Just when we thought we'd seen every sort of DIY book under the sun, along came Crafting with Cat Hair from Quirk Books. The publishers sent out a couple of calls for cat hair submissions from readers earlier this year, and the response was overwhelming. Quirk Books representative Katie Hatz talked with the blog Catsparella about the project in a fun (and weird) interview that reveals just what they did with all that hair.
Though it's not from this week, Rachel Stark's illuminating post on at Trac Changes about a recent trend in YA covers makes for good reading. The trend: Dead girls. "Dead girls in water, dead girls in bathtubs, dead girls in forests, dead girls in pretty dresses. Girls who might be dead, or might just look dead. Dead girls in so many pretty dresses." the covers below are just a few of the examples she gives.
She goes on to present a historical view of the allure of the dead girl (Poe, the Pre-Raphaelites) before concluding that in this instance, it's teen girls' own obsession with mortality that is driving this trend. As a girl I definitely had the "astonishing taste for that which is melodramatic, desolate, and downright morbid" that Stark mentions, which manifested itself in a love of Lurlene McDaniel novels and memoirs like Alex: The Life of a Child. Stark's conclusions about the reasons for this fascination are disheartening but also convincing. Give it a read; it will get you thinking.
We lamented on the blog when beloved local bookstore Davis-Kidd shut its doors. Months later, we mentioned (in passing) local author Ann Patchett's plans to open a new bookstore as her gift to the city. Well, readers in Nashville—and many, many people beyond our city—surely know by now, Parnassus officially opened on Wednesday. The Grand Opening is tomorrow. Several BookPage staffers plan to brave the crowd and go buy a book.
It has been heartening to see the incredible media coverage this bookstore has received. Below, find a roundup of links. For more updates, be sure to "like" Parnassus on Facebook!
• From the New York Times (front page!): "Novelist Fights the Tide by Opening a Bookstore"
• On CBS's The Early Show: "Famed writer opens bookstore in town without one"
• From local paper The Tennessean: "Author Ann Patchett's Parnassus store brings books back to Green Hills"
• On NPR's All Thing Considered: "Author Ann Patchett Opens Own Indie Bookstore"
• On Tennessee culture site Chapter 16: "Out of Chaos, Discovery: Parnassus Books is opening this weekend in Nashville, and Chapter 16 has the inside story"
• In publishing industry newsletter Shelf Awareness: "Grand Opening for Parnassus Books"
• On Nashville's News 2: "Local author prepares to open new bookstore in Green Hills"
• On local website Style Blueprint: "Faces: Ann Patchett & Karen Hayes"
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part I opened last night, and theaters across the country are filling up. But did you know that where you live might predict your level of Twilight love? Goodreads says so, anyway. Check out their map of the so-called "Twilight Belt."
Happy Friday! What are you reading this weekend?
Quick summary of links: Crafts made from cat hair! Scenery overkill in fiction! Underrated books written by women! And is Jeff Kinney superman? Please share your own favorite links in the comments.
No sooner does Obreht's narrative work up a little momentum or present a masterful scene than it hits a patch of long, dozy paragraphs filled with way too much detail about the scenery.