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    April 1, 2013


    Quirk Books, the independent publisher known for its irreverent reference guides and innovative works of fiction, has gone and done the unexpected once again. Effective immediately, the company is launching a new imprint that will give readers exactly what they expect. Book-lovers of the world, meet Normal Books.

    "We think that becoming more conventional is truly the most 'strikingly unconventional' move we could make," says President and Publisher David Borgenicht. "Readers have come to expect the unexpected from us, and I'm pretty sure no one was expecting this."

    The Normal Books imprint will offer a completely retooled frontlist of regular, completely straightforward books, with titles including Breakfast for Breakfast, Miss Peregrine's Home for Regular Children, and Pride and Prejudice without Zombies.

    This groundbreaking, daringly creative move was engineered with readers in mind, says Associate Publisher and Creative Director Jason Rekulak. "We’re convinced there’s an audience out there that craves the same-old, same-old,” he says. “We're excited to stop pushing the envelope, and start nudging it back into the desk drawer next to the pens and rubber bands." The concept is expected to yield a more manageable workflow as well. “The sales reps have been clamoring for less buzzworthy titles,” notes Moneka Hewlett, Senior Sales Director.

    Besides its new catalog of traditional print titles, Normal Books intends to release all subsequent books in eBook format: as plain text with no pictures and in a single small, non-dynamic font. Says Vice President Brett Cohen: "In the digital age, Normal Books will be square in the middle of the pack when it comes to using new, innovative technology. There’s no need to show off."

    Below are the titles that Normal Books will be releasing in the coming months:

  • In honor of National Candy Month, we're posting some of our favorite recipes from The Field Guide to Candy by Anita Chu!

    Last week we had Tuxedo Strawberries. Today? Rock Candy! Mm!


    Oh how I adore when I see those little asparaguses (asparagi?) poking their pointy heads through the soil in my garden. Who doesn’t love this tasty little tree of spearrific deliciousness? No one, that’s who!

    And the best part about this happy-looking and scrumptious-tasting vegetable? Well, for many people it grows as a perennial. That’s right—no need to replant year after year, it just keeps on comin’ back. To that I say: sign me up.

    Many gardening websites and experts note that asparagus is picky about where it sets its roots—it needs a deep bed and hates weed competition especially. That’s probably true, though I haven’t had too much trouble with my pair of plants, now about 5 years old, and I pretty much neglect them completely (though I did take the time to dig kinda deep and amend with compost when I first planted them). The only trick to remember is that, after planting a seedling (known as a “crown”), you shouldn’t harvest any spears for the first couple/few years.

    Practice patience, I know it’s hard. But after that, snap away, though try to limit yourself to only those spears that are thicker than, say, a no. 2 pencil. You can harvest for a few weeks—do it daily—and then stop and let the spears grow up nice and tall (they can reach 5 to 6 inches). Watch them burst out into pretty airy fronds, which are especially pretty in rain and snow and ice (when they become one of my favorite photographic subjects.) I cut mine to the ground in very early spring (around March in these parts) because I like the frondiness for winter interest and garden structure.

  • It's true, we do!

    We created this charming little video for a meeting with our BFFs Random House back in the Spring. Lots of the Quirk Books staff got on camera and talked about their favorite titles. Figured hey, why not share it with you too?

    Brent Weichsel, one of our interns at the time, shot the video in our conference room. We were beyond thrilled with how it came out. Check out his portfolio, talented kid.

    Do you have a favorite Quirk backlist title that didn't pop up in the video? Let us know in the comments!


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