jesus’s mother from the series the young star runs away, renounces his religious heritage and forms a punk rock band. And what starts off as babysitting for Thomas becomes an epic battle, as Jesus goes to war against the corporate media complex that created him.
Tell me this isn’t quality reading right here? We all know if this were to happen, it would be the ultimate reality show and it would make tabloid headlines on the regular.
At this point I am pretty sure my blog can be turned into a drinking game with as often as I bring up The Kaiju Preservation Society. I put this on my TBR list as soon as it was announced and bought it on release day. I think that’s the first time I have ever shown up at the book store on release day. Why? Kaijus. Growing up I thrived on kaiju moves. Godzilla. Gamera. Mothra. Ghidorah. Rhodan. Kumonga (that was the giant spider that probably gave everyone nightmares). John Scalzi has told us these kind of creatures need preserved, that they are endangered. Sign me up. Worse yet, an evil corporation with the biggest narcissist CEO is their threat, because evil corporation. It’s what they and their douchebag CEO’s do.
Death: A Life obviously has biography vibes written all over it. I probably would have overlooked this one if it hadn’t been in the humor section of Boarders. #juxtaposition. What is funny about death?
The shocking new memoir from Death–this long-awaited autobiography finally reveals the inner story of one of the most troubling, and troubled, figures in history At last, the mysterious, feared, and misunderstood being known only as “Death” talks frankly and unforgettably about his infinitely awful existence, chronicling his abusive childhood, his near-fatal addiction to Life, his excruciating time in rehab, and the ultimate triumph of his true nature. For the first time, Death reveals his affairs with the living, his maltreatment at the hands of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the ungodly truth behind the infamous “Jesus Incident,” and the loneliness of being the End of All Things.
Trust me, you want to know about “the Jesus incident”. I need to replace my physical copy of this book as I keep forgetting I have it as an e-book and want to reread it. I loaned it to a friend and it was returned a drink coaster with a broken spine. After that I don’t know what happened to it. I may have told her to keep it, as I do when someone mistreats my books.
I wish I could remember every book I have picked over the years based on title alone. There are so many. This is actually why I hate book shopping online. I want to go into a bookstore and just look at titles for whatever weird thing jumps out at me. You can’t really do that online. You have to know what you are looking for. It’s hard to just browse.