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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?

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