Tag Archives: book show

Back Bay Books: The 2015 Boston Book Festival


This post is the very definition of “long-overdue”–the 2015 BBF took place on October 24th, which scientific sources inform me was three and a half weeks ago. Never mind. I’m in grad school, so it’s a minor miracle when I’m able to post at all.

I went to the Boston Book Festival chiefly to get a feel for the small-press literary scene in Massachusetts. To that end, I bought a fat stack of local literary journals. Behold!


Whether owning said journals will lead to future publishing success is anyone’s guess. When I lived in Michigan, I wound up publishing pieces with outfits based in Albany and Canada, so, you know. There’s not really a correlation between where you live and which periodicals accept you.

Anywho, here’s some other stuff I saw: Continue reading


The 60th Annual Michigan Antiquarian Book Show: Phony Bill Nye and Other Heartbreakers

Here’s a whole mess of book show pictures that cannot be categorized, or that I am simply too lazy to categorize. (It’s more the second one than the first one.)

Bill Nye's History of the United States

“Bill Nye’s History of the United States?” you shout. “Oh boy! I hope it will include spoofs of recent pop songs that present hard facts in an entertaining format!”

I’m sorry, my friend, but you’ve got the wrong idea.

"Not the Science Guy!"

Why must the world hurt us this way?

Speaking of game-changing qualifiers, try this one on for size. Here’s an erotic paperback called Immortalia.


I wish my boobs could do that.

That man selling it assured me that it was “genuinely raunchy,” but I had my doubts. If you’ve seen one vintage erotic novel, you’ve seen ’em all, and none of them contain half as much sex as their covers seem to promise.

Then I saw this:

For ADULT Adults

This isn’t just an adult novel–it’s an ADULT adult novel. That, my friends, is a sexy horse of a different sexy cover. I meant to buy Immortalia on the strength of that endorsement alone, but alas, I ran out of money. Perhaps, if the gods be merciful, I’ll find another copy someday.  Continue reading

The 60th Annual Michigan Antiquarian Book Show: The Lost Art of Kokigami

Book shows can be stuffy places. Whether it’s listening to someone wax pedantic about first editions or getting told off for daring to touch a book you look too poor to purchase, there’s a certain prim atmosphere that can spoil some of the fun.

Thankfully, books like Kokigami are there to save the day.

Kokigami: Origami Penis Costumes

What do you notice about this book? The title is Japanese, and there’s a picture of what appears to be an origami pig. So then–kokigami is origami? Perhaps an animal-specific subcategory thereof?

That’s accurate, so far as it goes. But take another look. What’s sticking out of that little pig’s mouth?

Kokigami: Origami Penis Costumes

If you said “a bellend,” you are correct! And also probably British! But, more importantly for our purposes, correct!

As the authors of this book explain, kokigami is “the art of the little paper costume.” To put a finer point on it, kokigami is fancy dress for your dipstick.

Kokigami: Origami Penis Costumes

Kokigami: Origami Penis Costumes

As someone who lived in Japan, and also someone with plural brain cells who can type things into Google, I am burdened with the sad necessity of informing you all that kokigami is not real. At least, it’s not a practice that has risen to any kind of cultural prominence. Yet.

Dreamers of the world, hear my plea: let’s make kokigami a thing. We’ll start with a kokigami meet-up, tentatively scheduled for October of 2025. It will be held on the moon, which, thanks to all the people standing around with paper masks on their dongs, will be only the second most ridiculous thing about it. I don’t know how to use Kickstarter, but as soon as I figure it out, I’ll kickstart the hell out of this project. Crowd-funded video games and potato salads of the world, prepare to meet your match!

Until the day my dream becomes a reality, let us keep kokigami (cocky-gami–get it? GET IT?) in our hearts and minds.

Kerrytown BookFest Redux: Nineteenth-Century Etchings

One of the stalls at BookFest was selling prints of old metal etchings, the subject matter of which ranged from gorgeous to silly to prosaic to outlandish. Here are a few of my favorites. [As always, click to make stupid-big!]

"Reading Lessons" etching.

“Reading Lessons”

The cardinal rule of reading as presented in this image seems to be “shut the f*ck up.” Though I’d argue that “look at the thing you’re reading” is an even more elementary lesson, and one this little girl could greatly benefit from.

"Baby Kiss" etching.

This was called something like “Baby’s First Kiss,” which is cute and all, but look at the expression on that poor baby’s face. You can tell he or she didn’t consent to this. They oughta call it “Baby’s First Sexual Assault.”

"Consolation" etching.


 I like this one because the lady who’s kneeling is supposed to be “consoling” the one who’s lying down, but it looks like they’re about three seconds from making out. Which is a terrific form of consolation, if you think about it!

"Eastern Woman" etching.

This one is just beautiful in real life–the woman’s jewelry and peacock feathers are tinted gold and blue, which are the only colors in the entire piece. Cell phone cameras can’t capture it and I’m too poor to buy it, but if you’d like to see this (or any of the others) in real life, I imagine they’re still available for sale at Out of the Way Books in North Adams, Michigan. 

Guns, Sex Pots, and Falling Trees: A Day at the Kerrytown BookFest

A tree fell on a car at the Kerrytown BookFest.

I’m going to lead with the tree, since that’s probably the most conventionally thrilling thing that happened at Kerrytown BookFest 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The BookFest, for those not in the know (i.e. anyone outside Southeast Michigan and/or in possession of a sex life that doesn’t involve sniffing old paper), is an annual event celebrating books and readers. In the words of its organizers, it features

authors, storytellers, publishers bookbinders, book artists, book illustrators, poets, letterpress printers, wood engravers, calligraphers, papermakers, librarians, teachers, publishers, new, used, and antiquarian booksellers and many others associated with books and their diverse forms, structure, and content.

So it’s Heaven, basically. Apart from the falling trees.

I want to make it clear that this tree fell on this Jeep in the middle of a sunny, windless afternoon. I talked to the woman on whose property the tree had fallen and found her surprisingly laid-back about the whole thing.

“Ah, well,” she said. “Hopefully insurance will cover it.”

Gosh, I thought. She’s taking this rather well.

Come to find out it wasn’t actually her Jeep; someone had just parked it in front of her house. Imagine the noise that person made when they returned from the BookFest to find their car playing not-so-Power Bottom to an oak! Truly, it must have been the Sound of Ultimate Suffering.

Anyway, now that we’ve got the tree out of the way, let’s delve into some of the things I saw in Kerrytown.

Continue reading