books, reading

Regency Writer and Gender Roles

“We don’t get many opportunities to be honorable.”

“And that bothers you.”

“I won’t bore you with complaints about being too rich or too privileged. It’s like saying, ‘They’ve given me far too much delicious cake.’”

I’m reading a historical (Regency) romance novel right now that kicks off a series based on a group of women writers, their place in society at the time, and of course, their eventual love matches. I’m not very far into Forever Your Earl yet, but I’m enjoying the heroine’s observations on class, privilege, and gender roles so far, and the banter between her and the Earl is pretty great too.

What I’m telling you is that I’m going to be early just so I can get back to reading and see what happens.

books, reading

Five Books to Read in the Winter

I’m a big theme-reader. When I get interested in a topic or a holiday rolls around, I tend to read a lot of books related to it. (See: That time I read 12 books about mail order brides and women homesteaders during the railroad boom across the States.)

In the summer, I scour the backs of books for any mention of a beach or summer camp. And in the winter, I’m all about cold weather and the holiday season (even though it’s going to be 70 degrees out in Dallas today for some reason). Plus, there’s just something romantic about fireplaces and bundling up under blankets together, so romance is the way to go this season. (Full disclosure: I can make a case for romance any time of year.)

Also, Young Adult continues to be a place to find fantastic books, whether you’re someone who realizes that yet or needs someone to point it out & convince you. (If you haven’t read a YA you’ve liked yet, keep looking. It’s there, I promise.)

Five books to read during the holidays & cold weather months:

  • Simply Irresistible (by Jill Shalvis)
    This book kicks off her Lucky Harbor series, which is set in a small coastal town in Washington. The series is cute & funny, and full of characters to love. There are 12 books (plus some novellas), so once you start with this one, you’ll have plenty more to keep you busy and help you hit your annual reading goal!
  • Book Cover of My True Love Gave to MeMy True Love Gave to Me (ed. by S. Perkins)
    This book features 12 holiday-themed short stories by 12 great YA authors. I keep a copy in my guest room in the winter.
  • A Wallflower Christmas (by Lisa Kleypas)
    This is the 5th book in the Wallflower series, so you should really read 1-4 first, but if you don’t mind skipping around start here, and let it convince you to go back to the beginning. I love the Wallflowers and their love stories.
  • Let It Snow (by J. Green, M. Johnson, & L. Myracle)
    Three interconnected wintery stories by three fantastic YA authors. Start reading!
  • Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (by R. Cohn & D. Levithan)
    Lily leaves a notebook full of challenges on a bookstore shelf for just the right guy to find it and accept its dares. The book starts on December 21 and goes through New Year’s Day, so it’s full of just the right time of year.

Happy reading!


A Good Place to Start with Historical Romance

Book Cover of Courtney Milan's The Suffragette ScandalBy now you’ve probably noticed I love books and read lots of them, of all types, including romance, so:

If you aren’t a historical romance reader yet, Courtney Milan’s The Brothers Sinister series is a great place to start and currently on sale for $4.99. Or the first book in the series, The Duchess War, is free right now if you want to try it out first. My favorite book in the series is The Suffragette Scandal (book 4) so you should definitely snag that one either way.

I’ll write more about these books and my thoughts on them soon. For now, take advantage of the sale and see what you think.


Reading Update, by format

Book Cover of Mindy Kaling's Why Not MeI used to read books only on paper, then I started reading ebooks at night because it was easier to hold an e-reader or phone in bed than a whole book, then after I realized I like podcasts, I gave audiobooks a try. And now I rotate between all three formats constantly, without a real preference for one over the other.

I tend to read fiction in ebook form mostly lately, and my audiobooks are usually non-fiction (but not always), and books made with paper are mostly gifts or exceptionally pretty versions of a book I love, or non-fiction that I want to savor and/or markup for a book club or later personal study. I wonder if this is odd or if other people like to switch it up too?

Here’s what I’m reading right now, by format:


Reading Update: Hello, non-fiction & romance novels.

I’ve read at least 84 books this year, putting me ahead of schedule to hit my goal of 115. (I know I’ve missed documenting a few, so once I add those in, I bet I’m at almost 90. So I also bet I’ll go over my goal number before the year is out. 😀 )

Last read: Seven Secrets of Seduction (Secrets #1) by Anne Mallory (a historical romance by an author I hadn’t tried before.)

bookcover-betweentheworldandme Currently reading: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (non-fiction; about racism in the U.S., asks and answers the question, “What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it?”) and One Night Is Never Enough (Secrets #2) by Anne Mallory (because I can’t read non-fic right before bed & #1 made me want to start #2 right away!)

Reading next: Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale (non-fic about romance novels? yes, please!)

feminism & equality, reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books By and/or Featuring Feminists 101

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. There’s a new topic every week inviting everyone to share their lists.

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught (?) 101 — And my 101 course would be: Books by and/or featuring feminists.

1. Persuasion by Jane Austen – I would teach this annotated version of Persuasion, because it’s perfect for anyone who thinks Austen wrote boring books and is missing the wit and brilliance built in to every page.

2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – This book is feminist YA, plain and simple, and it’s my all-time favorite.

3. Any contemporary romance by Victoria Dahl – She writes romance for the modern woman in the modern world, and it’s brilliant. She’s great in her books and fun on Twitter too. In my course, everyone would choose one to read and we’d compare/contrast, and study them all.

4. Any historical romance by Sarah MacLean – Another romance writer I love through her books and her Twitter account. She writes smart, forward-thinking historical romance characters. Just like with the previous selection, everyone would choose one and we’d work through them all.

5. The Essential Feminist Reader by Estelle Freedman – An anthology featuring writing by Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan, Emma Goldman, Sojourner Truth, and more.

6. Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained by Maya Rodale – Romance novels are a billion dollar industry. We’d take a look at why, what kind of reputation they have an treatment they receive, and what it means when a book genre is largely read and written by women.

7. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – This book changed me, plain and simple (I’ll write about it sometime), and I know it can change others too.

8. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit – An essay examining “what goes wrong in conversations between men and women,… about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works.”

9. What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? by Marianne Schnall – A non-fiction work featuring “interviews with politicians, public officials, thought leaders, writers, artists, and activists in an attempt to discover the obstacles that have held women back and what needs to change in order to elect a woman into the White House.”

10. All The Rage by Courtney Summers – This book looks at rape culture in YA fiction form and it’s brilliant.

I basically want to take this course now. Maybe I’ll teach it to myself. 😉