Sunday, July 28, 2013


No soup this week!  I'm visiting family this week in the midwest, enjoying the company, getting caught up with my nieces and nephews and old friends, and the home-grown tomatoes.  See you next week!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Soup - July 21

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...
Of course, the main thing that romance book people are talking about is RWA.  If you went, you are probably too jet-lagged and/or footsore to be reading this.  I'm looking forward to the "best of" posts, but for now, here are some other things that have been going on...

Chris Kluwe publishes, but not what you're expecting: 
When various publishers first approached me about writing a book, the majority of them wanted the standard “football player autobiographical” that everyone churns out once they get even a sniff of attention. You know, the “on x day I did y, and it made me feel z because I gave 120% of all the sports cliches my coach ever taught me about Jesus.” That one.
Pretty sure I like that guy.  Quote is from his piece at John Scalzi's place.

RWA is not the only con from this week:  Natalie's report on ReaderCon.  The San Diego ComicCon is also in progress, but I'm only mentioning it so you know I'm cool enough to know it's going on.  (I am not actually very interested in it...)

Speaking of comics, Gail Simone has announced a new series of Red Sonja comics, to be written by an impressive array of women writers, including some of my favorites, like Meljean Brook and Marjorie Liu.

Jessica concludes her two-part series on book blogging.  It's a fun look back.  I tend to agree that book blogging may have peaked, and there is more action on Twitter.  However, peaked != dead; and while I enjoy Twitter a lot, one of the things I like about it is that I find out about interesting long pieces.

Another piece on blogging.  I expected this to be sort of a throw-away piece, but it is really concise and I agree with his points, especially this:
Be relatable, be yourself.
What sets bloggers apart from newspaper article feeds is voice. Your content is what draws them in while your personality, or your voice in writing, is what will keep them there. Let your readers get to know you. 
Wonkoromance might be my new favorite-est blog.  I thought this piece about how terrible their first books were was hilarious.

I am kind of a sucker for reading lists (I think it's a competitive streak).  And this one, 15 YA novels every adult should read, caught my eye.  I know that when I say "I don't really read YA" in that tone, I'm being a lot like those people who say "Really? you read romance?" in that tone. But the thing is, I have read it.  When I was a young adult (or, well, adolescent, really). But sometimes I think I should see what the fuss is about.  So maybe I'll try a couple of these.  I have to say though, a couple of them sound really, really terrible.  What YA would you recommend?

What I'm reading
Sheik Week preparations continue!  I found this amazing list on GoodReads and my local paperback exchange had four books from it.  Wheeeeee! I finished Adora by Bertrice Small and started on Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers.  Note, many if not all of these titles may be trigger-y for some.

I also finished up two upcoming re-releases from Open Road Media, by Dorothy Eden. I expect to have a review up shortly (don't I always say that?) but the short version is, they remind me a little bit of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie, all tension and little details from the corner of your eye and questionable reliability of the narrator.  Very nice suspense.

On Tap... what soup isn't a little better with a slosh or two?
I gave Trader Joe's Dunkleweizen this week -- billed as an "amber unfiltered wheat beer," the shelf tag mentioned caramelized malts, which is sort of a key word for me, and I often like wheat beers in the summer. However, it has a really sour taste right in the middle that I didn't like at all.  I looked at a couple of reviews that didn't say anything at all about the sourness, so I'm wondering if I got a bad batch.

One Last Thing
Irony has always been a concept that isn't completely straightforward to grasp, but Alanis Morrisette is solely responsible for an entire generation of not-getting-it*.  Fortunately, this has now been corrected:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Soup - July 14

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...
Fascinating article from an unusual blog.  I kind of want a romance hero something like William Fly, who did this:
Fly walked indifferently to the gallows; to the astonishment of the spectators, he upbraided the hangman’s poor knot and remade with his own hands the instrument for his own neck — one last use of his seaman’s proficiency with ropes.
Fly didn't get a happily ever after, unfortunately, but the manner of his death was fairly impressive, according to this article.  While the post focuses on William Fly in particular, it references a book called Villains of All Nations, which makes me want to read non-fiction. Via @2nerdyhistgirls.

Jessica's retrospective on book blogging.  If you're like me, you'll find yourself nodding along.

I like to kid myself that I don't pay much attention to cover art. Since I shop in the genre section of the bookstore anyway, I expect what I get and I pretty much get what I expect.  But this slideshow from Maureen Johnson's "Coverflip" project is very thought-provoking.  You can see lots more with a tagged tumblr search.  (I guess this happened back in May, but I just found it.)

If you haven't heard about Google's new policy to take down, without notice, any blog that appears to them to have adult content and be serving ads, you may be living under a rock. But just in case you haven't seen this, be advised! I think I am probably safe since I do not serve any ads whatsoever; however, it is motivating me to get my several hundred posts backed up, just in case I need to pack up someday. 

What I'm reading
Like almost everyone in Romlandia, I tore through The Story Guy last week, on the strength of the author's "Nut" essay on Wonkomance (which I linked to in last week's Soup) and buzz on Twitter. My reaction was a bit more mixed than most. While the language is exceptionally beautiful and sort of... sculpted... I found the very craftmanship of it slightly distracting, to be honest.  It seems more suited to an essay or poetry format. Also I hated the introductory device of lonely-librarian-combing-the-personals.  That might just be me.  But I do absolutely mean mixed feelings though, because it's beautifully written and the characters really shine.

Talk about contrast, I also continued my Bertrice Small binge with another harem romance, Adora. I really miss the epic scope of the old-skool romance-- Small's heroines are dynasty-builders, and the historical sweep of the expansion of the Ottoman empire is a fabulous read.

Speaking of Bertrice Small, you may recall that I was so appalled at the editing issues with the Kindle version of The Kadin that I contacted the publishers, and I did hear back from the editing team, who is going to have a look at the file.  They also let me know that the older books like these 80s publications are scanned from hard copy to create the electronic books-- if the font was as small as it was in the paperbacks that I read back in the day, I can understand why the software missed something like 5% of the periods in the text.  It makes me happy that the are hopefully going to fix it up.

On Tap... what soup isn't a little better with a slosh or two?
Continuing my quest for a honey-based beer that has an actual discernible honey flavor, I picked up a 6-pack of Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss. It was mostly harmless. Not much honey to it as far as I could tell.  Totally drinkable but nothing special.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Soup - July 7

Note: Thanks Laura, for letting me know about some broken links.  I fixed two of them -- the third URL is correct I think, but it looks like the site is down, hopefully temporarily. If you tried to follow links that were broken before, they should be corrected now.

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 this article on Manic Pixie Dream Girls by Laura Penny starts out with a bunch of references to Doctor Who, which don't mean much to me, this line jumped out at me:
Men grow up expecting to be the hero of their own story. Women grow up expecting to be the supporting actress in somebody else's.
Which echoes a point that Jenny Crusie made years ago and that I have referenced ad nauseum. Anyway, the writer talks about depth of characterization, and then she kind of sucker-punched me with this paragraph:
Manic Pixies, like other female archetypes, crop up in real life partly because fiction creates real life, particularly for those of us who grow up immersed in it. Women behave in ways that they find sanctioned in stories written by men who know better, and men and women seek out friends and partners who remind them of a girl they met in a book one day when they were young and longing.
and just... wow.  I'm still figuring out what to do with that, but the truth of it blows my mind a little bit. I'm just loving this writer's voice and am about to go binge on Things She Has To Say.  Because:
Lately, though, as I've been working on longer ideas about sexism and class and power, I keep coming back to love, to the meat and intimacy of fucking and how it so often leads so treacherously to kissing. 
and because
I refuse to burn my energy adding extra magic and sparkle to other people’s lives to get them to love me. I’m busy casting spells for myself. Everyone who was ever told a fairytale knows what happens to women who do their own magic. 
I just love all of that.  (via @meredithduran on Twitter)

10 things about book blogging from Rebecca Schinsky.  Spot on. (via @THRJessica on Twitter)

News from Nalini! She names her next hero. Given the hints in Heart of Obsidian, I'm not very surprised, but I am definitely looking forward to Vasic's story, especially since it seems that he will be paired up with a Changeling.  Did I mention that I went to a signing a couple of weeks ago? How did I overlook that?? I did tweet about it -- and yes, I  tried to make sure to get the University Bookstore info in the picture -- I love that they have these amazing events so if I can give them a teeny boost, I will.

One last link [note: it looks like this blog is down at the moment - I'm going to leave the link in hopes that it comes back...] that left my jaw dangling a little bit with the power and gorgeousness of the very words.  Perhaps because I am not a person that poetry usually speaks to, on the occasions when I accidentally stumble over something that resonates for me, I get more than a bit blindsided. I predict [more] amazing things from this writer.

What I'm reading
OH MY GOD why did I wait so long to read Thea Harrison's latest release??  It is so, so good.  Go get your hands on Rising Darkness right now if you haven't already.  In the "hidden parallel world" style of urban fantasy, where the paranormal world lives alongside unsuspecting mortals, there is always a scene where one of the leads discovers the parallel world, and it is always a pivotal moment.  None have electrified me like the one in this book.  I swear, I had goosebumps.

I am hatching a plan for a Sheik Week at Alpha Heroes.  I used to read everything I could get my hands on in this subgenre, and they were pretty popular in the 80s.  Standalone or full length books with the European girl in an Eastern harem are now pretty few and far between, although there is still a thriving subgenre of contemporary category sheik romance.  So I was feeling nostalgic about them and re-read Bertrice Small's The Kadin, which was a huge favorite of mine.  I am pleased to say that the story holds up very well-- I went on some multi-hour reading binges like I haven't done in a while and actually was up until 2:30 am last Thursday night (yay for 4-day weekends!).  I'm saving a full review for the feature week, but two things: 1) I really really loved it, and 2) good god, the 2010 Kindle edition is really pretty awful.  Typos and missing periods EVERYWHERE.  If you can find a used print copy, I highly recommend you do that.

I finally finished the Janelle Denison's Born To Be Wilde, part of a 6-book set by a variety of authors.  It took me a while to get through this, but I think that was more a function of stuff going on around me.  I really liked the characters and the Dude Group that Denison has set up, and I'm looking forward to checking out more of the series.

I'm not reading it yet, but I just pre-ordered Chloe Neill's latest Chicagoland Vampire book, Biting Bad.  It's on sale for $8.89 (weird number...) which is close enough to mass market to suit me.

On Tap... what soup isn't a little better with a slosh or two?
I've had a pretty unadventurous week -- it's been all Apricot Ale, all the time with the hot hot weather.  So for your entertainment, I'm giving you this link:  36 cheap American beers, in rank order.

Since Maisey made this just for me, it seems only fair for me to share it with you.


  © Blogger template Coozie by 2008

Back to TOP