Monday, March 15, 2010

no thoughtless post-structuralists here

Terri's sister gave us each a subscription to a magazine of our choice last year, and I chose The London Review of Books. I figured, hey, books and an international perspective sounds good. Every month or so, I get a large tabloid-sized magazine chock-full of super-smart essays about books. As a graphic designer, I know that a "wall of text" is the kiss of death for most people... but I absolutely LOVE opening this magazine and seeing nothing but gigantic blocks of text. No pictures (maybe a small illustration or a poem inserted here and there), no photos, very few ads... just intelligent discussions about books which are usually way out of my usual comfort zone. I used to try to read every article in the Review, but quickly realized I am just not that intellectual; now I just skim through and read the interesting ones, get the gist of the others, and read the ads.

The ads in the back are fantastic. I sort of want to get The New York Review of Books next year just because I think I'd be more familiar with the books and writers, but I would miss these fantastic ads:

Accommodation Available
"Double bedroom in Kennington. Space in a book-filled, relaxed flat. We have two balconies, occasional parties, vigorous private lives and a Polish cleaner with firm views. Longer rather than shorter stays preferred. No thoughtless post-structuralists."

Holiday Rental
"Our Apennine ponies are direct descendants of Gaulish war ponies who came to Italy to invade the Roman Empire and liked it so much they decided to stay. To see the attraction visit (two apartments with pool in North Tuscany and nobody gets put out to grass.)"

"It's true. I have more than 200 books about post-revolutionary Russia. It's my thing. I'm that guy. Write anyway."

"Man seeks woman to read The Hobbit with. Humans and Elves only; no Goblins."

"Difficult, discerning woman, six months out of six year relationship, forgotten how dating works, seeks intelligent, funny men to practice with. Timewasters welcome if sufficiently amusing/educational."

"There's usually an atmosphere of dread when I show up at a party. Not so the next one, when you accompany me as both my groom to be and my designated driver. Easily drunk, garrulous F, 41, prone to molesting the teenage sons of suburban dinner party hosts and crying over the petit fours. WLTM sober expert in public apology, to age 50."

Oh, so many more. The ads are almost the best part of the whole thing. The essays are almost too smart for me and are difficult to review, but the ads are right up my alley. I'll try to post some of the best ones as I see them.

Reading The Lace Reader for book club. It's pretty good but a little bit odd. However, kind of suits my mood. I could use a week by the lake with a pile of books. And a big stack of Reviews to chuckle over.


Stefanie said...

I subscribed to the LRB for awhile and loved the ads too. I like the NYRB and the TLS better, but the ads, nothing can beat the LRB ads!

Tammie said...

love these ads. although im still trying to figure out the "Polish cleaner with firm views." Firm views on what?

Daphne said...

Stef: yes, I think I would like the NYRB better, but the ads are so fun!

Tammie: I know! Firms views about cleaning? Behavior? Diet? Intriguing.

Kate said...

"No thoughtless post-structuralists." I didn't realize one could actually voice those views out loud!!! :)

I read The Lace Reader last year and enjoyed it. It sort of mucked about a little bit and I'd still be pretty hard-pressed to remember the McGuffin, but I did enjoy it. Actually just thinking about it makes me want to read it again. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it.

Daphne said...

Kate: I know, it's scandalous. :)

I'm enjoying the book. It's got Salem and lace and mystery... what's not to love?

Christy (A Good Stopping Point) said...

Those ads are so fun! I like the "Timewasters are welcome if sufficiently amusing/educational" bit.

brideofthebookgod said...

So you might just enjoy this, then?