Thoughts on the Week That Was

It’s another gorgeous morning here in Maine. What an unbelievable summer we have had. We’ve been trying to get out and enjoy it as much as possible. In fact, today I don’t have much time to write this b/c the spouse and I are putting on our hiking shoes and heading into the woods for a few hours.

I have a post up this morning at Book Riot, Hot or Not: Trends in Popular Romance which is a summary of things I heard at RWA.

Speaking of RWA, I wanted to share a random observation. The line for Susan Elizabeth Phillips at the literacy signing was very short every time I walked by it. She got a special spot along the wall reserved for the biggest names. She was next to Nalini Singh who had a line that snaked past SEP’s table and well beyond. I mentioned this to someone and they said it’s partly geographic, and that SEP draws huge lines when RWA is in southern states. Anyway, it got me thinking about how it might feel to get moved from the outskirts and put back into scrum late in one’s career.

As for the other big RWA discussion of the week? This sums of how I feel:


I’m sorry I can’t be more articulate than that, but many others, both inside and outside Romanceland, have.

Ridley, Meoskop, Rameau and Rebekah are looking for reviewers for Love in the Margins. I’m on record promising one post a month if they need it, but I know they really want reviewers writing from a range of perspectives and experiences and identities.

Our hospital Literature and Medicine group picked the books for this year (the group meets monthly September – May, excluding one of the middle winter months). Here they are:

The Tennis Partner, by Abraham Verghese

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

The Stranger, by Albert Camus and The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

The Lost Child, Wes McNair (Maine author, poetry, will visit our group to discuss it)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

On Immunity: An Inoculation, Eula Biss

I’m putting together a blog for the group, but it’s mainly just for people to refer to which book and which date, and I’ll put up a couple of links for further reading.

I finally downgraded my Audible subscription to the Secret Super Low Level (small $$ per year to keep all your books in the cloud and have access to all sales). I got Scribd, which, although the functionality isn’t as great as the Audible app, I am really loving. I listened to the Holly Madison memoir on audio, something I never would have used a precious Audible credit on. Although, I got a new car with a free Sirius radio subscription and listening to talk radio, music from specific decades, and channels devoted to my favorite artists is really eating in to my audio time.

I’m listening to Venetia right now (on Audible. ). Of course, it is great. I would listen to Phyllida Nash read the phone book. Heyer is such a keen observer of moral character and fairly obsessed with the difference between mores and morals. I get the sense that she thinks the greatest failing of character isn’t to commit moral wrongs (even grievous ones) but to miss the moral forest for the mores trees. (sorry!)  And I think it has something to do with the value she seems to place on real human connection, the way that slavish devotion to social mores and attendant moralizing puts a person at a distance from others. In the few Heyer books I’ve read that seems to be a salient distinction between the hero and the rejected suitor.

I’ve been reading some “dark romance,” mostly out of curiosity. Am in the middle of Stay by Emily Goodwin. Its claim to fame is having been twice banned by Amazon. I can’t tell who the female protag will end up with but if it is any of the guys I’ve met so far, it’s very depressing. My thoughts on this subgenre are percolating.

I hope you had a good week. In honor of the end of The Daily Show, here’s a Moment of (Maine summer) Zen:

3 responses

  1. A friend of mine was just telling me how much she loves Kate Atkinson’s mystery series (I’ve only seen them televised as Case Histories, haven’t read). LIFE AFTER LIFE sounds like it might be speculative fiction? Would be interested to hear about it.


  2. Looking forward to when/if you put your thoughts-on-blog re: Dark Romance. I have lots of feelings about this “sub genre” – most of them not very good and also leaving me with the feeling that I’m half-a-step away from Cranky Granny In Rocking Chair Petting Her Shotgun territory.

    Liked by 1 person


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