Showing posts with label book riot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book riot. Show all posts


Scratch And Sniff Books For Grown-Ups

This post originally appeared on Book Riot in 2014.

Every November I find myself getting incredibly nostalgic for the one Thanksgiving book I remember reading as a child: Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry DevlĂ­n. The really great thing about this particular picture book wasn't the scruffy, gruff captain or the prim, uptight grandmother- it was the scratch-and-sniff aspect. In retrospect, I'm fairly certain our copy was a second-hand edition that probably mostly smelled like paper, ink, and mild mildew by the time it came our way, but I loved the interactive quality of the scratch-and-sniff. Scratch-and-sniff is an underutilized gimmick when it comes to books, but they do still exist, though mostly for children. But they're not all intended for the kiddos. I've rounded up some of the best PG-13 scratch-and-sniff titles for your olfactory pleasure.

DK has put out a their fair share of scratch-and-sniff board books over the years, generally aimed at the still-in-diapers set. But nine-year-old boys, and far more overgrown children will surely appreciate the grosser-than-a-bogey-flavoured-bean The Truly Tasteless Scratch & Sniff BookThis book is disgusting, fascinating, and nauseating. Scents include feces, vomit, halitosis, and gas and are all accompanied by the science behind their foulness. Proceed with caution with this one.

Backstage with Beth and Trina: A Scratch-and-Sniff Adventure by Julie Blattberg. Because who doesn't want a scratch-and-sniff representation of their bad decisions? These scents aren't all pretty; strawberry lipgloss and leather compete with stale beer, smoke, and vomit. No guarantees you won't experience a major, and possibly traumatic, flashback from this one.

My First Book of Smells and Colours: Garden by Orianne Lallemand might be intended for kids, but with clean, poppy design and authentic herb and veggie aromas, wouldn't it make a lovely gift for the home gardener in your life? The smells include rose, lilac, fir tree, onion, strawberry, lavendar, and mint. Other titles in this series are Fruit (strawberry, orange, cherry, apple, peach, banana, and coconut), and Kitchen by Zade Zade (chocolate, banana, onion, vanilla, grapefruit, mint, mango).
The Smelly Old History series by Mary Dobson takes an interesting approach to engaging the reader with history. The series includes Victorian VapoursReeking RoyalsMedieval MuckWartime WhiffsGreek Grime, Mouldy Mummies, Tudor Oudors, Roman Aromas, and Vile Vikings, among others. These books are heavier on text and actually history than on scratch-and-sniff panels, but the combo of history and grotesque aromas is so appealing in its weirdness.

The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That by Richard Betts is one of the most practical uses of scratch-and-sniff technology I've ever seen. This is just brilliant. You can learn genuinely useful skills from this book! It uses the scents to walk your nose through the basic noses: the woods, the fruits, and the earths allowing you to impress people right out of their pants at your next party.

Instant Touch: A Tropical Scratch and Sniff by Belly Kids features some stunning upcoming illustrators' interpretations of your basic fruits (grape, cherry, watermelon, etc.) along with the accompanying aroma. This is as much a piece of sweetly-scented art as it is a children's book. Whether coffee table or nursery bound, it's a multi-sensory experience worth having.

Finally, Harley Quinn Annual #1. It's been dubbed rub-and-smell instead of scratch-and-sniff for legal reasons, but I think it comes off as uber creepy, so I'm henceforth refusing to ever use the term rub-and-smell again. This reboot of Punkin's psychotic right-hand gal is centered around Harley attempting to jailbreak Poison Ivy out of Arkham when she is taken down by a powerful hallucinogen. An Ivy/Harley comic heavy on the nonsense and with scented, fourth-wall-breaking asides from the anti-heroine.


Book Style: Dracula

This post originally appeared on Book Riot in 2014.


Dracula is THE classic monster novel. The salacious sexuality of the story and of the titular character have been drawing readers, and later moviegoers, by the hundreds for over a century now. While classically depicted in black and white with captivating touches of blood red, this edition from Penguin let me explore a more flamboyant costume for a Lady Dracula (with Winona’s Mina firmly in mind).

There’s a lot going on here, so let’s start with base layers. Sex appeal and vampires go hand-in-hand, so sumptuous lingerie was a must and this “Bat Your Lashes” bra and panty set is kind of perfect. Yellow tights for a kick of color and because, vampire or no, a lady does not expose bare legs to the public. Next up, a silky blouse with a necktie that evokes a gentleman’s cravat, and a flouncy bustled skirt – I know a proper Victorian lady would not be sporting anything above-the-knee, but when scaling buildings to assault woo your love, you need mobility. Some spiky “London” brogues and a lush, fur-collared “Mina” coat complete the main ensemble.

Let’s run through all of the blood-thirsty accessories, too: A Dracula necklace, stake earrings, fang knuckleduster ring, crimson “Blooming Love” engagement ring, “Paranormal” UV reactive nail lacquer, and a batty clutch polish off our Lady Dracula.


Book Style: Heart Of Darkness

This post originally appeared on Book Riot in 2014.

Heart Of Darkness

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has proven to be perpetually controversial, first for its chastisement of colonialism and native subjugation and exploitation, and later for stereotyping race. Personally, while horribly racist in his description and treatment of native characters, I applaud Conrad for trying to bring attention to a horrible system, even if it focused a bit too much on the plight of the white protagonists/antagonists. A book like this will never be written again, for a variety of reasons, and, thanks in part to Apocalypse Now’s enduring popularity, it will continue to be read for years to come.

I wasn’t channeling a particular character this time around. This outfit is mostly inspired by this epically haunting cover design and the West African setting of the novel. The key elements of this outfit are an ethically sourced: an “Africa” print jacket and an easy, travel-friendly jumpsuit. Some “Congo” sandals and “Arrow” purse add the necessary (in my book anyway) gleam, while a silky scarf adds some warmth (or additional protection from mosquitoes). In the jewelry category, we have a pair of ivory skull studs, Africa earrings, an ivory bangle, a rifle necklace, and a “Slave Chain” ring. A pop of “African Violet” nail lacquer finishes up this look.


Book Style: Dorothy Must Die

The post originally appeared on Book Riot in 2014.

Dorothy Must Die

I adore a great reimagining of a beloved story. Wicked was the first Oz rewrite, but it wasn’t the last. (We’ll just leave the “best” debate out of this discussion, shall we?) Danielle Paige’s new series kicks off with Dorothy Must Die and transports us back to Oz with Amy Gumm, or “Salvation Amy” to her cruel classmates. The Oz Amy’s twister transports her and her trailer to is vastly different from the Oz Baum introduced us to in his classic tales. This Oz is being slowly destroyed as Dorothy, who managed to find her way back after Kansas wasn’t as glamorous as she desired, and Glinda, are mining too deep and too often for magic. Amy soon finds herself recruited by the Bad side to assassinate the horrid Dorothy and stop this madness. But is bad actually good or not? And what has happened to Ozma? You must read this one if you have a soft spot for Oz. Or just love a good twist on a classic tale. I would apologize for the cliffhanger, but I’m suffering right along with you.

While Amy wears many different guises, and sometimes faces, in the book, I went with her soul here and chose a laidback outfit a midwest teen might actually choose. Gingham was a must, although stealing Dorothy’s signature blue felt wrong. Some well worn jeans would be standard in Amy’s thrift shop wardrobe and adding the flash-style “Mom” patch seemed appropriate given the underlying message of family at the series heart. The shimmer-finish Converse are, of course, a nod to the ruby slippers. A (kick-ass) hat and “Stay All Day” lipgloss add some drama, perfect for such a dramatic landscape, and should also help equip Amy to deal with the unpredictable length of days in Oz. A black magic necklace and “Which is Witch?” nail lacquer are apropos tie-ins to the coalition of bad witches she finds herself part of. The lion satchel and twister ring should be self-explanatory. As should the charms: A trailer, a lion, a witch’s hat, and a sparkly (and teeteringly high) shoe.


Book Style: The Invisible Man

This post originally appeared on Book Riot in 2014.

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man is possibly one of my favorite classic “monster “novel/ellas because Griffin, a.k.a. the Invisible Man, isn’t a monster at all; at least not a supernatural one. He’s human, a brilliant and evil human, which is combination that is ,by far, way creepier than anything else could ever be in my book. I love how well this Penguin edition conveys the subject without resorting to actual bandages on the cover!

Once again, I’ve gone the gender-swap route with the main antagonist: Lady Invisible Man. She needs to be covered head to toe lest we perceive that she’s not actually all there, but I didn’t go full balaclava level coverage because I figured that some (implied) substantial makeup and full cascading wig would create enough distraction once combined with everything I did provide our main mad doctor. Let’s start at the toes and work upward shall we? Opaque tights and over-the-knee boots take care of the legs and feet. A bandage skirt (get it?) fit for an actress gives absolute coverage the lower half. The top portion of the outfit includes elbow length gloves, a vibrant blouse and a dramatic cape. An ample scarf and a wide-brimmed hat offer additional coverage, along with some theater-worthy sunglasses. I also provided our lady villain with an invisible clutch and optics-inspired bangle.


Book Style for Book Riot 

Book Style is going to be a regular feature over on Book Riot. I'm beyond excited about this. (I'll admit I've applied before to be a contributor and never heard back, so being asked to contribute is huge for me!!!) I'll be doing a monthly link up to my Book Riot posts and still featuring some unique Book Styles here, so no worries.

In case you missed the first two: 

Go check them out now. Now I said. Now!!!

I've got some more great stuff coming down the pipeline soon. Stay tuned.