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Book news: dirty, dirty, dirty

April 1, 2009 |  8:26 am


On May 5, Found magazine will put out a new book, "Requiem for a Paper Bag." Like its other books, "Requiem" will be full of found items, although there's a twist. This time, the magazine has asked people you've heard of  — Sarah Vowell, Chuck D, David Simon, Susan Orlean, Patton Oswalt, Tom Robbins, Dave Eggers, Andy Samberg, Miranda July, Jonathan Lethem, Chuck Klosterman, Andrew Bird and more — for their stories of things found. Found will post some of the responses on its website and has started with Seth Rogan's story of found — and cherished — porn.

Bookninja would prefer you not submit porn to its book remasculinization contest. It has launched the contest in response to an article in the Guardian that suggested that to create more avid male readers, "publishers [should] band together and make a concentrated effort to re-masculate reading." Bookninja is asking people to either create imaginary book covers or simply reimagine the books themselves, as in, for example, "Beloved," by Toni Morrison becomes "Beloved Patriots," by Tony Morrison: One man’s quest to follow the NFL team he loves to every game during the 07-08 season." Send Bookninja your (porn-free) entries.

Fashion entrepreneur Kelly Cutrone, widely known for her stint as the mean boss on "The Hills," has signed a book deal. It's a girl's-guide-to-life kind of thing, and while we'd like to repeat her exact phrasing, I'm afraid we'll have to leave that to Gawker.

Critic James Marcus is taken by essayist Eula Biss' "Notes From No Man's Land," particularly her swift dispensation of the history of Barbie, which explains how one toy designer made her go from slattern to safely feminine.

In 1959, Mattel introduced a doll that was, unlike most dolls marketed for children, not a baby doll. This doll had breasts and makeup and was modeled after a doll sold in Germany as a gag gift for grown men. The man who designed the American version of the doll, a man who had formerly designed Sparrow and Hawk missiles for the Pentagon and was briefly married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, was charged with making the new Barbie look less like a "German street walker," which he attempted in part by filing off her nipples.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Kr B via flickr