It’s the last two weeks before Christmas, which in publishing terms is “Too late for this year!” And since the new release stack is small, we’re going to direct your attention to our on-going Blind Date program this week. As you may know, we’ve been wrapping books and writing funny summaries for awhile now, and recently we turned our attention to mass market paperbacks. These are done a little differently, because, well, we like to do things differently now and again. Each of these books has a single catch-phrase that sums the book up (along with a perfectly polished and clear explanation of that catch-phrase). 

Now that we’re in the final push for the holiday gift sharing, let us posit that a Blind Date Mass Market Paperback is a fine stocking stuffer / last minute ‘Hey, I appreciate you’ gift / clever ice breaker with that barista you like. Heck, we even had someone come in the other day and clear out the cozies for their staff party. So, in the spirit of helping you out, here are some of the new Blind Date Mass Market Paperback categories. 


It’s not the clever world-building we want to highlight with this book. Nor is it the well-drafted and executed plot. And, why, yes, we SHOULD be talking about the great job the author does with a vast array of characters, who are doing their best to work through their sh*t without wrecking the lives of everyone around them, but, no, we’re going to focus on the snark and the action.* 

*AKA “stuff blows up” and “who writes  this dialogue anyway, and why aren’t they following me around and telling me what to say all the time?” 


Part of our job as clever bookstore people is to find ways to frame these Blind Date books in ways that will entice you. However, sometimes, we just pick books that we know and love, because, we think everyone should read them. Why? Well, duh. You don’t think we sit around and read crap, do you? Heck no, we are sustained on a constant diet of awesome books. And it is somewhat unbecoming when we chase you around the store, trying to get you to read one of these books, so consider this method as us playing coy. Or not being totally embarrassing. Because, yeah, we’re trying to not embarrass ourselves here. Really. 


Romance isn’t new. People in olden days got all wrapped up in love affairs—both illicit and unconsumated. But what makes those stories fun to read is that they take place while HISTORY is going on around them. Not only are our star-crossed lovers chasing each other across beautifully rendered landscapes, but they are doing it while world events are going on. Plus, sometimes the dudes are wearing kilts. And no shirts. And sometimes they are wearing tight pants and frilly shirts. And sometimes the women are wearing six million layers, and it takes half the book for them to get in and out of their ball gowns. That’s what history is all about: layers. And getting them off. 


Someone is getting it on with the guy they hired to redo their landscaping. Someone else is getting it on with the wife of a local politician. And there’s probably a swindle or two going on. Maybe it’s got something to do with a new park going in, but who knows what’s buried in that old lot they’re digging up, right? Meanwhile, there’s lots of clandestline meetings at shady hotels, naughty presents, and plans to kill a spouse and take off to some South American country without extradition. Unless that PI the spouse hired to catch the cheater in action gets those pictures developed in time . . . Oh my, it’s all so trashy and frothy, and we can’t read it fast enough. 


(Noun) Def: FUBAR. Savaged beyond all recognition. Everything was going along just fine until some jerk put an iguana in the blender. Oh, great, now all the asteroids are falling and there’s no tin foil in the shed. Witness the great dissolution of humanity because Tim over there decided he didn’t like fresh avocados. The relentless grind of sociopathic machinery reducing our hopes and dreams to dust. Yet again, another swell plan ruined by rampant stupidity. And now the train goes off the rails because Sally was too busy watching cat videos on the Internet. Usage: At some point in this novel, the situation is borked. 


We need to update the quintessential Western paradigm. While casting the “Ugly” worked for spaghetti Westerns back in the day, we’re past all that now and what we really want is MOAR SEXIE, right? We like good guys. We like bad guys. But we really like sexy guys. And if we’re not sure if they’re good or bad or have a Ph D. in situational ethics, all the better. Especially if their shirts keep coming off. 


Sometimes a book is so awesome—and it delivers such an impact—that we can’t help but say, “Oh, boy that book really rocked the bottom of my GI tract.” Or “Oh, sakes alive, I’m so broken up by the climax of that book, I feel like my heart has been shattered. SHAT-TER-ED.” But that’s a lot of sharing, and that can get awkward, so we fall back on a simple hand gesture and the phrase, “Deep Feels.” As in, “I just finished the Almondine Trout Train Heist and I gots some deep feels.” And the other people in the room nod and say, “Represent.” And then we’re all good and we can talk about sports or crocheting, or whatever it is that we do. 


Let’s be honest. That sparkly vampire dude? Basically a stalker and a pedophile. That Christian character from 50 Shades? Domestic abuser and control freak. Anita Blake is way into BDSM with ole bucket of sadomasocism, and if someone changes into a were-creature during naked time? Well, that’s basically bestiality. But hey, we don’t judge. You should some of the shit we read. 


It’s the Schrödinger’s Cat of SF. Is the book Frank Herbert’s Dune or not? You won’t know until you open the wrap. 

That’s us, putting the F-U-N back in reading. What? It’s a silent “F” and the “U” and “N” are implied. Regardless of what you think about how we spell, remember to visit your local bookstore during these frantically festive days. We like seeing you, and we have books.

Overheard At The Therapist's Office »»

DR. LAVANDULA: So, tell me about your week? 

COLBY: It’s fine. 

DR. LAVANDULA: Fine? No stressors? Nothing out of the ordinary? 

COLBY: Nope. 

DR. LAVANDULA: Your monosyllabillia says otherwise. 

COLBY: I’m taking valerian root for that. 

DR. LAVANDULA: Self-prescribed? 

COLBY: Yes. 

DR. LAVANDULA: You might want to reconsider. 

COLBY: Why? 

DR. LAVANDULA: Well, as an actual health care professional—and please don’t read this as judgmental or otherwise demeaning—I’d like to point out that you’re doing it wrong. 

COLBY: I really dislike it when you talk down to me. 

DR. LAVANDULA: I asked you not to treat my statement that way. 

COLBY: It’s kind of difficult when you’re being so dismissive.

DR. LAVANDULA: (Sigh) Am not. 

COLBY: Are too. 


COLBY: Are too. 

DR. LAVANDULA: We going to stop with three, or are you feeling particularly petulant? 

COLBY: I don’t like your couch. 

DR. LAVANDULA: You are welcome to lay on the floor. 

COLBY: What do I look like? The family dog? 

DR. LAVANDULA: I’m a cat person myself. 

COLBY: These pillows are lumpy. 

DR. LAVANDULA: You have forty-two minutes left of your session. Would you like to skip ahead to the part where I ask you how your week was again and you answer honestly, or do you want to deflect some more? I bill the same, regardless. 

COLBY: We can skip ahead. 

DR. LAVANDULA: Excellent. So, how was your week? 

COLBY: Miserable. 

DR. LAVANDULA:  . . . And perhaps you could expand on that a little bit . . . 

COLBY: I’ve been ousted at the store. 

DR. LAVANDULA: In what way? 

COLBY: I’m not the cutest critter anymore. 

DR. LAVANDULA: I wasn’t aware there was more than one “critter” at the store. 

COLBY: I used to be the only one, but there’s a pair of otters there now. 


COLBY: Yes. 

DR. LAVANDULA: And you feel threatened by them? 

COLBY: They’re cuter than me. And they do this serpentine thing when they run back and forth with books. Serpenetine! Serpentine! It makes me want to vomit. I did, once, in fact, and . . . 

DR. LAVANDULA: And . . . 

COLBY: No one likes marmot barf. Especially the marmot.


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