November 2009

A guest post from StephAnie MeyerS, our own vampire expert

  • About the author EB
  • November 20, 2009

Here at Harper Perennial we sometimes get mail for this lady, Stephenie Meyer, who you may know as the author of the Twilight saga.


We’re not Stephenie’s publisher (sadly), so why on earth does this happen? Well, it’s because of this awesome chick.


She’s one of our editors, and her name is Stephanie Meyers. So in honor of today’s opening of New Moon, the Olive Reader is delighted to bring you a different perspective on the Twilight saga—that of someone for whom it is often inconvenient and downright annoying, especially since she’s not so much of a Bella-and-Edward fan herself.

“My name is Stephanie Meyers. No, not that one. You might notice the difference in spelling (StephAnie MeyerS)—or you might be like the dozens of people following me on Twitter who don’t pay attention to such small details. More people get confused by this than you’d think, especially because I work in book publishing. I regularly get her fan mail, although she isn’t a HarperCollins author. Once, a particularly industrious fan actually called me, and was intensely excited for about 10 seconds when I said, yes, I’m Stephanie Meyers—oh, wait. No, not that one.

To be fair, this isn’t the worst name-doppelganger out there. It’s not like Monica Lewinsky or Spencer Pratt. Still, it does mean that I have to talk about the other Stephenie. A lot. A LOT. I wouldn’t mind so much if I, like many of my friends, were obsessed with Twilight. But my heart has long belonged to a different fanged, immortal, delicious creature of the night: Angel.

Yes, I am a hardcore Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I’m not officially admitting anything, but it’s possible that I own every DVD and know every single word to the musical episode. I might have once watched the entire series in only four months, which might have caused me to say at least once in every conversation, “This reminds me of that Buffy episode where…” But—and this is important, Twilight fans—that’s only possible because there IS a Buffy episode that speaks to every moment in life. Every single sad, joyful, terrifying, awkward, in-love-with-a-demon, about-to-be-sucked-into-a-Hellmouth moment you can imagine.

Not to knock the other Stephenie, but so much more happens in one episode of Buffy than in 100 pages of Twilight. Buffy is exciting! It’s funny! Its heroine kicks ass instead of tripping on herself. The dialogue is amazing because Joss Whedon is a genius. (And it’s also against pre-marital sex, although a little more entertainingly, if that’s your thing.)

So, for those of you convinced that Bella and Edward are the greatest human-vampire love story of our time, I challenge you. Watch Seasons 2 and 3 of Buffy. Then, once you’ve pulled yourself together from the most intense and wonderful 1,980 minutes of your life, you can thank me with some fan mail of my own, addressed to this Stephanie Meyers—not that one.

why we love our sales department (cute kitten edition)

  • About the author EB
  • November 18, 2009

They send us links to things like this:

Harper Perennial Pets Presents… HENRY

  • About the author CS
  • November 17, 2009

Meet Henry:


Henry’s greatest joys including waking up his cat-mom (marketing coordinator Cathy Serpico) before sunrise, sitting in the tub after his housemates have gotten out of the shower, putting the moves on his love rug, and occasionally forgetting where he is and meowing his head off. If he isn’t receiving enough attention, (and if you’re home and he’s not sitting on your lap, he is not getting enough attention) Henry will happily impress you with his mountaineering skills by climbing up your leg.

Favorite book: T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Cats
Favorite food: Whatever Cathy is eating
Favorite place: On top of whatever Cathy is trying to read
Life Goal: Getting fur on every article of clothing in existence; giving the world a head-butt of love.

When we throw the Harper Perennial Pets Ice Cream Social, Henry will likely keep to himself in the corner in his alpha-catness and his unwillingness to share his love rug with anyone, but that shouldn’t stop you from walking up and introducing yourself. He’s into you making the first move. Especially if you’re wearing dark pants he can brush up on.

a fight to the death

  • About the author EB
  • November 16, 2009

Check out this video of Charlie Haas, our friend and author of The Enthusiast, at Literary Death Match in San Francisco. Charlie read this same scene when he visited NYC, and I have to say it’s one of my favorites in the book.

Sadly, though he advanced past the first round, Charlie did not win; he was felled by a game of musical chairs.

And for those of you who are also here in NYC, there’s another literary death match coming up on November 19, with Harper Perennial author Teddy Wayne.

must we twilight-ify everything?

  • About the author EB
  • November 11, 2009

For the Shelf Discovery challenge, some of us will be reading (and re-reading) Flowers in the Attic, that classic of incest and being locked in an attic. When I first read this book at age 11 (yes, I know this was probably too early), this is what the cover looked like:


But now there’s a new cover, and it looks like this:


Look, I love Twilight, but does everything need to look like it now? I was cool with the Wuthering Heights makeover because it seemed like it’s goal was to bring Twilight fans to the classics, a very worthy cause. But though Flowers in the Attic could be considered a love story, I just don’t know how I feel about it. At least there’s four flowers to represent the four children, though.

And at least it isn’t this:


I’m sorry, that’s just a little too lovey-dovey for a story about incest. Flowers in the Attic is not the inspiring romance that this cover might lead someone to believe it is.

What do you think? Is it time to stop putting wilting roses and shiny apples on book covers? And is there anyone else out there who got in trouble for reading Flowers in the Attic in school and passing it to all their friends?

the given day . . . and night!

  • About the author EB
  • November 10, 2009

Dennis Lehane on Craig Ferguson=hilarious. Worth ten minutes listening while you work.

naked girls reading

  • About the author EB
  • November 09, 2009

Warning: The website I am about to discuss has some naked breasts on it. Don’t freak out.

Naked Girls Reading stages events in major cities across the US with (shockingly enough) naked women reading books. They’ve already done several, including one in honor of banned books week, and will soon be doing a nude reading of A Christmas Carol in honor of the holiday. They read sexy books (Lady Chatterley’s Lover) and non-sexy books (Oh the Places You’ll Go!) As their about page says:

Naked Girls Reading is a group of beautiful ladies who love to read…naked. That’s really it. There’s not a whole lot more to it. Should there be?

I mean, sure, we also like to do it in front all of you voyeurs via photos, videos and very special live events, but you don’t have to look for something larger here – something pretentious or even seedy. Once you experience it, you’ll stop asking so many questions and just let the concept take you.

There’s something beautiful, something altogether more intimate, about a woman reading pretty much anything in her, well, altogether. It’s just that simple. So why are we still talking about it? Because people can’t seem to accept its simplicity.

I’m posting about this tonight not necessarily because I think it’s something some of our readers will enjoy (though some of you undoubtedly will) or because I want to get some angry comments (like when I posted about fuck yeah puppies), but because I can’t make up my mind about it. It all seems very rah-rah reading, until you get to the part about how Naked Girls Reading is related to the Naked Girls Book Club, a members-only site with videos of some of the Naked Girls and other salacious content that charges (a small) fee.

What do you all think? Let’s discuss!

more bookmaking!

  • About the author EB
  • November 05, 2009

To continue from our lovely homemade book post from yesterday, here’s a video of an equally awesome book creation:

harper perennial how-to: bookmaking 101

  • About the author EB
  • November 03, 2009

One of our editors recently sent me some photos of a book she had made. Yes, made. Not in a class, just in her house, on a random bored weekend afternoon. So I asked her to explain to you, olive reader readers, how she did it.

I’ve been told by my mother that I was born with scissors and a gluestick (some might say “cray-zay” glue) in my hands, and I recently put this old bit of family lore to the test. Surrounded as I am at my job by impressive feats of paper engineering – – the lovely books on our shelves – – I figured, why not make one myself?

In my quest to build a book from scratch, I thankfully stumbled across Alisa Golden’s Expressive Handmade Books – – a fantastic guide for the journey. After printing my text on paper torn against a ruler (to give it the rough edge), I folded my pages in groups of eight and stitched the batches together. To make the hardcover case, I speedily applied glue to three pieces of board and wrapped them in a scrap of fabric – – thereby turning glue, my former birthright, into my sort-of, like, frenemy. I then attached the case to the text block using the maroon-colored endpapers.

It’s the perfect one-day project – – unless you’re me, and you spend most of the afternoon wrestling with your printer output settings. Then it’s a two-day project that involves frustrated fist-shaking and replenishment of calories lost during frustrated fist-shaking via baking detour into Ree Drummond’s new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I mean, you can’t really have the word “bookmaking” without the B, A, K, I, N, or G, can you?

And at a whopping 2.75” wide and 5.5” tall, it makes the pocket-perfect Olive Editions look boldly XXL.




because everything is better in a unitard

  • About the author CS
  • November 02, 2009

… and because in my head this is now the Headless Horseman’s side job. if only he had a pumpkin-headed cat sidekick dancing with him…

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