I was on the salesfloor this morning, doing a task that I occasionally do, surrounded by the books of the counter. You know those fun little distractions at the checkout. The ones that you pick up for hostess gifts, for that one person you never can buy for, and that “I need a treat and it might be Champlain Chocolate [so yummy], but my waist will thank me for a book instead” books. After finishing my task, instead of taking my normal route back to the stairs to get to the office I now work, I took a new one because I happened to notice the back of a book that was on a display and wanted to check it out. The pink cover and the black text had grabbed my attention and I had a minute to spare. After all, I might work behind the scenes, but I am still a bookseller (and of course lover) at heart.
You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!: Monster Motivations to Move Your Butt and Get You to Do the Thing was said book. And said book was too long to sit (or stand as it was) to read in the time I had. Therefore, I read a few pages that I let open on its own. Each one was odder, naughtier, and weirder than the last. (I did not go in any order but let the chips, or pages, fall as they may.)
Chuck Wendig’s book is not your Grandmother’s book. Or maybe it is. If Grandma has a really warped, dark, bizarre, modern sense of humor. These pages are filled with wit, oddities, and even somewhat positive vibes. The publisher review likens it to a “Calvin & Hobbesian” sensibility. Yet, I feel C&H is a tad more “sophisticated” in its tone, while Wendig goes for the quicker joke. Not to say there is anything wrong with that, it is just a required taste.
Be prepared to draw summoning circles, talk about being a beautiful monster, write the great opus and talk about the gastric acid in our stomach (and how that makes us “Metal AF”). You get all this plus Natalie Metzger illustrations. They are not “cute” but have a cute charm. They are basic, but not in a simplistic way. They just are. They have few, but the right, details. Colors are minimal but fit the lighthearted tone. Yet, what is being said still has a bit of a punch.
Is it a motivational book? Probably not as you will most likely be laughing too hard to do anything. Find and see for yourself if this is the Mother’s Day Gift you need to get. Or perhaps Father’s Day Gift. Or that yourself treat. I will say, it is more something my uncles would like than either parent, but that versatility is what gives it appeal.
(PS the image with the counter is said counter in above story. The other images are stolen from the internet.)