mis_creation: (I...am a librarian)
So, I've been reading the first published work Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books: Beyond Heaving Bosoms.

The first half or so, the part I've read already, is about how and why we as a society look down on romance novels. Which I found interesting because I'm not sure I ever really did. Coming as I do from a largely cerebral family, that surprises me a bit, but not really considering my mother and her sisters grew up reading Georgette Heyer novels (what the book calls Old Skool Romances), and the first real romance novel I ever read was nicked from my mom's shelves.

Still, when I started reading the Harlequin Red Books, I experienced the same sort of vicarious shame that I do for loving lame movies or TV shows that people think I shouldn't like. I don't actually feel this shame, more I feel ashamed that I don't feel bad about my reading choices. Still, whenever I try to read an Old Skool Romance, I have to put it down. I don't like it. I'm firmly in the New Skool mindset.

Besides highly recommending the book (it's amusing even if you don't agree with them, which I don't all the time...), it's gotten me to thinking, and wondering why, aside from a vague embarrassment that I was reading something others deemed unworthy, I never felt like I was doing anything wrong by spending money (lots and lots of money over the years...) on romance novels.

And, aside from the my-mother-read-them factor, it was also that she never, that I can recall, sneered at them the way people *coughDinahcough* do.

And then I was flipping through the channels tonight, and I came across Romancing the Stone playing on AMC, and the lightbulb went off.

My favorite movie possibly ever was my favorite movie for a very good reason. It's a New Skool Romance Novel brought to the big screen. And it's all meta about it because the main character is a romance novelist, who also writes New Skool Romances under the guise of Old Skool Romance. I mean, in the beginning scene, which is the end of one of her books, we have a heroine saving herself from the villian and then in turn being saved by the man she loves; equality that is rarely seen in "legitimate" "literature".

The female lead goes through substantial character change, as does the male lead, although we know less of who he was before than we do the female lead.

Anyway, my point is, that Romancing the Stone is a fabulous movie, and my being able to say I loved that movie is one of the reasons I can proudly state that I love romance novels, even if I haven't read one in a while. And I always smile big at the customers who sheepishly put a pile of romance novels on the counter to check out.
mis_creation: (BDS)
~ Dude! *flails like mad* One of the librarians (like, the real librarians, with degrees and shit and not us lowly $8/hr circulation people) is, like, friends with Troy Duffy, and is going to go and visit him while the BDS sequel is filming. I just. I can't even. I was all like... *fangirl!flails and dies*

~ Deep breath, moving on...

~ I had this weird dream where I was trying to dyecolor my hair blue (well, streak my hair blue), but I totally fucked it up and I think I even fell asleep while I was doing it so the dye that I'd already put in made my hair turn freaky-white-blonde but the rest was a mottled brown-blue and it was disturbing because no one noticed! Weird-ass dreams are weird...

~ Okay, I just started reading Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann. And I am loving it. Why didn't anyone tell me how awesome she is? Oh, wait, [livejournal.com profile] silentrequiem did, like, years ago. My bad.

Gaer? You were totally right. Loving this, and I have a hold on the first of I guess it's the "Troubleshooters" series and am just waiting for it to come in. Thanks!

~ I'm slowly working out plot stuff to make my NaNo not suck so bad...

P.S. Wow, I'm totally Valley Girl Writer today, aren't I?

Book Recs

Oct. 29th, 2008 12:05 pm
mis_creation: (I...am a librarian)
Hee, Nefret fell off the bed this morning. Since she was trying to grapple with my hand at the time, claws out but not digging in, and trying to chew on my fingers, I didn't feel too bad. She wasn't hurt and she just licked herself to show how much she didn't care. But it was funny. Cats really aren't that graceful sometimes.

Anyway, on to the book recomendations:

Book Recs!

Okay, the first book rec is actually a book-on-CD rec, because that's how I got it. Actually, Jennifer Crusie did a great blog post about it, and I love Jenny Crusie so I went and requested the book she recommended on CD from another library and got it.

  • Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel. Valerie Frankel has been on my to-read list for years. I'm a fan of her mysteries, which no one else I've met has ever heard of, and I loved her book Smart Vs. Pretty about sisters. So, this book is about her going from cronic dieter with major weight and food issues to being happy with herself, happy with her body, and having a healthier attitude towards food. It's a nice autobiography at the same time.

    Emotional reactions under cut; it got a little long. )

  • Fossil Legends of the First Americans by Adrienne Mayor. This books is a new-world study of a book Mayor had already written: The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times. This one is about the interpretation of fossils into Native American (or First nation, or many other names she uses in the book) lore and mythology. It's an interesting look and a surprisingly hefty read for a subject that is so underdocumented. The subject itself is interesting, but then Mayor also adds in several subtle "Up Yours" rebuffs to one George Gaylord Simpson, who published a book/paper/whatever (it's unclear) in 1957 stating in those oh-so-lofty academic terms that Native Americans were basically too stupid and savage to realize that fossils were anything but interesting rocks. She refutes his claim with documented statements, some from the mid 1800s from Native Americans talking about fossils having once been living things.

    I wish I hadn't had to return the book, but it was already overdue. It's a fun read, not a quick one, and it is a bit academic in areas, but it is mostly a very cool study and a new way of looking at mythology. I also learned a lot about American (both North and South) fossils that I hadn't even had an inkling of before, and now I kind of want to take a road trip around looking at famous fossil sites.

    Also, I just checked out the page on Amazon and looked at the customer reviews, and the only one less than four stars was a three-star review that points out that scientists are "afraid" to do carbon tests on dinosaurs becuase it might prove that humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs. So, yeah, that was good for an eye-roll.

  • Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This book is gross, disgusting, hilarious, thought-provoking, and awesome. I'm not even done with it yet, but even if I hate the rest of the book, I'll recommend it up to whatever page I'm currently on. Mary Roach has also written Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex both of which are on my to-read list.

    Stiff is one of those books that you probably shouldn't like, but love anyway. It's total guilty pleasure, gross-out reading. It's kind of like reality TV, only more information-laden. There's several facts in there you never wanted to know, and I actually gagged a couple of times reading some of the descriptions of things going on. But I laughed way more times than I gagged, simply because Roach's writing is extremely light-hearted considering the subject. But that just makes it even better. And still, there are some very touching and insightful moments in the book. It's kind of a roller-coaster read, but a good one.
mis_creation: (Ask me...)
I really love my job, you guys. Like, seriously. There are things about it that really annoy me sometimes, but that happens with even the best jobs.

Wherein I ramble. About the library. )

So, in closing, a few book recs: (links provided for summary purposes, not for go-out-and-buy these purposes) (Also, these reflect my reading trends right now: ie weird/interesting non-fiction rather than fiction.)

For Bug specifically, A Companion to Wolves by Sarah monette and Elizabeth Bear. I can't vouch for the writing as I haven't gotten to read it yet, but it looks right up your alley. Big wolves, faux-Scandinavian fantasy, and good reviews (but how much do they know, really?) I read the summary and went, "Bug!" So, there's that rec for you.

Don't Panic. A biography of sorts of the Hitch(h)iker's Guide to the Galaxy, written partly in quotes from Douglas Adams himself, but also compiled and further added onto by Neil Gaiman. Yes, people, Neil Gaiman writing about Douglas Adams and Hitchiker's. It was fascinating and awesome.

Bodies We've Buried. Which is a look inside the National Forensics Academy, "the top CSI training school in the country". If some of the Amazon reviews are to be believed, there are several details very, very wrong, and some people won't like the humor. But I found if entertaining and fun, and I almost laughed out loud at some bits, so the humor hit right with me. So, take it with a grain of salt or just read it for semi-gory entertainment. Still fun.

Freakonomics. Again, some of the reviews at Amazon are unfavorable, but this is a great--and here's that word again: entertaining--book. It's an economist doing what an economist does: looking at numbers and statistics and extrapolating conclusions. But he's doing it because of questions like: If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers? Or: What's more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? It is, of course, more than that, because each question leads to more questions, and the answers are surprising. I actually heard the book, since the first copy without a hold on it to come through my hands was on CD. But that's good, too. And unabridged.

Okay, I'm done. I'm going to sleep now... And I totally need a librarian icon. To-do for tomorrow.

*Side story: yesterday I overheard a woman at the next station complaining about fingerprints and scratches on kids DVDs, and how we should clean all of them as they come in. I looked over at our juvenile movies shelves, which are right next to the desk, and see them crammed full, and then visualize the piles of movies still to be checked in, and shake my head. If we had the time and woman-power [there's only three guys in circulation department right now, and one of them's a manager, one of them's leaving soon, and the other one has been out of town for weeks] to clean all our DVDs as they came in, we totally would. But we just don't. It's not actually possible. That would probably at least double our check-in time, and delay getting the materials that you check out every day back on the shelves for you to get. So it takes you two extra seconds to either do it your own self so your kids don't put more scratches/fingerprints on the discs, or to clean the two discs you're bitching about yourself, which you claim your husband is an expert at. Bleh.


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