Around the Shop, On the Shelf 5/01/15

Walking through the store the other day, a stack of books piled high in one arm and ready for reshelving, a bookseller’s eye was drawn to the cover of a book that was faced out on a shelf. She set down her stack and pulled the book off the shelf and investigated.

It’s a story told often, the draw of a striking cover discovered on a bookstore shelf. It happens to booksellers as often as it does anyone else. In that spirit, we’ll be highlighting some of the books that adorn our shelves with a striking allure every Friday over on our instagram feed. Here are a few covers that grabbed our attention this week.

 

Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series by Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdman

Cover design by Sara Corbett

Case Photography by Geoff Spear

Ever since “Star Trek “first aired on television in 1966, the series has had a strong influence on pop culture. In 1976, due to the show’s rising popularity in syndication, Topps released a series of collectible trading cards featuring full-color images from the classic television series created by Gene Roddenberry, as well as synopses and information on the cast and crew of the “Starship Enterprise.” This first-ever compilation includes the fronts and backs of all 88 cards and 22 rare and hard-to-find stickers (which were originally sold one per pack), as well as text and commentary by “Star Trek “insiders Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann–guaranteed to please the die-hard Trekkie as well as a whole new generation of fans.

 

Mort(e) by Robert Repino

Interior Illustrations by Sam Chung @ A-men Project

Interior Design by Janine Agro

The “war with no name” has begun, with human extinction as its goal. The instigator of this war is the Colony, a race of intelligent ants who, for thousands of years, have been silently building an army that would forever eradicate the destructive, oppressive humans. Under the Colony’s watchful eye, this utopia will be free of the humans’ penchant for violence, exploitation and religious superstition. The final step in the Colony’s war effort is transforming the surface animals into high-functioning two-legged beings who rise up to kill their masters.
Former housecat turned war hero, Mort(e) is famous for taking on the most dangerous missions and fighting the dreaded human bio-weapon EMSAH. But the true motivation behind his recklessness is his ongoing search for a pre-transformation friend—a dog named Sheba. When he receives a mysterious message from the dwindling human resistance claiming Sheba is alive, he begins a journey that will take him from the remaining human strongholds to the heart of the Colony, where he will discover the source of EMSAH and the ultimate fate of all of earth’s creatures.

 

Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll by Peter Bebergal

Book design by Lauren Kolm

This epic cultural and historical odyssey unearths the full influence of occult traditions on rock and roll–from the Beatles to Black Sabbath–and shows how the marriage between mysticism and music changed our world.
From the hoodoo-inspired sounds of Elvis Presley to the Eastern odysseys of George Harrison, from the dark dalliances of Led Zeppelin to the Masonic imagery of today’s hip-hop scene, the occult has long breathed life into rock and hip-hop–and, indeed, esoteric and supernatural traditions are a key ingredient behind the emergence and development of rock and roll.
With vivid storytelling and laser-sharp analysis, writer and critic Peter Bebergal illuminates this web of influences to produce the definitive work on how the occult shaped–and saved–popular music.
As Bebergal explains, occult and mystical ideals gave rock and roll its heart and purpose, making rock into more than just backbeat music, but into a cultural revolution of political, spiritual, sexual, and social liberation.

 

Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman: King of the B Movie by Chris Nashawaty

Designer: Jacob Covey / Unflown

Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses is an outrageously rollicking account of the life and career of Roger Corman—one of the most prolific and successful independent producers, directors, and writers of all time, and self-proclaimed king of the B movie. As told by Corman himself and graduates of “The Corman Film School,” including Peter Bogdanovich, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese, this comprehensive oral history takes readers behind the scenes of more than six decades of American cinema, as now-legendary directors and actors candidly unspool recollections of working with Corman, continually one-upping one another with tales of the years before their big breaks.
Crab Monsters is supplemented with dozens of full-color reproductions of classic Corman movie posters; behind-the-scenes photographs and ephemera (many taken from Corman’s personal archive); and critical essays on Corman’s most daring films—including The Intruder, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Big Doll House— that make the case for Corman as an artist like no other.

 

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

Designed by Jasmin Rubero

“Mo LoBeau–one half of the (probably) world-famous Desperado Detective Agency–is back.”
When Miss Lana winds up the mortified owner of an old inn with an unidentified ghost in the fine print, Mo’s itching to take the case. Plus, a “historical” ghost might make for some much needed Extra Credit in history. Who’s haunting the old inn? And why? Mo and Dale set out to solve their second big case–only to find the inn might not be the only thing in Tupelo Landing haunted by the past.
A laugh out loud, ghostly, Southern mystery that can be enjoyed by readers visiting Tupelo Landing for the first time, as well as those who are old friends of Mo and Dale.

 

Monstrous by Marcykate Connolly

Jacket art by Skottie Young

Hand lettering by David Coulson

Jacket design by Sarah Nichole Kaufman

The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.
Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.
Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.
And what he knows will change Kym’s life.

 

Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? by Karen Dawisha

Jacket design by Flag Tonuzi

Russian scholar Dawisha describes and exposes the origins of Putin’s kleptocratic regime. She presents extensive new evidence about the Putin circle’s use of public positions for personal gain even before Putin became president in 2000. She documents the establishment of Bank Rossiya, now sanctioned by the US; the rise of the Ozero cooperative, founded by Putin and others who are now subject to visa bans and asset freezes; the links between Putin, Petromed, and Putin’s Palace near Sochi; and the role of security officials from Putin’s KGB days in Leningrad and Dresden, many of whom have maintained their contacts with Russian organized crime.
Putin’s Kleptocracy is the result of years of research into the KGB and the various Russian crime syndicates. Dawisha’s sources include Stasi archives; Russian insiders; investigative journalists in the US, Britain, Germany, Finland, France, and Italy; and Western officials who served in Moscow. Russian journalists wrote part of this story when the Russian media was still free. Many of them died for this story, and their work has largely been scrubbed from the Internet, and even from Russian libraries, Dawisha says. But some of that work remains.

 

People Park by Pasha Malla

Cover design by Chris Tucker

It’s the Silver Jubilee of People Park, an urban experiment conceived by a radical mayor and zealously policed by the testosterone-powered New Fraternal League of Men. To celebrate, the insular island city has engaged the illustrationist Raven, who promises to deliver the most astonishing spectacle its residents have ever seen. As the entire island comes together for the event, we meet an unforgettable cross-section of its inhabitants, from activists to nihilists, art stars to athletes, families to inveterate loners. Soon, however, what has promised to be a triumph of civic harmony begins to reveal its shadow side. And when Raven’s illustration exceeds even the most extreme of expectations, the island is plunged into a series of unnatural disasters that force people to confront what they are really made of.

 

Book descriptions courtesy of the individual publishers.

 

 

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