Monday, May 14, 2012

Out With Mom, In With Dad

Mother's Day is already a distant memory in the bookstore, and the Father's Day tables are up.

It's therefore appropriate that one of this week's new releases is a memoir from Sh*t My Dad Says author Justin Halpern. Halpern hit the big time when, after multiple rejections from publishers for a memoir about his father, he started the twitter feed Shit my Dad Says. Shit went viral, led to a best-selling book, a further downward career spiral for Captain James T. Kirk and publishing love for Halpern.

His new book, I Suck at Girls, is a memoir about his love life, and looks hilarious from the peeks the Bookstore Cat has taken. And don't worry: Justin's Dad has plenty to say in his inimitable style throughout the book. The Twitter feed has recently been offering such teasers as:

"No. You don't even have hair on your balls." Story from my new book about asking my dad to explain sex when I was 9.

At first glance, the Father's Day displays this year don't seem quite so testosterone-fueled as in years past, though they are still heavy on grilling, tools, sports, military history and infantile humor - you know, Dad stuff. As the idea of same-sex couples continues to gain acceptance, I won't be surprised someday soon to see a Father's day table devoted especially to them. It's a nice idea in practice, but in truth I shudder when imagining the stereotype-infested title list the corporate marketers might push out, some lazy pastiche of fashion, cooking and Broadway. Hell, they might decide to just leave some Mother's Day displays in situ, just change the sign over the stacks of Martha Stewart and Barbra Streisand.

The corporate marketers still tend towards ridiculous pigeonholing when marketing for holidays. Smart booksellers tweak their displays to what their customers actually are interested in, whether they are mothers or fathers, gay or straight. You can be sure the Bookstore Cat is on the case.

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