Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Writing Prostitution, My First Book Review

I've been asked a few times to review books or products in my blog.  Until now I've been kind of avoiding that because, well I don't want to enter the world of "cheese blogging".  That's just my own little term that I coined.   It's the blogs that are more focused on generating views by giving crap away or talking about how great a cleaning product is for $50.  Cheesy.

See, I've been writing blogs since 2005.  I only blogged on Myspace for years and had a rather large following (shut up, it was cool back then).  Then I didn't write much for a couple of years and tried to get back in the swing a year or so ago.  But the reason I started my blog was to just write for me.  My jokes, my frustrations, my lessons learned, my raunchy humor, my passive-aggressive messages to  male readers that dumped me.  You know, the usual.  It was just me and my friends having a laugh or cry.  But in the last couple of years trying to make it as a real life paid writer, I've had to consider more factors in my blogging.

Yes, yes, I'll get to the book review, hang on...

There are all kinds of blogs and books and seminars out there that give you advice on how to  popularize and monetize your blog.  One of the big things is to "work for the man" and give away lots of items from companies, and review books and products for kick backs or mentions.  *sigh*

No offense to you folks that do it, but it seems really cheesy and hype-y and gets on my last nerve.  I think it takes away from the authenticity of the blog.  But hey, I realize people need to make a buck.  But it's just the way I'm programmed.  Ya' see, I went to college for broadcasting, and worked in TV and radio for 10 years but eventually left it behind because I realized it was being "run by the man".  I had delusions of grandeur visions of being a DJ and bringing the people the latest and greatest in punk and new wave and any other future sounds.  I soon realized it was all pre-programmed crap, that was ruled by back room deals made by music directors and record reps.  I couldn't even talk about what I wanted to on air, all I could say was, "You just heard the latest from Celine Dion and TLC, more music comin' up after this".  Boo, you suck!

Seriously, book review up next...

I'm all about keepin' it real in the streets, man.  Ok, I can't say that with a straight face.  But that's always been my thing.  I don't want to "sell out".  But... I have to make a compromise somewhere if I want to reach my goals.  *sigh*  That's why I look like a normal person now and not my shaved head, Doc Marten look of old.  However, no money has exchanged hands for this review, I myself am attempting to write a book, and figured it would be good karma to help other writers.

So, without further ado... I received an email asking me to take a look at a book and blog about it.  The book seemed rather adorable, so I agreed.  The book in question is "Catalog Living at Its Most Absurd -Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls"  by Molly Erdman at www.catalogliving.net .  (PLUME, published by the Penguin Group, 115 pages)  When I received it I must say how impressed I was at the cover photography and slick production.  Usually some of these books look like they were put together in the copier department of Stapes, but this book is lovely.

The concept of the book is right up my alley... making fun of things.  The book features pictures taken from furniture/decorating catalogs, under the guise that they are all from the narrators, Gary and Elaine's home.  It features witty explanations of what's going on in the pictures, especially when there are inexplicable objects in the photo as we have all seen in magazines or catalogs.  For example:  There is a picture of a lovely contemporary living room with a coffee table, that has five apples lined up perfectly, precariously on the edge of said table.  The caption underneath reads, "Gary, the Fullers will be here any minute!  Did you evenly line up the apples on the coffee table yet?"

Other pictures just make fun of the odd or pretentious accouterments in the room.  One of my favorites is a living room that features a really large square clock with hands, the background is white and has the letters X, Y, and Z in black in random placement. (approximately where 10, 1, and 5 would be).  And the caption reads, "Half past Z?!  Elaine, I asked you to tell me when it was a quarter to Y!".

The book is a cute concept, is well put together with lovely production.  However, to suit my tastes, the captions would have been much more biting, irreverent, and profanity laced.  But that's just me.  No offense.  This is a lovely G rated version of sarcasm and worth a few chuckles.

I welcome you to visit the website listed above and check it out.

Phew.  Got through it.  Molly, perhaps you could give a review of my first review?  Or anyone else for that matter. 

Now that I'm becoming a writing prostitute, I welcome anyone else to ask me to review something.  However, ask at your own risk, if I'm in a mood I may "release the hounds"!  Smooches!


  1. Great review! It sounds like a nice fun summer read. Sometimes, cute works. I'm like you- I'd have gone the snarky route if it had been my book.
    Where can we get this book?

  2. The book is available by going to www.catalogliving.net or Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Penguin. Thanks!

  3. See, it wasn't so bad was it? Just a little pinch and over before you know it! They say the first time is always the hardest. I remember the first time I sold my soul to write health care IT blogs... Luckily the guy still respects me.

    I'd comment more, but I have two articles on catheter nerve blocks due...

    Fellow Writing Prostitute

    1. Well I've gotten paid for plenty of writing before, just never used my personal blog for pimping someone else's stuff. Hell, I've written SEO stuff up the wazoo on the most mundane things, but this is different.

  4. We've been misled. This isn't prostitution, because you weren't paid. You're still innocent. (ahem). Well, kinda. So, instead of becoming witness to some blogging travesty, we've just opened the unlocked door on a simple tryst between you and a book ... but on a good note, it was good enough that I kept the door open for a while and just watched.

    Geez, there's no way to say that any better.

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