Friday, 30 May 2014

What We're Reading: Midnight Lady, Doctor Sleep, Variants and Gentlemen Bastards

Happy Weekend! We've been busy on all sides of the Atlantic, but not too busy to share what we're reading. I've got my fingers firmly crossed for some nicer weather here in London this weekend (it's been rainy and miserable this week). But, even if the weather stays grim, I've got a good book to read so that's a win! 

Genn: This weekend I'm reading Doctor Sleep. I read The Shining around this time of year many years ago. I remember because I had just finished applying to colleges and as I was reading the book, I was completely terrified. I kept saying,'this could never happen to me, I don't live in an isolated place where it snows 9 months out of the year...' this was just weeks before I was accepted into lovely liberal arts college in rural upstate New York where it snowed. A lot. And was quite isolated. Needless to say, The Shining is a book that has always stayed with me and when I heard about the sequel I couldn't wait to read it. The thing is... this book is equally terrifying. I'm incredibly grateful that my mom bought me a dreamlite for Christmas this year. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I'd have nightmares.

Jenny: I'm reading Rosemary Rodgers' Midnight Lady. A hugely cheeseball romance novel, but I'm immersing myself in romance novels because I'm writing a book with a big romance component, and this one was lying around. I kind of love getting back to my roots.

Angel: My current read combo. Needless to say, I'm having dreams of Gentleman Bastards and nightmares where fears and anxieties manifest in bizarre extremes. The Variant Effect is not for the faint of heart or stomach and not for someone who already fears... Fear.

What are you reading this weekend? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @gennmcmenemy, @thegenuinejenny and @miabrightborn. Happy Reading! 

Friday, 23 May 2014

What We're Reading: Memorial Day/Bank Holiday Edition

Happy Friday! On both sides of the Atlantic we're looking forward to the long Bank Holiday/Memorial Day weekend. Which means one thing . . . more time for reading in the *hopefully* sunshine. Here's our weekend reads!

Angel: Thanks to a few surprising recent life events I have yet to get beyond chapter 1 of Red Seas Under Red Skies. However, tonight, I'm taking Locke to bed for some overdue quality time. Cheers!

Genn: In addition to the long weekend today was also payday and I paid a visit (sorry for the pun) to my local bookshop. I might have accidentially bought two new books, Doctor Sleep and Nights at the Circus. Both come highly recommended. Now I just have to decide which one to read first  . . . decisions, decisions. Maybe I'll just read them both.

Jenny Contact by Carl Sagan, an oldie but goodie that MJ gave me for Christmas. I loved the movie, never read the book. Also, in other news, I actually finished two books last week! Making progress on my enormous pile.


Friday, 2 May 2014

What We're Reading: Red Seas, Good Luck and Sophie's World

Happy Friday! We are settling in for a spring weekend of reading. Here's our #FridayReads that we'll be tucking into over the weekend! 

Angel: My next read is Red Seas under Red Skies, sequel to the Lies of Locke Lamora. I'm looking forward to it!  Lies was my big "look forward to" read last year, which means I'm looking forward to this, too. Yay Friday!

Have you read any of the books in the Gentlemen Bastard series? If you have and want to chat about them you can tweet Angel @miabrightborn or leave a message in the comments.

Jenny: I'm currently reading Sophie's World: a book that blends philosophy with
an eerie magical-realism-ish story about a little girl in Sweden and her mysterious philosophy teacher. This one is a birthday present I'm finally getting around to finishing--hopefully cutting into the enormous stack of books-to-finish that I have!

Want to talk Sophie's World? You can tweet Jenny @TheGenuineJenny or leave a message in the comments.

Genn: I've got a long weekend here in London. I'm finishing my re-read of Far From You (so bloody good!) and still working my way through A Dance with Dragons. But, I'm going to start The Good Luck of Right Now this weekend. I've been wanting to read it since the book came out last month. I loved The Silver Lining's Playbook. The book was fantastic and I adored the movie. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was one of the most interesting and important books I read last year about school violence, revenge, suicide and abuse. So, I'm really looking forward to reading The Good Luck of Right Now.

If want want to chat books, especially Matthew Quick novels especially The Good Luck of Right Now you can tweet Genn @gennmcmenemy or leave a message in the comments.

What are you reading this weekend? Let us know in the comments or tweet us. Happy weekend! 

Friday, 25 April 2014

What We're Reading: Dragons, Monsters and Death

Every Friday, we'll be posting what we're reading here on the blog. Because frankly we are bookish and can't help but share (or document) what we're reading.

Genn: This weekend is forecast to be a grey and chilly one here in London. So, I'm curling up with an insanely good manuscript. I don't want to say too much because the book isn't out until later this year and there's nothing worse then hearing about a good book you can't read for a while yet . . . but OH.MY.GOD. this book is amazing! Just . . .  I can't. I promise a full update a bit later. I'm also reading A Dance with Dragons because it's Game of Thrones season and each week I'm reminded that it's seven days between new episodes. I need my Westeros fix! Want to chat Game of Thrones or books? You can tweet me @gennmcmenemy  

Jenny: Just bought a book today I've been DYING to read: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. THIS is a date
book. The kind you take out to dinner. Not Chipotle, either (although I do love me some Chipotle)--a fancy restaurant, where you order any appetizer and dessert you want--hell, go nuts, get wine!--and it's just you and the book. And some good food. And some wine. 

So. If you're wondering what I'm up to sometime this's going out on a date. With my book. You can tweet Jenny @TheGenuineJenny

What are you reading this weekend? Let us know in the comments or tweet us. Happy weekend! 

Monday, 21 April 2014

"Jon Snow never bothered me anyway"

Finally something that combines my love of Game of Thrones AND my love of Frozen.


My inner fangirl is freaking out.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Difference Between Porn and Romance Novels

So my friend Lynsey wrote a post a while ago that I’ve been thinking about a lot. The essence is: Do women get off to the sex scenes in romance novels like they would to porn?

My immediate response was no way. Then: well, actually, sort of.

 For me, at least, it’s complicated. I can’t answer for every reader’s relationship to the sex in these books, but I can talk about my own.

I discovered romance when I was fourteen, and I’ve adored it ever since. I can still vividly remember how I felt reading my favorite stories. How strongly I identified with the heroines and fell for the heroes. How I thrilled to their first meeting, to the give and take of their courtship, to the drama of their arguments. How I ached to see them come together, and how the writers brought the couples so close—only to tear them apart.

After all that—the emotional roller coaster ride that I went through with my favorite novels—the first sex scenes were sometimes overwhelming to me. Sometimes I had to stop reading and shut my eyes for a second, just to deal with it. I would read those scenes over and over, under the covers with my flashlight so my parents wouldn’t know I was up late.

Sex scenes in romance novels can still be an intense experience for me if I’m reading a book I really love. But what it isn’t, for me at least, is a physical experience. The satisfaction I feel is deeply emotional.

That said, I do see parallels between porn and romance. Both are fantasies. With both porn and romance, sometimes those fantasies are problematic. Sometimes what works for you in both is something you know you don’t want in real life—I’ve written before about my preference for dark, scary heroes in romance, and why I wouldn’t want to actually date a guy like that. One hazard of being a fan of both porn and romance is that sometimes it's a little embarrassing to admit which subgenres of each really do it for you. Both can be guilty pleasures, and your fantasies in both may not always toe the appropriate lines of political correctness. For many people, both seem to tap into a part of the brain that wants what it wants, appropriateness be damned.

But the fantasy in romance is only tangentally about the sex. In fact, some romance authors don’t give detailed sex scenes at all. Whether explicit or not, the sex is the payoff—the intense emotional release the reader craves after the tease of two people clearly absolutely crazy about each other who come so close to getting together—but don’t. And don’t. And don’t—until they do, in an explosion of passion that’s (hopefully) as epic as we imagined it would be.

In my experience, porn is not about the story. Sometimes there is one, but usually it’s not very developed. And that’s fine, because I think most people don’t come to porn for the story. They come for the sex. I don't know very much about erotica, but from what I've read it seems a closer relative to porn than romance; although story might be a little more emphasized in this genre, it’s still mainly there to set up the sex.

Romance is all about the relationship. I come to romance to read about a love that’s intense and passionate in a way that it’s unrealistic to expect my real-life relationships to be. In real life, lasting love often involves a trade-off between passion and stability. Romance lets me live, for a while, in a world where I can have both in one person, and I don’t have to compromise. That’s a fantasy, I know—but one that gets to me every time.   

Friday, 21 March 2014


So I've been off the blog for a little while, since my two random rants about television shows I've been watching (the HIMYM one is totally out of date, too, since they resolved that issue in the last episode. But I just had to express my annoyance).

An update with me: life has been filled with querying my novel, working on my second novel, working on a poetry chapbook, running around to auditions, and meanwhile doing work stuff. I've gotten a bunch of poetry published! Here's some. Plus my boyfriend's in town, which means lots of additional socializing and kicking back. When I'm by myself, I sometimes work until I fall asleep on various projects...which probably isn't healthy. My boyfriend reminds me to eat dinner and chill at night.

Anyway. I'm working on a few longer blog posts, which will be up starting next week. In the meantime, I leave you with THIS.