"Out of picture" is a term used for anything that's cut from a movie. It is also the title of a lush, new book put together by the animators at Blue Sky Studios, the folks behind "Ice Age" and "Robots."
In Out of Picture, Volume 1: Art From the Outside Looking In (Villard, 160 pages, $19.95), the Blue Sky artistic team was let loose to put their individual stamps on their own graphic stories. The result is one of most interesting books I've ever laid eyes on. I highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of literary taste. I'm not a big graphic novel reader but I was mesmerized by this book.
In Robert Leleux's author's note at the beginning of his debut, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy (St. Martin's, 272 pages, $23.95), he quotes, "A hat's not a hat till it's tilted," to inform readers to expect embellishments throughout:
If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to save more money or to get your finances in order or to be your own boss, you might want to check out Alan Corey's A Million Bucks By 30: How to Overcome a Crap Job, Stingy Parents, and a Useless Degree to Become a Millionaire Before (Or After) Turning Thirty (Ballantine, 223 pages, $13.95).
If you can stand Corey's motormouth writing style, you'll be able to get through the book and probably learn something, too...
I picked up today's book book with a little hesitation. Books featuring animals — in this case, pets — are a little too precious for my taste. And the author's name, Blaize Clement, conjures an aging Southern belle who could no sooner put together a compelling sentence than go out of the house without her hair and nails done.
But, one page into Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues (Thomas Dunne, 248 pages, $23.95), I was not only pleasantly surprised by the writing, but also I wanted to keep reading.
We're still early enough in January that some folks may still be following their resolution diets, so here's another book about food. It's not so much a diet book as a health book. Author Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) calls for a return to traditional eating in his new book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto (Penguin, 256 pages, $21.95), which will appeal to dieters as well as people who are just sick and tired of processed foods, fast food and convenience meals.
Today's book is Do Dead People Watch You Shower? And Other Questions You've Been All But Dying to Ask a Medium (HarperCollins, 288 pages, $13.95) by Concetta Bertoldi, whose bio lists her as a full-time medium who consults reguarly with members of Britain's royal family, American celebrities and politicians.
In answering the title question, Bertoldi writes: "Sure they do! They see us in the bathroom and they see us in the bedroom! But who cares? They're dead! Who're they gonna tell?"
The book title and the cute little boy playing chess on the cover are what drew me to Nerds: Who Are They and Why We Need More of Them (Tarcher/Penguin, 253 pages, $24.95) by David Anderegg.
In his attempt to change our thinking about long-standing stereotypes that start affecting our children and younger and younger ages, Anderegg, a psychology professor and child psychologist, dissects the terms "nerd" and "geek" — a uniquely American stereotype, by the way — in a way that is engaging and understandable. Just check out some of the chapter titles...