Covers, Time Capsules, Cover Models, and Wrestlers: Links!

Links! Things to read on Friday afternoon! Admit it, you're ready to go home now, right? I hear you. 

First up: I'm over at Kirkus today, talking about how a lot of book covers look very similar because There's Only One Shade of Cover Art now:

Because the Fifty Shades of Grey covers were so distinct and so very, very not romance-like, and, obviously, so successful, there's been a lot of Shadesesque cover art of late.

If there's a stock photograph of a monochrome close-up on some fashion accessory possibly carried by a dude, chances are, it's been on a book cover. Considering how many people bought Fifty Shades of Grey (and according to Bookscan, that number was over 6.5 million copies sold as of December 30, 2012) there's an understandable desire on the part of anyone involved in book publishing to grab the attention of at least some of those people who bought those 6.5 million copies. And if you're looking to send a message that one book is much like another at a glance, you go for similar art.

Someday we'll see new more better and different covers, but who knows what they'll look like. Probably two hands holding an apple. Or some nailclippers!

This story has taken up residence in my brain and is not leaving: a time capsule from 1913 was opened this week in Oklahoma. A church raised money for a new organ by creating a time capsule, and the artifacts and pieces of history from 1913 that were hidden in the Century Chest were amazing. Have a look at the pictures – I think there will be some women fighting over that hat.

This tickles my brain in so many ways. I love that the time capsule sent coffee to the future – because the people of Oklahoma in 1913 were some SMART PEOPLE. There were letters to the descendants of some families, phonograph recordings, and a telephone. I love that the telephone cord was green. I've only seen pictures of them in black and white and seeing pieces of history in color was incredible. I love that the governor and mayor of the state and the town in 1913 left letters, which were read by the current governor and mayor. Most of all, I love that this fundraiser rested on the assured faith that in 100 years, there would be people in that church, in that place, and that their families and town and the state of Oklahoma would be there. It's amazing.

The pieces of the time capsule will be part of an exhibit at the Oklahoma Historical Society this fall. Oklahoma, I will so be visiting you this year. 

I'm sort of tempted to propose a similar project at my synagogue, but that might mean being put on a committee -or God forbid, a task force!

If you were to choose an artifact of your life to represent you to the world 100 years from now in 2113, what would you chose? Would it be a romance? A letter? What would you put in a time capsule for the future?

Brianna Beattie sent me this incredible link to photographs of some wrestlers: “They pumped iron for the ladies.” It's just excellent. Enjoy. Grab some tanning oil. 

Author Vicki Essex has started a campaign to get Canadian actor Tahmoh Penikett to pose for Harlequin covers – specifically her own. Even more awesome: he's agreed via Twitter, but only if he gets to sport some rockin' “Fabio hair.” So now Essex has coordinated a petition to make this magic happen. 

I love this plan! I so hope this happens. 

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Janice says:

    When you work from home at least part of the time, Friday afternoon isn’t anything special. In fact, I have a whole stack of exams still to mark so this blog-reading break is extra short but, hey, who can resist the idea of Tahmoh Penikett as romance cover model? Someone get working on the hair for this to happen!

  2. 2
    Lindlee says:

    I want the shoes!!! I may have to take me a little trip to Oklahoma also. I live in Arkansas, so I can make it a weekend get away. Finally geography works in my favor!

  3. 3
    Katie Lynn says:

    I am in love with the picture on that magazine. So on point for the style of the time (heck, I’d wear that today if I could get my hands on it!).

    In rather infuriating news, someone at Wikipedia tried to make female American authors less important than men: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/25/wikipedia-women-american-novelists

  4. 4

    Oh _man_, fifty points to House Penikett! :D I did quite like Helo in BSG, delighted to hear Mr. Penikett is himself clearly seriously awesome.

    Also: wow, the time capsule is VERY cool as well. I think if I were to put something into one to represent me, I’d be hard pressed to choose between my laptop and my Irish flute.

  5. 5
    Amanda says:

    HELO! I would buy those books. I don’t care what they’re about. I will buy them. Some one, please make this happen.

    Also, where do I put in a bid for the telephone? That’s a pretty awesome time capsule.

  6. 6
    Silver James says:

    SB Sarah, if you come to Oklahoma, I’ll take you out for steak dinner. At Cattlemen’s. In Stockyards City. There are cowboys. And OKC has many really awesome things, including a world-class art museum, other museums, and cool places to see, do, and eat. My DD interned at the Oklahoma Historical Society while working on her masters. She’s sad she couldn’t get her hands on these artifacts but she’s working as a corporate historian now. :(

    And holy wow! How have I never heard of Tahmoh Penikett before now! I must rectify this failing immediately!

  7. 7
    hapax says:

    The object that I would choose to represent me in a time capsule would definitely be my bestselling novel.

    (If I get around to writing it within the next hundred years, that is.)

    To represent our culture in its entire profundity, diversity, wisdom, and wit—obviously a complete collection of LOLCats.

  8. 8
    Dread Pirate Rachel says:

    The time capsule photos gave me chills. It’s incredible to see those sorts of daily-life artifacts, perfectly preserved. I couldn’t get past how vibrant the colors still are. What an amazing project.

  9. 9
    kimsmith says:

    I would leave a disk of my photos, plus prints, because, well, they may not be able to read a cd in the future, and hopefully they’ll still have eyes that can see the prints.  Maybe.  If not, then dogs will probably have evolved enough to be able to enjoy my photos.  Mostly of my dog.

    Dog of the future:  “Ha!  Look at the style on that puppy!”
    Other Dog of the future:  “Do you think he knows he’s naked?”

  10. 10
    Raven Ames says:

    Thanks for putting up the photos – I read about the time capsule, but hadn’t yet seen any pictures – they’re incredible. It’s so easy to think of people in the past as something different than what we are today, but remove the barriers of time and technology and we’re all just the same. And where can I get one of those green-corded phones?! So cool.

  11. 11
    Karen H near Tampa says:

    I don’t even wear hats (they never look right with my glasses) but I want that hat! It is totally gorgeous! And so is Tahmoh Penikett whom I had never heard of (I don’t watch much TV). What a loss for me.  I checked him out on IMDB and there’s a pic of him in a suit that would be perfect for a Harlequin billionaire cover. But I could work with him shirtless, too.

    As for a time capsule, I think I’d put in my Kindle Fire with its 3000+ books as a representation of me. While most of the books are romance, I have other books as well and since I’ve been a “professional” reader (I have always read way too much to be only an amateur) forever, I think that would represent me well.

  12. 12
    library addict says:

    I have no idea what I would put in a time capsule to represent me. But the contents of that time capsule are cool. I never thought about telephone cords being a different color either.

  13. 13
    Aziza says:

    Like the time capsule items, the Library of Congress’s collection of early color photographs bring new meaning to the phrase “in living color.”

    From the LOC description: “Between 1939 and 1944, government photography units within the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) produced the approximately 1,600 color photographs shown here…[t]he photographs depicted life and culture in the U.S., with a focus on factories and women employees, railroads, aviation training, and other aspects of World War II mobilization.”

    I’d like to add that I’ll be glad to wear the hat while talking on the phone and flipping through the magazine. (I suspect one needs both hands to use that phone, but we 21st centurians know how to multitask.)

  14. 14
    CarrieS says:

    Way to go, Agent Ballard!

  15. 15
    clew says:

    Oh, the references to the Chickasaw Nation and its Great Seat and governor were fascinating —was the book not in English in Chickasaw? That’s a lot more inter-cultural activity than I would have *assumed* for 1913. Although, as someone smarter than me put it, there is and was always the option to be a decent human being.

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