Re: Guest Post - Diversity in Luuuuuuuv

1

I don't read romance, because my heart is flint. Which is gray, or black, or sometimes even brown. May I have a cookie?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:20 AM
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1: Sorry, Mossy. Without love, there is no cookie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:24 AM
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That's ok, peep.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:28 AM
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Where's that fruit basket?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:53 AM
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Still being carved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:02 AM
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I'm not sure which heartbreaking moment you mean, but just in case, don't Google "episode of jane the virgin where", because for me it autofilled a major spoiler.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:02 AM
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This is all well and good, but no one addresses the big question about diversity in romance - men. Where are the romance novels for men?

People will says comic books are the male equivalent -- but that's not true -- comic book are soap operas for men, because, like soap operas, they never end.

And then there is something like Brian's Song -- the ultimate love story for Real Men -- but that ends tragically.

Where does a man go to find his happy ending?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:06 AM
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John Ringo?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:08 AM
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9

"Jane the Incel."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:09 AM
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We are too dignified to take the obvious next step.


Posted by: People of Thailand | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:10 AM
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People will says comic books are the male equivalent -- but that's not true

Because almost half of comic book fans are women? There isn't really a major genre of fiction which is predominantly read by men in the way that romance is predominantly read by women.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:28 AM
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Women read more than men, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:29 AM
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At least for books.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:31 AM
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12: they do. They certainly buy more books than men. All types of fiction are bought either predominantly by women or at least roughly half and half by women and men.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:32 AM
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This is all well and good, but no one addresses the big question about diversity in romance - men. Where are the romance novels for men?

I realize this was tongue-in-cheek, but that (very good!) linked article flags two names you should know. Suzanne Brockmann, the blockbuster white author who made the speech mentioned in the article, has written at least one gay male romance, and included gay men as major secondary characters in a number of other novels. And Nora Roberts, the most blockbuster-y of all, has repeatedly described having men come up to her and say they had picked up one of their wife's romances and were surprised to find that they loved it.

But generally (librarian hat on), men read less fiction.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:41 AM
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14: I wonder if there's some subgenre of books that are predominantly purchased by men. Maybe military history? Pro-Trump polemics?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:41 AM
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Saul Bellow?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:44 AM
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Hemingway? Who else is tedious and overrated?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:44 AM
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15.2: I started to read the article, but then I realized it was too long for a man's limited span of attention. I have heard of Nora Roberts.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:45 AM
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17: Bellow? I guess he did have a couple of fairly happy endings. But way too hard to read.

18: Hemingway? He's fairly easy to read, and For Whom the Bells Toll does have an awesomely horrible sex scene, but all his endings are tragic.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:49 AM
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Of course there are subgenres that are mostly purchased by men. Clive Cussler. Jack Reacher. Tom Clancy.

The real male equivalent of romance novels, in terms of each book being part of a series, authors writing many small books a year, books that only exist as mass market paperbacks, being a subculture ignored by anyone outside the subculture, is Westerns. It may seem hard to imagine anyone born more recently than 1920 being a big reader of Western novels, but you'd be surprised. It was a significant amount of what we made at the paperback book factory in my home town, anyway.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:49 AM
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What about Fear & Loathing? or Keroac? I'm trying to think of books that hold zero appeal for me, but others seem to love them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:51 AM
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For example the work of Chet Cunningham. His career is just like a Harlequin romance writer.

Of course these western adventure novels for men are probably outnumbered nowadays by just the western subset of romance novels for women. The number of romance novels is astounding.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:53 AM
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I think ned is right with 21.1.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:55 AM
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I've heard Jack Reacher is super popular with women. I heard one female book reviewer basically climaxing on air.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:56 AM
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23.1: Wow! That guy write books faster than I write Unfogged comments.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:57 AM
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16: Right. I'd be very surprised to learn that the popular WWII and Civil War histories that clog the shelves of the history section at my local B&N are not mostly read by men.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 8:58 AM
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WHY IS THIS WHOLE GODDAMN THREAD ABOUT MEN??!?!!?!?! LEAN THE FUCK IN, LADIES!!!! If you want.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:05 AM
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Peep's fault


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:06 AM
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Of course there are subgenres that are mostly purchased by men. Clive Cussler. Jack Reacher. Tom Clancy.

60% of books in the mystery/thriller genre are bought by women. Presumably there are a few authors [Clive Cussler is a writer, not a subgenre] who have more male than female readers. But I doubt there are many authors, or any genres, that are read by, say, more than 60% men.

I had no idea that anyone was still writing Westerns. This must be a US-only thing, surely.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:07 AM
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I don't think Tom Clancy is in the same genre as Agatha Raisin And The Curious Curate.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:09 AM
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32

That sounds like porn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:11 AM
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33

28, 29: I was just setting up the obvious joke (see 10). I didn't mean to derail the whole thread.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:12 AM
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Everyone I know who habitually reads comic books is female, with two exceptions, one of which is me and the other of which is married to one of them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:12 AM
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"Raisins" are probably an early attempt to find a fruit that can be used as a metaphor for brown nipples.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:12 AM
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Welcome to another edition of Unfogged discusses diversity.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:18 AM
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Taking it back to romance, does anyone have thoughts on Stacey Abram's Colbert interview? A portion of woke twitter was up in arms about it, framing it as a question of consent and boundaries. I guess I'm retrograde on this: I took it as good-natured light teasing, and she seemed only mildly embarrassed (and might even have been playing it up, as that's the role that she would be expected to take). For a Presidential hopeful it was the best she could hope for: this gets this interesting tidbit of her past out in the open early, and gets the laughs out of the way in front of a friendly audience.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:19 AM
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How many of these bloody hopefuls are there? Surely hope must now, more than anytime in the postwar era, be in finite supply.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:21 AM
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37: I would bet a large sum that Colbert didn't spring that on her. These things tend to be negotiated in advance.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:29 AM
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Oh man I love Stacey Abrams. Thanks, dalriata.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 9:35 AM
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34. You know me


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 10:41 AM
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I would bet a lot of money that men are the primary readers/buyers of alt-history fiction (::cough:: Harry Turtledove ::cough::). Other than that, I don't think there are broad genres of fiction that are primarily read by men. Certainly sci-fi is perceived as heavily male, but I don't believe it is in reality. Definitely not if you combine it with fantasy or even speculative fiction.

Men do heavily read in some small areas of historical fiction (Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe and Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey novels, for example) but that's not big enough to even count as a subgenre.

Based on 28 years' of anecdotal library experiences, I would say that men are more likely to be rigid about their reading preferences and to be reluctant to experiment with any book that seems like it might not be marketed exactly to them (e.g. cover art, plot description, etc.) or has a female protagonist, but I suspect that is mostly a function of The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too, because they are afraid of getting made fun of for reading a "girly" book. Even if it's a detective novel that I promise them is very very similar to a Dennis Culhane novel. Also, they probably didn't spend their preteen and teen years having to read very widely to try to find themselves reflected ANYWHERE, as women typically do.

AIUI, Stacey Abrams technically wrote romantic suspense, which is defined subgenre of romance.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 10:48 AM
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Why can't all women get off to Crockett's daughter being beaten by an emotionally stunted billionaire, like normal women?


Posted by: Opinionated Grandma | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 11:00 AM
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60% of books in the mystery/thriller genre

Pretty clear Clancy/Cussler/Child were standing in there for a subgenre, not sure the name but I'll say "military / military technology thrillers"; smuggling in all mystery is missing the point.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 11:02 AM
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28 years' worth of library experiences.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 11:06 AM
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46

GY is married to ajay? What?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 11:08 AM
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39: I think so, too, but then I saw a lot of people arguing that that doesn't matter because consent can be withdrawn at any time. Which, well, I think is both misreading her response and maybe over-applying an important rule of interaction. This was most broadly expressed by amateur/small-time romance writers (I saw three or four say something like it), who seemed to take umbrage that the entire bit was mocking their profession/genre. But I didn't get that at all; novels out of context often sound funny, and doubly so for sexy bits--but if that's true, it's universal, and hence not a slight against romance novels. Showing that a potential presidential candidate who seems quite admirable wrote stuff like this normalizes it.

Then again, on a search of "abrams colbert" on Twitter, a bunch of right wingers were crowing about how Colbert totally embarrassed and shamed her for her gross smutty smut (eww, there's kissing), so what the hell do I know?

42: You're right, especially about seeing yourself reflected everywhere--it let me find my hyperspecific comfort zones in my teen years, safely knowing there'll always be enough. I suspect ebooks have made it easier for men to be slightly more omnivorous with their fiction habits since no one knows what you're reading, the cover is less important in the book-buying/browsing process, and cheaper books allow for more toe-dipping outside a reader's comfort zone. And you're right about sci fi.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 11:31 AM
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I think this is the base rate fallacy. Men are basically mostly illiterate, so almost any genre will be primarily read by women because the vast majority of readers are women.

34: When I was in college, I knew a big comic book crowd that was almost exclusively women, and I started reading comic books just to find out what the hell they were talking about. My extensive knowledge of Carol Danvers' backstory only took 20 years to pay off.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 11:41 AM
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I thought this quote was interesting:

"Romance is the only place that I know you're going to go and get a happily ever after every time," she said. "There are a lot of good books in every genre, and I understand the value of literary fiction," she told me. "But what makes suffering so appealing?"

I can live with reading books where the chance of a happy ending is 90%, but I would have trouble reading a genre where the chance is 100%. It feels like a lie. All fiction is a lie, but if I know I'm always going to get a happy ending most of the drive to finish it is gone for me. I loved Infinity War, and watched it three times, exactly because the characters tried really hard, and it wasn't enough. I like my successes seasoned with the occasional heroic failure, or the ambiguously happy ending.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:06 PM
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I would have trouble reading a genre where the chance is 100%

Guess the good news of salvation isn't for you then.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:25 PM
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50: Do not DESPAIR one of the thieves was SAVED
Do not PRESUME one of the thieves was DAMNED


Posted by: Opinionated St. Augustine | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:27 PM
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51: See! Like Walt, St. Augustine liked a bit of suspense.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:28 PM
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I like to watch/read mysteries twice because I find it enjoyable to see how the solution was hidden and notice all the little hints I ignored before I knew the solution. Or maybe I just like repetition because I also watch episodes of Columbo multiple times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:31 PM
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54

I feel like I'm missing a good chance for a joke about Calvinism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:49 PM
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54: Be careful! The stuffed tiger may come to life at any moment!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:54 PM
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There are no good jokes.


Posted by: John Calvin | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:57 PM
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i'd never read any romance until december of last year when i read jilly cooper's imogen before listening to the backlisted podcast episode about the book, and it was fun! quite well done,* and my family seems to have enjoyed my periodic updates as to the state of the heroine's virginity. ian patterson was lovely (this was not a surprise). i could see reading more of cooper if ill or something (grief stricken!) and needing well done easy reading. i need to read georgette heyer's venetia, based again on the backlisted episode, because it sounds like a very enjoyably poisonous book, but haven't had the time. i wish i had so much more time to read fiction. :(

is the media where men dominate consumption p*rn? not saying its the equivalent of romance, just that is suspect men are the dominant solo consumers of p*rn, as opposed to consuming it with a partner.

* written with care and attention, many of the jokes still funny after several decades, the portrait of the awful parents painfully believable, etc.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 1:57 PM
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"Smuggling in all mystery is missing the point"

I couldn't find any more granular breakdown of readership than "mystery/thriller"; I know you think thrillers are predominantly read by men but lots of people think SF and fantasy are predominantly read by men, and they're wrong. I've no reason to suppose that women don't read lots of thrillers. They read lots of thrillers with dragons and thrillers with spaceships. Why wouldn't they also read thrillers with jet aircraft?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 2:10 PM
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is the media where men dominate consumption p*rn?

Yes, if you mean pictures or moving pictures, but we're discussing things involving the written word.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 2:12 PM
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"But what makes suffering so appealing?"

Remember the 'misery memoir' boom about ten years ago? That was a disturbing trend.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 2:12 PM
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60: It makes sense to me. I can experience suffering vicariously, and when the book is over, my own life doesn't seem quite so bad.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 2:17 PM
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61: I often wake up happy from nightmares.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 2:49 PM
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58: I can't rule it out.

(I think the word I was looking for was "techno-thriller".)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 5:25 PM
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My girlfriend reads romance novels and had read this article before I did and found it resonated with her. She also mentioned that the "African-American romance" section at Walmart is bigger than the one at Barnes & Noble. (She's not black and I think still tends toward Regency-type historical stories mostly. I suppose I should know this better, but we're still mostly talking about books we've both read.) This is not particularly useful content but oh well, it's unfogged.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 5:30 PM
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For the romance novel curious, I recommend:

Historical: Courtney Milan (The Governess Affair P


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 5:41 PM
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I know the books of Romance, and I quote the nips historical
From a-blushing to a-heaving, in order categorical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 5:58 PM
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I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters gynecological.
I understand erections, both the simple and inimical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 6:11 PM
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68

Because I value my time, I just got to 4096 in 2048.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 6:56 PM
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Let me try again :

Historicals: Courtney Milan 🌹
* Free kindle novella, The Duchess War, a prequel to the enjoyable Brother.s Sinister series

Contemporaries: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
* I regularly rec Hot Shot to the computer/IT types of you--I believe I finally even managed to convince Josh to readi it. If this became an Unfogged Book Club Read, I'd contribute to buying the books.

Contemporaries: Alissa Cole
*A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals

Romantic Suspense: Nora Roberts
The Undisputed Queen at what is currently her best sub-genre.
* The Search: "A canine Search and Rescue volunteer fights danger and finds love in the Pacific Northwest wilderness."
* The Witness: Teen age prodigy runs from Russian mob, has nowhere to turn

Conservative Christian Patriarchal Bullshit Westerns (occasionally make great hate reads): anything by Diana Palmer. They're all more or less the same book.

🌹The least we can do to honor CM's real-life me-two-ing of Kozinski: http://www.courtneymilan.com/metoo/kozinski.html


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:01 PM
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My girlfriend reads romance novels and had read this article before I did and found it resonated with her.

I hadn't caught you were seeing someone till this? yay for you!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:02 PM
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70 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:10 PM
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Romance novels follow a strict formula: they must be love stories, and by the end the protagonist must achieve their "happily-ever-after"
Really? All of them?


Posted by: Opinionated Madagascar | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:24 PM
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70: I don't think I'd said much here, but it turns out I am in fact capable of love. She's amazing and great with the girls too. We differ in a lot of ways but get along easily and really everything has been easy. Plus she has a Catullus tattoo right where I have my Sappho fragment, so our cultural overlap definitely works.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:25 PM
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hooray!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:29 PM
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75

I suppose I should also have said she's got me watching Jane the Virgin, since that's even on-topic.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:29 PM
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It's not Vanna White, is it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:30 PM
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69.last: Thanks. I'd never seen that before. I say the news stories about him, but not any of the narratives.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:30 PM
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Is there even a hostess on Jeopardy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:30 PM
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our cultural overlap definitely works

Is that what the kids are calling it nowadays?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:32 PM
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78: Yes, but a different one every week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:33 PM
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72 seems out of place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:34 PM
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Somebody should make Jane, the Virginian. There aren't enough female-lead cowboy movies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:38 PM
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Diversity is literally the name of the thread. Asshole.


Posted by: Opinionated Madagascar | Link to this comment | 04- 8-19 7:40 PM
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84

Goes on TV. Gets a girlfriend. Life of a celebrity is pretty good.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 12:43 AM
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"A canine Search and Rescue volunteer fights danger and finds love in the Pacific Northwest wilderness."

This is a story about a dog?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:28 AM
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On topic, I recently signed up to my library's ebook lending scheme. When you do that, it gives you a welcome screen with the last fifty or so books they've acquired for lending. Most of them were romances, and more than half of those seemed to be about Highlanders.
This was a bit of a shock; I suppose I would have guessed there would be some, but not that many. It's quite possible that there are now more romance novels about Highlanders in existence than there are actual Highlanders.
Or it's not a balanced sample and whoever is in charge of purchasing for the local ebook scheme just has a thing about Highlanders.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:30 AM
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Talk about a humblebrag, Mr. Jay.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:36 AM
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(My dad runs a medschool library. Romances are the most popular new acquisitions. Don't know about Highlanders.)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:50 AM
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87: not at all. I'm a lowlander. There are zero romance novels, as far as I can tell, about young women being swept off their feet by junior bankers from Colinton or even (sorry ttaM) librarians from Falkirk.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:55 AM
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84: Augh.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:07 AM
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|| Just discovered that the Fed has been underestimating US wage growth by about 50% for years because it ignores everyone who has moved house between surveys. Like, for example, everyone who has got themselves a better job somewhere else and moved as a result.
On topic because AUGH.
|>


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:22 AM
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(My Augh was just to the tv part, because I'm a little frustrated I only went on tv because I really need money and then didn't earn enough money for it to have been worthwhile emotionally or financially. The girlfriend part is fantastic.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:45 AM
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93

92 wait, what did I miss?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:49 AM
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94

Link please!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:50 AM
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95

For the Fed, that is.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:50 AM
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93: see 78.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:57 AM
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https://www.dallasfed.org/research/economics/2019/0326

Wait, Thorn went on TV?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 3:40 AM
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Holy shit, very cool


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 3:53 AM
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This is not particularly useful content but oh well, it's unfogged.

Hey now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 4:13 AM
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There are zero romance novels, as far as I can tell, about young women being swept off their feet by junior bankers from Colinton or even (sorry ttaM) librarians from Falkirk.

Ajay, You can, you ought, you must, you will ...


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 4:21 AM
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i need to read georgette heyer's venetia, based again on the backlisted episode, because it sounds like a very enjoyably poisonous book, but haven't had the time.

It is, and she wrote many such. My observation is that she also wrote contemporary (mid 20th century) whodunnits and many of the characters who were amusing in Regency costume reappear in modern dress and are unutterably vile. Therefore, to continue enjoying her historicals (her research is generally very good, with a few serious howlers), avoid the modernish ones like the plague.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 4:52 AM
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97.1: That doesn't seem to say 50%. I skimmed, so I guess I could have missed something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 4:58 AM
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102: Let's you and him fight.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:02 AM
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I have read many romance novels about highlanders, and am happy to recommend some!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:02 AM
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I only read for detail if I notice the word "nipple" on a quick skim.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:03 AM
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How come highlanders get all the romance novels when they aren't the only stubborn minority to have fighting men forgo trousers? Did Greek revolutionaries wear really silly underpants?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:18 AM
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I don't know what these "revolutionaries" are, but I delivered the product. Just the beta but hey the client is king.


Posted by: Opinionated Virgil | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:22 AM
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103: "This 5.5 percent wage growth implies that, on average, U.S. workers currently are receiving substantial real wage gains--possibly double what has been reported" - they published another paper earlier suggesting that wage growth was being under reported for different reasons. Add that to the effect of missing house moves, and you get doubling.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:26 AM
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100: I owe it to diversity, clearly.

106: I feel sure there must be plenty of historical romances involving klephts. Byron was kicking around that part of the world as well, so you've got a head start.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:31 AM
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How come highlanders get all the romance novels

It's comparatively more difficult to get romantic in a RAV4.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:36 AM
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Ooh! I read a ton of romances and have been following the discussions of diversity in romance quite closely for the last couple of years. J. Robot's reccomendations are great - let me add in Cat Sebastian, who writes incredible Regency's with a firm sense of class and a variety of leads - Male/Male, genderqueer, and more!

I read mostly by myself but also with a few others, one of whom is a man; he seems to very much enjoy exactly the same as I, and has been very much a driver of pushing my reading to become more diverse.

I also love Jane the Virgin so much. So much!

Also also, yay, Thorn!

Also tripled, ajay, you would be AMAZED at how many Highlander novels are out there. I've had great fun explaining to many a Brit/Scot the genre.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:38 AM
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ajay, you would be AMAZED at how many Highlander novels are out there

I already am!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:46 AM
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|| Also, while I'm on the wages issue, I've just learned that until 1938 the US had minimum wage laws but only for women. Minimum wage laws for men would have violated their freedom of contract and were therefore illegal. Women, being weaker vessels, were in need of the paternal protection of a minimum wage law. https://www.princeton.edu/~tleonard/papers/minimum_wage.pdf
|>


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:49 AM
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I'm guessing most of them aren't along the lines of "I fucked a crofter."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:50 AM
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A few are. And then some Jacobites. But mainly lairds. Just like there are approximately 100,000 Dukes in the UK between 1800 and 1840.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:52 AM
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"...I taught five hundred children to read and write, but do they call me Margaret the school teacher? No. But one crofter..."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 5:53 AM
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Also, on the subject of the HEA - I think it's not that every romance reader only wants to read about happiness, it's that they turn to romance explicitly when they want to read something that does. I have been reading a ton of romance since 2016 (I've always read at least some), and there's no doubt in my mind it's because I've wanted to escape from the crap reality of the world and knowing I'm going to read something that resolves well makes me happy. I read plenty of other stuff that doesn't necessarily resolve in a happy manner.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:00 AM
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Having finally read the OP, I'm surprised the publishers treated non-white writers badly. Writers' associations full of white people, that makes sense, but romance sells. Naively I'd have thought the publishers would follow the money, especially seeing how little prestige attaches to the books.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:09 AM
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117 makes sense. I bet there are very few romance-only readers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:11 AM
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116: It's probably not easy to stop at just one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:32 AM
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Also worth noting that romance is different from most other genres in that it has spread successfully into most other genres.

Take fantasy; you can argue around the edges, but it's fairly easy and unarguable to say that most books that aren't marketed as "fantasy" have no fantasy elements. Most books that aren't marketed as "science fiction" have no SF elements (the exception is techno thrillers, which I think Jo Walton defined as "a techno-thriller is a science fiction novel in which one of the characters is the President of the United States"). Most books that aren't marketed as "mystery/detective" don't have a crime that needs solving.

But a very large number of books (and even more films) supposedly outside the "romance" genre have a romantic plot as well as whatever else is going on. Even if there are dinosaurs escaping from the theme park, or a gang of armed robbers stalking the streets of Minneapolis, or a Dark Lord recovering his powers and returning to menace the world, there will be, generally, a boy and a girl who end up together at the end despite misunderstandings and obstacles along the way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:33 AM
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Which I suppose answers the question in 6: where are the romance novels for men? They're in the bookshops (as are most of the romance novels for women). They just aren't shelved under "Romance".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:36 AM
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Who is the Tolstoy of the men?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:43 AM
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It's interesting to imagine a world where, say, fantasy had spread as successfully - where it was an unquestioned rule of thumb that any successful story would need to have a "fantasy interest" to keep the audience's attention - where scriptwriters would pitch a neo-noir tale of LAPD detectives investigating a murder which leads them to confront the reality of the city's dependence on a shadowy world of illegal immigrant labour, only for the producer to say sceptically "I like what you've got there, Alice, but where are the goblins?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:44 AM
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Other than the obvious.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:44 AM
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123: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a train, asking it to - "
SPLAT


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:46 AM
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126 is great, whoever it was.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:48 AM
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121: I think that misrepresents the history: romance is a basic plot element, and you can find romance plots in the oldest texts we have. Homer for instance has Helen, Paris, Andromache, Hector, muddled up with all kinds of other plots, war, fantasy, SF (Hephaestus' little helpers) whatever. With expanded production of fiction in the modern you get specialized genres separating some of those ancient threads out into standalone works. As you point out, romance is relatively unseparated, but I don't think it can be characterized as having spread into other genres: it was there all along.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:55 AM
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Just discovered that the Fed has been underestimating US wage growth by about 50% for years because it ignores everyone who has moved house between surveys. Like, for example, everyone who has got themselves a better job somewhere else and moved as a result.
On topic because AUGH.
|>

Link?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 6:59 AM
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Link in 97.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:03 AM
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See 97.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:04 AM
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See pwned.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:04 AM
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I don't think it can be characterized as having spread into other genres: it was there all along.

That's true and I phrased it badly - what I am trying to say is that it is very common for non-"Romance" novels to have a romantic plotline, in a way that it isn't common for them to have plotlines from any other genre. Hence 122: it's not that men don't read romances, it's that they don't read, if you like, refined romances. They read romances with other plotlines mixed in as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:07 AM
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133: Comity. I'd submit as very partial rebuttal the "four-quadrant" movie: supposedly some romance, some action, some comedy, etc.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:12 AM
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Twice zero is still zero.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:18 AM
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121.last has always seemed like an oversimplified dividing line of sorts. If the love plot is thwarted away from HEA, you're dealing with a literary/"serious" story.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:50 AM
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128,133:

I recall that, in one of the Barsetshire novels, Trollope introduces the romance plot by noting that it's included mainly because nowadays it's the rule that a novel must include a romance plot.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 7:54 AM
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136: It's an oversimplification for sure, but it works very well as a rule of thumb.

SPOILER of sorts coming ahead --

An ending that genuinely surprised me, because it broke this rule was the end of The Price of Salt.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:10 AM
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Also I'd say it shouldn't count as romance if the woman is treated as the reward for the hero's success in the rest of the plot, with one or two emotional conversations papering this over.

(I was going to say "the other three quadrants" but apparently the four quadrants are demographics, not genres.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:18 AM
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That has "Patricia Highsmith" literally printed on the cover, peep.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:20 AM
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140: I'm not sure what you're getting at, but I just googled it and wikipedia says it's a "romance novel". So it didn't break the rule, I just misidentified the genre.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:25 AM
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"Lesbian pulp" didn't really qualify as "romance" until fairly recently, I don't think.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:29 AM
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141: Let's just say Mr Ripley would like a word after dinner. In private, I'm sure you'll understand.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:32 AM
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"Lesbian pulp" didn't really qualify as "romance" until fairly recently, I don't think.

Supposedly the producers of lesbian pulp would add small fake wooden heterosexuals in order to make people think it was romance.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:37 AM
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Pursuing ajay's thought a little: I'm thinking of the bits of medieval romances I've read, like Malory and some stories in the Mabinogion, which are a total mishmash. I can totally see Malory sitting with a chapter going, "Ok, I've got my road trip, my love interest, and my battle scene, but where's my magical item?"


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:43 AM
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Ajay's earlier thought. Though Malory probably has fake wooden heterosexuals too.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:44 AM
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145: it is surprising how much of the Morte d'Arthur could be boiled down to a well-written Random Encounter table.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:50 AM
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I got your magical item right here.


Posted by: Opinionated heterosexual | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:52 AM
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147: Why I've so far found it basically unreadable. That and the unrelenting doom-laden horror. I'll get to it someday.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:54 AM
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119: Ajay, you are underestimating the size of the romance novel industry.

According to the Romance Writers of America®, the romance fiction industry is worth $1.08 billion dollars a year,* which makes it about a third larger than the inspirational book industry, and about the size of the mystery novel genre and science fiction/fantasy genre markets combined.

Romance novel readers read voraciously. It is probably more accurate to say that romance novels are the single most-read category of books than it is to think of them as a small niche.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 8:55 AM
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150: am I? I didn't say anything about the size of the industry. Just that I bet there were very few people who read only romance novels.

Romance novels bring in $1 billion a year, which is significant, but books overall bring in $26 billion a year. So there are a lot of non-romance books being read out there as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 9:16 AM
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||
Attn. Ume - the Party line, apparently:

"chosen peace" would be a much more comprehensible version, as wa could mean many things, including being gentle, calm, harmonious, synchronized, and peaceful.
[...]
Japan has gone through during the soon to end Heisei era, which translates into English as "ordinary achievement" or "uneventful path".
[...More commonly translated as "achieving peace"?]
Japan had its heydays of economic boom in the 1960s, 1970s and a good part of the 1980s until it signed the Plaza Accord with the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany in 1985. The Japanese economy suffered another blow from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, followed by the 2008 global financial crisis.
[...Insane construction bubble mysteriously unmentioned I wonder why?]
China has given the call to build a community with a shared future for mankind and demonstrated its resolve to work with other countries to promote lasting peace, stability and prosperity.
So it is no coincidence that Japan, a country that shares deep cultural ties with China, has named its new imperial era Reiwa.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 9:31 AM
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... The girlfriend part is fantastic.

Congratulations!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 9:38 AM
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I like to imagine a continuity of Highlander romance novels going right back to Sir Walter Scott. I have not thought about this deeply because I expect it wouldn't hold up.

I recommend Carla Kelly's The Wedding Journey as a first romance, especially for a male reader; there's a lot of other story and the hero is not a hypercompetent duke. (I don't think the hypercompetent-duke ones are often written for the reader to be the h.-d.; try Dorothy Dunnett instead.) And Kelly is now writing Westerns, which are also romances, often about early Mormons.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 10:26 AM
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Just that I bet there were very few people who read only romance novels.

I bet this is wrong. I bet there are tons of devotees who use romance novels as an alternative to TV, not as a part of a larger reading list.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 11:17 AM
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I never saw much evidence that my romance novel-reading family members read any other books. Magazines, yes. I don't know if Amazon has changed this situation since the 80s, which was the last time I paid any attention (sorry).

I have trouble with the suspension of disbelief in general. I seem to exist, most of the time, in a single unified state of skepticredulity and can't move the dial much either way.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 11:49 AM
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Any interested in male equivalents to the romance should stop by a truck stop. Truck stops may hold the only the only convenience stores in the US that still have book racks. Yes, westerns are big.

Pointless exercise: what fiction genres should exist but don't? I nominate the sports novel. Lots of people are into sports. There are lots of obvious plot lines and conflicts. Memoirs by retired athletes often do well. Why aren't any sports novels published these days?


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 12:50 PM
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157.2: I like the sports novel idea! Are there still books like that for kid? I remember reading a Chip Hilton book. And John Tunis wrote sports books for kids. Philip Roth wrote about John Tunis in An American Pastoral.

Some writer should sell the idea to LeBron James -- let's collaborate on a series of novels about a superstar basketball not entirely unlike yourself. LeBron could provide ideas for the plots and all the details on the basketball games, and life on the road. Guaranteed bestsellers!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:05 PM
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But the point of sports is watching the athletic movement. I do like sports, but I don't want to read 'with big bunchy muscles, a really big person launched really high into the air, making a catch that was quite a reach'. That's for looking, not for reading.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:28 PM
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159: That's how many people feel about sex, but some romance readers do enjoy reading the sex scenes apparently.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:39 PM
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The Duchess of Cleveland, a poor but headstrong maiden who is at first unaware of both her beauty and her ability to start rivers on fire with her mind, falls in love with him and convinces him to live with her in her family's ancestral home, Rockroll Hall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:45 PM
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Pointless exercise: what fiction genres should exist but don't? I nominate the sports novel. Lots of people are into sports.

I've long wondered why there aren't sports-based shows for small children, which rest on the idea that if big kids do it, then it's intriguing, while only vaguely tethered to the actual sport. I'm picturing adventure-having basketballs, baseballs, and soccer balls, which all live in the same closet of some kid, or something. Each has a vaguely sports-related super power.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:54 PM
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If martial arts is a sport, I think there is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 1:59 PM
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Guys, I have good news! The sports novel exists in romance! Like, I would almost go so far as to say that hockey romance is a sub-genre in and of itself. (And basketball, football, etc.) Whole series devoted to marrrying off every single last member of the team!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:00 PM
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Also I recently discovered that Kobe Bryant has a series of kids books about basketball and ... magic? I can't remember and I'm way too lazy to look it up.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:01 PM
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And I too think ajay is probably wrong - I think the whole reason Kindle Unlimited is profitable (which I must admit I'm assuming it is - maybe not!) is because there's a large population of only romance readers out there.

Relatedly, there have been some incredible plagiarism scandals rocking romance, as well as a lot of criticism of the perfectly legal practice of republishing the same books over and over with different authors and covers to sucker people into buying again or, in the case of Kindle Unlimited, at least reading a certain number of pages.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:05 PM
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165: He was a genie. I remember the movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:10 PM
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there's a large population of only romance readers out there.

I can't remember what I'm basing this on, but I thought Ajay was right. That is, my impression is that the average person reads no books in a year. The average romance reader (and this is some impression I got from reading something, so I could be wrong, but it's what I remember) might read twenty romances for every non-romance, but is vastly more likely to read at least some non-romance than the population at large.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:18 PM
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Like, I would almost go so far as to say that hockey romance is a sub-genre in and of itself.

"He spoke softly and carried a big stick"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:18 PM
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With an unusually sharp bend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:21 PM
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When you put it like that, it sounds more plausible - I guess I was just thinking about readers only, and I keep encountering a core group of romance readers who seem to live and breathe the genre, mainly through Twitter, so it's purely an anecdotal sense, not data driven. I was definitely making assumptions about the type of people who primarily read Amish romances or other Christian ones (mainly, that they wouldn't be reading widely), but they probably read the Bible and Christian self help, though, if I examine that assumption further. Certainly amongst my set of romance reading friends, it's just one genre out of many. I did just try googling for some actual data (the RWA loves a survey) but couldn't find anything from a quick glance.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:30 PM
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164: I think Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes the best of the sports/romance novels (the Chicago Stars books).


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 04- 9-19 2:53 PM
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152: That's an interesting interpretation! One of the best-known English translations of the Manyoshu has "choice month" for reigetsu, but using that poetic license to make the the leap to "chosen peace" is quite impressive.

Yes, Heisei 平成 is normally translated as "achieving peace," as 平 is the other character in heiwa, the regular word for peace. But 平 in general use means flat, ordinary, or equal, so it's not too much of a stretch, though quite unkind, to translate it as "ordinary achievement."

Meanwhile, conservative Japanese commenters are sneering at those who question the use of rei because of its connotations of "command":

Having said that, if someone interprets Reiwa as something implying "achieving harmony by giving orders," the level of his or her knowledge about Chinese characters used in Japan is as good as that of students in elementary schools.

Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 12:42 AM
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Why did I waste yesterday doing other things than reading this thread?
LB is surely right that then the median American reads no books a year, romance readers are likely to have read more non-romance books than that; the only dedicated romance reader I have known was a devout, unhappily married Shia woman who ran the social services in an adjoining region of local government.

In non-romance news, my mother is still in hospital but I fitted her up yesterday with a pair of bluetooth headphones and an audiobook copy of the Psammead trilogy which enchanted her. I have also been listening in the car and had forgotten how much good sense and wit and kindliness there was in E Nesbit.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 1:07 AM
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But the point of sports is watching the athletic movement. I do like sports, but I don't want to read 'with big bunchy muscles, a really big person launched really high into the air, making a catch that was quite a reach'. That's for looking, not for reading.

I'd disagree on that, actually. I'm not sure about actual sports novels - I'm sure they exist but I don't think I've read any - but several good writers have written sports scenes into their books that I've enjoyed reading - more, I think, than I would enjoy watching the sport. I'm thinking of the cricket match chapter in "Murder Must Advertise", for example; the GMF short story "McAuslan in the Rough"; any number of PG Wodehouse golf and cricket stories.

Why shouldn't sports scenes in books, if well-written, be just as entertaining and readable as any other action scene?

Don't some of those interchangeable American literary authors write immense doorstop books about baseball? Philip DeLillo? Norman Roth?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 1:19 AM
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the perfectly legal practice of republishing the same books over and over with different authors and covers to sucker people into buying again

I'm quite surprised that this is perfectly legal; surely it's false advertising, if part of what you're paying for is novelty.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 1:23 AM
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Hence the legal term of art, "book".


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:19 AM
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The middle third of DeLillo's "Americana" is a play by play of a football match. From this I learned that I know nothing about football and therefore cannot evaluate the quality of the writing.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:25 AM
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Also I think this:

the point of sports is watching the athletic movement

betrays a failure to understand why (at a guess) 95% of sports fans actually watch the sport. Yes, it is impressive to see people throw accurately, jump for catches, etc. But that is not the point of sports. It is fundamentally a contest, not just an exhibition of physical skill and coordination. That is why fans turn up to watch the match, not the warm-up or the training sessions.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:31 AM
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It's also why fans listen to sports on the radio and read about them in the newspaper!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:34 AM
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If you told the crowd at Highbury on a Saturday "we've cancelled the match, instead here is Mesut Ozil with ninety minutes of rhythmic gymnastics" their reaction would not be positive, even assuming that Mesut Ozil were very good at rhythmic gymnastics.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:36 AM
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what fiction genres should exist but don't? I nominate the sports novel.

Serious question: are there cooking novels? Cookery is an immensely popular pastime. Cooking shows are hits. Recipe books are best-sellers.
I think "The Joy Luck Club" involved quite a lot of cooking - I only saw the film though. Any others? Is this a genre?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:38 AM
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Tolkien would have inventrelled it if he wrote a bit faster.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:42 AM
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The wonderful John Lanchester novel "The debt to pleasure" has a lot about cooking, though more from the point of view of the cook than the consumer.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:17 AM
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Most of them were romances, and more than half of those seemed to be about Highlanders. This was a bit of a shock; I suppose I would have guessed there would be some, but not that many.

I would have guessed there would be only one.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:20 AM
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182: Not precisely a genre, but there are some very popular Japanese novels in which cooking is a major theme, e.g. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto and Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sakigake. (Now I've started googling "author pseudonym fruit".)


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:20 AM
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Also, the first Edward St Aubyn novel won a prize for romance novels, I seem to remember, which wasgood for his career but must have mystified a lot of subsequent readers.

My friend Angela Lambert won the Betty Trask prize [given to romance authors] for her first novel and spent years afterwards complaining bitterly that this meant reviewers never took seriously anything else she wrote.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:22 AM
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Sakigake s/b Sukegawa.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:22 AM
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I had heard of Banana Yoshimoto, but I am still having trouble believing in Durian Sakigake.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:23 AM
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And, when ajay has finished "Stirrings in the kilt"* I shall embark on a novelisation of the love life of Elizabeth David, which would have furnished everything a romance novelist needs except a happy ending. "An omelette, a glass of wine, and thou" [sequels, obviously, just add another "and thou"]

* No doubt the more authentic Lowland title would be "Confessions of a justified sinner" but the focus group was very clear on this.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:27 AM
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... writing, of course, as Pomegranate Sushi


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:29 AM
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Mimi Jardin. That's just a name that needs a novel or twelve.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:45 AM
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Thanks Ume!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 3:49 AM
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166: Did you see this wild story on romance and Kindle Unlimited?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:13 AM
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Serious question: are there cooking novels?

Not whole novels, but didn't Len Deighton's early books usually include a culinary scene?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:20 AM
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182: Like Water for Chocolate


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:34 AM
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Oops that was me, not that it's super important to have a name in a comment that is only a book title.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:35 AM
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Shakespeare had that play about cooking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:43 AM
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Also, there's Ina Garten's "Murder is so Easy."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:48 AM
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I just googled to check whether Big Night was based on a book and it is -- the subtitle is even A Novel With Recipes. Babette's Feast was an Isak Dinesen story first.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:54 AM
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Of course, if you want to buy most of your murder supplies in the store and just add a few personal touches of your own, Sandra Lee novels are what you want.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:56 AM
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||
Anybody here read Juan Rulfo?
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:06 AM
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||
Are all those West Bank hilltop settlements literally built as fortresses? Or just as fuck-yous?
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:21 AM
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Both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:22 AM
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I'm remindedthe cooking bits were among the best in the good half of Kingsolver's Lacuna.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:22 AM
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Like, the windows are loopholes, but they'll also spray glass everywhere.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:24 AM
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203: They're being ironic, we just don't have a sense of humor.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:26 AM
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We need an urban warfare reading group. The next one is going to be so fucking horrible and honestly I have no fucking idea. (|||>)


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:29 AM
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Shakespeare had that play about cooking.

You mean "Titus Andronicus"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:46 AM
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Shhhhh.


Posted by: Opinionated GRRM | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:47 AM
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Of course. I never saw the whole play, but I'm certain the Reduced Shakespeare Company's version was accurate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:48 AM
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The movie with Anthony Hopkins is great. Fucking nuts.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:49 AM
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210: when I finished A Dance With Dragons I resolved not to reread the series until "The Winds of Winter" was announced; this has taken longer than I expected...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:49 AM
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I'm divided on whether to watch the last HBO season. The plot has clearly wandered so far from the books already it feels like it doesn't matter either way. Especially since, straight talk, Martin is gonna drop dead any day now.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 5:54 AM
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202: I read Pedro Paramo. As usual, I don't remember it very well. My vague recollection is that I wasn't entirely sure I understood it, but I decided I liked it anyway.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:02 AM
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EHT!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:04 AM
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216: I thought it would be darker.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:21 AM
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EHT?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:31 AM
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157.2: sports novels

My grandfather wrote fiction, and one of the markets he sold to was a magazine (whose name I have forgotten) that published nothing but fiction about sports. Short stories, not novels, but still... I think he last sale into that market was in the early '60s. He had stories (sometimes under a house name) in a lot of the pulps from the '30s onward.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:39 AM
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182: are there cooking novels

The Patrick O'Brian Aubrey-Maturin novels are full of lavish descriptions of feasts at sea, so many that there is a book which collects and describes the authors' attempt to duplicate the all dishes eaten. They did draw the line at drinking bird poop fouled water, and reproducing the cannibal luau in Polynesia.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:54 AM
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there is a book which collects and describes the authors' attempt to duplicate the all dishes eaten.

I own it! It's rather good. I can also recommend "The Wooden World" by (who else) NAM Rodger, and "Feeding Nelson's Navy" by Janet MacDonald, the latter including an acknowledgement of her husband, who taste-tested a lot of her reconstructed cooking experiments and has my sincere sympathy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:00 AM
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It's hard to sell the product when you use "fouled" in the name. I bet LaCroix could sell it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:01 AM
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I don't know about currently, but for a while it seemed like foodie oriented mysteries were an established subgenre.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:07 AM
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182: Nora Ephron's Heartburn? Not purely a cooking novel, but that's the world it's in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:20 AM
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221. Of course I have the book, too*. Also the NAM Rodger naval history stuff. "Gripping!"

* "Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels"


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:22 AM
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They had heartburn, but not in a way we can understand now that we have Omeprazole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:22 AM
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The Internet provides the recipes from Nora Ephron's Heartburn.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:30 AM
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Many of the Nero Wolfe novels drift into food. More eating than cooking, but with some attention to the cooking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:37 AM
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227: If only the internet had instructions on how to be a shitty husband.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:38 AM
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I had an after school job in a movie theater when Heartburn came out, and that stupid rendition of The Itsy Bitsy Spider that plays during the closing credits is permanently imprinted on my brain.

I blame Meryl Streep.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:38 AM
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for a while it seemed like foodie oriented mysteries were an established subgenre.

There's definitely a lot of scope for foodie detective stories. As well as the obvious poisoning mystery, you could have:
- vital clue is leftover food found at the scene, cooked in a particular style or using rare ingredients
- mystery death due to obscure food allergy
- organised crime involved in smuggling rare foods, or counterfeiting them
- fakery of manuscript or similar exposed because it describes food using ingredients or techniques not around at the time when supposedly written - eg orange carrots in 16th century painting, etc
- recipe theft or copying as a plot point in rivalry between chefs


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:41 AM
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THere's that Wimsey story where he's able to prove his identity by being better at wine than the impostor...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:42 AM
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While not a detective story, The Chaplet by Saki describes a great food-related murder motive.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:47 AM
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There was an official Nero Wolfe Cookbook; my college's library had it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:47 AM
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Or maybe ILL, it was a while ago.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:47 AM
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recipe theft or copying as a plot point in rivalry between chefs

This one Nero Wolfe has covered -- it's Too Many Cooks with the conflict being over the recipe for saucisse minuit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:48 AM
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233: ah yes. Nasty.
"YOU DO NOT PLAY ZAT SONG NO MORE!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:50 AM
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234: Available from Amazon. I gave a copy to my SO, since she collects cookbooks, but we've never actually made any of the recipes.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:50 AM
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233: Ooh, I'd forgotten that one, it's terrific. Here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 7:51 AM
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Oh, what about Dorothy Sayers' The Documents In The Case? The suspense of the plot is figuring out whether the poisoning death was accidental ingestion of poisonous mushrooms (intentional ingestion of wild mushrooms, but unintentionally poisonous ones) or murder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:01 AM
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Also a useful source of limericks making it clear how to pronounce the names of the more puzzling Oxford Colleges. I would not have guessed that Caius rhymes with cheese.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:02 AM
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She had lots of poisoning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:07 AM
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Yeah, but The Documents In The Case spends a lot of time focusing on the mushrooms and mushroom gathering and mushroom cookery.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:09 AM
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I don't know why exactly that started with "Yeah, but."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:11 AM
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Old English literature has a lot of lavish descriptions of feasts. Gawain, perhaps most famously. Beowulf has several. Plenty in Bede, though that may not count as fiction.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:12 AM
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I assumed "Yeah, but" is to "And then" as lawyers are to improv comics.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:16 AM
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I tried to word that three separate ways and then gave up and combined them.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 8:17 AM
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Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sakigake

I wonder if that truly awful Naomi Kawase film was based on the book. It should have been called "Saccharine Bean Paste".


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 9:34 AM
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I wonder if that truly awful Naomi Kawase film was based on the book.

Yes, it was. I haven't seen it, though.

It should have been called "Saccharine Bean Paste".

The book is also terribly sentimental. But it made a huge stir because the isolation and forced sterilization of leprosy patients was such a taboo subject until recently.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 9:44 AM
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231. For food mysteries, don't forget getting rid of the murder weapon by cooking it and eating it. (Actual story where this happens left as exercise for the reader.)


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 10:09 AM
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So, we just finished Quicksand on Netflix. Definitely not for those sensitive to explicit violence.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 10:50 AM
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That's probably good because Kirstjen Nielsen has a bunch of free time now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 10:57 AM
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Everybody read The Flounder right?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 10:58 AM
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No. But I do prefer the German title.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 11:33 AM
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No. But I do prefer the German title.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 11:33 AM
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253: A long time ago and I can't really recall much about it except that it left with an overall "meh" impression by the end.

Is there a food related murder mystery subplot that I'm forgetting?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 11:53 AM
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Maybe that was in The Tin Drumstick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 12:52 PM
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|| Must be an exciting time to be a lawyer. Maybe now your profession will finally get some respect ||


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 12:54 PM
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Cooking's a big deal throughout.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:11 PM
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257: Written by Gunter Lemongrass.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:15 PM
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Günter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:18 PM
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Right. I missed the kumquat over the "u."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:46 PM
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It's so easy on my phone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 2:57 PM
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aren't the dick francis books about a sport? or is horse racing not a sport? i honestly have no idea, it's an honest question. food plays a persistent part in the mysteries set in venice by that lady who lives (at least part time) in san francisco - i can't remember her name. the detective type has a name that startes with b? the better half buys her yearly volume and i usually end up reading it at some point on holiday or when i get sick. wooden world one of my all time favorite non-fiction books, along with the world turned upside down, cobb's l'armee revolutionnaire plus death in paris etc. and bleeding into arlette farge's books - they all run together into favorite-ness.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:26 PM
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Horse racing is the sport of kings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:27 PM
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Harness racing is the sport of auto-parts suppliers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 4:28 PM
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Hen Frigates is another good bit of sailing social history, and the author has other history books and ! a series of sailing mysteries, and Judas Island, which sounds like it's probably a romance but also a Gothic sailing horror story. No mention of recipes.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:22 PM
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food plays a persistent part in the mysteries set in venice by that lady who lives (at least part time) in san francisco - i can't remember her name. the detective type has a name that startes with b?

Donna Leon. There is even a Brunetti's Cookbook.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 6:24 PM
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"aren't the dick francis books about a sport?"

Yes! Good point. Some of them are, anyway. I've read a few and they are either horse racing plus thriller, or horse racing plus something else plus thriller.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-10-19 11:05 PM
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Nothing is a greater memento mori than the realisation that you can't even have a conversation about sex any more without it turning into a thread about recipe books and Dick Francis novels.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 2:03 AM
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Things probably now outnumbered by fictional representations of themselves:
Romantic Highlanders
US presidents (there have only been 44 in reality; definitely more than that in film for example)
Astronauts
Dukes


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 2:10 AM
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Continents

Maybe serial killers?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 2:11 AM
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Krays


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:01 AM
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Assassins? Full-time assassins definitely.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:16 AM
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273: good point. I should have said "categories which have fewer real members than fictional members" or something. The Krays don't count because there haven't been lots of fictional Kray brothers; just lots of films with different people playing the real Kray brothers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:33 AM
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Soldiers in medieval model armies. If we're counting fantasy continents.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:38 AM
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This is basically a list of areas in which reality is underperforming when it comes to meeting the human requirement for interesting stuff.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:46 AM
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Raspberry seeds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:50 AM
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||
"Norway is extraordinarily worried."
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:50 AM
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||
"Guava prices have collapsed over the past year"
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 3:58 AM
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Private detectives who earn a living solving murders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 4:48 AM
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Trump voters in the diner who are telling the reporter about their economic anxiety who won't use a racial slur to describe Obama after the reporter leaves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 4:53 AM
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Cowboys.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 4:55 AM
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I knew people who tended cattle on horseback. There are still a fair number.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 4:59 AM
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Do they drive them cross country to the railhead at Dodge City?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:05 AM
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No, but they certainly round them up in the spring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:07 AM
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Nah.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:09 AM
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I mean, nah, not cowboys. Not trying to gaslight your acquintances in spring.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:10 AM
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I don't think any of them under 50 wear the hat, but I haven't checked in a while.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:11 AM
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They self-identify as ranchers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:12 AM
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You rest my case.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:12 AM
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It's a synonym.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:19 AM
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Ranches have fences?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:22 AM
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Anyway, my grandfather would not have said he was a rancher, because he only dealt with cattle that were ready to fatten (or dairy cows). But he did were the hat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:22 AM
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Ranches have fences where I was from. Land for grazing was usually fenced off in square mile chunks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:24 AM
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Opinionated Textbook History says fences and cowboys are mutually exclusive. Freedom, something, something.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:27 AM
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||

"We used to always worry whenever we heard a blast, until we got numb to it," Ma says in her shattered home about half a mile from the chemical plants. "This place was like a time bomb. This time, it finally got my mom."
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:31 AM
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I'm sure I read somewhere that "cowboy" was regarded as a derogatory term by Americans who actually rode around the West on horses herding cattle, and the approved term was "stockman" - a "cowboy" was a sort of wandering incompetent stockman who couldn't hold down a proper job.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 5:51 AM
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291 to 298.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:03 AM
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My grandfather and my uncle were both at various times in charge of buying and selling herds of cattle. Sometimes my dad would call them stockman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:11 AM
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||

According to advertisements, 88 Wealth Network offers alternative investment opportunities to retail and institutional investors, touting annualised returns from 8 per cent to 13 per cent. The underlying assets include Airbus A318 jets, high-end mahogany furniture, calligraphy, wine, watches and diamonds.
Like, totally legit, amirite?
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:18 AM
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Definitely is in Australia, with the hook that you're a ringer once you've done your three years' journeymanship. Before that you're a jackeroo, like I was.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:21 AM
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Is that a wise thing to say in public?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:28 AM
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This kangaroo isn't going to inseminate itself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:39 AM
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294: Did he hire thugs to help him drive virtuous farmers off their land? My impression from the movies is that that's a requirement if you want to call yourself a rancher.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:57 AM
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No. He was a farmer for much of his life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 7:03 AM
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Inhabited planets/galaxies


Posted by: chill | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 8:09 AM
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WE DON'T KNOW THAT CHILL! DON'T GIVE UP!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 8:14 AM
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Alan Furst's novels are romance novels for middle-aged men who love reading and watching movies about the Second World War, down to every book's weekend or longer in romantic Paris.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 8:42 AM
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The one Alan Furst novel I read made an interesting impression. On the one hand it definitely played up the whole WWII romantic intrigue thing, but at the same time it sort of undermined it. That is to say, I finished the book with what felt like a vivid impression of just how much it must have sucked to be living in continental Europe during those years.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 8:53 AM
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I didn't know he wrote novels. I just knew about Candid Camera.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 8:58 AM
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i read a couple of the furst books on holiday when they were knocking about and the sex scenes shared a peculiar feature that i noticed in a couple of proto-mysteries set in 18c paris/versailles by some retired fr diplomat whose name i cannot remember, the protagonist was a young man and my internet searches aren't turning them up, but a friend gave me a couple a few years ago so i felt obliged to read them, they were fine but not my thing. at any rate, reading both furst and the fr dude was sort of like watching that movie about aggressive "wine tasting" that sandra oh was so good in, in that all of them were reasonably well done and successfully executed but so clearly aimed at a male not-me audience. in the fust and fr dude books the (exclusively male-female) sex scenes v often involve the dude somehow falling unconsciously into sex, like literally waking up in-sexius-res or somehow oh how did *that* happen? finding himself all flagrante. also, the furst books seemed to get women's lingerie wrong, i just remember a real needle scratch on that point but can't remember the details.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 9:26 AM
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the furst books seemed to get women's lingerie wrong, i just remember a real needle scratch on that point but can't remember the details./i>

Scratchy lingerie is the worst.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 9:34 AM
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I remember my mother talking about being very annoyed with the James Bond books back in the 60s on similar grounds -- they did a lot of luxury brand-name dropping as sophisticated background, and got a lot of perfume and clothing things wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 9:48 AM
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That way when the readers bought stuff for their women they'd get it wrong and have to buy more. More bang for your product-placement buck.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 9:51 AM
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314: Fleming got a lot of the brand name things wrong outside perfume and women's clothing if I remember correctly: I think Bond's famous Morland cigarettes "with the three gold bands" didn't actually exist until the books made them famous and Morland's started to sell them, because so many people started asking for them.

Not to mention that his depiction of the habits of the giant squid is EXTREMELY DUBIOUS.

I wonder if your mother was noticing things that were factually wrong or, as it were, aesthetically wrong; was it "that perfume's not by Chanel, it's by Balmain" or "someone like that would never wear that sort of perfume"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:02 AM
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IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR JULES VERNE IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME


Posted by: OPINIONATED IAN FLEMING | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:04 AM
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On the Bond books, it's apposite to remember, in this year of Brexit, that "Casino Royale" is set in the exotic foreign location of... Picardy. Royale-les-Eaux is just down the coast from Dieppe. In 1953 that was the sort of place that the average Brit could only dream of visiting.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:07 AM
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It also turns out that very few women will use a sexual pun for their name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:08 AM
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The first -- "That designer doesn't make shoes" or things like that. I don't remember the details, but she was a flight attendant which at the time meant being very much in the European luxury goods world, particularly because exchange rates in the 60s meant that everything in Europe was cheap in American money.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:08 AM
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also, the furst books seemed to get women's lingerie wrong, i just remember a real needle scratch on that point but can't remember the details.

I am now stuck on the kind of jarring error that one could make about lingerie in a period thriller.

"Amelie slipped her dress off her shoulders and the silk dropped around her feet on the cheap carpet. She stood by the fire wearing only a dove-grey silk cameleopard and matching suspension bridge."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:09 AM
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319: you say that, but there really is a woman out there whose actual birth name is Fanny Ardent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:14 AM
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320: ah, gotcha. He even got the guns wrong; Bond initially carries a Beretta .32, which at least exists but is a terrible, terrible gun, unreliable, inaccurate and with the stopping power of a propelling pencil, and people wrote to Fleming to point this out, hence why he carries a rather better Walther PPK from "Dr No" onward.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:17 AM
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"Through the sheer fabric of her blouse Kurt could see the outline of her brasserie."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:19 AM
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325

Goddamn hipsters and their microbreweries.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:20 AM
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326

To be fair, any description of the habits of the giant squid beyond "is eaten by sperm whales" is extremely dubious for now.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:20 AM
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327

Netflix added a bunch of Bond movies recently and I started rewatching Thunderball. It failed to grab me this time just like every other time. It just seems slow. The remake in the 80s was better.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:21 AM
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328

"Through the sheer fabric of her chemise, Kurt could see the research paper about the anatomy of giant squid."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:28 AM
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329

323: A Beretta .25, disparaged as a "lady's gun," per the armorer's " 'I think we can do better than this, sir.' It was the sort of voice Bond's first expensive tailor had used."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:29 AM
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330

.25, indeed. Sorry.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:33 AM
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331

"With the stopping power of a piece of chalk."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:34 AM
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332

To be honest, a "lady's gun" should surely be larger than a man's gun, because a man's gun (in a civilian concealed-carry context, which is what Bond's working with) has to fit in a pocket or at least in a holster under his jacket, so it has to be fairly small and flat, whereas a lady can put hers in her handbag and could therefore easily manage anything up to a Navy Colt.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:36 AM
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333

How large of a piece?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:37 AM
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334

323 I remember him initially carrying a Beretta .25 ACP


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:41 AM
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335

Which is even worse


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:41 AM
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336

Ah, Flip got there first.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:43 AM
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337

Flipped you off, as it were.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:45 AM
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338

Because he was only blocked by a very small piece of chalk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:45 AM
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339

337 Hey, the man knows his Bond, and his guns.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:48 AM
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340

My god, you all are so stereotypical! Women talk about Ian Fleming getting lingerie and luxury brands all wrong, and the men all jump in to talk about how he gets guns wrong.

At least I have the dignity to know nothing about either.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 10:54 AM
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341

Are there any topics on which no one could possibly reveal ignorance with anything but embarrassment? It's quite OK and even praiseworthy, in various different circles, to reveal ignorance of guns, politics, mathematics, fashion, perfume, music and so on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:08 AM
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342

What a bidet is for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:17 AM
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343

341 She asked his opinion of the Schleswig-Holstein Question and if he really thought P might equal. NP She smelled faintly of Chanel no 5. desperation and guncotton, as she pulled Soviet AVS-36 rechambered for 7.62 NATO out of her silk jaints and rounded on Bond taking careful aim; in the background John Cage's 4'33" could not be heard.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:36 AM
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344

This seems the place to quote the British Medical Journal's evaluation of Bond's drinking habits, "Were James Bond's drinks shaken because of alcohol-induced tremor?"


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:38 AM
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345

Argh, I'm drunk and messed that up.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:39 AM
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346

Are there any topics on which no one could possibly reveal ignorance with anything but embarrassment?

Which hole is my butthole?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:42 AM
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347

346: I laughed and laughed and laughed.

How embarrassing!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:57 AM
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348

345 to 346.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 12:00 PM
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349

344: That was so much fun to read.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 6:43 PM
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350

This one is still my favorite.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 7:09 PM
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351

Skipping ahead in the thread to recommend to Heyer fans the audio version of The Talisman Ring, which I've listened to multiple times. It's a funny book anyway and is made more so by the fantastic narrator, who does at least a dozen distinct character voices. (I have a large trove of Heyer audio books and am happy to share them. Most of the modern novels are narrated by another very talented woman.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-11-19 11:00 PM
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352

350 is great.

Tangentially on topic: Kaplan-Meier survival analysis of characters in GoT.

To the best of the authors' knowledge, no epidemiological study of mortality and survival has been performed. The primary aim of this study was therefore to examine the mortality and survival of the characters in Game of Thrones. Specifically, to estimate survival time and probability, to identify predictive factors, and to describe causes and circumstances of deaths. The secondary aim was to give the authors an excuse to re-watch the first seven seasons before the final season reaches television screens worldwide.

Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 2:46 AM
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353

I bought a copy of Hot Shot based on the combination of J,Robot's recommendation above and the fact that I saw a bunch of online reviewers complaining that it wasn't "romance" enough and only of interest to people who like the computers angle.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 2:55 AM
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354

The BMJ published a followup to that last year, reporting on an actual randomised controlled trial of jumping out of aircraft with or without parachutes. Their conclusion was that it made no difference to the probability of injury.https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5343


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 4:11 AM
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355

Sorry, here https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 4:15 AM
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re: 312

The first couple of Fursts are pretty good. "Dark Star" in particular, I think, is excellent. But the quality of both the writing, and the plotting, falls off a cliff pretty early on, and most of his later ones could have been written by an AI, or an intern cutting and pasting elements together from some table of Furst clichés. I remember feeling genuinely insulted by some of them as a reader, and haven't ready any for a while.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 4:23 AM
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357

Research design jokes are the best.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 4:49 AM
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358

Maybe in Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Opinionated Standup | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 4:56 AM
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359

Best jokes published in medical journals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 5:02 AM
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360

There's no money in those. Can't take them on tour.


Posted by: Opinionated Standup | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 5:12 AM
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361

359: Best jokes published in medical journals.

In Soviet Russia.


Posted by: Unopinionated Standup | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 5:33 AM
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362

OT: When they say they found a new species of hominids in a cave in the Philippines, they really should clarify in the headline that it was fossil remains and not Morlocks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 5:34 AM
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363

In Soviet Union, research designs you.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 5:34 AM
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364

Stupid Lamarck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 5:37 AM
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365

jean francois parot! finally remembered his name. alas, he died last year but anyone looking for easy reading in the detectivey vein, maybe check him out. particularly if you like your comely young heros to be ravaged on the regular ...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-12-19 9:30 AM
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