Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Friday News: More below-stairs books, 2014 publishing predictions, Goodreads at 25M...

“I read a lot of butlers’ memoirs, and what I found particularly fascinating was how [they] revealed how butlers were so butlery. … Indeed a lot of … men in service at the higher level colluded in their own caricature. And, of course, they themselves were echoing the prevailing view of what it was to be a gentleman. The butler is, as it were, a sort of echo chamber of the upstairs. In the servant’s hall he is king, as the master of the house is king upstairs. …” NPR

“‘Publishers are not going to be able to subsist or rely on endless streams of cheap digital downloads to replace lost print revenue,’ said Richard Nash, a publishing entrepreneur who was most recently vice president of community and content at Small Demons, a digital publishing start-up that has announced its closure. ‘Publishers will try to figure out where to get the revenue if not from digital downloads.'” Digital Book World

“Bound in leather with a Medieval Longstitch binding and printed on archival paper, Clothed in Bark is Lowenstein’s most expensive book to date, and her only one with a leather cover. Each of the 650 copies of the first edition, 6.5 X 14 inches high, retails for $150. Art Marks, for which she initially printed 500 copies, is a more traditional size, 5-3/4 wide X 9-1/2 inches high, and is printed on what seems like a thick notebook paper. It retails for $30, in part because its Coptic binding takes only one and a half hours to bind, versus 4 hours for Clothed in Bark.” Publishers Weekly

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Carolyne
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 06:31:14

    I was intrigued/surprised/amazed when I found out that a very young guy (whom I had an enormous crush on) had trained to become a butler with one of those extremely butlery, old-school butlers (who was the consultant on one of those butlery movies–I’m going to say Gosford Park). It hadn’t occurred to me that there would be young men aspiring to the profession and with the same sort of air about them as you’d see in someone from a previous generation. Said young guy had been hired by a family in the US and took his butlering very seriously, with an almost OCD level of attention to detail, and he took what I considered strangely nitpicky tasks from his employers in stride.

    The crush fell apart when he expressed surprise that there were actually women in the US (not me) who were refined (apparently not me) by going to finishing schools. (Ironically, my high school was originally one of those finishing schools for ladylike refinement, but by the time I got to it they must have been leaving us ladies rough edged and half baked.)

    If I had been a proper Romance reader back then, I think I’d have handled the whole thing better, or at least would have had a good quip in reply.

  2. Butlering. Buttling? Historical and otherwise. | Carolyne Chand
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 06:44:33

    […] wave of interest in the “below-stairs” part of upstairs-downstairs stories here and here, with a little bit of discussion in the comments on the American intersection with British […]

  3. Isobel Carr
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 09:02:46

    I was totally intrigued by Lion Stone (my inner Book Arts Junkie always needs a hit). I’m really sad that their website doesn’t really SHOW you the books. It describes them, but I’m not buying a $150 book that’s all about the beauty of the object sight-unseen.

    If you’re in the Bay Area and want to see what’s happening in the world of fine art books, we have a marvelous store: 871 Fine Arts (same building as Crowne Point Press).

  4. Lindsay
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 18:12:26

    Am I weird that $150 sounds totally reasonable for a hand-bound leather-covered book, if it looks good? Especially if the book inside is good? Maybe? I agree with Isobel, I’d love to be able to see pictures of them, but I hunt down old leather-bound books from thrift stores so a brand new one made like that would be really spiffy. My books from the 60s are falling apart and shedding pages.

  5. farmwifetwo
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 18:50:26 How many people have you seen that have goodreads on their facebook. Now with amazon linked to goodreads, it’s just another “link”. Then… there’s the sock puppets.

    Truthfully, most of those 25 million don’t use it at all or very, very little.

    I am not surprised that the number of people that barely put up a token protest or returned to the site. Just look at the number of arcs handed out to the “reviewers”. They aren’t giving that up. I am down 500 reviews and counting. Not quite half way yet. Will probably take a few more months but mine are going along with my comments. Not just deleting my stuff because then your comments remain as a “deleted user”.

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