Directed Reading? The Romance Author and Her Audience

There’s been lots of tweeting about this Ravishly interview with Kathleen Gilles Seidel today, and I said it would be a great topic for further discussion on a blog post, so of course I found myself volunteering to write one that could be a place for discussion.

First Things First

I am not interested in discussing the interviewer or the interviewer’s place in romance criticism in this space. I have not named the interviewer because I am hoping to avoid having that take over the conversation. I also find the name tends to act as a bat signal and then that person arrives and shapes the subsequent discussion and no thank you.

If I have any bias here, it’s that I adored Again and plan to read more of Seidel’s work.

The Parts that Interested Me Most 

(and I think I’m not alone) were Seidel’s comments on her relationship to her audience. Continue reading

Posted in genre musings, linky-loo | 36 Comments

Last Week’s Reading: Nothing!

This week I took a reading break. I’m not sure why. I finished my TBR Challenge book Saturday night. I started another book Sunday, and I liked it, but I only read a few pages. The rest of the week, I just didn’t feel like reading. What did I do?

Well, I listened. I finished the audiobook of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. (I feel rather smug about this, but don’t ask me how much I understood. My thoughts about it are mostly personal and I’m not sure how much I want to say about me and money here. It’s kind of like when a romance makes you think about your own love and/or sex life and it’s better just to keep those TMI thoughts to yourself).

Mostly, I watched. I almost never watch TV anymore, but I do like to pick a show on Netflix to entertain me while I’m on the elliptical. Lately, that’s been Scott & Baileyand I binge-watched all of Series 3 this week (that’s only 8 episodes).  Continue reading

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TBR Challenge Review: The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo, by Zen Cho

My first attempt at the TBR Challenge is a bit of a good news, bad news, story, but in the end good triumphed and I came out a winner with a book I loved.

Good News: The theme for this month is “We Love Short Shorts,” and since a big chunk of my digital TBR consists of Harlequin category romance, I figured I was golden. I’d dig something from the depths and feel really good about finally reading it.

Bad News: Then suddenly it was Sunday night and I realized no way was I going to find and finish one in time to post a review.

Good News: But hey! I was reading Zen Cho’s romantic historical novella The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo right then! I could count that.

Bad News: Did it really count as TBR? I’d only had it for a couple of months. Surely the point is to read the oldest and stalest books in my stash?

Good News: I’ve actually had it since November 2013, when Sunita reviewed it at Dear Author! (Sunita is responsible for quite a bit of my TBR). Not as long as some of those Harlequins have been gathering dust, but way longer than I thought. Definitely counts.

OK, Enough Silliness. Time for the Review: Continue reading

Posted in review, romance | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Recent Reading: Best Laid Plans

So you can make all the resolutions you want about how you’re going to blog more often and write more in-depth posts on individual books, but when the new year coincides with the start of a new term and you also have to finish planning your 69-section department course schedule for next Fall, well, that resolution isn’t going to be met right away. Still, I have been reading some, so here, in the interest of writing something about those books, is a list:

Romance: Short and Satisfying

(Because only one was sweet). On the 7th day of Christmas I remembered that Janet had sent me a Betty Neels book called The Fifth Day of Christmas. I was behind on starting it! I thought of this as a novella but it was 185 pages and I think I just forgot what size paper Harlequins are. Anyway, I enjoyed this aside from two things. 1. the ridiculous updating of a record player to a CD player–cut that out, publishers! What’s wrong with a classic? (Especially as the book in every other way dated to Betty Time–vaguely 50s-ish). 2. The usual Selfish Other Woman was Clever (i.e. intellectual), so of course could not be the affectionate domestic type the hero needed. Of course not. But. Rich Dutch doctor was not too opaque or mean to the heroine; nurse heroine was of the beautiful and reasonably confident type, not the doormat type; Scottish and Dutch settings were grand. I had a good time as always in Betty Land. Continue reading

Posted in mystery, non-fiction, review, romance | 18 Comments

2015 Reading and Blogging Goals

Be the Internet You Want to See

That sounds like a sappy affirmation. But since the only behavior I can change is my own (what’s a better time for clichés than a New Year’s resolution post?) I aim to stop bemoaning the state of the bookternet and start providing more of what I’d like to read. I’ve certainly said my share of things I regretted online. I’d like to do less of that. To which end: Continue reading

Posted in personal | Tagged | 20 Comments