August 17, 2011 • Zombies
When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a huge stash of comic books that belonged to my father and I developed a life-long love for comics. When I heard that one of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, was turned into a graphic novel, I was excited to get my hands on it.
I have to tell you how great it is. Yes, sometimes graphic novels are a little hard to follow. My kids love to read The Legend of Zelda graphic novels and since they’re Japanese-style, they read from back to front. I swear I get lost trying to figure out which panel to read first, but this book is fairly straightforward.
Maybe the drawings aren’t as detailed as you’re used to, or they’re not in color. However, there are hidden benefits to everything. This particular book is perfect, because it combines three things I love: reading, comics and the opportunity to color.
Yes, color. I still love to color. I’m in my 40’s, but I’ll admit it. When I was a kid, I had some amazing art coloring books and this book totally takes me back. The paper is perfect for colored pencils. We recently went on a trip to the beach and I took PP&Z with me and it was entertaining and made for hours of enjoyment. Which color should I use for Elizabeth’s dress today? How many streaks of coral can I put in her hair? Should she be blonde or brunette? Brunette, of course!. Should I make the zombies green or purple? How about green with purple guts?
August 16, 2011 • ,
You've got a last minute invite to a friend's Summer party. You've got no time to prepare and your reputation as an awesome chef to maintain. What do you do? What do you make?
The answer? Chorizo and cheese-stuffed mushrooms.
A quick and easy fix for any last minute chef, once cooked, the flavors of melted cheese and butter seep through the mixture of spicy, finely chopped Spanish chorizo meat which is seasoned and stuffed into jumbo mushrooms. This delicious appetizer will make everyone think you slaved over the stove for hours. But you and I, we both know the truth. And I'll keep your secret.
You can bring it baked and ready to eat or if the hosts allow, bring it in a foil pan and cook it at the party in under 10 minutes. And just as the guests are arriving, these stuffed mushrooms will come out of the oven (or the top of the grill) steaming hot, butter dripping, cheese melting and the chorizo sizzling.
Once this happens, be ready to deal with the onslaught of invitations to everyone’s summer party or neighborhood potluck. You’ll be the hottest, most sought-after party guest of the season. You and your spectacular stuffed mushrooms.
August 15, 2011 • Fiction, Zombies
Over the past few days, review copies of Ben H. Winters’ latest novel, Bedbugs, have been steadily mailing out from the Quirk HQ to bloggers everywhere. As I stuffed books and posters into manila bubble mailers, I came across one particular… er… let’s say “special” copy of Bedbugs that I’d nearly forgotten about.
See, during BEA this year, Ben signed ARCs of Bedbugs for eager fans. Unfortunately, a few copies of Bedbugs didn’t quite make it to the Book Expo in one piece. Notable, this copy, which was completely smashed in, the pages crumbled up.
Ben, being the good-humored guy he is, picked up the copy of the book and signed it anyway, for a silly online giveaway.
Sorry what happened to your book!
Ben H. Winters
Want to get this one-of-a-kind copy of Bedbugs? Just leave a comment here or retweet this post to your followers (make sure to @quirkbooks!). I’ll select one of you at random sometime next week. You’ll receive the mangled signed copy, as well as a mint condition signed copy + poster.
Come on, you didn’t think I’d just send you a beat up book, did you? I'm not the monster here. The bedbugs are. Comment and tweet away! Good luck.
August 11, 2011 • History
Middleton’s gift shop had this outdoor display featuring our book! Thanks guys!
How Southern Gothic can you get? The road to Middleton Place Plantation, just outside Charleston, South Carolina, is lined with live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. When you turn your car into the drive of the plantation, you behold a landscape the way it looked around the birth of the United States.
In recent months, my co-author Denise Kiernan and I have been driving up and down the east coast visiting historic sites associated with the signers of America’s founding documents. It’s our way of promoting our existing Quirk book, Signing Their Lives Away, about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and Signing Their Rights Away, about the Constitution signers, which pubs Sept 6.
When we have some free time, we’ve been working on a documentary about these sites. So far, in the state of South Carolina, we’ve created a short film about Middleton Place, Hopsewee Plantation, and the Governor’s House Inn in downtown Charleston. All three of these homes were residences of signers of the Declaration of Independence.
We think the videos have turned out pretty well, and we’re anxious to move on to other states.
August 9, 2011 • Fiction
According to Twitter and a number of misc. websites, today is National Book Lover's Day. Hopefully some of you have taken Elizabeth's advice and packed a picnic, or are at least planning to curl up after work with whatever it is you're reading now.
Clearly we love books here at Quirk. In order to properly celebrate this day-of-book-loving, several of us from the Quirk HQ have written about the titles that made us fall in love with books in the first place. From forced high school reading to childrens' books, forbidden horror anthologies to American literary classics, our picks are certainly varied.
Enjoy, and let us know what books made you fall in love in the comments. We'd love to hear about them.
August 8, 2011 • Cookbook: Baking, Cookbook: Drinks
There are a lot of jerks in the world. Hopefully you’ve been left in the dark and not forced to participate in the short-lived tradition of Bros Icing Bros. A drinking game, which was quickly shut down by Smirnoff Vodka, involves handing a bottle of Smirnoff Ice to the victim and forcing the victim to take a knee and chug the entire bottle. Smirnoff Ice is known as an extremely sweet and easy to drink beverage but its association with underage kids makes it a punishment to drink.
We definitely had to “ice some bros” at the Broetry Slam but since drinking games aren’t exactly praised in public, respectable places like National Mechanics, I had to get slightly clever. Move over already shut down by Smirnoff, Bros Icing Bros, it’s time for Slightly Tipsy Vodka Cupcakes with Bros Icing Bros Icing.
Slightly Tipsy Vodka Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vodka (Flavored kind is good in this!)