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

Monday News: More self-publishing and subscription news, holiday gifts, publishing insights,...

“For Scribd’s subscription ebook service, authors will earn 60% of the list price on all qualifying reads, and here they’ve added a cool twist.  With subscription services, the author or publisher earns credit for a full read when the reader reaches a certain trigger point, measured by the percentage of the book that is read.” Forbes

“I’ve tried to suggest that at least a portion of that pursuit can have gratifying economic results. (Plus it will not plunge us into an endless recession!) But that’s not really the point. The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed out and the historical bottom line will be that future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term and meaningless financial advantage.” New York Times

“The NSF study doesn’t merely totally refute the USPTO’s findings, it does so using a well-documented, statistically valid, neutral methodology that was calculated to find the truth, rather than scoring political points for the copyright lobby. It’s a study in contrasts between evidence-based policy production and policy-based evidence production.” Boing Boing

“Liking women, respecting women, trusting women to make the best choices for themselves is a radical act in a misogynist culture. Being comprehensively pro-choice instead of policing women’s choices is a radical act in a culture in which we are exhorted to judge and condemn other women. And, in a world that hates women and holds us in contempt, perhaps the most radical feminist/womanist act is creating space for women to love ourselves.” Shakesville

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!

12 Comments

  1. Darlynne
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 09:30:55

    Let me be the first to say, yes, let’s be radical. Great idea. Rock whatever rocks you, freely.

    ReplyReply

  2. Darlynne
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 09:45:10

    Many summers ago, a young woman crossed the street in front of me at a stoplight. She walked with purpose, confidence and a certainty that reflected how she thought of herself; she felt attractive and it showed. Her bright sense of herself made me feel good, allowed me to feel attractive and caused me to wonder about the many prisms through which we view ourselves and others. If we feel beautiful and attractive then we are beautiful and attractive. From that day on, I’ve tried to view other women in the way they’ve chosen, not what I think they should be or do or say.

    ReplyReply

  3. Stephanie Scott
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 11:39:56

    I was thinking about this, women judging other women, when I saw Barbara Walter’s special on the most interesting people of 2013. Hillary Clinton topped it (yay!) while I sadly remembered viscous statements made against her when she originally bid for the presidencey back on 2007-2008. It wasn’t surprising to me that our country wasn’t yet ready for a female president based on the inane comments thrown in the media which had nothing to do with Clinton’s political career (looks, her cheating husband, etc.).

    But what really struck me from the special was Miley Cyrus. She’s trying to be provocative, yes, and she knows it. But in the end, she is a young woman, an entertainer, a person, and she was just massacred in the media. Everything that’s wrong with young women/our country’s morals/life was because of this woman’s performance on an awards show. Hmmm. No. We love to hate her because it’s easy. We can hate her because it makes us feel better about ourselves. We point, and shame, and condemn, and blame, and shift all responsibility to this girl figure for her to carry our own insecurities, guilt, anger, shame, whatever. It’s not fair to her or to us. As women, we deserve better. Stop slinging mud at women in the media–if we can’t stand up for ourselves, no one else is going to do that for us.

    ReplyReply

  4. Darlynne
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 13:05:50

    @Stephanie Scott: What struck me about the Miley Cyrus segment was that she knew exactly what she was doing, was unapologetic and clear about following whatever direction she chose, then and in her future; from a publicity standpoint, she accomplished her goal. Our approval, our approbation, none of that is on her radar and for that, I have to applaud her.

    ReplyReply

  5. Athena Grayson
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 09:29:22

    What struck me most about the Miley thing is that she went on stage trashed. Unprofessional.

    But yes. The things we do to our women

    ReplyReply

  6. Ridley
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 12:43:17

    @Stephanie Scott: Maybe we run in different circles, but any heat I saw Miley Cyrus get was for racist cultural appropriation, not for being a tart or whatever.

    If feminists were going after her for being racy and not for being racist, I’d put that down as yet another reason to de-emphasize the work of white feminists.

    ReplyReply

  7. Robin/Janet
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 14:11:41

    I remember many comments about Cyrus’s performance that focused on what was perceived to be her inappropriate sexuality, loose morals, twisted femininity, etc. The whole thing struck me as a ‘Miley Cyrus embodies everything that’s wrong with (fill in the blank)’ free-for-all.

    Re. Cyrus’s alleged appropriation, this piece from Essence is a cogent rebuttal (Mallory argues that the cultural appropriation argument is itself culturally appropriative): http://www.essence.com/2013/09/05/poor-black-women-didn’t-originate-twerking.

    ReplyReply

  8. Ridley
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 14:39:17

    @Robin/Janet: Oh man, that article you linked to. I don’t know.

    Most Black women that I know refuse to be defined by twerking or any other demeaning activity. Attempts to appropriate the most offensive and vile stereotypes onto us is yet another glaring example of how poor Black women are continually made the scapegoats for all that’s wrong in society.

    This seems to be pretty clearly denigrating women for being openly sexual beings, then saying that Black women are better than all that slutty slut slut behavior, which neither advocates for women nor debunks the racist imagery in Miley’s act.

    I think this post from Batty-Mamzelle makes a better case. She includes links to other articles at the end.

    ReplyReply

  9. Robin/Janet
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 15:45:28

    @Ridley: I didn’t read it that way at all. In fact, I see her point more here: “the media has perpetuated vicious stereotypes, which suggest that we are nothing more than sexual beings with little intellect.” Which is part of the issue that the BattyMamzelle piece is addressing, as well.

    I read the Mallory post this way:

    1. Twerking is loaded with lots of negative connotations (“lewd” “raunch” etc.).
    2. Fundamentally and foundationally associating something with such negative connotations with African American women, especially poor African American women, is highly problematic.

    That the tweaking was responded to with so many negative accusations strengthens Mallory’s point, IMO. I agree that Mallory is on the more conservative side of things, but this is something else I think is important. Because while I agree with the assertion that we need to focus more on cultural appropriation and on the exploitation of the black female body, there is (and feminists working in post-colonial contexts struggle with this all the time), even in some of these arguments, a tendency to essentialize the bodies of women (“the white woman’s body,” “the African-American woman’s body,” for example), and to make it seem that all women of a certain racial or cultural background are the same. As I said, this is a constant struggle for post-colonialist feminist (of all colors), and it particularly becomes an issue in cases like this, where there is perceived over-sexualization and racial appropriation at the same time. What for me is so important about Mallory’s perspective is that it takes one more step back to challenge the assumption that tweaking is itself a racially-identified phenomenon.

    Although it’s not the same thing, it reminds me of how scalping has become intrinsically associated with North American indigenous populations, when, in fact, it has an incredibly diverse and complex history, but was popularized during the French and Indian War by the French, who urged their indigenous allies to collect enemy scalps for ransom. Also, the tomahawk has become a symbol of Native American scalping, when, in fact, it was likely too dull for the job. And yet these images have become intertwined and essentialized as Native American, and their use by whites deemed appropriation. Yes, it’s appropriation, but so is the initial perception of those images as N.A. I see Mallory as arguing basically the same thing about twerking.

    ReplyReply

  10. Robin/Janet
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 15:50:42

    I forgot to add that one of my favorite pieces on the appropriation of the non-white female body is this: http://www.amazon.com/Child-Fire-Edmonia-Problem-History/dp/0822342669 (disclosure: she’s a close friend)

    ReplyReply

  11. wikkidsexycool
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 18:47:08

    Here’s what I noticed on Twitter regarding the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance on the night of the performance.

    As I understand it there was anger because:

    1. Miley wasn’t twerking, not in the true sense dance. Some of the best (and worst) dancers can be found on You Tube.

    2. This was simply another artist trying to immerse themselves in the hip-hop culture without respecting or understanding it. A pop artist trying to gain some credibility by either hanging out with those in hip-hop (much like Jennifer Lopez did with P Diddy, and then there was the infamous arrest as well as her use of the N word on a record). After that Jennifer hooked up with Ben Affleck, which appeared to re-affirm what was first suspected and spoken on, and there’s a similar sense that Miley will “re-invent” herself once again, and consider this as a youthful indiscretion. Unlike others, where hip-hop is a lifestyle.

    This is nothing new. The late rapper Tupac makes mention of Madonna in one of his filmed interviews. Apparently at that time Madonna was enamored with the rapper and the hip-hop culture (I’m trying to be tactful here).

    3. Miley appeared to be acting out in a sexually provocative way with a married man, whose wife is black, and that offended some individuals, as this was seen as disrespectful.
    However, later on Thicke’s wife contended that she was just fine with it. And, as many have noted, Thicke didn’t face the backlash Miley did, which could be viewed as a double standard, especially since Thicke’s hit song is sounds very close to Marvin Gaye’s hit “Got To Get it Up”.

    So, to sum it up, I’m trying to point out where other points of disapproval came from.

    As far as the various articles on cultural appropriation, I think it’s important to note that both Robin/Janet and Ridley have hit on the class differences that will claim, like the Essence article “Most Black women that I know refuse to be defined by twerking or any other demeaning activity”

    I think the key words here are “women” and “I know”

    I can only speak for myself, but as someone who did “The Butt” “The Bump” I can’t sit on my high horse and not claim that if I was younger, I wouldn’t twerk also, simply because that’s what I did back in the day, I was a dancer who liked to be the best on the dance floor and I enjoyed doing the hottest or latest dance there was.

    But again, I have to go to my first point. Compare true twerking to what Miley attempted, and you’ll see the difference. I think her lack of skill with the dance ran neck and neck with the frustration of how seemingly lewd her performance was in many of the comments I read.

    ReplyReply

  12. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Last linkity of the year
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 19:08:32

    […] and publishing news from Dear […]

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

%d bloggers like this: