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

Tuesday News: A hodgepodge of things to make you go hmmm

BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) – An oldie but still a goodie. Bic pens “for her,” yields some of the funniest reviews and questions/answers on the site (warning: massive time suck potential).

Someone has answered my gentle prayers and FINALLY designed a pen that I can use all month long! I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga. It’s comfortable, leak-proof, non-slip and it makes me feel so feminine and pretty! Since I’ve begun using these pens, men have found me more attractive and approchable. It has given me soft skin and manageable hair and it has really given me the self-esteem I needed to start a book club and flirt with the bag-boy at my local market –Amazon

A Pixar Artist Drew Classic R-Rated Film Scenes And Turned Them Into A “Children’s” Book – Josh Cooley’s upcoming book, Movies R Fun, takes iconic scenes from some of the most popular films and ‘translates’ them into formats you would find in children’s books. The description at Amazon claims that the book is a “sly celebration of the things fans love most about these legendary films (and movies in general),” although I’m hoping that Cooley is hoping to start a discussion about the way in which film provokes particular emotional effects on viewers and how Hollywood handles subjects like sex, violence, race, morality, etc. A Pixar storyboard artist, Cooley has worked on films such as Up, Cars, and Ratatouille. –BuzzFeed

Why bosses have stopped marrying their secretaries: Increasing numbers of high-flyers are choosing their academic equal for their partner – Yes, I know this is the Daily Mail. Still, I’m trying to decide whether this article is intended as parody or not. In some ways it’s pretty hilarious. And horrifying, too. My favorite quote is credited to a John Goldthorpe, emeritus fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford:

“Over the past 20 years women have caught up with men in the proportion going into higher education. They are going in their mating years and therefore universities are becoming big mating factories.” –Daily Mail

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators – There’s a lot here, some of which had me nodding in agreement (it’s very true, for example, that most of the spaces in higher ed right now are in less selective institutions), some of which had me thinking that the explanation was a little glibly, facilely, appealing (the imposter syndrome as applied to people who write for a living). I thought this comment on the nature of talent and challenge from Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck was pretty interesting, though:

“There was this eureka moment,” says Dweck. She now identifies the former group as people with a “fixed mind-set,” while the latter group has a “growth mind-set.” Whether you are more fixed or more of a grower helps determine how you react to anything that tests your intellectual abilities. For growth people, challenges are an opportunity to deepen their talents, but for “fixed” people, they are just a dipstick that measures how high your ability level is. Finding out that you’re not as good as you thought is not an opportunity to improve; it’s a signal that you should maybe look into a less demanding career, like mopping floors. –The Atlantic

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. Sunita
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 07:55:22

    Oh God, you made me click through. The story Daily Mail-ized an NBER study on what economists term “assortative mating.” They are comparing marriage patterns in 2005 to those of 1960, when obviously there were far fewer women going to college. They are looking at a couple of different phenomena in the study: they examine whether college-educated people are more likely to marry each other than they are likely to marry non-college-educated people, and they also ask whether this selection process is leading to greater inequality in the population. They find confirmation for both hypotheses. This summary of the study is less sensational and more informative.

    Back in the 1980s I remember reading something that said about three-quarters of people meet their spouses in college (assuming they go to college). This doesn’t mean you marry your college boyfriend, but that you meet your (first?) spouse during the time when you are entering marriageable age, which is generally the same time you go to college.

    The college-and-spouse thing isn’t the new information, it’s the stratified inequality that the researchers find attached to it. It has to do with the increasingly differentiated earnings of college-educated and non-college-educate people, especially women.

  2. Katie
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 15:57:22

    SImilar-ish topic, but even more sensationalized from the Wall Street Journal: Young women in college need to smarten up and start husband-hunting
    It must be something about this time of year that brings out these sorts of stories.

  3. Susan
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 19:30:32

    I have to admit that I love the weird Amazon products/reviews. The 50-gallon tub o’ lube is one of my newer favorites.

  4. Lana
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 22:49:39

    Thank you for the Amazon review, it has been awhile since I have fallen down one of the product review holes. This is another good one:

  5. Robin/Janet
    Feb 19, 2014 @ 23:02:57

    @Sunita: If I got you to click through to that story, my work is done! Seriously, though, thank you for explaining the second part of that study. I knew the first bit (but not the source), but the mangled presentation of that bit about inequality did not inspire me to check out the source, and so I appreciate you accommodating my laziness. :D Still, there are a lot of interesting implications here, not the least of which are the ways in which so many women are still both economically dependent on and disadvantaged by marriage.

  6. Sunita
    Feb 20, 2014 @ 06:54:49

    I had to go digging to find the Pew story, but I hadn’t seen the study reported before so for once I learned something useful from the Mail! There are so many implications and ramifications of the increasing inequality we’ve seen over the last few decades, and the effects on women have been harsh. This study highlights one we don’t think about that often, which is the way women are bifurcating economically.

  7. Robin/Janet
    Feb 20, 2014 @ 08:26:21

    @Sunita: This study highlights one we don’t think about that often, which is the way women are bifurcating economically.

    Yes, and this is really something we need to look more closely at. Thanks to your link I snagged the study’s working paper and the Pew report, and I really appreciate you including that Pew link in your comment.

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