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Wednesday Midday Links: Guardians strange erotica list, Sarah takes Kirkus...

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Darlene Marshall
    May 30, 2012 @ 13:23:49

    Loved The Guardian’s comment on Wuthering Heights. As usual Sarah at “Smart Bitches” wrote a spot-on response to yet another slap at romance novels and the women and men who read and write them.

  2. Portia Da Costa
    May 30, 2012 @ 13:34:37

    Ah well, at least I got a mention in the comments of that Guardian piece. Still not sure if it was a compliment or a slam though. ;)

  3. GrowlyCub
    May 30, 2012 @ 13:57:50

    Well, that Kirkus thing is just dandy, especially since The Proposal – while a pleasant read – is far from Balogh’s best work as it suffers from her obvious and repeatedly publicly stated aversion to write dark combined with a story line about a group of Regency persons basically suffering from PTSD.

  4. library addict
    May 30, 2012 @ 14:02:36

    I think I like it better when romance is ignored by the main stream press. I think a mere 3% of the articles I have ever read have been truly positive about the genre :(

  5. Danielle D
    May 30, 2012 @ 15:03:52

    Go Sarah!!!!!

  6. Ruthie
    May 30, 2012 @ 15:15:41

    Wow, that Guardian piece is even worse than I expected. And I had low expectations. The slamming of Mills & Boon is completely unnecessary and uncalled for. For shame.

  7. Ridley
    May 30, 2012 @ 16:04:06

    “Balogh contravenes the conventions of historical romance by introducing an ingredient the genre is not always known for: intelligence.”

    What’s the big deal? Romance isn’t known for it’s intelligence. Stating the obvious hurts our feelings now?

  8. SuperWendy
    May 30, 2012 @ 16:51:06

    I’m not defending it, or making light of it – but honestly, it’s Kirkus. I know more than a few librarians who keep up with Kirkus solely for getting their snarky fix. Or sure, they’ve mellowed quite a bit in recent years – but they have a long standing reputation for things like this, although they usually reserve it for less-than-positive reviews. Also, speaking in generalities, they don’t exactly have the best track-record when it comes to lovin’ on genre fiction (and I’m talking all genres, not just romance). There was a time when if there was any small shred of a chance a book was going to be “popular fiction,” it was pretty much guaranteed that Kirkus would hate it with the passion of a thousand blazing suns.

    Although, again, they’ve gotten a bit softer in recent years. I partly attribute to this to the fact that they almost folded entirely a couple of years back.

    And neither here nor there, my favorite snarky line from a Kirkus review ever? This one, which was in a review for a children’s title written by Clive Cussler:

    “A publishing event that demands an apology to the industry, all children and the trees that gave their lives.”

    Mean girl bloggers don’t look so mean when held up against that…..

  9. Lynn S.
    May 30, 2012 @ 18:50:16

    Ah, its a good day for news.

    Mangan’s idea of “racy” is puzzling but my favorite puzzler in her article was this:

    the book has been dubbed “mommy porn” because of its popularity among older women

    Older women? Huh? What’s next, nana porn?

    And then the Kirkus review with it’s contravening of conventions. Who knew Mary Balogh was such a dangerous girl.

  10. Maili
    May 30, 2012 @ 21:56:01

    Have to admit that some parts of Mangan’s Guardian article made me laugh. How could I not when we have something like this? “But if your psyche can deal with peripheral visions of the likes of Rebekah Brooks and David Cameron rutting with their respective spouses, then well done you and off you go.” In any case, the article is very much in Mangan’s style.

    @Ridley: Because Romance is usually singled out for that kind of comments while also-not-known-for-its-intelligence genres aren’t, maybe?

  11. Chandra Blattner
    May 31, 2012 @ 01:52:03

    I, too, laughed at Mangan’s article. We must be same age; the same books made their way around my school with the same intent (aside from Jilly Cooper, whose books didn’t make it to Southern California as far as I know.) Poor Mills & Boon, all its books lumped together in the most condescending manner, but that’s the Guardian for you: never letting the dismissal of a stereotype get in the way of a snarky joke.

    But boo! Kirkus. And yay! Sarah.

  12. Ros
    May 31, 2012 @ 17:51:48

    @Chandra Blattner: I liked the Mangan article for exactly the same reason. Not all of them, but many, were the books I read as a teenager which widened my perceptions of what sex was and what it could be. I think that the appeal of 50 Shades is very similar to these books.

  13. Susan/DC
    May 31, 2012 @ 18:29:52

    I admit to laughing out loud at the Guardian article when Mangan writes about how Nancy Friday expanded her sexual education beyond what she learned from Shirley Conran’s “Lace”: “a) something about one woman putting a strawberry cream puff in a place where at that point I believed only goldfish should go.” And speaking of “Lace”, was that the book where one of the girls is of uncertain parentage and confronts three women with the deathless line “which of you bitches is my mother?” (which has got to be one of my favorite literary quotes ever.

  14. EC Sheedy
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 01:17:00

    Seriously, reading the comments on DA is more entertaining than reading the original article. Although Mangan did make me smile.

    Well done, Sarah–as always.

  15. Hell Cat
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 03:50:20

    Oh, Morgan’s snark on the better books – in love. Seriously. So great. Especially the comments on VC Andrews. Just so much good. I wanted to be happy so I didn’t read the rest of the links.

    I hope it is. I loved that book when I read it around 16, I think. I found it in an old box my mom had that she and her mother read – elderly mom loved the bodice rippers, my love began with shiny covers. And I loved the mini series with Phoebe Cates even more, especially when you found out the truth and went “EW, ICK. Wrong! Brain bleach, please!” It’s so bizarre to see that movie and then see Grelims, going “WTF?” But I so loved the overly dramatic scenes and “oh, dear”s that you had to utter.