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Why must this uniquely successful genre keep enduring slights and insults? After all, snobs dismiss all kinds of pop culture — from hip-hop to sitcoms — but romance novels elicit a special degree of fervent condescension. That denigration fits a larger historical pattern that regards any of the particular interests of women — from midwifery to knitting to “old wives’ tales” — as inferior to the particular interests of men. Are romance novels any more formulaic or unrealistic than the spy novels and thrillers that attract a male readership? Is there any reason — besides stale misogyny — to question the intelligence of romance authors and their fans?
The Rogue Not Taken
The Scandal & Scoundrel series, is best described as "Old School TMZ" -- essentially, Modern celebrity gossip with a pre-Victorian twist. The first book, The Rogue Not Taken, which the author lovingly refers to as "Romancing the Stone with fewer crocodiles and more Kardashian sisters," drops today.  
 
#romance novels

"Remember how I said “I love you.” “I know” was like, seminal for me? Now I realize, that’s the whole of Han. Yes. I know the story about Harrison Ford and forgetting the line and whatever. At first blush, he’s the original romance hero (before love knocks him to his knees). He’s a space pirate, for heaven’s sake. He makes a living on the run, knows all sorts of unsavory people, and is known as the greatest reluctant hero of our time.

Except, he’s not really heroic. He’s dragged kicking and screaming through heroics. Practically the only thing he ever does that’s heroic is not shoot first in that bar (see what I did there?). Let’s be clear. Han fights for himself first, and then everyone else. EVEN LEIA."


SPOILER ARERT
In the weeks before the great sci-fi author Philip K. Dick passed away on March 2, 1982, he had been dreaming of The Owl In Daylight.

Excellent essay/talk about how the web is broken and how easy it is to fix it.

A Twitter page containing a single tweet is typically "100 KB more than the full text of The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov’s funny and enigmatic novel about the Devil visiting Moscow with his retinue (complete with a giant cat!) during the Great Purge of 1937, intercut with an odd vision of the life of Pontius Pilate, Jesus Christ, and the devoted but unreliable apostle Matthew."


Two hundred years ago, the greatest eruption in Earth’s recorded history took place. Mount Tambora—located on Sumbawa Island in the East Indies—blew itself up with apocalyptic force in April 1815.

...Mary Shelley’s storm-lashed novel
Frankenstein bears the imprint of the Tambora summer of 1816, and her literary coterie—which included the poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron—serve as tour guides through the suffering worldscape of 1815–18.

[history] [it's the arts]
"We knew from previous studies that the impact region allows the mantis shrimp to transfer incredible momentum to its prey while resisting fracture," co-author Nicholas Yaraghi, a doctoral candidate at UC Riverside, says in a press release, "but it was exciting to reveal through our research that the properties of this highly impact-resistant material are created by the novel herringbone structure."