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Daily Deals: A controversial book of feminist humor; A female stalker;...

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin MoranHow to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them?

Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women’s lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from the riot of adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth—whether it’s about the workplace, strip clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children—to jump-start a new conversation about feminism. With humor, insight, and verve, How To Be a Woman lays bare the reasons why female rights and empowerment are essential issues not only for women today but also for society itself.

This is a fairly controversial book and Moran’s humor is something you’ll either love or hate. I remembered reading tweets by Harper about this book and the quotes were pretty offputting. Moran has also been involved in controversies regarding unthinking words about transgender people and being dismissive about the lack of color representation in television shows. She is also widely regarded as a feminist icon for the 21st century.

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The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane MoriartyThe Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

For fans of Emily Giffin, another wonderful book by the author of What Alice Forgot.

Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

Another blurb for the book reveals that the stalker is a client of Ellen’s.  Ellen’s POV is in the third person and the stalker’s is in the first person.  There are varying reviews but most of them indicate that, if not taken too seriously, this was an engaging romance. 

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Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs Series #9)      by     Jacqueline Winspear Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden—sellers of fruits and vegetables on the London streets—Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. So who would want to kill him . . . and why?

Maisie Dobbs’s father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, and she remembers Eddie fondly. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie’s death. Maisie’s search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth leads her to unexpected places and people: to a callous press baron; to a has been politician named Winston Churchill; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk everything to see justice done.

When I posted #9 in the Maisie Dobbs series a number of readers recommended the books. Here’s another entry in the series for one’s collection.

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Playing the Part  by     Darcy DanielPlaying the Part by Darcy Daniels. $ 2.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Anthea Cane is a successful actress—well, action star. Her films are mostly about how hot she looks silhouetted by fiery explosions. But Anthea is determined to prove she’s more than just a body. With the role of a lifetime up for grabs—a serious adaptation of her favorite novel—Anthea sets off to her small hometown in the name of research.

Cole Daniel is a blind farmer with no patience for divas, especially one who mercilessly teased him as a young boy. When Anthea shows up using a fake name and pestering him into letting her stay, he can’t pass up the opportunity to torment her just a little.

But Anthea won’t let the stubborn farmer deter her from her goal, even if he is hotter than any man she’s ever met. Cole finds his form of payback less than satisfying when Anthea keeps turning the tables on him, proving her mettle and gaining his respect. Will Anthea’s research land her a man, as well as the part?

From February through April, Carina Press is offering its full length novels for $2.99 both pre order and for the month of their release. I’ll be featuring those deals. This book, then, should be $2.99 until the end of the month.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

40 Comments

  1. Ridley
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 14:04:10

    She is also widely regarded as a feminist icon for the 21st century.

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  2. Eliza Evans
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 14:31:53

    Thank you for linking to the Moriarty book. I adored What Alice Forgot.

  3. Les
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 14:56:43

    I approach Moran like I do most humorists – knowing I am going to be lizzing for some parts and screaming in rage at other parts. I was given this book for Christmas and that has pretty much been my response.
    I think she is strongest and funniest when writing about things relate-able – teenage bodyhair and angst, sex, popular culture. I followed the twitter/jezebel/etc. uproar and do have to agree that she often seems dismissive when called on her thoughtlessness or other shortcomings, but maybe that uproar will be a jolt into a wider worldview.
    There are absolutely $2.00 worths of profane laughs in the book for the informed consumer.

  4. MrsJoseph
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 14:59:10

    I read a very well thought out review on Goodreads that discusses this book. I’m not going to link to it because the reviewer was harassed for not agreeing with Moran on several points. The review also discussed the transgendered comments as well as other issues the reviewer had.

    So, Moran is not my representative.

  5. Anne V
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 15:08:50

    I guess I live in a bubble – I had no idea there was a big deal about Caitlin Moran. I got the book as a gift, and it never occurred to me that it was anything other than humor. I thought it was intermittently funny and intermittently infuriating. It’s certainly $2 worth of entertainment. Now I have to go see what all the kerfuffle was.

  6. Les
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 15:20:08

    @Anne V: The first this-side-of-the-Atlantic kerfuffle is detailed here: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/16/caitlin_moran_and_bitch/ a more recent analysis is here: http://helenlewiswrites.tumblr.com/private/39164543605/tumblr_mftd1spuUT1rpijql
    I don’t know if you had the same feeling, but my agonizing midwestern-American teenage years felt alot like her agonizing industrial-English teenage years.

  7. Joy
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 15:41:32

    That is such a cool cover on Elegy for Eddie.

  8. Ridley
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 15:46:12

    If you’re straight, white, cisgendered and able-bodied, her humor is no doubt appealing. And, really, that would be fine if she were just a humorist. But if she wants to be a feminist icon, her lack of intersectionality is a fatal flaw. Feminism that doesn’t argue for equality for *all* is no better than patriarchy.

  9. Ros
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 15:48:47

    If you’re straight, white, cisgendered and able-bodied, her humor is no doubt appealing.

    I’m all these things and I still hated the book. It would be better titled ‘How to be Caitlin Moran’, but sadly I have absolutely no desire to be anything like her, and I didn’t identify with any of her ranting.

  10. Estara
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 16:01:06

    I’ve never heard of Moran – not being USian that probably isn’t a surprise – and I don’t think I’m missing anything. Just to put that feminist icon into perspective.

  11. cbackson
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 16:08:39

    @Estara: She’s British, and better known there than in the US, FWIW.

  12. Mary
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 16:17:53

    Thanks for the link to The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I bought it so I hope you get the credit for the sale :) I really liked What Alice Forgot so I have high hopes for this.

  13. Lynn S.
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 16:21:51

    Hmm, I always thought Wednesday Addams would grow up to be a feminist icon.

    “Why do bras hurt?” Is this really a question in need of “rapier wit”? The answer is because you’ve bought one that doesn’t fit properly.

  14. Jennie
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 16:47:42

    I wanted to like “How to Be a Woman” but it was too crude for me (I’m a delicate flower of ladyhood) and yes, very aggravating at times. Her humor didn’t work for me that well, either. I don’t think the combination of “humorous” hyperbole and blanket statements goes well with writing seriously about feminism. I’m not saying you can’t write about feminism with humor, but Moran’s tendency to overstate and generalize made it hard for me to take anything she said very seriously.

  15. Rue
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 18:29:43

    Me either :(

  16. Rue
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 18:48:17

    People like Moran are PRECISELY the reason why Black women have problem with feminism.

  17. Ann Somerville
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 19:44:20

    “She is also widely regarded as a feminist icon for the 21st century. ”

    Put me down as an iconoclast, then. I think she’s a heinous bitch.

  18. Maggie
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 21:07:26

    I’ve been reading Moran’s articles since they’ve been available online and to say that her writing evidences her personal transphobia, homophobia or racism is pretty ridiculous. I haven’t read the book, but she’s written about, and supported, intersectional feminism for years; stupid and thoughtless twatter responses aside.

    She is sarcastic beyond belief and I can understand where that could be very off-putting, but casting aspersions on her intersectional street cred based on some out of context quotes was pretty low on the part of Bitch magazine, especially when the evidence they provided was immediately discredited as exactly that: out of context and out of sarcasm, so to speak, quotes.

    That being said, I don’t know anyone who considers her a feminist icon, even those who really like her. She’s just funny to those people who find her funny. But she’s certainly no Suzanne Moore or Julie Burchill.

  19. Ann Somerville
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 21:21:31

    @Maggie:

    “casting aspersions on her intersectional street cred based on some out of context quotes ”

    For one, screaming ‘out of context’ when called on problematic language is for losers. For two, it’s not up to you to decide her language isn’t offensive to the people it’s targeting.

    For three, Bitch magazine has nothing to do with this kind of thing:
    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/182477233
    http://shadowscrescent.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/an-open-letter-to-caitlin-moran/
    http://stavvers.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/how-to-be-a-woman-in-which-i-review-a-book-that-i-read/

    She’s privileged, ableist and unable to see what the issue is. She’s someone’s idea of what a feminist is, but she shouldn’t be anyone’s idea of what a feminist *should* be.

  20. leslie
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 21:45:42

    Who says she’s a feminist icon? She sure the hell doesn’t sound like a feminist icon to me.

  21. Maggie
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 23:11:53

    @Ann Somerville:

    I wasn’t screaming “out of context”; it’s not a judgment call, it’s a state of affairs whereby quotes are presented incompletely and without the attendant sarcasm and irony that show those quotes to have meaning completely opposite to what they appear to have without said sarcasm and irony, and the fact is that a lot of the quotes that are presented as evidence of her various ascribed phobias do just that; they are inaccurate. Citing to the incomplete quote and using it as a basis for criticism is less than fair and has nothing whatsoever to do with who is entitled to take offense.

    It’s so very ironic that I’m defending someone who’s writing I usually find more frustrating than Faulkner, but pardon me for appreciating a woman that publicly touts how awesome feminism is when too many other women of my generation, women with some sort of media presence, publicly declare that no, they do not consider themselves feminists because *derp*. That’s not to say she’s my “feminist icon.” I don’t need a feminist icon. Feminism is a political ideology, not a religion. I’d rather help articulate the most encompassing version of feminism instead of living up to someone’s idea of what the “right” kind of feminist is.

    But way to go for using the hyper pejorative term “screaming” in an attempt to discredit a woman’s opinion as that of the stereotypically hysterical female. Thumbs way up, yo. Should you be my idea of what a feminist should be?

  22. Ann Somerville
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 23:44:29

    @Maggie:

    “that a lot of the quotes that are presented as evidence of her various ascribed phobias do just that; they are inaccurate.”

    Are you saying they do not represent the words she used? How are they inaccurate? Is this quote used here, inaccurate?
    “I am, by and large, boundlessly positive. I have all the joyful ebullience of a retard.”

    The use of that word in context or out of it, is offensive. That’s the kind of thing Moran’s detractors object to. How is that misrepresenting her?

    Please give examples of who in this discussion has incompletely or misleadingly quoted Moran.

    ” pardon me for appreciating a woman that publicly touts how awesome feminism is when too many other women of my generation, women with some sort of media presence, publicly declare that no, they do not consider themselves feminists because *derp*. ”

    Pardon *me* for saying that Moran is the kind of feminist defender who makes feminism look bad. Ridley said above, “her lack of intersectionality is a fatal flaw. Feminism that doesn’t argue for equality for *all* is no better than patriarchy.”

    Feminism is struggling to present itself as a sane, fair alternative to sexism in a male-dominated world, and you want me to admire someone who slings words like ‘retard’ around because she banner waves for feminism? Dick Cheney, who is a lying scumbag war criminal, advocates for equal marriage – does that mean Dick Cheney is the kind of person you want to represent you if you support equal marriage?

    “But way to go for using the hyper pejorative term “screaming” in an attempt to discredit a woman’s opinion as that of the stereotypically hysterical female.”

    I’m sorry if you’re the kind of ‘female’ who doesn’t bother to keep up with current affairs. I won’t attempt to educate you about all the hundreds of times a scoundrel caught in the act of being a dickhead has used that excuse while whining he was ‘misquoted’ or that he simply ‘mispoke’.

    “Should you be my idea of what a feminist should be?”

    I’m my own idea of a feminist. What you believe or support is up to you. Crying about being stereotyped because your defence of Moran is not evidentially based and appeals to unproven claims of misquoting or lack of contextualisation, isn’t going to convince me that your argument stands up to scrutiny.

    Oops, I used ‘crying’. Only women cry. Whinging? Sniping? Snarking? Bitching?

    Pick one.

  23. Moriah Jovan
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 23:59:34

    @Rue:

    People like Moran are PRECISELY the reason why Black women have problem with feminism.

    I’ll see you that and raise you this: Feminism as it is now is an upper-middle-class white-woman’s game*.

    Not only is it not for women of color, it’s not for any woman below a certain income/education/socioeconomic class.

    @Maggie:

    pardon me for appreciating a woman that publicly touts how awesome feminism is when too many other women of my generation, women with some sort of media presence, publicly declare that no, they do not consider themselves feminists because *derp*.

    Where *derp* = game some women can afford to play in their spare time with their disposable income. The rest of us are too busy working and being productive and fighting our own battles on our own little patches of turf.

  24. Maggie
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 00:02:24

    No. No need to educate me. Your condescension is plenty educational. Good luck with that.

    Thanks for some much needed Internet stress relief during Toddler Barfgate 2013. But I think I’ll go shower now and maybe fuck my husband. Yeah, that sounds like a plan.

  25. Ann Somerville
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 00:09:07

    “game some women can afford to play in their spare time”

    “Thanks for some much needed Internet stress relief during Toddler Barfgate 2013.”

    You were saying, Moriah?

    ” I think I’ll go shower now and maybe fuck my husband. ”

    While the rest of us pathetic, lonely, wannabe lesbians will sit and play with their cats, eat potato chips, and dream of the wonderful life they could have, if only they were you.

  26. Moriah Jovan
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 00:12:01

    @Ann Somerville: Well, I can’t discount the direness of Toddler Barfgate and how much time it does, in fact, take, but since I’m self-employed (and my boss is a bitch), such events have to be squeezed into my work schedule. Somehow.

  27. Liz Mc2
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 00:17:40

    Nice work with the prophetic (self-fulfilling?) headline, Jane.

  28. mari
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 06:22:01

    Wow. I will never ever read Ann Somervill because of these comments. Writers attacking commentors for holding different opinions about other writers. Nasty.

    She does it a lot actually.

  29. Dabney
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 07:59:46

    It’s great to know that in the 21st century we women have finally learned how to bond together.

  30. Ren
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 08:10:54

    “Wow. I will never ever read Ann Somervill (sic) because of these comments.”

    But reason dictates if you haven’t been compelled to read her already, you probably never would have anyway, so your effort to be financially punitive and quelling will most likely be ineffective.

  31. Maggie
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 08:36:23

    “While the rest of us pathetic, lonely, wannabe lesbians will sit and play with their cats, eat potato chips, and dream of the wonderful life they could have, if only they were you.”

    You make an awful lot of unfounded assumptions about an anonymous internet commenter. I was simply pointing out that I was tired and covered in puke, but maybe did have something , or someone, better to do than argue with another anonymous internet commenter. Not everything is a personal affront.

  32. Estara
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 09:26:12

    @cbackson: Thanks for explaining. The last time I was in the UK was in 1997 – and while I happily listen to Audiogo.co.uk BBC audiobooks – even fairly recent ones – she still passed me by, heh.

  33. Las
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 09:30:20

    @Dabney: Eh, I don’t think bonding is necessarily a good thing. I mean, one of the many fucked up things Moran said was that calling out women writers (specifically Lena Dunham) for not being inclusive was misogynistic.

  34. Estara
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 09:34:37

    @mari: If you know that “she does it a lot” then I don’t think the first part of your comment makes a lot of sense, as it’s clear to me you already know you wouldn’t want to read her books – why reiterate it here?

    Personally, I quite like her writing.

  35. Dabney
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 09:40:58

    @Las: I hear you. But, after living through decades of women sniping at each other over what it means to live the right kind of womanly life, I’m opting for bonding.

  36. Ridley
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 10:47:27

    @Dabney: 1. “Women shouldn’t tear each other down” is a frequent response to any attempt to call someone out on their privilege when they’ve said something oppressive. Pardon me as I give your comment the side-eye.

    2. Women are individuals and adults. We can and will disagree on shit. This is a feature, not a bug.

  37. Dabney
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 10:54:35

    @Ridley: Fine and fine. Really, I’m not going to argue.

  38. P. Kirby
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 11:12:40

    Um…okay. So Moran (a name I associate with the photo of the dufus holding a sign with the word “moron” misspelled) didn’t sound like my cuppa.

    But, now, given the comment thread above, I may buy it just out of curiosity. It’ll probably annoy the crap out of me, but it’ll give me something new to rant about with the DH.

  39. Sunita
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 11:32:16

    @P. Kirby: Here’s the excerpt that NPR thought was worth posting. I gave up hope at the “I dressed up convincingly as a prostitute, so I’m confident I could pass as a lesbian” comparison. I get that it was supposed to be funny.

    I think of Moran as espousing a kind of Frathouse Feminism. But no doubt I am missing a great deal of thoughtful nuance.

  40. Ann Somerville
    Feb 13, 2013 @ 16:28:42

    @mari – “I will never ever read Ann Somervill[sic]”

    If I had a dollar for every fool on the internet deluded enough to think I care about this kind of statement, I’d build you a bridge so you could get over yourselves.

    @Ridley – yup

    @maggie – “I was simply pointing out that I was tired and covered in puke, but maybe did have something , or someone, better to do than argue with another anonymous internet commenter. Not everything is a personal affront. ”

    No one forced you to come onto the internet while you were tired or puke covered. The fact you were using the discussion as a mere distraction shows just how much importance you attach to the issue. The fact that you felt constrained to mention you had other things to do when your argument was rejected, things which not so coincidentally managed to emphasise your ‘real woman’ life situation of being married and with child, I don’t think was without significance.

    Nor is the fact you barrelled on here, accused people of lying, and then went straight to personal attacks when challenged.

    @dabney – “It’s great to know that in the 21st century we women have finally learned how to bond together. ”

    Bond with women like Maggie and Mari and Moran? No thanks. I don’t want to bond with anyone based on similar genitalia.

    @Sunita – “no doubt I am missing a great deal of thoughtful nuance. ”

    Context. The word is context, apparently. If only we knew the context, Moran would seem so much less of a dickess.

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