Monday Morning Stepback –Updated with call for Winsor Lists!!

UPDATE: On October 16, in honor of the birthdate of Kathleen Winsor, author of Forever Amber, please consider posting your top 16 romance novels. Thanks to Maili for idea. If the thought of “all time” faves daunts you, just post what strikes you as 16 of your faves on that day — no commitment to keep the list in perpetuity.

1. Links of interest:

Kristie(j) has a post up at Access Romance Readers’ Gab called “Five Things I’ll Never Say: Confessions of an Avid Reader” which makes me feel, as BevQB beautifully put it, “lower than a subterranean slug” because I am sure I have said one or more of them in my time. Go check it out.

Wendy the Superlibrarian is over at Borders True Romance talking about heroines. And you know I was nodding my head in agreement at the part where she says she wants heroines with backbone. I mean, homo sapiens is a vertebrate species. Are we really asking for too much?

SonomaLass has introduced a new rating system for book reviews: Win and Fail, with Made of Win and Made of Fail reserved for exceptional outliers. It’s brilliant. I am thinking of adopting it for my students (kidding!)

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2. Sometimes, the nicest thing anybody says to me all day … is what my spammers say.

Spam comments like “Nice blog. I visit oftener.” or  “Thank for good job!” or even “их больше было О_о” which I am sure means “You are beautiful and so is your blog!” really make my day, when they are not pissing me the fuck off.

3. Covers

We spend a lot of time talking about covers in Romanceland. Or rather, you guys do. While I dislike misleading covers (sexy covers for chaste books, heroes and heroines not as described by the author, etc.), I honestly don’t care much about them. I thought I might try to be positive and share a few images of those covers I really like but … I can’t think of any.

I think some political and social cover discussions are interesting — the Liar discussion, for example, or this collection of Nurse Romance Novel Covers at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. But when it comes to aesthetics, I draw a blank.

Cover art it is not an art form I really know how to admire. What do you look for in it?

4. When I need a laugh

A lot of folks visit Cakewrecks, which is truly very funny. However, I prefer http://www.Despair.com.  It would be hard to overstate my dislike for motivational posters, on both moral and aesthetic grounds, or for life coaches, motivational speakers, or social media experts. I feel the people at Despair.com understand me perfectly. Here are a few of my favorites:  On cluelessness, on winners, and on madness.

5. Pubic hair

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This is one of those comments I may come to regret, especially if I find out one day that my rabbi or great aunt reads this blog, but I confess that every time I read that a heroine’s pubic hair is “tidy” or “neat”, I get a little nervous. That is probably the only area on my body that I never think about in the third person. Oh sure, I realize it is important try to avoid showing up at the local pool looking like Robin Williams as a preoperative transsexual, but other than that, it’s off my vanity radar.

I first became aware that there are beauty standards for this area of the body by reading JR Ward. Ward’s heroes, instead of thinking, “Am I about to commit a felony with a prepubescent girl? I’m outtie, you feel me?”, when they got a look at the hairless wonder that is the female vampire, seemed to love the idea of — erm — unbuttered bread (?).

Then, I was watching The Girls Next Door — only for research purposes, of course — and I noticed Holly walking down the hallways of the Playboy magazine offices deriding the “bushes” on the cover bunnies of the 1990s.

This is not exactly something you chat about with other moms at the busstop (but it’s perfectly ok to talk about it on your blog, which hundreds of complete strangers read, naturally), so I am ignorant except for my romance novel reading, which more and more frequently seems to refer to women’s — but not men’s — pubic hair in the controlled, tamed, bounded terms of which even Foucault would be proud.

When I grew up, not only did kids walk 10 miles in the snow to get to school, but men had to plow through miles of bush to get to their special destinations. Songs like “Push Push in the Bush” were hits, and Playboy and Penthouse were fighting the “pubic wars” to see who could show more hair down there (for a very NSFW  pictorial of those hairy 1970s centerfolds, visit this blog). I am not sure I am ready for this Shaved New World.

6. We are on fall break, a lovely thing.

Happy week everyone!

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