book reviews, silliness

A pop up book about phobias and other bizarre things…

I love to find new and bizarre stuff. I’m lucky enough to have a number of friends who like to read and listen to music. I also have a very indulgent spouse who doesn’t mind when I occasionally make purchases of odd things. Like, for instance, at Christmas, I bought Bill a juice strainer with a replica of Angela Merkel’s head on it. I also bought him an egg separator that had a nose on it that allows egg white to pass through the nostrils like snot and a Margaret Thatcher nutcracker. I have a Donald Trump toilet brush in my bathroom. Hell, just a few weeks ago, I bought a baseball cap with an old picture of Mister Rogers on it, flipping the bird with both fingers.

I might decide to wear this in public at some point.

A few weeks ago, my former shrink was posting about something on Facebook and one of his friends– a psychologist colleague, I suppose– recommended that he read The Pop-up Book of Phobias by Gary Greenburg and Matthew Reinhart . Or maybe he suggested it as a gift. I was very intrigued by the concept. I was also kind of repulsed by it. I have a phobia of mushrooms, so the idea of a book that had one popping up at me was a bit horrifying. Fortunately, mycophobia is not a particularly common phobia, so it didn’t rate an entry in this book, which isn’t very long and takes a minute or two to “read”. I looked for a link to mycophobia, having actually written an article about it myself some years ago. Unfortunately, all of the articles I found had pictures of mushrooms on them, and frankly just the sight of mushrooms gives me the willies. But at least nowadays, I don’t freeze up and scream the way I used to when I was a child and found them growing in the yard.

I see The Pop-up Book of Phobias is out of print now, and I probably spent a lot more for it than I should have. I was still pretty delighted by it when it arrived last night. The art is well done, and I loved the way the artist managed to convey the concepts in “3-d”. Check out these photos. I didn’t get a photo of all of the entries, but this is basically the gist of the book. My copy was very well used and appeared to be much beloved by the previous owner.

I really appreciate the ingenuity and creativity it took to come up with these concepts and put them in a pop-up format. Just the engineering of the paper alone is impressive. How long did it take to come up with a method to arrange the paper in such a way that the snakes and spider pop up like this? The clown page is especially intriguing, as the main one has creepy eyes that open as the pages spread.

Looking on Amazon, I see that Matthew Reinhart has done a few pop up books, including one called The Pop-up Book of Nightmares. That one appears to be widely available, even though it’s been out since 2001. Since Bill has been studying Carl Jung and analyzing his dreams, maybe that would make a good present for him on the next gift giving occasion. It definitely makes for a fun gag gift, if not a pricey one. The one drawback is that it’s not much of a book in terms of reading material as it only consists of 22 pages. But it might be fun to glance at as you drop your morning deuce. Or it might be fun for the coffee table, although I would recommend not taking it to the bathroom if you’re going to put it on your coffee table. Accidents happen.

I was glad to get the book yesterday. It was a nice distraction from the news of the day. It seems like there’s very good to report, and the overall mood is ugly as COVID continues to wreak havoc worldwide and people continue to fight over public health measures. I’ve seen a lot of rude, callous, mean-spirited comments and behavior on both sides of the issue. It makes me wonder if people really are as horrible as their behavior online indicates.

Add in “healthcare professionals” who take it upon themselves to post disinformation about vaccines and/or inject people with saline instead of a vaccine, and you have a truly ugly situation brewing. I might be able to get onboard with people who simply wish to avoid the vaccine. I don’t agree with their opinions, but I can kind of understand the concept of “my body, my choice.” But it really is criminal when a nurse decides for her patients to trick them by injecting them with saline instead of giving them a vaccination that they requested.

Also… I am quite baffled by “healthcare professionals” who keep insisting that COVID-19 is not as bad as it’s being portrayed in the media. I know the journalistic mantra, “if it bleeds, it leads”, but how is it that some doctors and nurses are so exhausted and upset about the virus and some are claiming it’s not so bad? Seriously, a self-proclaimed master’s level nurse at a level one trauma center posted on the Facebook page for the University of South Carolina, claiming that this is all a big hoax. My guess is that he’s lying, either about his “credentials” or where he works. I wouldn’t want an unvaccinated nurse taking care of me, to be honest.

My public health and social work master’s degrees were both earned at the University of South Carolina. Former President Harris Pastides, who was teaching in the Arnold School of Public Health when I was attending, is back to being the interim president, because Bob Caslen, who was Pastides’ successor, was forced to resign. Dr. Pastides is well-informed about the COVID situation and is promoting vaccination on campus. He was a tremendously popular president. It’s nice to see him back, doing the right thing. Too bad so many people are making the vaccines political.

Anyway… I’m glad it’s Friday, at least. I am expecting to get new guitar strings today… and I have a feeling I will be trying to put them on my guitar instead of practicing. I hate this chore, but I think it’s time to do it. Maybe I’ll be back later… maybe not.

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book reviews, silliness

Reposted book review: How to Live With A Huge Penis

Here’s another reposted book review for those who need a laugh. Actually, the funniest thing about this book is the title… but I’m gonna share it as/is anyway. I went through a phase in which I reviewed a lot of books about “inappropriate” topics. Maybe someone on your Christmas list will enjoy it. This review was originally posted on Epinions.com October 23, 2011.

Hey guys!  Do you suffer from Oversized Male Genitalia (OMG)?  In other words, is your penis HUGE?  Does it rival the size of a Pringles can or a shampoo bottle?  Does it cause you pain or embarrassment?  Have you been the subject of ridicule, violence, or discrimination because of your large member?  Are you afraid for the future because of the size of your penis?  Have I got a self-help book for you!  Dr. Richard Jacob and Reverend Owen Thomas are the authors of the 2009 book, How to Live with a Huge Penis.  It’s a book especially for men who suffer from OMG and the people who love them.

I suppose you’re wondering how in the world a genteel lady like myself would ever deign to read a book entitled How to Live with a Huge Penis.  After all, I don’t have a penis.  Well, the truth is, I found this book while looking at a hilarious site called UHpinions.com.  UHpinions is basically a site that showcases funny reviews that have been posted on Amazon, Yelp!, and though I have yet to find one, Epinions.  Quite a few people had reviewed this particular book and one person left a real humdinger of a review.  I was so intrigued that I just had to read this book for myself.

In all seriousness, what is this book all about?

First thing’s first.  This book was published by an outfit called Quirk Books (www.quirkbooks.com).  Despite the handsome red cover with fancy gold lettering, this book is not really intended to be taken seriously.  This slim volume is more of a satire of self-help than anything else.  I will admit, however, to finding the handy Length Gauge on the front cover very useful as I determined whether or not my dear husband, Bill, suffers from OMG or is just well-endowed.  Flip to the back of the book and you’ll find a Girth Gauge, which again, helps readers of the male persuasion figure out if their penis size is cause for personal problems.

Book style

This book is written a lot like your garden variety self-help book is, albeit with larger lettering.  The font size used in How to Live with a Huge Penis is huge, which ought to make people who prefer larger print happy.  The authors begin by reassuring readers with OMG that they are not alone.  Indeed, they include witty little anecdotes of certain famous men in history who also reportedly had huge penises.  These little anecdotes, while probably not altogether true, are somewhat entertaining.

Next, the authors address how guys with OMG can deal with negative situations arising from their condition.  These situations are brought up through italicized stories written by anonymous males who have suffered with reassuring answers offered by the authors who no doubt are experts on the subject of OMG.  Toward the middle of the book, men with OMG can learn how they can “unzip” their condition, coming out to friends and family.   There are also handy tips on the care and maintenance of a huge penis and the best ways to enjoy sexual intercourse with loved ones. 

Introspective readers will certainly appreciate the daily affirmation journal at the end of the book, just pulsating with anticipation for its first entry.  And the authors have also thoughtfully provided a helpful chapter about the positive aspects of owning an enormous schlong.

My thoughts 

Honestly, I think this book could be much better than it is.  It’s meant to be funny and it sort of is, but there’s not that much to it.  The book is written in large print and contains pictures… not the detailed, interesting ones, mind you, but more like the stick figures that are used to determine which restroom one should use.  Some of the writing is mildly entertaining and even giggle worthy, but with a title like How to Live with a Huge Penis, I was expecting something much more exciting.  This book is a little like a cock tease in that respect.  Also, there is a Web site on the back cover, but I tried going there and got the front page for GoDaddy.  Talk about false hopes dashed.

Overall

This book might make a funny gag gift for a man in your life.  Of course, it might also be quite offensive to some readers.  If you’re the slightest bit intrigued by this review, I recommend checking out UHpinions.com and reading about it there, first.  You might actually laugh harder for free.

For more information: www.quirkbooks.com

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon.com for sales made through my site.

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