Thursday, 24 April 2008

And another thing..

Is there something fundamentally ironic about the fact that there's an International Festival of Taste held annually in Dubai?

Since they stopped using artificial colours in Smarties they're rather muddy-coloured and unattractive...

Whenever they advertise something on television saying "Everybody's talking about it!" you can pretty much guarantee that nobody is and they're frantically trying to remedy this...

Putting a "Richard & Judy" or "Daily Mail Book Club" sticker on the front of a book automatically guarantees that half the people who pick it up to look at it will have a doubtful wince on their face.

Have Delia and Nigella frankly lost it? if I want to cook with Smash, branded Emmenthal or marshmallows I'll read the back of the packet, thanks.

12 comments:

Brother Tobias said...

Oh you are so right about the book club sticker business! Who wants to look as if they're being told what to read, quite apart from the 'if they like it I don't think I'm going to' factor. How do you choose? I go a lot by which papers did the reviews, and avoid anything with the words 'heart-warming' or 'saga' in the blurb.

lucyfishwife said...

Tragically for a bookseller I am still to a certain extent guided by the cover - to the point where I was re-reading a very old fave ("Doctors Wear Scarlet" by Simon Raven) and had to put a brown paper wrapper on it as it was an old 70s edition with an irrelevent semi-naked female vampire on the front (I should just point out here that while it IS strictly speaking a novel with vampires in it, it's not Hammer House of Horror...). I mostly like books that no book club would ever choose (ie a novel in the form of a dictionary, or somesuch pretentious twaddle). You're right about the paper doing the reviews being relevant - and I also avoid books described as "harrowing" or "true-life".. and ESPECIALLY true crime!

lucyfishwife said...

PS do I get points for my cavalier spelling of the word "irrelevant"?

yorkshire mantua maker said...

I don't buy much new fiction these days - but now I think about it, the last few novels I've read were on the recommendation of Mrs Fishwife and very good they were too. So I'm very grateful to her for saving me so much time, I'd never have read them otherwise. Biography is the thing for me lately - the Mary Wesley was fab and now I'm thinking about the Sartre & de Beauvoir thing that's just had loads of reviews.

Brother Tobias said...

Ten points. I haven't worked out how to correct spellos in comments. It's embarressing.

lucyfishwife said...

My favourite biog is still "Hons and Rebels" by Jessica Mitford - fantastic Red role model that she was.. although I read the Elizabeth Jane Howard one recently and quite liked it. Fiction is my love though...

lucyfishwife said...

PS -
BT; I always try and peel the stickers off anyway! Messy though it is.

YMM; Oh how I LOVE your name. Weirdly enough I was leafing through an etymological dictionary recently (as I often do..) and looked at the word "mantua". Do you also make fichus and doublets? How is Lyme this time of year?

mantua maker said...

Just using the term to mean "classy dressmaker". They says there's a market for making clothes for the historical reenactment people but I can't be doing with farthingales and panniers (don't mind boning corsets though). Having to do it all from Leeds as I can't fit the machines into the house in Lyme - it's like Mike Baldwin's factory here... By the way, how's the muff coming along?

The Poet Laura-eate said...

What a great idea Lucy - get a sticker saying 'As recommended by Richard and Judy' or 'As read on Radio 4' printed in bulk and stick them on your new book.

Who's going to check?

I must suggest this to my writer's group as our second anthology is due out next month!

lucyfishwife said...

Tragically "As read on Radio 4" has the opposite effect and will guarantee triple sales. Around here, anyway... That's West London for you... I might try sticking a few on "PLEASE DADDY NO" and see if that helps sales though!
(My new fave title is "Daddy's Little Earner" - no, sadly we don't stock it..)

mantua maker said...

You're right about Radio 4. I once worked in the classics section of the Paperback Shop in Oxford and one day a stream of well-dressed, well-spoken people came in asking for Resurrection by Tolstoy. Eventually I found out that it had been recommended by John Mortimer on A Good Read the day before. He'd said that all good barristers should have read this book.

lucyfishwife said...

My personal favourite was when some "DaVinci Code"-esque book was published (The Book Of Four??or something) and its central MYSTERY was based around the "Hypnerotomachia Poliphilii" - try saying that after a few Manhattans - and the number of people who wanted a copy was astonishing - particularly given that it's really a quite dull read..