Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Soup - February 22

Sunday Soup is... a little of this, a little of that, not too much work, and hopefully a tasty result.

Soup Dish:  book people are talking about...
I'm getting all revved about RT14! I confess, I've been stalking the hashtag a bit.  Are you a Karina Cooper fan? I thought I had reviewed her ... but I guess that's another one that never made it out of the "thinking about" stage and onto the actual blog.  Anyway, if you're going to RT, check out the plan Ms. Cooper is hatching, if for no other reason than that she always has the most FABULOUS boots.  And either way, if you haven't sampled her St. Croix series, you really should. Creepy and dark; it really brings the horror element.

A friend posted this article about women's voices and it's kind of amazing.  [Ironically] I can't really articulate my response to it, but it has me thinking thinking thinking.

Adventures in Reading! I had lunch at Panera the other day, with my book of course, and I kept sort of eavesdropping on these two women sitting near me.  I can hardly be blamed though, because they kept dropping tantalizing words like "genre" and "literary" and "urban fantasy" and I couldn't quite catch what they were actually talking about, but it was clearly a business conversation.  Finally I couldn't stand it any more and butted in. We talked books and genre and social media for at least half an hour before I had to run and tend to the rest of my real life schedule. In the process, I learned about Curiosity Quills, a very cool new(ish) publishing house. It's always a great day when I can nerd out with someone new!

What I'm reading
I finished the Alexa Egan title I mentioned last week.  I think I liked the second one a little bit better, but it's definitely a series I'll stick with.

Blazed through Thea Harrison's Lord's Fall.  I know, I'm way behind.  I've already started Kinked.  I love this stuff.  I'm probably due for a contemporary pretty soon though; I'm thinking probably something from Victoria Dahl.

Outlander Watch... Och. I canna wait for Jamie and Claire onscreen.

Interview with Ron Moore; nice chunk of discussion about adapting the book to film.
One of the very first notes that [Starz CEO] Chris Albrecht told me was to trust the book. He said, "We love the book. Make the show for the fans of the book and believe that anyone who doesn't know this material, when they see it, they'll be swept into the story like everyone else is.
What a great thing to hear!

Ron Moore and Sam Heughan in kilts.  Although I searched diligently, out of the generosity of my heart for you, my readers, all for you... the photographic evidence is sadly minimal AND owned by Getty Images, so you'll need to click through for a look.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Soup - February 16

Sunday Soup is... a little of this, a little of that, not too much work, and hopefully a tasty result.

Soup Dish:  book people are talking about...
Although I don't really consider myself a writer, I have squeezed myself into a corner of the world of writing and publishing, and have read a lot of essays by writers, about writing. None have moved me quite as much as this from Kelly Gregory.

Given that my specific corner of this writing and publishing world is particularly focused on women's fiction, it shouldn't be surprising that I find myself following conversations about women's issues, about women in media, and diversity in general. It's too bad that a project like this is needed, but on the other hand, really great that it exists: 44 Stock Photos That Hope To Change The Way We Look At Women.

Arranging Your Books by Color Is Not a Moral Failure: an article that caught my eye and took me on a fun little link-hop through half a dozen articles on the topic proper, as well as a side trip about what the physical aspects of a book bring to the literary experience. The implications of this question and the range of answers of course, is undergoing a massive change with the advent of ebooks, but I was not really aware of the debates that have gone before - the Slate article, What Will Become of the Paper Book was a fascinating glimpse into that topic.  I'm a bad bibliophile because I never knew any of that before.

In the Observer article The Taming of the Hue: Ailing Hardcovers Find a Fashion-Fun Niche, one designer says:
“I have too much respect for books,” said interior designer and author of Fifth Avenue Style Howard Slatkin. “There is nothing that gives a house more warmth and personality. But when people take books and arrange them by color or stack them and put objects on top and treat them as mere decoration, I find it offensive.”
I can't say I find it actually offensive... but I might judge you a bit. I might assume that your books are a pretense and you might actually have no idea what their titles or contents are. And I might be wrong! but that is the impression that I might get, particularly if I didn't know you much before I was introduced to your rainbow bookshelf. I just think it reduces a book to its-- very, extremely-- most superficial aspect.

The Paris Book Review is a fun read on books as decor in upscale mens' clothing stores.

Apartment Therapy raises one good point:
For the visual thinkers out there, organizing their books by color might just be the easiest way to find what they're looking for. You might not remember who wrote that great novel you read last summer, but the bright blue cover could easily stick in your mind.
But then reveals the true motivation:
Admit it: it looks good.  The whole point of this look is to make a visual impact with your books; to make art out of everyday items.
which I have to admit, I judge. I don't think it constitutes good art to reduce a literary work to the color of its jacket.

Now this notion, When Books Become Art Objects, is a whole different idea.  To have the physicality of the book enhance the theme or emotion of the book... that I can get behind. I don't see this as the same thing at all though -- it's the very opposite of going to Half Price Books and buying classics by the yard.

At any rate, thanks to  Mary Beth Williams for sending me down this little jaunt via her twitter feed.

What I'm reading
In the middle of Alexa Egan's Demon Curse. This is the first book of the Imnada series.  I managed to read the second one first but either way, I'm enjoying the series.  Really creative and dark mythology.

I finished Lexi Blake's "The Dom Who Loved Me" -- her offering in a 6-book set that I picked up a little while ago. I did get all the way through it but I can't recommend it. I find her narrative choppy and "telling" rather than "showing."

Sped through Kit Rocha's novella Beyond Temptation. I love this world. There were a few places where I really wanted a bit more characterization for Noah, but it is the nature of a wonderful novella to wish there was more of it. I'm a fan, what can I say.

Outlander Watch... Och. I canna wait for Jamie and Claire onscreen.
A delightful analysis from USA Today's Heroes and Heartbreakers column on why exactly, Outlander is so compelling.

The photo of the week was posted by Starz as a Valentine's gift to fans. THANK YOU STARZ.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Soup - February 9

Sunday Soup is... a little of this, a little of that, not too much work, and hopefully a tasty result.

I haven't been keeping up too much lately.  Have I missed all the kerfuffles?

Soup Dish:  book people are talking about...
18 Bookstores Every Book Lover Must Visit At Least Once - spotted via Anne Rice's Twitter feed. Although I'm pretty unlikely to make it to the more exotic locales, I have been to the Strand and Powell's. I'd happily work a vacation itinerary around some of these bookstores. Have you visited any on the list?

Gone Missing: my suspenders of disbelief

Image credit: By Sara-Paceni via Wikimedia Commons
I've struggled through two historicals recently that I just couldn't really get into. I DNF'd Sarah MacLean's One Good Earl because I just could not believe the Regency heroine who thought she needed to have sex with someone in order to take her oath of matrimony (so she would understand what she's swearing, you see).  And Jennifer Haymore's Confessions of an Improper Bride had an identical twin swap that just seemed to me could never possibly succeed anyway.  I also had trouble with the hero's redemption - the couple was caught in flagrante delicto at a ball, no less, and he later cut her dead and pretended not to know who she was.  It's odd that I've seen rapist heroes redeemed but that one seemed impossible to me.  I got all the way through that one, but the premise made me grumpy.

I like both of these authors a lot and I'm not giving up on them.  I suspect that my issues are more a function of the February blahs than of the books themselves.

Based on Pamela's rec and some other buzz, I finished Cecilia Tan's first book in the Struck by Lightning trio (Slow Surrender) and while I didn't really have the disbelief problem, I didn't think it was that great. Perhaps the literary allegory is just over my head, but the characters didn't really grab me, and I dislike the cliff-hanger ending.

I'm doing better with paranormals.  I blazed through Chloe Neill's latest Chicagoland Vampires novel (Wild Things) and loved it.  I haven't grabbed the novella that came out last month, but it's on my list.

I was in the mood for a contemp and kind of stuck without wireless/download access, so instead of a new Victoria Dahl that I wanted, I started up a Lexi Blake title yesterday (The Dom Who Loved Me). I'm having a few issues with it but so far I'm still reading.

Based on this rundown here, perhaps I should stick to paranormals for a bit.  It's not like I don't have a stack of those waiting for me too!

Outlander Watch... Och. I canna wait for Jamie and Claire onscreen.

Those EYES:


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