Tuesday, November 1, 2011

book review & giveaway: Awkward Family Pet Photos

we are about to have our very first giveaway thanks to the fine folks at Random House! one lucky reader will win a copy of the brand-new book, Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack.

why do you want this book? because it is damn funny.

you may be familiar with the website of the same name that the book is based on. or maybe you're more familiar with their original website, Awkward Family Photos. if you still have no idea what the heck i'm talking about--and you don't feel like clicking on the links--suffice it to say that the sites are collections of real photographs from real people that are truly awkward (the photos, not the people. well ... i guess we can't really say whether or not the people are awkward, now can we?).

regardless, you won't be sorry if you pick up a copy of this book, for yourself or as a gift for a like-minded friend.

i have to assume, if you're reading this blog, you're an animal lover (or you're related to me. hi parents!) and many of you are probably a bit dog crazy. i know i am. that's part of what makes the book especially enjoyable: there are quite a few pictures that i would not put past myself for staging with desmond (not to mention the fact that i swear i had half those '80s outfits as a kid).

so, yes, the photos are awkward--some are even cringe worthy--but many of the shots will make you shake your head at yourself even though you had nothing to do with them.

the pictures themselves are funny, absolutely, but it's the captions that really make the whole thing. let's do a comparison, shall we? let's also pretend my awful pictures of the book pages are actually glamour shots, OK? (i used a real camera this time, but the lighting in my house is just horrendous in every room.)

see? funny.
not bad, right? now check out the photo with the copy:

you can't read that, can you? see below ...

this made me LOL, for real

in addition to the usual routine, there are bonus features like behind-the-scenes explanations of what in the world is going on in some of these pictures and, my favorite part, awkward secrets from veterinarians. those stories alone should be a spin-off site and book. my poor vet! i am going to try really hard to be less crazy for her.

poor birdie! is it wrong to laugh?

i do have one small complaint about the book, but before i get to that i will rattle off some of my original immediate thoughts upon receiving the book (mostly because you know i loves me some bullets):
  • high-quality paper and printing (these are the kinds of things some geek with a publishing master's would notice)
  • it's a quick read thanks to being mostly light on copy. this makes it easy to read whenever and easy to obnoxiously share with your husband every couple minutes when you come across another photo that makes you cackle or yell out, "i totally had those glasses!"
  • this makes a great coffee-table book. yes, the book is softcover and, yes, the book is small (about 8" x 8"), but i prefer to keep books out that are easily digestible and can spark conversation. the enormous hardcover book i have of photographs of france may be gorgeous, but it's too big to just leave out in the middle of my living room, and it's awkward to pick up and flip through on a whim (no pun intended).
  • ooh, farm animals! a whole chapter devoted to farm animals! a funny goat really makes my day.
  • ooh, holidays! a whole chapter devoted to holidays with pets! holidays with desmond are my new favorite things, so i was very excited about this. and let me tell you, i was not disappointed. i don't want to give away too much, but be on the lookout for the dalmations. hysterical!

time for me to lodge my one small complaint.

i want to know more about the people who have written the chapter introductions. according to the book's introduction, these folks were chosen to write the chapter intros, so i would like to know why. not that i'm looking for a list of credentials or anything, but i just wish i knew more of the story or even some basic bio stuff (name, age, job, # of pets, etc.). this is not really a big deal in the end and has not stopped me from enjoying the book. i'm just nosy.

time for YOU to enter the giveaway!

what can you win? one copy of Awkward Family Pet Photos, courtesy of Random House.

how do you enter? leave a comment below telling me what your most awkward moment with a pet was. winners won't be based on who has the best story, but i will probably cackle and show my husband. :-) please do not forget to sign in with your email address or add your twitter handle to your comment so i can contact you if you win.

FYI, this giveaway is limited to residents of the U.S. and Canada. 

are there any bonus entries? sure! one bonus entry per person is allowed (for a total of two entries per person) for anyone who becomes a follower of the blog via networked blogs or google friend connect. leave a comment to let me know you've joined us! if you're already a follower, please let me know, and i'll enter you twice.

how do you win? random.org will be determining the winner of this book giveaway.

when does the giveaway begin & end? the giveaway begins as soon as this post goes live on 11/1--the publish date of the book--and it ends at 5:00 PM on Friday, 11/4. the winner will be chosen and contacted over the weekend. 

thanks for your participation & good luck!

disclaimer: just to be 100% clear, i was given a free copy of this book to review. the winner of the giveaway will be getting his or her own copy. i get to keep mine!

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