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Pack a Picnic & Read a Book: August is National Picnic Month, this Tuesday is Book Lover’s Day!

Yes, that's a copy of The Perfect Drink. Who says you can study cocktails while picnicing?

This Tuesday, take the day off of work. Go for a walk. Play at the park. Spend a day at the beach. Whatever you do, make sure you bring a book and a picnic lunch, as August 9th is Book Lover's Day and the month of August is National Picnic Month.

Prepping for your picnic? Here are some easy picnic food ideas that you can wrap (did you see what I did there?) together quickly. Simply spread, wrap, throw in the cooler and you are good to go.

Posted by Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Cutest Shark Attack Ever: Jaws Twitter Bird

Ah, Shark Week. People sure do love it, and us book folk are no exception. While our friends over at Suvudu (hi Matt!) celebrated Shark Week with this awesome list of terrifying sea creatures from the Star Wars canon, we decided to go with something a little more adorable. Who says sharks can't be absolutely precious?

Kim Knutsson, the proprietor of Tweet & Tweed, crafts super cute little custom birds in an array of designs, from Muppet Show's Bunsen & Beaker to Star Trek's Spock (which I'm sure Night of the Living Trekkies author Kevin David Anderson would love). But my favorite, hands down is the Jaws Bird that Quirk editor Margaret McGuire sent me.

A vacation on Amity Island was cut short as a swim in the ocean found this little bird gobbled up by the infamous giant bird-eating great white shark from the movie "Jaws". This little blue bird is seen peeking out from behind the huge white teeth of that great white shark. If only he had a pressurized air tank and a gun, maybe he could put an end to his terror! Each one of Tweet and Tweed's birds are entirely handmade, resulting in slightly unique variations from bird to bird. They are all created with a bottle cap base, glass bead eyes, polyfil stuffing and awesome accessories.

Now, go celebrate Shark Week with something snuggly. Kim's cute, one-of-a-kind handmade birds will only run you $35. For more information, visit her shop!

Jaws Bird [Tweet & Tweed @ Etsy]

Posted by Eric Smith

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies Hits #14 on the New York Times eBook List: We Celebrate With Giveaways

So thanks to a Kindle & Nook promotion, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies hit #14 on the New York Times eBook list this week. We find ourselves wedged between some good company, hanging out with the likes of George R. R. Martin (#11: A Game of Thrones, ) and Sara Gruen (#16: Water for Elephants).

When Pride & Prejudice & Zombies first invaded bookstores in 2009, there wasn't a separate NY Times best seller list for eBooks. That didn't happen until recently. So this is a first for Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. So to celebrate and thank you for making this happen, we're hosting a little giveaway.

We're giving away ten copies of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After. Penned by New York Times best selling author Steve Hockensmith, Dreadfully Ever After concludes the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies trilogy. For those of you discovering (or rediscovering!) PPZ for the first time thanks to the promotion, here's your chance to find out what happens next.

To enter, all you have to do is tweet (or retweet!) this post with the hashtag #PPZ. I'll select ten of you at random next week, and mail you a copy of Dreadfully Ever After, as well as some awesome posters of the cover.

Posted by Eric Smith

Tell Us Your Catastrophic Tale of Bedbugs, Win Signed Copies of Bedbugs

Friends! Colleagues! Citizens of the Internet!

I recently got a box in the mail with the first copies of my new novel, Bedbugs, a supernatural thriller about a woman slowly driven to the brink of madness by a bedbug infestation in her beautiful Brooklyn apartment.

The book doesn’t come out until September 6th, but I’m itching with excitement, so I’d like to give a few copies away.

So here’s the contest:

It seems like everyone you talk to these days has some horrible tale of bedbugs that refused to die; of landlords that refused to act; of love affairs that ended in a storm of scratching; of lovely sofa beds that had to dragged out to the curb or burned.

Send YOUR catastrophic tale of bedbug infestation to [email protected]. I’ll pick the three best (by which I mean the worst, the most horrifying, shocking, devastating tales of bedbugs) and award the winners with signed copies of Bedbugs. We’ll accept entries until September 1!

Please spread the word, and look for Bedbugs at your favorite bookstore on September 6th!

Posted by Ben H. Winters

My Ten Favorite Super Mario Bros Items on Etsy

Honorary Mention: Hills of Mario by Christopher Holthof

Etsy isn’t just for doilies and throw pillows. It’s got a panoply of nerdery buried in its easy-to-browse interface of homemade craft goods. Just because that person from high school spams you twice a week with her laundry-pin reindeer doesn’t mean that there aren’t 1-ups hidden in the bricks.

I have a book coming out on Super Mario, so I thought I’d see what Esty had to offer regarding my favorite mustached plumber. Turns out there are over four thousand Mario items: yikes!

What I expected going in was pillows, bedspreads, scarves, hats, pins, cookies, cupcakes, etc. Old-school pixel art is really easy to convert into crochet or quilting squares, so it’s much easier to capture Mario then, say, Darth Vader. But there’s a lot more than that: tech gifts, snarky things, hard drives shoved into NES games.

Sure, there are people selling their fan-art Mario watercolors for $500. And there are eight-buck children’s party invitations. But the breadth and clarity of creativity on display is pretty amazing. Take a look.

Posted by Jeff Ryan

Quirk @ San Diego Comic Con [Recap & Photos]

A long time ago (well, last week) in a galaxy far, far away (um, San Diego) Quirk Books attended and exhibited at Comic-Con 2011.

Preview night kicked-off with a resounding cheer as the fans flowed in from all directions. The costumes were incredible; we were immediately dazzled. But as Quirk Creative Director Jason Rekulak reminded me, "It's not all Storm Troopers and aliens, we've gotta do some work." So we got down to the business of doing business at Comic-Con. We met hundreds of fans, made a bunch of new friends, and sold a ton of books.

We also hosted two signings. On Thursday, Broet Laureate Brian McGackin signed copies of Broetry: Poetry for Dudes. A few savvy fans identified the cover poem as a parody of "This is just to say" by William Carlos Williams. On Friday, a large line formed to meet best selling author Ransom Riggs. He signed copies of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and posed for a photo with our booth babe, Heidi Milano (dressed here as the Miss P cover girl). Afterward we took Ransom out to dinner to celebrate Miss Peregrine’s extraordinary six weeks (and counting!) on The New York Times bestseller list.

Posted by Brett Cohen