Odd and downright bizarre

This is the time of year when its hard to pick up a magazine or newspaper without spotting some article along the lines of  “perfect gifts to choose for your girlfriend/husband/mother/father/children etc.”  The only ones I pay any attention to are those focused on books (no surprise there). Among those I’ve seen recently the most odd recommendation has to be this. BendictCumberbatchAccording to the blurb this book contains 15 “amazing” cross stitch designs enabling you to bring Cumberbatch to life, “smouldering in a tuxedo, delivering a soliloquy as Hamlet, or photobombing.”

It certainly would make a change from the flowers, animals and landscape designs usually on offer for cross stitch fans. But I can’t imagine even a die hard Cumberbatch fan wanting his framed picture in cross stitch especially when you see from the back cover how some of those designs turn out. cumberbatch pattern

This could possibly be the worst book I’ve come across all year.

But even that oddity paled into insignificance when I opened the Sunday Times magazine today to find an article about a topless book club in New York. There is apparently a group of women who meet in Central Park or bars/cocktail clubs in the city, strip off their blouses/t shirts and bras and then proceed to read and discuss books.

No, this is not a publisher’s stunt to get publicity for their latest salacious rom-com offering. These women, all members of the Outdoor C0-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society are making a statement about equality it appears.

The group was formed four years ago when the women began to question why topless men were a common sight in the city while topless women were a rarity (presumably not rare in certain kinds of establishments). This despite the fact that according to a New York state law, both men and women have the right to be topless in public places. Their mission: “make reading sexy”. Their motto: “burn bras not books”.

The 200 plus members are also challenging the campaign of the city’s mayor who is waging a war against the topless, body-painted women who charge tourists for photographs in Times Square.

It’s less about the books than it is about boobs, one of their members told the Sunday Times. Their real aim is to desexualise women’s bodies, they just happen to also like reading.

If you fancy joining them (though Central Park at this time of the year might be a bit chilly) look up their website.

Have you come across any weird and bizarre book news this week? What would be your choice for the most odd book of the year?

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on November 29, 2015, in Sunday Salon and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Just as you think you’ve heard it all…

  2. O my goodness, Benedict Cumberstich! That is absolutely hilarious! I wish I knew someone I could give it to.

  3. Not this year. But several years ago I saw a book at The Big Book Sale at the library. It was a long out-of-print book entitled “The Story of Cutlery.” I, of course, had to have it. Imagine someone being so hooked on the subject of cutlery that years would be spent researching the subject! Perhaps not odd, but certainly quirky. Wonderful find.

  4. Thank goodness I didn’t get round to the magazine section this week! I can only hope that The Bears didn’t read it.

  5. So after a lot of serious testing, do bras spontaneously combust at Fahrenheit 451? What would Guy Montag have made of this?

  6. Ha! I don’t think I could top this – very entertaining!

  7. How interesting!

  8. This was definitely the funniest blog post I’ve read this year! The Cumberbatch pattern at the front looks like a photofit from Crimewatch – in fact, I think you’d struggle to guess who most of them were! Speaking of gift guides, it’s not them I like to read but the broadsheets lists of the best books of the year, which always ends up with me brandishing a long list of books I’ve missed. But this year I’m going to order any I want from the library! Please don’t tell me The Sunday Times started theirs today, as I totally forgot to get one….! Anyway, thanks for the giggles!

    • If I were Cumberbatch I think I would sue for destroying my image – the middle pattern is truly awful. sorry to be the bearer of the bad news that yes indeed the Sunday Times started their best books of 2015 this week – second half is next week I believe.

  9. I’m not a fan of Cumberbatch…so that book is not a potential one for me or my friends…LOL. The topless book club? That is definitely not something I would expect to see in Central Park.

    Thanks for sharing these interesting tidbits, though. LOL

  10. No way could I even begin to come close to or top these two oddities, Karen! Thanks for the chuckle, however! 🙂 I guess I rather enjoy my humdrum life by comparison! 🙂

  11. Those cross stitch patterns look awful!

  12. This made me laugh out loud and shiver! I’ve just come back from seeing Cumberbatch as Hamlet at the cinema (NT Live). I thought he was very good but I definitely do not crave a version of him in cross stitch!

  13. I haven’t come across any really bizarre books like this – however there were a few mildly bizarre bits in Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last, I thought.

  14. Erk! Both of those leave me speechless! 🙂

    • The cross stitch one must surely be a self published book. I can’t imagine any self respecting publishing house wanting to be associated with something so poor

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