Posts By: Cynthia Marts

On the Podcast – Bringing Your Book To Its Audience

Microcosm owners Joe Biel and Elly Blue bring you a workshop they presented at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association regional trade show, about the importance of connecting your work to an audience and the vitality of putting books in boxes (and all of the various dangers and how to avoid them).

Link

5 Ways to Fight SAD (& win books!)

Feeling down more than usual in these grey (or white, if you’re buried in snow) winter days? It could be “SAD.”

With two mental health books coming out next month, and the grey days of Portland still coming and going, we’re talking with Dr. Faith and Set Sytes about Seasonal Affective Disorder, AND giving away free books!

So, you think you’ve got SAD.

First: Don’t Panic.
But also, don’t ignore it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that ebbs and flows with the seasons, typically causing extra depression during the winter months. This is especially common for folks with mood disorders already, women, and folks who live further from the equator.
Winter is the big SAD season, though some do experience it during summertime (me, right here, for real!), and it can often take sufferers by surprise.

A Survival Guide For Imaginative Pessimists

Set Sytes, author of How Not to Kill Yourself, says this about his experience with SAD:

“I often find things more difficult during the Winter months (which in Britain is 11 months of the year). I get much less daylight (although I’m better than I used to be on that, when a week could go where I wouldn’t see the sun), I’m always cold and without the motivation to move to warm up, and the weather is so miserable not only do I not want to go out but I’m not happy inside too. While hot weather can have its own reasons for lack of productivity, the cold months can encourage depressive symptoms and make you more interested in curling up in a blanket than getting anything done, especially if you’re worried about heating bills. It’s hard to engage your brain and be creative and productive when you’re cold, there’s little sunlight and you’ve been sleeping in in a conscious (or unconscious) attempt to hibernate through it all.”

In This Is Your Brain on Depression (coming Dec 2018), Dr. Faith defines it loosely as “winter blues thought to be caused by lack of sunlight.”

“When my brother left sunny Texas to go away to college in Boston, his SAD was horrible. He went from thinking snow was pretty and exotic to thinking snow was some kind of evil plan from the universe to repeatedly beat him in the face. The light box our mom sent him was stupendously helpful.” – This is Your Brain on Depression: Finding Your Path To Getting Better (zine version available here)

 

What to do about it?

When I asked about SAD, the first thing Dr. Faith noted was that too many people ignore the recurring symptoms: “If a tooth fell out of your mouth every February, you’d see the dentist and figure out why,” Dr. Faith points out. “S.A.D. should be taken just as seriously.”

“I’ve seen a lot of people do well with adding vitamin D in their diet and using sun lamps (blue light that mimics the missing sunlight they are getting…there’s lots of evidence behind this treatment),” she says.
Set’s advice? More layers!
“I often wear 5 layers indoors and sometimes include scarf gloves and hat in that! And my best is 7 outdoor layers, but then I’m strange and nobody else seems to do that) means you’re warmer but don’t have to spend as much on heating (and you’re more comfortable just sitting in one spot). It also means you can move around the house and maybe god forbid open a window for a few minutes without suddenly catching hypothermia. Worrying less about cold will relax your survival skills enough to hopefully think about more creative pursuits.
Also, candles, candles, candles.”
“The big thing that I always ask everyone is about their sleep,” Dr. Faith adds. “Getting enough good quality sleep is the foundation for all wellness. People are always surprised when I point out that their sleep is complete shit and getting more sleep will make everything else far easier to manage. Sleep hygiene should probably be it’s own zine, eh? It’ll def be a chapter in Unfuck Your Body.”
Set totally agrees with the doc here:
“It sucks setting alarms for yourself but sometimes it’s worth encouraging your sleeping pattern to shift not necessarily to a “normal” time frame (who decides what normal is) but at least one where you get more sunlight in the day. Even if you’re more creative at night, it helps to be able to separate each day into both day and night, otherwise it just all becomes one big murky dark abyssal pointless mess and there becomes no sense in doing something at one time to another – and when that’s how you think, you end up never doing things at any time.”

The Breakdown:

1. For your bad SAD days, try these tips from our authors:
2. Add Vitamin D to your diet.
3. Get (or make) a light box; get more sun.
4. Stay warm; add layers and blankets if you must.
5. Get enough SLEEP!

The Giveaway

For a chance at our two upcoming mental health books to help get you through the winter slump, check out our Anti-SAD giveaway packs below, and enter to win BOTH books by entering below, with extra entries for following us on social media or checking out some of our pages.
Winners get THREE free books:
-1 Random health & wellness back list title or galley
-AND our Book Tour Boardgame, to fight back against those bored winter blues!
Ends Feb 22nd.

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Books to Beat the Winter Blues (+ a giveaway)

It’s the edge of winter here in the pacific northwest, and in Portland that means wet, gray days that are chilly but not frigid, damp but not stormy. On these many gray days, I know how easily sadness can sneak up and creep in, so we’re giving away books, of course!

This time of year makes me think a lot about Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the careful line a person suffering from mental illness often has to tread to stay above it. SAD can mean a lot of different things to different people, but so often this time of year makes people feel extra blue, extra down, extra shitty; with depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, and sadness all more likely to pile up on your shoulders like a miserable coat of fuck-it-alls. This is a line I often have to gently tread and have grown quite familiar with.

Wherever you are, we want to help you get through that shit. One way is with our March mental health books:

This is Your Brain on Anxiety shows you exactly what’s going on in your head when anxiety comes barrelling through, with down-to-earth breakdowns of the science behind it and practical tips to getting through it. Written in her signature style of swears, wit, and pop culture references, Dr. Faith gives you the tools to deal with, and perhaps even get over, your anxiety on your own terms.

How Not To Kill Yourself wants to keep you away from the spiraling hole of suicidal thoughts and get you back into the world, with tips, tricks, and pep talks to remind you that it’s worth it to keep getting up in the morning. With an introduction by Dr Faith, this survival guide is for anyone dealing with intense depression or suicidal ideation.

If you haven’t heard about these yet, here’s a few clips:

“The interesting thing here about anxiety as a stress response? The good thing? Anxiety means the body is still fighting back. This is fundamentally different from depression, which is essentially a wired response of learned helplessness.

Anxiety symptoms are active coping skills in the face of threat. The problem is only when the brain has decided that most everything is a threat.”

“Name That Bastard. Give your anxiety an actual persona to inhabit. Name it after a heinous ex, a shitty grade school teacher, or Kim Jong-un. Create a whole character for your anxiety. Anxiety feels so nebulous that giving yourself someone to battle really helps. Then you can have convos with Donald Trump’s Epic Hair Swirl (or whomever, but personally I think all panic attacks should be named after that hair) whenever it comes calling. You can focus on that entity the way you would an actual person that was threatening you in a real-world situation. You can negotiate, you can yell back, you can lock it in a box. Whatever works.”

This Is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens and What Helps, by Dr. Faith G. Harper, PhD…

 

Depression is a swamp because it subtly evolves, it changes. It’s a delicately balanced ecosystem, where every little thing affects something else. Crowding trees and vines and darkness obscure what else might be out there. It seems endless, but it’s not. It seems abjectly awful, but it isn’t. There’s life in a swamp. There’s hope. It’s small and it’s wild, and it’s as apt to run away from you as it is to approach you, but it’s there. It’s real.

Don’t let the world win.
Don’t let it keep robbing great people and dumping them in the bin of history.
We can put a stop to it. We can be the first to say NO!—or better yet, FUCK OFF!
Stand tall, stand straight, and tell the world where to go. This is one soul it’s not going to crush. You are stronger than that. You can FIGHT BACK.

How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists, by Set Sytes & Dr. Faith Harper

 

To celebrate these rad books being officially released next month, I’m giving away 10 packs of How Now To Kill Yourself and This is Your Brain on Anxiety: two books that take common problems and gives you as much advice as possible to kick that shit to the curb!

AND (because it’s our fricking 22nd birthday, y’all!) I’ll be adding one random Microcosm backlist title on health, wellness, DIY or taking care of yourself to each bundle (possibilities listed below). I’m calling these Anti-SAD Packs, because we hope they help get you through the heavy winter season. Enter below, or check out the books webpages by clicking any images in this post.

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Alive with Vigor!

Grow!

Punk Rock Entrepreneur

Congrats to the Victors, and Prepare for More!

Winners will receive one of last year’s Fix Your Clothes arcs, + our Book Tour Board Game (and stickers of course!).

Our test giveaway is over, and the results are in! Winners have been contacted and the books go out tomorrow.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered — and everyone who gave feedback!

We like this Rafflecopter platform and will try it out a few more times.

Interested in more giveaways?

This month, slogging through prime Seasonal Affective Disorder season, we’re raising our spirits (and hopefully yours) by celebrating Microcosm’s 22nd year with a shit ton of giveaways!

To start off, Monday we’re going to be giving away “SAD Packs”, featuring our March mental health releases, This is Your Brain on Anxiety: What Happens & What Helps and How Not To Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide For Imaginative Pessimists, so check back here then to enter.

After that, watch out for giveaways here and on our other Social Medias for a chance at more brand new books, past ARCs, and cool swag.

Stay awesome (and strong)!

New Giveaway Process

FINAL of Fix Your Clothes: The Sustainable Magic of Mending, Patching, & Darning

For years Microcosm has run pretty rad giveaways through our friends over at Goodreads. This year, however, their terms have changed to include new charges for giveaways that we’re not quite willing or able to pay.

So instead, the next couple months will feature giveaways here, on our blog, instead, while we try out other options.

To try one out, we’re running a test giveaway below for some of last years Advanced Reader Copies. It’s super easy to enter using your email address or facebook, AND you get extra entries for doing cool shit, like tweeting about the book, answering a question, or visiting us on social medias.

I’m offering five copies of the advanced reader copies of Fix Your Clothes: The Sustainable Magic of Mending, Patching, & Darning.

Never even heard of this book? Here’s the description:

Ever had to say goodbye to a favorite item of clothing because of a busted zipper, fallen hem, or gaping hole? Want to save money and the world by not buying new clothes at the time? Concerned about the labor practices of fast fashion? Learn to repair your clothes from this cheerful illustrated guide. Raleigh Briggs, author and illustrator of the bestselling Make Your Place and Make It Last takes us on a mending journey through stocking your supplies, quick fixes, types of knots and stitches, buttons, mending seams, patching holes, darning holes, hemming, fixing zippers, waterproofing canvas, leather, and nylon, and so much more! Raleigh’s style is simple, playful, friendly, fun, and builds your confidence. You can do it!

Win one!

Enter below for a chance at one of 5 copies of the Fix Your Clothes arc, by the legendary DIY zinester Raleigh Briggs, now through January 31st.

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A Whole New Year of Rampant Media Consumption

HEY!

What have YOU been reading/doing/watching/playing lately?

 

Here’s our traditional round-up of the media we’re rampantly consuming.

Cyn

Honestly, I spend a lot of time watching TV. More than I should. Mostly we’re rewatching cartoon favorites (Adventure Time, Bee & Puppycat, Rick & Morty, Gravity Falls) with my sister and catching up on FlashLegionBlack-ish, and One Day at a Time. I also try to catch up on Outlander and Black Mirror when I get the tv to myself.

In games, for a while everyone took turns playing CupHead and laughed at their endless frustration with it, but then my sister got sick and we just rewatched every episode of The Good Place for a week straight while she got better.

Listening a lot to Chromatics and Desire while working, plus a lot of soundtrack music (curse you, Clint Mansell, and your tone-setting movie music genius).

Finished a fantastically creepy YA audiobook called And The Trees Crept In, by Dawn Kurtagich, during my commute ride and immediately hunted down the author’s other audiobook, The Dead Housefrom the library. I am in love with it as well, and am thoroughly charmed by the author’s moody, atmospheric tales that keep me guessing.

Also been loving on Chin Music Press’s beautiful book on japanese cat mythology.

Kristine

A bed full of books

Kristine & Family’s December reading haul

 

I thought December was a pretty shit month of fires and stress, but our family actually read A LOT. Hooray!

Our movie list:
1. Lady Bird
2. My Friend Dahmer
3. Edward Scissorhands
4. Florida Project
5. Get Out
6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

We saw Lady Bird and Get Out twice, so there was definitely some meat for discussion on those bones. And I would add The Square. Lots of people in my cinema club HATED it, which made it even sweeter.

TV: Stranger Things 2, Better ThingsThe Dark (German series), Mindhunters, and we rewatched favorite cartoons Gravity Falls and Rick & Morty. I want to catch up on Black Mirror too, but the damn kid stays up too late. Or her parents go to bed too early….

Plus the art collective FriendsWithYou and their exhibit at the Oakland Museum was the best mind-altering experience of 2017 that did not involve drugs.

Wow, 2017 was way less sucky if I view it ONLY in terms of great movies and books!

 

Elly

Joe and I have been watching Parks & Rec after work every day and laughing SO much. So needed.

“GOODBYE, LITTLE SEBASTIAN!”
He does BEING A LITTLE HORSE better than ANYBODY!!!”

In media I plan to consume this month: OMSI is playing Studio Ghibli movies all month for 7 bucks.

Trista

I’ve been rereading The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward and havent been watching anything lately, but I’m really looking forward to bingeing The End Of The Fucking World on Netflix.

 

Kayla

I currently have no streaming services and just a DVD player, so I’ve been buying cheap TV box sets and am currently enjoying Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time. I’ve also recently discovered the joy of taking myself to the movies, so I’m more up to date on current films than usual: Lady Bird (loved it as much as every other millennial woman), The Disaster Artist (such great things can come out of badly made things), The Last Jedi (always game for Star Wars), and The Shape of Water (liked it but didn’t love it like I wanted too—a little too attached to Pan’s Labyrinth still, I guess).

 I almost always listen to my entire music collection on shuffle, and lately shuffle has given me extra Nine Inch Nails, Sia, and Kanye West.

I just finished reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, a year behind everyone else because I’m the cheap kind of bookworm who waits for paperbacks, and I’m so glad I got to start 2018 with such a well-written, hook-in-the-gut book. About to move on to The Child in Time by Ian McEwan, which I expect to also love since I like the author so much I named my new cat after him (well, in all honestly, partially after him, partially after Ewan McGregor).

 

Troy

Music: I’ve been listening to Marvin Gaye, Elton John’s “Honky Chateau”, and a newer artist called Ariel Pink.

Books: I’m reading Oxford’s A Very Short Introduction to Black Holes and a biography of Antonin Artaud (the creator of Theatre of Cruelty) called Poet Without Words by Naomi Greene. I like to read a lot of different stuff at a time so I don’t get bogged down by one topic, so I’ve also been reading a collection of Langston Hughes’s poems.

Television: The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross and finally finishing Stranger Things.

Film: I haven’t had a chance to go to a movie theater recently, but I really want to see Loving Vincent. Every frame of the animation was painted in his style and the whole film required over 100 oil painters.

Theatre: I recently watched a production of Eugene Ionesco’s Victims of Duty at PSU and it blew my mind. The script encompassed absurd theatre so well and the cast and set refused to allow the incongruous language to strip away meaning and urgency. There’s so much unnecessary information available for consumption, it often feels like a chore gathering the necessary media. I wish I kept up more with politics and daily news, but it usually just makes me tired or upset and I lose motivation to dig further into the things I really want to know. Instead, I would rather sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the soothing rhythms of Langston Hughes.

“Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,”
~ From “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes

 

Ahi

My media consumption has been pretty wordy lately: I finally read forgotten fantasy masterpiece Lud in the Mist and totally loved it. This Census Taker by China Mieville is perfect autumn reading as well. I’ve also been reading more nonfiction, most notably stuff from Alan Watts and Slavoj Žižek.

I also started playing The Witcher 2 and it’s pretty great even if I’m seven years late to the party.

Musically, I can never get enough of Alt-J or Of Monsters and Men, and I keep listening to Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley and fervently wishing I had arranged my life better so I could have been at that concert.

 

 


Your turn!

Tweet your #rampantmediaconsumption to @microcosmmm to win a free sticker pack and book coupon!

New Year, New Opportunities — Our New Year’s Resolutions

Elly’s motivational poster. Resist like a girl!

Maybe it’s New Year’s fever, but this month a lot of us have been looking forward to the new year with outstretched (if a little cautious) arms and ready pens. We’re making plans, getting shit done, and taking the time for self-care whenever we can.

If you’re consciously taking steps toward becoming a better you, then you’re allowing society to grow, learn, and become more human over time as well!

Here’s what we’ve promised ourselves in the new year…

Elly

My resolution is to keep doing all the stuff I did in 2017 that went well and aim to do it 5-10% better.

Kristine

I AM NOT SMOKING THIS YEAR, AND I AM TRYING NOT TO WANT TO KILL EVERYONE. Whew. Wish me luck and perseverance.

Kayla

My New Year’s resolution is to find a weekly social thing to do, like a recreational sport or a dance class or something like that, to force my introverted self to meet more people and do some activities I’ll probably actually enjoy once I get there.

Cyn’s motivational print. Meet Your Deadlines!

Ahi

I do have high hopes for 2018. I’ll live in a country I’ve never lived before (still deciding which one) and I’ll likely finish my fourth novel, while continuing to publish 1d4 RPG books a year.

Troy

My New Year’s resolution is to journal every day. I want to write more plays, pilots, and comics, and to finish all the books I started and then read more!

Cyn

I just straight up want to be happier and to be a better me in 2018 — but I’m gonna try following Elly’s lead and just work towards just a 5-10% better me 😀


Your turn!

What are you hoping to change or make happen in 2018?

Tweet us @microcosmmm with your resolutions or plans for a chance to win a Microcosm sticker pack!  [One random tweeter will be selected to win over the weekend.]

 

 

Until next time, keep resisting.

 

Saying Hello to the New Year With New Friends

This season, we’ve had the pleasure of working with some new Microcosmonauts: interns Kayla, Troy, and Ahimsa, as well as our newest staff member, Trista. They’ve been a huge help moving into the new year, and we’re so thankful for their time and work.
Always curious about the people we work with, I asked everyone about themselves and their lives. Below are their answers. . . Say hello to the newbies!

 

Kayla

How would you describe yourself?

A paradoxical blend of easygoing and anxious, introverted and people-loving, and thinking both the book and the movie were good.

How do you think others would describe you?

I relatively recently learned I was known as “crazy clarinet girl” to most of my high school classmates. I don’t play clarinet anymore, but people probably think similar things.

What brings you to Microcosm?

A love of books and determination to get into publishing, especially on the editing front.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from the Seattle area and more recently from Boston.

What do you miss/not miss most?

I miss Pike Place, super snowy winters, and joking about how it’s just a little drive down I-90 between my two cities. I do not miss terrible public transportation or Masshole drivers.

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

My favorite thing is the instant hot water tap—kidding, it’s actually getting the chance to work on a little bit of everything and feel far more supported than pressured. My least favorite thing so far was when the umbrella on the deck blew over and made the scariest thud ever.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

Strengthen my editorial skills, build new skills in departments I haven’t worked in yet, and deal with genres I’m not super familiar with yet (I’ve dealt with a lot more fiction in the past).

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

I used to write a lot, so I’ve been trying to ease myself back into that since I moved to Portland. Other than that, singing and cooking at the same time is a great power rush.

Favorite snacks and/or drinks?

London fogs, cheese puffs, scotch

Troy

How would you describe yourself?

A kid, coping with adulthood, anxiously creating whatever comes to mind.

How do you think others would describe you?

I’ve been described by my girlfriend as brooding, but I prefer introverted.

What brings you to Microcosm?

A desire to work near other people with a passion for literature

Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?

Missouri. I miss my parents and niece, but not the humid summer/frigid winter.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

I want to learn from the materials with which I’m working, as well as make strong connections with, learn from, and be inspired by fellow Microcosmonauts.

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

Hiking and writing

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

I love how collaborative the process is and how willing people are to show the ropes.

List three of your favorite snacks and/or drinks.

Coffee, pita and hummus, and Montucky

Ahimsa

How would you describe yourself?

Hopefully in a very clever way. Maybe something like introspective, irreverent, intrepid, and fond of alliteration.

How do you think others would describe you?

I don’t think I’m insightful enough to know that!

What brings you to Microcosm?

Most days, the number 4 bus! But really, I’m here to get a little bit of knowledge about how to be a publisher.

Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?

I’m from Oregon. But until recently I’d been away for some time, and I missed the following things: 1. rain, 2. Powell’s, 3. Mexican food, 4. Fred Meyer, and 5. walking through cool neighborhoods and seeing the city breathe.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

Know-how, the knack of taking a book from idea to a physical object. What the heck is a trim size matrix anyway?

What’s your favorite thing about where you live now?

I’m staying with some friends in SE Portland, which is rad, but even better they just got a kitten named Beezus. She’s quite cute.

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

I write a lot, always have, but recently am trying to become less “design-blind.” For empowering things I try to be open to helping people when they ask for help, and volunteer for many activities throughout the city.

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

The people here are super kind and great to talk to. There’s an anti status-quo vibe that I haven’t encountered in many work environments before.

List three of your favorite snacks and/or drinks.

Buja mix, dried fruit, and bananas.

 

Trista

How would you describe yourself?

Motivated, curious, enthusiastic. INFJ (if you’re interested in personality types).

How do you think others would describe you?

Reliable, flexible, thoughtful. A co-worker once described me as a cinnamon roll . . . I’m still not quite sure what that means?

What brings you to Microcosm?

I feel like stories are one of the most powerful ways for people to connect with each other and themselves, and I want to be able to help people find those stories and encourage them to create their own. I think Microcosm does that, plus the collaborative atmosphere is a big draw.

Where are you from? What do you miss/not miss most?

Thibodaux, Louisiana. I miss the food and atmosphere, the swamp witchery that is unique to the south. I do not miss the conservative traditions.

What do you want to get out of your time here, now that you’ve seen the basics of what we do?

I never thought about how much goes into getting a book out to its audience, and I’m fascinated by the process and eager to discover different ways to think about books.

What’s your favorite thing about where you live now?

I could live in Powell’s. Also Oasis Cafe on Hawthorne, I could eat the Veggie everyday. Also all the parks/forestry areas.

What creative or empowering thing do you like to spend your time doing?

I love to make comics and writing. I play guitar and write songs, which is just something for myself.

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about Microcosm so far?

I like that Microcosm has coloring books about vaginas and things to remind us that while politics/activism/diversity/learning to empower yourself is important, it’s equally important to have fun and relax every now and then.

Do you have any pets (or particularly interesting kids)? Tell us about them.

I have two cats and two god-children. The cats are Goofy (moody introvert) and Percy (playful and ditzy), both are very clumsy. The kids are Bella/Bells (4yo, princess that loves wrestling and Totoro) and Josiah/Jojo, who is still a baby and I haven’t met in person yet.

Favorite snacks and/or drinks?

Sweet tea, pickles, red grapes (fruit is always nice).

 

It’s been a while, RMC edition.

Hello again from the most radical little green house of books you’ll ever find.

It’s been a while but after a crazy year we’re working on getting back in the swing of things. How are you, though??

 

Microcosm’s staff is an incredible little world of its own, with wildly different personalities, opinions, and preferences. Every now and then we like to check in with everyone and see what we’re all into these days….

 

Kristine (Accounts Manager)
My favorite thing on tv right now is Stranger Things 2, because I like Dungeons and Dragons-themed tv (OK, I have a 13-year-old who loves horror).
I read stuff simultaneously: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Unfuck Your BrainAkata Witch, and the new issue of Harper’s.

pussyriot in their glass cell Fun Fact: the women of Pussy Riot were kept in a plexi-glass cage during their trial. They were THAT dangerous. (From Harper’s)


Cyn (Publicity Director)
the good place holy mother forking shirt balls gif
My favorite thing on tv right now is The Good Place. I started it on a whim because I liked the cast, and how funny and surprising it was blew me away. Eleanor (including her faults, unfortunately) is definitely my spirit animal.
mazzy dancing mural
I’m also obsessed with the Cooking With Mazzy youtube channel, and flipped out when this Mazzy mural went up near the off
ice.
In the book department, lately I’m only reading stuff that haven’t come out yet for work…. the only other thing book-wise is… well, does listening to the High Rise audiobook for the 3rd time count as finishing a book…? It’s just so soothing…

Jeri Cain (Sales Director)
My favorite thing on tv right now is the show Fortitude. It’s quirky.
The last book I read was How to Read Nature. My favorite part was learning that pigeons follow roads.

Kayla (Intern)
Your favorite thing on tv/entertainment right now is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, because it’s funny feminist fun, with fantastic characters & songs—what more do you need? But I haven’t gotten to watch any of Season 3 yet, so don’t spoil it for me!
Last book I finished was Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. My favorite part was [SPOILER!] when Vianne (one of the two sisters the book revolves around) kills the Nazi she’s very conflictedly in love with. Though my critique would be this book teeters on the edge/possibly crosses into too-melodramatic territory pretty often, which is often difficult with WWII fiction.

Elly (Marketing Director)
I am seriously enjoying this band and their one lonely album…

August’s Bike Books for Uncertain Futures

Happy Wednesday!

It’s officially August, and this month we’re thinking a lot about the possibilities of the future. We’re thinking about independence and freedom, oppression and diversity, healing our selves and our pasts, and all the little things we need to work on to change the world.

The books we have pubbing this month reflect these thoughts, with dystopic bike stories and self-care through bikes and yoga.

First up is the new Bikes in Space collection, Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction in Extreme Futures. Edited by Elly Blue and featuring writing by herself, Jessie Kwak, Sarena Ulibarri, Leigh Ward-Smith, and more, this collection takes on the possibilities of extreme futures with 10 bike-centric stories (and 1 mini-comic) of freedom, rebellion, and survival, by bike.

Get the book today.

Also officially out this month is Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling by Kelli Refer. This charming, very useful little purple book is your one-stop guide to yoga perfect for bicyclers.

Sections include:

How to breathe your way up the steepest hills (and the science behind bike paths and air quality);

a flow chart of stretches to ease your achy knees and sore back;

a guide to your and your bicycle’s chakras that will charm any skeptic’s heart; and more.

This has been available on our site and in our shop for quite a while, but August 8th is its official new release, with a fresh ISBN and all the same informative charm.

Get the book now.

 

Finally, to celebrate this month’s rad, bike-centric releases, we’re giving away…

10 copies of Biketopia over on Goodreads, August 4-11th, and

50! copies of Bikes in Space Volume 2 — one of the zines that began it all — August 14th- 28th

So keep an eye out for those and get lucky!

 

Also this month, we’ve launched the Kickstarter project for Dr. Faith’s radical, swear-filled new book on taking back your brain from anxiety, depression, anger, trauma, and more: Unfuck Your Brain

Check out the video below and the kickstarter here, and help us make this Do-It-Your-Fucking-Self metal health book a reality!

 

Stay strong out there,

Cyn & the Microcosm team