A Lit Gloss blowout.
April: The local publisher known for releasing the kind of books that you see in Urban Outfitters (Penis Pokey, How to Tell If Your Boyfriend Is the Antichrist, the extremely awesome Brick Testament) has some new offerings along the same lines, plus more earnest titles. The lovely Kitchen Garden Box is perfect for spring; there are 55 cards in an old-school-style recipe box, and each card tells you how to plant vegetables in the garden. Best of all? The whole thing is put together by You Bet Your Garden’s Mike McGrath, possessor of the broadest, chunkiest Philadelphia accent on all of radio-dom.
May: Admit it: You love Michael Cera, even though he’s sort of a nerd. Philadelphians Lacey Soslow and Sarah O’Brien are willing to admit it too and that’s why they’ve penned Geeky Dreamboats, a celebration of Cera-type cuties like the guys from Flight of the Conchords, Zach Braff, John Krasisnki and even Christopher Mintz-Plasse, which may be pushing it. Packaged like an issue of Teen Beat, but with a puffy cover, this is a good gift for the girls or guys in your life who think Justin Long is fuckable.
April: The ever- controversial publisher offers up I Did It for Science, by nerve.com columnist Reverend Jen, who not only founded A.S.S. Magazine (which came out once) but also the Troll Museum, where she lives. This memoir is filled with salacious stories of Jen’s adventures stripping, going to orgies and working on porn movies. But the good Reverend, who calls herself “the patron saint of the uncool,” isn’t your typical hottie: She collects troll dolls and obsesses over elves, unicorns, earwax and Teletubbies. … For a different kind of depravity, check out the ridiculously titled Watching the Door: Drinking Up, Getting Down, and Cheating Death in 1970s Belfast by Kevin Myers. Say what you will about Christopher Hitchens, but he does have intermittently good taste in books. Of Myers, he says, “He recreates the moral and political slum that was Belfast.” So much more interesting than our slums here.
March: Just in case you missed Morrissey’s apparently glorious, Smiths-heavy show at the Academy of Music, read Morrissey: The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart by Gavin Hopps—not a music critic, but an academic in a Scottish divinity school. Less a biography than a study of Morissey’s work, Pageant brings Morrissey into elevated company, some of it expected (Oscar Wilde) and some of it surprising (George Eliot?).
April: You know all that hoo-ha about a purpose-driven life? Religion professor Mark Ellingsen thinks it’s bullshit. In his book Sin Bravely: The Joyful Alternative to a Purpose Driven Life, he makes the argument that people derive more benefit—psychologically and religiously—by risk-taking. The catch is that it’s all about coming closer to God for him, so if you’re not religious, this book isn’t for you. But if you are, this might help you have more fun. Come on, Catholics. Sin is in! … Continuum continues to release its tiny volumes 331/3, each of which is written by a music critic in tribute to an album. Up in April: Flavorpill’s Geeta Dayal on Brian Eno’s Another Green World; Tommy Tompkins on the Clash’s London Calling; Matthew Gastier on Nas’ Illmatic (the series’ first hip-hop entry); Terry Edwards on Madness’ One Step Beyond; and Matthew LeMay on Elliott Smith’s XO.