INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 77: Buy the 19 Folktales book!


INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 77: Buy the 19 Folktales book!

Readers Wanted

"THERE’S NOTHING THAT drives book sales like email," Substack told us in a blog post on Friday. Well: we have a book, and this is an email, to tell you the book is for sale!

A little over a year ago, in a previous message to you, I wrote "Joe and I are definitely going to turn our old collection of 19 Folktales, illustrated by Jim Cooke, into a physical book before the holiday gift season." That declaration was not quite correct, for standard values of the words "definitely" and "physical" and "before" (we did, in association with the Open Library, get as far as producing a pdf version of the book in the fall, for digital library lending).

Now, though, the physical book really does exist, perfect bound, with an ISBN number and everything. It is pocket-sized, or suitable for stuffing into a stocking, and contains the full set of 19 Folktales, from No. 1, "The Berries," to No. 19, "The Count and His Pond," each one with its own Jim Cooke illustration. It was prepared for print production by Jacob Ford.

An excerpt:

Nineteen Folktales: A Series

1. The Berries

Two boys went out into the woods to look for berries. In a clearing, they found an abundance of blueberries on low bushes, and on another bush, somewhat taller, a cluster of unusual silver berries. "I should like to try these," said one boy to the other. He was himself a little bit the taller of the two, though few people who knew them bothered to make such a distinction.

"Not I," said the shorter boy. "I am fond of blueberries, and these blueberries are more than enough for me."

"Besides," he added. "Those other berries look peculiar."

The taller boy could not dispute this point, so he chose to ignore it. Reaching up into the bush, he grasped the gleaming silver berries, and they came away easily in his hand. He gave them a quick sniff, finding their aroma neither alarming nor intriguing, and popped them into his mouth. They were juicy and somewhat sweet, though less sweet than blueberries would have been. Something about them tasted almost like pine oil.

"These blueberries are delicious," the other boy said, munching on his third or fourth handful. "How were those other ones?"

The boy who had eaten the silver berries grabbed some blueberries of his own. He had not chosen the silver berries exclusively, after all. But his heart was not in it. "They were fine," he said.

When both had eaten their fill, they headed back toward their homes. As he walked, the taller boy felt a sudden coolness about his ankles.

Substack's advice to authors who have Substacks includes making sure to tell readers about the importance of preorders to boost books in the algorithm-driven online marketplace. Preorders of 19 Folktales are entirely moot; the book is for sale exclusively through the Brick House Cooperative's online marketplace, Shopula. The price is $30.

(The photo on the Shopula site depicts a prototype cover, folded over. The actual book has a spine of measurable thickness.)

Some of our most faithful supporters did order 19 Folktales a while ago via Popula, only to encounter unexpected production delays. Those orders should all have been fulfilled by now. Please let us know if you're still waiting for one.

Substack also says we should make a custom button to sell books.

Film and television rights to 19 Folktales are still available—e.g. No. 12, "The Princess and Her Suitors"—but not while the Writers Guild of America remains on strike. Solidarity forever!

BONUS INTRA-HOUSEHOLD PROMOTION: If you're looking for something longer to read, also with a cover by Jim Cooke, consider the brand-new Normalizing an American Right to Health, by Christina S. Ho, from Oxford University Press. "A right to health is already growing in our midst if we know where to look and what to nurture," Ho writes. Available now through retailers from to


New York City, May 15, 2023

★★★★ Reflected light curved and flared on the bedroom ceiling. New trash containers stood by the curb, emptied and open. The sky was glarier than it had been. Indoors, the air was a little chilly to be sitting around in; outdoors, the sun was a little warm to be walking fast in. Small children climbed up two trees, higher than an adult's head, nearly disappearing into the branches of a pine. People were going to the parks in billowing pale-blue graduation gowns. Two geese and a half-dozen goslings tore up the tender shoots of grass trying to come back on a patch of flattened dirt.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 68: Whacked out on Viagra and wine.

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Listen now (4 min) | The Indignity Morning Podcast is also available via the Apple and Spotify platforms.

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The Brooklyn Boosters Club, Vol. 2

More consciousness at Instagram.


WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of sandwiches from More Recipes for Fifty, by Frances Lowe Smith, published in 1921, found in the public domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Toast slices of bread on one side. Spread untoasted side of one slice with Mayonnaise Dressing, cover with lettuce leaf; add thinly sliced chicken, then more dressing and another leaf of lettuce. Put on thin, crisp slices of bacon, then sliced tomato and lettuce. Finish with second slice of toast, spread generously with dressing. Garnish with tiny lettuce leaves, and serve at once. The tomato may be omitted.

Toast slices of bread on one side, and spread other side with butter. On buttered side of one slice, place lettuce leaf, spread generously with Mayonnaise Dressing; then, in order given, a layer each of thinly sliced, mild onion, sliced tomato, sliced hard-cooked egg. Spread with more dressing, and cover with lettuce. Finish with second slice of toast. Sliced cucumbers may be used instead of onion, if preferred.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, kindly send a picture to us at

Thanks for reading INDIGNITY, a general-interest publication for a discerning and self-selected audience. We depend on your support!