Tagged New Books

Please Let Me Help, Out Today!

Last month Jordan took on the giggle-filled task of reading and reviewing our latest hilarious book, available in a bookstore near you this month, Please Let Me Help. This unique book of letters may be too wild to be explained, but Jordan did a pretty good job. 

Book cover showing a leaking pipe fixed with band-aids

Starting my internship here only two weeks ago, I immediately started hearing perplexing comments on our new book Please Let Me Help. One coworker enthusiastically encouraging me to read it, referencing a multitude of tiny, hand-drawn vampires. From another, an elusive comment of, “It’s weird…” And a lot of conversations about who the heck our target market is.

So I committed a couple hours to sitting down and reading through it.

I’m not sure where to start.

But I’m a feelings person, and  Please Let Me Help: “Helpful” Letters to The World’s Most Wonderful Brands. makes me feel snarky, slightly rebellious, and like I’m “in” on inside joke with Zach Sternwalker at the companies’ expense.

Reading Please Let Me Help put me in that beautifully drifting and nonsensical mindset one has when musing on something absolutely ridiculous that also makes an element of sense. Like a modern epistolary Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where Port-O-Potties all have flowers and Christian Slater stars as Princess Diana. A place where the brief and formal rejections of Zach’s ludicrous suggestions become that which is laughable. Go fuck yourself, Taco Bell legal department. You obviously don’t get humor.

A strange and humorous letter to Michael Jordan

And that is the real value in the book, I think. Perhaps it was because I read it straight-through in one sitting, but Zach Sternwalker sucks you into this realm of nonsense, until you stand there with him looking across at the rest of the world with altered eyes. And we see its prude stuffiness. Please Let Me Help defamiliarizes us from our world’s business and consumer norms, showing its puffed-up silliness in an ironic, counter-silly way.

But the book doesn’t have to be all this. It stands on its own as just a gosh-darned funny read. It has that unadulterated silliness that reminds me of being deliriously tired, laughing over ridiculous ideas with an equally loopy friend. Who cares if none of it is realistic? For a moment, that which is realistic means nothing. And scheming up Dunkin’ Donuts’ marketing plan for toast is the most logical thing one can do. Like a much-needed breath of fresh air.

So I’d recommend Please Let Me Help to anyone who could use a break from the no-nonsense, logical professional environment we’ve become so accustomed to. Because you know what’s more fun than that? A teeny vampire in a pear suit. Or imagining how to pitch a post-workout human refrigerator to General Electric.

 


Thank you to Jordan Ellis, our Fall intern, for writing up this review. Get a copy of the book for yourself at Microcosm.Pub

Talking With Faith & How to Be Adultier

This past summer, intern Hanna B. took an interest in Dr. Faith’s books, and asked our favorite foul-mouthed doc a few questions about her work. Then, check out an exclusive excerpt from Dr. Faith’s next book in stores this month: Unfuck Your Adulting.

Everybody struggles at points in their lives. It’s inevitable! Nothing is ever perfect, and there will be times when you will need someone to help you get through the inevitable bumps in the road.
And while often times good friends and a strong optimism can get you through most things, sometimes more professional help is warranted. However, this can be a huge struggle, if not impossible for many, and so we can offer you the next-best-thing: Dr. Faith G. Harper.

Dr. Faith G Harper is a hilarious women with a PhD, who has written multiple zines and books for Microcosm, all about dealing with issues in our own lives, from Unfuck your Brain to her “Five Minute Therapy” zines, she gives you the honest facts on how to deal with whatever you’re dealing with, how it affects your body/brain, and even gives you the tough-love you didn’t know you needed. Her next book, Unfuck Your Adulting, hits stores this month. Filled with humor, science, and damn good advice her writing has the ability to enact positive change within each of us. A woman with a confident smile leans on a brick wall.

I recently had the chance to connect with Dr. Faith and ask her some questions about her books and zines, her practice, and her writing! For those of you who already know Dr. Faith and are dying to hear more or for those who are just interested in this kick-ass women, here are some words of wisdom from the woman herself.

What drove you to initially take your knowledge/practice and develop them into books?
Faith: Frustration! I write the books I want to read. They didn’t exist and I could bitch about it or write them myself! My first book with Microcosm “Unfuck Your Brain” started with the five minutes of brain science psycho-ed that all my clients get at some point that I had entitled “Brains are Assholes.”

What effect do you see from your writing that differs from your in-person practice?
The most obvious answer is that I get to connect with people in a different way…and connect with people I wouldn’t have come in contact with otherwise, just sitting in my office seeing clients who live in Texas. The more interesting answer that is, in terms of the meta-message of my books, there isn’t much difference. My private practice clients who have read my books say they sound EXACTLY like in-session me. I don’t write any differently from how I talk. I’m not trying to sound hip when I write (because trust, I figured out by age 11 that I am deeply uncool and have made my peace with it). If I say “Dude, that’s fucked up” in my writing, those same words in that same order probably came out of mouth at least three times in the past week with clients. No-one needs me to put on my white coat of expert doctorness, they need me to be authentic and present with them in their experience. The expertise may be the backseat navigator, but they aren’t in charge.

Which of your zines/books have you enjoyed writing the most, and why?
I don’t like rehashing topics that have already been covered. In fact, there are plenty of topics that have been suggested in which my response has been “so and so already wrote that book, wrote it better than I ever could, and I have nothing to add.” So any writing (and research process) in which I end up conceptualizing something in a new way ends up being the most enjoyable (even if it’s harder work in the process). For example, in the Coping Skills book I ended up creating a new category system for types of coping skills. It gave me structure for the book, and I think lends a better understanding to how coping skills can be operationalized. I want mental health strategies to just fucking WORK better. So when I think I hit on something that will make that happen I get all the excites.
(FWIW, I am working on something now, where I ended up changing the model of a psychological concept that has never been fucked with in the past. I may end up in academic purgatory, but I was really struggling with making it more accessible, and the only way I could figure out how to make it work was to add to it!)

What do you hope to do in the future with your writing?
World domination!
Or better yet, creating equal access for mental and emotional health for folx. It shouldn’t be the domain of the elite. If we reduce shame and stigma, and make quality tools that support people’s recovery journeys available for the cost of a paper and cardboard zine we’ve done good in the world.

 


 

Want to know more about Dr. Faith?

Check out her books here, and learn a thing or two about being a decent grown-up with this excerpt from Unfuck Your Adulting: Give Yourself Permission, Carry Your Own Baggage, Don’t Be a Dick, Make Decisions, & Other Life Skills:A book cover with a punk cat trimming its nails and adulting

How To Be An Adultier Adult:

#1: DON’T BE A DICK

Growing up, my kids had two household rules: “Don’t be a dick” and “If it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”

(And honestly the second rule is really covered by the first, but a couple people I gave birth to had some struggles with the “stop fucking with other
people’s stuff” portion of the program, so we had Rule Two. But I digress.)

This rule was so well known that everyone who was invested in the welfare of my kids (teachers, counselors, etc.) would invoke it: “Well, are you being a dick right now?”

Thank you, Wil Wheaton, for adding “Don’t be a dick” to our common vernacular. Because, seriously, if you are only going to have one life rule, have it be this one. You don’t need an explanation on this one. You know when you are being a dick. Don’t.

When this now-book was first released as a zine, I wondered if “Don’t be a dick” would resonate and make sense with the people who read it. Or would there be a bunch of “Dude, what the fuck do you mean by that?” going on. Not once has that happened. This is a rule that everyone totally intuits immediately. We know
what dickitude looks like in all its shapes and forms. If we call it out in ourselves and refuse to tolerate it in others, we are already acting way more grown than most motherfuckers out there.

#2: BE A TINY BIT NICER THAN YOU HAVE TO BE

OK, you aren’t being a dick. Badass. Next step? Push yourself to put a little more good into the world than you are required to by the situation present. Say please and thank you. Use markers of respect (ma’am, sir, or whatever is appropriate). Be kind. Tip extra. Hold the door open. Smile sympathetically at the parent with the screaming child. Be engaged, present, and just a little bit more awesome.

Recently, someone kept breaking into our neighborhood mailboxes (because some people haven’t read Rule Number One). This meant the mailman couldn’t leave our mail and it had to be brought back to the post office for pickup. My Boo saw his truck one day and asked him if we could get the mail from him and skip the drive. Mailman said, “I’m totally not supposed to do that, but for you I will. Your wife is always soooo nice to me.”

All I had ever done was to smile and wave when I saw the postman in the neighborhood (you know, like Mr. Rogers taught me to), thank him when he brought me packages, and if I saw him in front of the house, walk out to his truck so he didn’t have to get out. This is small, small stuff. And it’s stuff that most people just
don’t do anymore. We aren’t talking about working in a soup kitchen every Saturday (though that is pretty badass, too). We are just talking about taking the time to recognize and respect other human beings on the planet.

Think about all the times someone being nice to you made your day bearable. Things that were pretty small for them were huge for you in that moment. We can put the same goodwill out into the world. Hell, even if it doesn’t work you totally earn serious karmic power-ups for trying harder than you have to.

 


 

This interview was conducted and written by summer intern Hanna B. and the excerpt taken from chapters one and two of  Unfuck Your Adulting: Give Yourself Permission, Carry Your Own Baggage, Don’t Be a Dick, Make Decisions, & Other Life Skills by Dr. Faith G. Harper

**New Giveaway** EAT LIKE A UNICORN!

If you haven’t seen Amy Subach’s colorful cookbook, Paleo For Unicorns: Eat the Patriarchy, we’re sorry to say you’re missing out. This creative guide to cooking healthy food quick and easy that tastes good and doesn’t drive your body crazy.

After a successful kickstarter campaign and so much support from everyone, Paleo for Unicorns is here and ready to go out to bookstores around the world. We love this feminist, humorous paleo cookbook, written for even the most beginnery of beginners to help you:

♥ Learn basic cooking skills!

♥ Figure out how to make a bunch of food with not too much cooking, even if you have a lot of restrictions!

♥ Dismantle the body shaming diet industrial complex!

♥ Make food that even little kids will love!

 

 

If you’re still unsure, here’s a quote from the book that I think illustrates why we made it in the first place and why we love it so much:

Paleo, as I’ve come to define it, is a way of eating that that includes meat, organ meats, vegetables (but not legumes), fruits, nuts (not peanuts because they are technically legumes), fermented foods, natural sweeteners, and sometimes dairy (raw, organic, goat, etc, if you tolerate it). It does not include grains (wheat, corn, quinoa (not really a grain actually), rice, etc), white potatoes (except sometimes it does), french fries (bummer, those are so good), processed junk foods, industrial seed oils, sugar, or alcohol. Easy paleo (and mostly paleo) recipes make up the meat and sweet potatoes of this book. The recipes are easy, because while I love cooking and have since I was making mud biscuits in the backyard (not a euphemism for pooping outside, this time), I have two small kids and I have no patience for any recipe that is finicky, requires a lot of special ingredients, or takes a lot of time.

One more thing: books about diet and health often make the reader feel less- than, like they need to change. I know that change is hard. I know it is a perpetual challenge for me to love and accept myself in the capitalist patriarchal racist imperialist society we live in, and as a cisgender white woman I have it pretty damn good. As the badass Audre Lorde has said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Please accept this book as a guideline for how you can better love and care for yourself. Let me say this: You are ALREADY worthy of love. YOU ARE A DAMN UNICORN.

Check out preview pages below, and, as usual, you have several different ways to enter via the Rafflecopter box below: following us on social media, tweeting about the giveaway, sharing the link, or signing up for our newsletter. Choose one, a few, or all of em, and may the odds be in your favor!

Check out all the book details (available in bookstores next month) at Microcosm.Pub/paleoforunicorns.
You can follow Amy and the cool stuff she does at AmySubach.com or on twitter @amysue.

 

 

Enter to win with the options below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

fine print details:
We’ll be giving away 10 free copies of Paleo for Unicorns, with a board game catalog and stickers, to 10 random winners selected via Rafflecopter. if you’re outside the US or Canada, you’re still welcome to enter, but we will request help paying for the very large shipping costs.

Win the Classic Bicycle Coloring Book

Taliah Lempert’s coloring zine was one of our bestselling and favorites, and now she’s releasing a full sized adult coloring book of her amazing classic bicycle artwork with us, and we absolutely adore it.

This month this family friendly coloring book is officially in stores, meaning you can get it at major and indie bookstores around the country (or ask your local art and gift shops to pick some up!).

You can also get one on our site, of course.

Or!

Win one!

 

You can enter just by signing in (using an email address or facebook) and get extra entries by doing things like visiting us on social media or tweeting about the contest.
(Please note that we can’t add your name into the contest outside of the rafflecopter platform. The good news is that it’s really easy!)

Giveaway runs til April 27th, so enter, share, and good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fix Your Clothes Officially Pubs Today!

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

 

by Raleigh Briggs

64 pp, 5.5×7″ paperback, ISBN: 978-1-62106-906-5

Out today! April 11th, 2017 from Microcosm Publishing

The bestselling zine is now a charming new paperback encouraging readers to save money (and the planet) by fixing their own clothes.

Clothes are expensive and the clothing industry is the 2nd most polluting industry worldwide, not to mention responsible for oppressive labor conditions. DIY enthusiast Raleigh Briggs offers a simple solution, giving readers the basic tools to fix, sustain, and breathe new life into clothes they’d otherwise throw away.

Ideal for thrifters, vintage clothes collectors, and anyone into not tossing their clothes because a button pops off or a zipper is stuck. There is something deeply pleasing and satisfying about mending and making clothes last.”— Angry Chicken

“A really solid foundation on sewing.” – Utne Reader

 

About Raleigh Briggs:

Raleigh is one of our best-selling authors, with Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills, Make it Last: Prolonging and Preserving the Things We Love, and a charming collection of zines, like Herbal First Aid and Non-Toxic Housecleaning. She lives with her husband and two needy cats in Seattle, Washington.