For hardcore book lovers, coming out of a bookstore can sometimes be like coming out of a porn movie. Your head is down, your shoulders are hunched, you desperately hope you won't see anyone you know. Maybe you bought Cat Fancy instead of The Nation. Maybe you spent an hour and a half reading a book because you're too cheap to buy it, and now your butt is tingly because you were in the wooden chair with that weird groove in it. Or maybe you purchased the book version of a blog--the ultimate in callow, pointless purchases. I know your shame. The other day I went into Barnes & Noble fully intending to make a thoughtful purchase--I believe I had reserved a copy of S�ren Kierkegaard's barn-burner Either/Or--and I walked out with Sharon Stiteler's Disapproving Rabbits. Stiteler started out working with and loving birds but purchased a bunny on impulse. She quickly noticed something funny about the brownish rabbit she'd named Cinnamon: He often looked like he was frowning at her imperiously, as if to say, "I don't approve of you." The photographs in this book prove Cinnamon was not unique. Each and every rabbit therein gazes autocratically, and Stiteler has helpfully provided translations. A portly white puff sternly says, "Are you still here?" A reddish bunny on a leash says, "You know, not everyone can wear spandex." A similar-looking bunny, this time enjoying an outdoor scene, says, "Your insufficiencies wound me to the core." That's right, folks. You've got 179 pages of this, and you're going to laugh at about 160. You can't say that for Danish existentialists. If I remember grad school correctly, they aren't nearly as judgmental as bunny rabbits.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide