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review 2018-04-02 10:31
My Life with Bob: Flawed heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues
My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues - Pamela Paul

I had no real idea what to expect from this book; the subtitle guaranteed I was going to read it, but how do you write a book about your personal reading list?

 

You don't, as it turns out.  You use it as context, a frame from which you hang your memoirs.  That's not to say that books and a love of reading isn't prominent - it is.  I'd call it a 60/40 split, memoir to books.  But at the end, the reader is going to know way more about Pamela Paul than about her list of books read.

 

And Pamela Paul is an interesting person on paper (I don't presume to know what she'd be like in reality).  Some readers might find the focus on her world travels heavy-handed, but she spends enough time on her childhood to make it clear hers was not a privileged upbringing.  She and I are the same age, and our lives, both in childhood and early adulthood have some interesting parallels, although quite a few ginormous differences. (Among others, she assumes every girl of our generation who read A Wrinkle in Time found it a life changing classic.  I did not.  Even as a kid I was bored by all things space, dooming it from the start, but I clearly remember reading it as part of my schoolwork and thinking it heavy-handed and ... please forgive me for saying this, condescending.)  

 

Overall, I felt it easy to relate to her and the inner-self she lets the reader see, and how books played a pivotal part.  Just about everything I read about the book beforehand mentioned the humor and wit with which it was written.  I can see that's true, but - and this bugged me the entire time, because I couldn't figure out why - I couldn't feel it.  I knew there were parts that were meant to be funny, but they didn't affect me the way they were meant to, nor the way I thought they should have.  Somehow, the timing of my reading and her writing were off.  This meant that while I really enjoyed the book, I finished it feeling like there was a failure somewhere in the transmission from the page to my brain.

 

It's a thought provoking read both in terms of how and what we read, and the events of our lives.  Will possibly do terrible things to a reader's TBR.

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review 2018-02-23 23:54
Book Tour: Megan's Munchkins
Megan's Munchkins (Megan's World Book 1) - Pamela Foland

Megan’s Munchkins was adorable. Though it did something some books rarely do. That is the fact we get to learn about kitten care though not like we are getting bogged down with information all the time like a kitten book.

It as if Megan want to prove to her parents that can take care of a pet. Though she makes mistakes along the way. We see she how she changes and that of her parents. She afraid to tell her parents that she found them.

Will Megan's fear over rule and or will she tell her parents. We see her determination and struggle to want to tell her parents. She doe take on the responsibility of the kittens. She know she want them to live and not die.

Her family does not know other then her brother. Though will she face and accept the mistakes and learn from them. You will need to find out by reading. Her parents see the changes but they get a little upset when they find out what she been hiding.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/02/book-tour-megans-munchkins.html
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text 2018-02-21 20:46
Modeling agencies
A Natural History of the Romance Novel - Pamela Regis

I could do this as a "currently reading" title with periodic updates, but too much is going on, so I'm just going to leave a few notes here and there.  You can follow, or not, as you choose.

 

 

Regis bases her analysis of the content of romance novels on the literary theories of mid-20th century critic Northrop Frye.  She seems, therefore, to be trying to fit the popular fiction form of the romance novel into the academic model of "literature," as though the two were almost entirely distinct.  Any prose narrative that has already been accepted as "literature" by the credentialed academic community -- such as Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre -- has been granted respect.  Regis seems to be attempting to squeeze romance novels into the same mold while at the same time insisting they are so different from literature that they cannot be considered literature, but if they can be seen to share some characteristics, then they might be worthy of some respect.

 

Yes, it's contorted logic.  But Regis never comes out and admits romance novels -- as they are written, published, read, and enjoyed today -- are essentially no different in content or form from "literature."  That would be academic sacrilege.  A kind of "separate, but sort of equal" compromise that would allow her to sell her book without losing her academic standing.

 

Jane Austen didn't write "literature."  Neither did Charles Dickens.  Neither did Wilkie Collins or Victor Hugo.  Maybe it's time to look at more than a few samples from "literature," samples which already have the stamp of "romance novel," and look at more than a few samples of real romance novels from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and compare them to a more neutral standard, and perhaps a more universal standard.  Then see how both of them stand up.

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text 2018-02-21 00:24
Planning to read -- How do you feel?
A Natural History of the Romance Novel - Pamela Regis

When I wrote my undergraduate honors thesis about romance novels in 2000, this book was still three years in the future. Though I had an academic publisher interested in a book-length version of Half Heaven, Half Heartache, I never followed up on it and ultimately saw the Regis book as what mine would/might have been.  So my "book" sat on the shelf.

 

A few years ago, however, an odd set of circumstances brought my attention back to A Natural History, and so I bought a copy.  The opening pages took me aback.

 

Rather than "a natural history," the Regis book opened like just another post-modern analysis of a varied genre that the author didn't really know, understand, or care about.The University of Pennsylvania imprint, of course, hinted that the tone would be academic rather than popular, in rather stark contrast to UPenn's 1994 anthology of essays by actual romance novelists, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women.

 

Romance novels don't write themselves; they are written by people -- usually women -- who have read other romance novels and other romantic novels and other novels written by other people.  The Happy Ever After (HEA) ending continues to be disparaged even as it's deemed absolutely essential to the genre, and even while readers and writers proclaim novels without HEA are still romances.

 

It's not enough to subject a few selected novels to a Procrustean post-modern literary analysis and declare that to be the natural history of an entire genre.

 

I'm not sure how many romance novels I've read.  More than a few hundred certainly.  I've written (through to the HEA) a dozen or so; the unfinished starts are uncountable.  There are great romance novels and there are horrible ones.  Some are well-written, some are not.  They are short, they are long.  They are contemporary, they are historical, they are futuristic.  They are sweet, they are sexy, they are erotic.

 

Romance novels, however, still don't get respect.  Pamela Regis's book was supposed to give the genre the respect it deserved.  As far as I can see, it fails rather miserably.

 

I didn't want that to be the case.  I wanted A Natural History of the Romance Novel to succeed.  I wanted to see my favorite books and authors given pride of place in a serious, detailed analysis of the good points and bad points.  That's not what this book is.

 

So, it all comes back to my little thesis.  I guess I have some major reading to do.

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-02-20 18:07
Testing, testing, testing
A Natural History of the Romance Novel - Pamela Regis

Booklikes ate three of my comments and a post last night.  Fortunately, none were longor urgent.

 

So I'm trying this again.  If it works, I'll post another REAL post.

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