I will judge a book by its cover

And this cover reaches out with a supple and sexy tentacle to wrap around my neck and draw me in closer, where it whispers “buy me.” It helps that the author is very, very good, so I can trust the content will be excellent, but oh what a hook.

Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis will be available on 22 September. You can get in line now.

Finally! A book that will truly understand the male condition.


  1. blf says

    Also about males… (Edited set of cross-posts from poopyhead’s [Pandemic and] Politics all the Time series of threads…)

    Men to avoid: The mansplainer, the sexpert, the patroniser:

    Nicole Tersigni’s viral tweets using old masters to illustrate everyday sexism are now a book

    This story begins, as so many do these days, on Twitter. In May 2019, Nicole Tersigni, a US-based writer, logged on to the social-media platform at the end of a long day. She was tired and frazzled from looking after her eight-year-old daughter, who was at home sick at the time. “So I go online just to kind of scroll through Twitter and zone out for a little bit,” she says, “and I see a dude explaining to a woman her own joke back to her — something that has happened to me many times.”

    Tersigni had let those kinds of irritating conversations go in the past, but this one sparked something in her. She Googled “woman surrounded by men” — “because that is what that moment feels like when you’re online,” she says — and stumbled upon a 17th-century oil painting by Jobst Harrich of a woman baring one breast in the middle of a scrum of bald men. She combined that image with the caption “Maybe if I take my tit out they will stop explaining my own joke back to me.”

    In another post Tersigni placed an 18th-century painting titled Conversation in a Park by Thomas Gainsborough next to the caption “You would be so much prettier if you smiled,” turning what seems like a vignette of a man flirting with a woman into a laugh-out-loud scene.


    Within days an agent got in touch, suggesting she turn her tweets into a book. Two weeks later they were meeting with editors, Tersigni says, and struck a deal with Chronicle Books. “I remember I got it, looked at it and just cracked up,” says Rebecca Hunt, the publisher’s editorial director, who works on pop culture and humour books. “When it was time for me to share it with our editorial team I printed out a lot of the pages and spread them on the table. We all didn’t even need to say anything: we were all just reading and laughing,” she says. “That’s how you know right away that something will resonate.”

    Just over a year after that first tweet, Tersigni’s vision has leaped from social media to print, with Men to Avoid in Art and Life, which has just been published in the United States […]. Each chapter of the coffee-table book, which brings together works of art and razor-sharp captions, explores the different types of men that Tersigni and many women encounter regularly. […]

    The images at the link, which are scattered throughout the article, are indeed hilarious. Her twittering. (The above Irish Times article may have originally appeared in the NYT.)

    Also see Art Net, A New Book Turns Historical Paintings Into Hilarious Memes About Mansplaining — See Images Here.

    The Grauniad has a (sadly, rather short) interview with Nicole Tersigni, ‘If you’re a dude, you may be tensing up’: the woman making art out of mansplainers. Includes yet more of her hilarious images.

    (No squids or spiders that I am aware of…)

  2. davidc1 says

    Penises are a sore subject with me ,well it will be after the 22th ,got to got into hospital to be circumcised ,not
    looking forward to it for some reason .

  3. drivinganalytical says

    For even more ‘light reading’, or just some cover judgement: “Hung like an Argentine duck : a journey back in time to the origins of sexual intimacy / John Long” ISBN 9780732292737
    John Long’s broader coverage of the evolution of sexual intimacy in the animal kingdom demonstrates that the gap between human and animal behaviour is not as large as many of you might have thought.
    Man’s fascination with the penis is endless…

  4. says

    And here I’d thought PZ had given himself over to the arachnids at the expense of the cephalopods, caught in their webs for good! But no, he has slithered back into the grip of his old flame! I wonder what kind of story we could get if Oglaf used this premise as a writing prompt…

  5. derferick says

    @7 There once was a squid from Salinas,
    Whose mantle was shaped like a penis.
    A lady called Flo
    Looked over to Joe
    And said, “Now I know what obscene is.”

    I’ll get my coat.