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THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE (Or, Why I'm Thankful for The Invisibles)


(image via Tooth Soup)

"Have you ever wondered why we talk of 'spelling'? There is a spell word implanted in the brain of every English-speaking child, the root mantra of restriction, the secret name of a mighty hidden demon: 'eybeesee-dee-ee-eff-geeaitcheye-jai-kayell-emenn-ohpeequeue-are-ess-tee-youveedouble-you-ex-wyezed'. That name and all the names it generates were designed to set limits upon humanity's ability to express abstract thought. What you see depends entirely upon the words you have to describe what you see. Nothing exists unless we say it."

I love comic books.

I’ve published poetry, plays, fiction, essays, but more than anything, I have always loved comic books. I taught myself how to read with comic books; I taught myself math and computers by using the power ratings on my the Marvel trading cards that my dad used to buy me as incentive after tee-ball and basketball games. This was around 1991, and I’d take those numbers and plug them into Excel or FileMaker Pro on our Mac LCIII and compare and contrast the traits of various characters and basically use those statistics to run my own games of pseudo-D&D/Fantasy Marvel Heroes Trading Cards in my head.

Worst-Case Wednesday: How to Jump from Rooftop to Rooftop

Image via

Maybe you're playing live action Assassin's Creed. Maybe you're trying to become the next Spring-Heeled Jack. Maybe you're trying out your newfound spider powers. Maybe you just like the idea of running across rooftops. Whatever the reason, not all of us just know how to safely jump from rooftop to rooftop. Not to worry, however. The Worst-Case Scenario Handbook: Travel has a comprehensive guide to rooftop jumping, for all your vigilante needs.

Quirk's Holiday Flowchart: Find The Perfect Gift

No matter what holiday you celebrate, be it Christmas or Decemberween, we wanted to make sure you're ready, book-buyers.

We've put together a handy little flowchart to help you find the perfect Quirk book for that special reader in your life. 

Quirksgiving: Find the Quirkey, Win Some Books!

THE QUIRKEY RETURNS!

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and here at Quirk, we've been talking the books we're thankful for.

Our authors sounded off, including Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (Princesses Behaving Badly) on various books over the course of her life, and Grady Hendrix (Horrorstor) with a post on The Famous Monsters of Filmland's Star Wars Spectacular. Never heard of it? Check out his post. Quirk staff even chimed in, discussing The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy and Quiet by Susan Cain.

But you know what we're also thankful for? You guys! Stopping by to read our blog, following us on the ol' Twitter, picking up our books... we heart you. 

So to celebrate, we've hidden Rick Chillot's Quirkey (get it, it's like Quirk + Turkey, it came to him in a dream) around the website. Find him, and you'll find special Quirk Rafflecopters, where you can enter to win books. Here are some useful, and maybe a little too obvious, hints. 

How-to Tuesday: How To Get Grandma Drunk—I Mean, How To Make Sweet Surrender Punch

Happy Quirksgiving! By now, you’re probably mentally preparing to reunite with all your extended relatives. Hang in there, we’re going through the same thing.

This year, when you’re sitting in the living room with your cousins (after the inevitable Get Out Of My Kitchen scenario), do yourself a favor: make some punch. Everyone will have a glass, relax, and remember that they actually DO like their siblings. And then Uncle Joe will tell you that story he loves about how he met Patrick Stewart in the grocery store and it’ll all go smoothly from there.

My suggestion for the perfect wintry beverage is Sweet Surrender Punch from Winter Cocktails. Since it has chamomile tea in it, serve it at teatime! Enjoy, have fun with your folks, and have a great holiday.

The Book I'm Thankful For: From Watership Down to Murder on the Orient Express

The right book says the thing you needed to hear, the thing you didn’t even know you needed to hear, but you did need it and when this book said it, it was like bell sounding. Or not. Because sometimes the right book is just some piece of fluff that you picked up in an airport and it doesn’t say anything at all, but reminds you of something, maybe who you were when you read it. I’m grateful for a lot of books (two kids on, What to Expect When You’re Expecting springs to mind), but for some more than others: the right books, the ones that found me at the right time and carried me through, held me up, kept me interested.

I remember sitting in the bath, five years old, and listening to my mother, perched on the closed toilet, read Trudy Phillips, New Girl. It was a book from the 1950s, all bobby socks and Sadie Hawkins’ dances and a girl called “Spooky” and scrubbed-up optimism. I have no idea where my mother got it – she doesn’t remember, either – but I loved it. (I’ve since found and bought a copy on eBay; I can’t say it’s held up.) My childhood self is also thankful for Watership Down, which ferried me through a two-week bout with scarlet fever, for anything that Tamora Pierce ever wrote, for the Stephen King novels my parents read and left around the house for me to read and not understand, and, my God yes, The Babysitters’ Club series. I binged on those like I binged on candy at Halloween, except without the guilt or the nausea.

These were the years when reading books was like falling in love, a breathless obsessive sort of devouring that kept me up all night. The books I’m thankful for from this time are the ones that I couldn’t put down, that I’d prop up at next to my bowl of soup at dinner and read between slurps. Books that, even after I had a car and places to drive it to, I’d stay home on a Saturday night to read. There was Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone, which was at once affecting and completely over my head emotionally. I went through a big Gabriel Garcia Marquez phase, and passages from One Hundred Years of Solitude remain with me now. I read Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind halfway through my semester abroad in India during college and whoa, how I needed that book. I read it selfishly, cocooning myself in the blind gentility of Mitchell’s bizarro Civil War South, trying not to see the real desperate poverty around me. I clung to it like a life raft.

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