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Weekly Links – Nom on these Homemade Funnel Cakes

Summer has arrived and with it comes a cool batch of the best bookish, geeky, and crafty links that the internet has to offer. Celebrate summer with some homemade funnel cakes and a new book to honor the season. Most importantly, make sure to have an excellent week!

All Things Bookish

Here’s a list of books that take place over one summer.

Can these books make you a better person?

Colum McCann offers some writing advice.

Do you enjoy reading at the beach?


All Things Geeky

Neil Gaiman wrote about his love of Batman comics.

Get more details about the new Zelda game.

Build-a-Bear has added a special Star Trek collection.


All Things Crafty

Turn your home into a mermaid’s grotto.

Make your own pressed flower art.

Please send these funnel cakes to Quirk HQ.

Posted by Jennifer Morell

Five Characters Who Did Not Get Food Poisoning

It is that time of year—summer—which of course means barbeques and picnics galore! Neighbors and friends get together to share food that has been grilled or pulled out from an icy cooler. If you are anything like us, you cannot help but look at the food with a bit of skepticism. Did they really cook the meat long enough? Is that cooler at the right temperature to preserve the food? Will I get food poisoning? To help temper your paranoia, we present you a list of five characters who have eaten strange items and didn’t get food poisoning (at least in the standard sense of the term).


Persephone from Greek Mythology

Apparently you can eat food from the Underworld and not get any indigestion. When Persephone eats pomegranate seeds from Hades’ kingdom, she doesn’t have any side effects. At least, not when it comes to her physical health. She does have to return to the Underworld because she consumed the seeds. On second thought, maybe that is the equivalent of food poisoning for immortals.


Count Ugolino from The Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Dante makes us think of Hell’s Kitchen in a whole new way. Count Ugolino must spend eternity gnawing on the Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini’s head. How did he end up in this ninth circle of hell? Well, it is a long story, but the theme of betrayal plays a huge role. Basically, don’t do it. Although he has to snack on the Archbishop’s head for eternity (and let’s face it, that’s pretty terrible), Count Ugolino does take a moment of rest to chat with Dante. That is something, right?


Alice from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

We have got to hand it to Alice: the girl has guts. It takes a certain kind of person to eat or drink something without really understanding its purpose or potential consequences. In fact, that would be a huge reason for many people not to partake in these refreshments. Alice did shrink and grow a bit too large, but she doesn’t experience any other symptoms of physical discomfort. In the end, she does return to her original size, so we would say there is no harm done.


Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Like Alice, Violet is a girl who is not afraid to experiment with food. In this case, Violet willingly chews gum that she knows is still in its testing phase. As a result, she takes on the flavor and essence of the gum and turns into a blueberry. Let this be a lesson to you folks: always wait for food to be approved by the FDA. Sure, it may not give you food poisoning, but you could spend the rest of your life as a piece of fruit. And we all know that is not a very good look on anyone.


Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

There are so many vampires in literature to choose from. There is the classic Count Dracula. There is the sparkly, dreamy Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. But the vampire who really sticks out in our minds for having an iron stomach is Baz. Like all vampires, he does drink blood, but he is pretty principled about it—he drinks blood from rats in very creepy places. Instead of making him ill, blood actually gives Baz strength and is a necessary part of his diet. We lobby that there is a new food pyramid created for vampires. 

Posted by Sarah Fox

The Limerick: A Brief History

 One of the first limericks known to man. Note the obscenity in line two.

Sunday, May 12, is National Limerick Day, an event traditionally celebrated by dressing like Edward Lear and rhyming things with Nantucket. But for all the hallowed tradition surrounding this beloved poetic form, most of us know precious little about the limerick and how it became such a popular from of rhymery. So this weekend, while you’re out mailing limerick cards and singing limerick carols and visiting the nuclear power plant in Limerick, PA, take a moment to ponder the storied history of this simple but profound method of expressing life’s truths.

Posted by Rick Chillot

Quirk’s Broetry Slam @ National Mechanics

A little over a week ago, Broetry author Brian McGackin visited Philadelphia to host his first Broetry Slam at National Mechanics, a favorite haunt of the folks here at Quirk.

Fledgling Broets and Broettes shared their broems in front of a lively audience at the Old City bar, while Jason Rekulak, Doogie Horner, Brian McGackin, and Anna Goldfarb (from the popular local dating blog Shmitten Kitten) judged away. We gave out some books, epic prizes to our two winners, and had an absolute blast. One of the winners, Christopher Wink, posted his broem in full on his personal website.

For those of you who missed the slam, Nathan Edmondson of Reel 9 Productions shot this fabulous video, full of highlights from the event. Enjoy!

Now, I know you're curious about those cupcakes in the video. Whipped by local baking genius (and guest Quirk blogger) Christine Eriksen, the recipe for those Broetry Cupcakes (which featured Jell-O shots inside), will be posted on here in the coming days.

Before the slam, Nathan shot a handful of Bro-Vignettes, featuring Brian reading select poems from Broetry at a couple locations around our office. That being said, a huge thank you goes out to A.K.A. Music, Brave New Worlds (especially Brian Johnson for his cameo appearance as a character in a video), and the Book Trader for letting us impose ourselves in your shops. I'll be posting the video clips here on blog over the next few weeks. For now, here's some photos.

Posted by Eric Smith

Become a Quirk Books Broet Laureate [Contest]

Edgar Allan Bro by Joseph Toschlog

Yesterday, Brian McGackin's debut book, Broetry, hit bookstores everywhere with its hilarious (and often heartwarming) portrayal of the modern bro. Time liked it, USA Today liked it, and we sure as hell do too.

And now, we want to hear YOUR broems.

Submit your best broem to our author, Brian McGackin, for a chance to become one of the monthly Broet Laureates of Quirkbooks.com. The winners will be selected by Brian, and will have their poems posted here on the blog, along with a brief bio and a photo.

We're encouraging those of you submitting broems to be creative. Shoot a video. Record a bro-cast (also known as a podcast). Write your broem on a bar napkin and take a picture of it. Tweet a bro-ku (haiku!) at Quirk or Brian. You can also just email it in to Brian ([email protected]). Have more than one broem? Enter as many times as you'd like.

Winners will be announced on the first of the month and will recieve a fancy certificate, an autographed copy of Broetry, a handful of bro appropriate Quirk titles (Old Man Drinks, Perfect Drink For Every Occasion, Art of the Video Game & more!) and some serious bragging rights. Two monthly runners up will recieve a signed copy.

Good luck, broets and broettes in training. And again, send your broems to Brian at [email protected].

Posted by Eric Smith


After months of writing, editing, preparation and the inevitable waiting, I am BEYOND STOKED to announce the release of my first book today, Broetry.

What is Broetry, you ask? Well, besides being the source of my obscene levels of euphoria today at having finally gotten this book out into the world, Broetry is poetry for dudes; it's poetry for people who don't normally like poetry. Are you the type of person that scoffs at Shelley, laughs at Lord Byron, and wouldn't be caught dead reading Whitman? Then I am quite pleased to inform you that there is finally a manly alternative.

Broetry isn't about nature and feelings and the way light shines through a butterfly's wings. It's poetry designed for today's common dude. There are broems about morning sex, hot celebrities, video games, football season and many other manly topics. Broetry finally brings poetry out of the lofty artsy fartsy stratosphere and back down to reality where it belongs, providing dudes across America with a poetic platform.

Posted by Brian McGackin