Thursday, 31 May 2018

My Romance Beginning

   This past month of May I followed on Twitter #Rombklove, it was headed by Ana Coqui on twitter. For each day there was a prompt and a blogger did a post on it recommending romances on that. I think my favourites were Geeky/STEM and Old School. There was a prompt called gateway romances and it was done on the Book Thingo podcast which is excellent and you should definitely check out. 

   It got me to thinking about the gateway books and in particular the romances that lead me to the reader I am today. About two or three years ago I re-read some old diaries. I would not advise anyone to do this, my introspection at fifteen was cringe worthy. 

   One thing that I did see was how early my love of reading happened. I was also a precocious child that also makes me feel cringey. I read Descartes and Mansfield Park at twelve. I would also tell you that I had no idea what I was reading, that I could say that I read it was the only thing there. Oh and by the way Descartes? Kind of a dick in what I've read of him about him after. 

   I can trace some things back. The Jennifer Ehle adaptation of Pride and Prejudice came out when I was eleven. I remember watching it as it aired. It is perhaps a obvious choice but I fell in love with that story from that adaptation. I later fell in love with the book in a different way but I really think that was my first brush with romance as a genre. 

   I do remember when I was about twelve picking up my first Mills and Boon in the library. Mills and Boon was something I read all the time in my teens. I found the authors that I loved writing in that medium. Susan Napier, Lori Foster and Ruth Wind I found there. I read about all sorts of bizarre premises. I think one of the most far out ones was about virtual reality and a lot of racy sex scenes created in that world. I can't remember much else about it. 

   I found the tropes that I gravitated towards in those books. I found the rules that romances were made of. I also read a lot of Sweet Dreams (romances for teens), the only one that I really remember with any clarity was a tennis player and her boyfriend. He was called Rick, can't remember her name. What I do remember was that she was really, really good at tennis and took pride in being great. I think they broke up but got together again. 

   I give props to my parents at this time. I was a library addict, that was where I got the books that I wanted, I very rarely bought books (don't worry I've made up for that now in abundance) and my parents never prohibited me from reading anything. 


 
   I read a lot of chick lit at that time as well. Watermelon by Marian Keyes I remember reading. Sophie Kinsella was later, but Jill Mansell and Melissa Nathan I found through that exploration. 

   Just a quick thing about chick lit. The beginning of that phase, a lot of stuff that came out was experimental. Romantic comedy in book form is bloody hard to write. A lot of the writers that are under than banner deserve a lot more praise. 



   I also remember reading Dreaming of Larry by Jean Ure. That book was interesting to me because it was about people my age at the time. It was also about sexual agency at a time I didn't really have that much contact with reading wise, at least with people who were sixteen to eighteen. 



   I remember the first Katie Fforde I read which was The Rose Revived. I remember the first Jennifer Crusie I ever read which was Welcome to Temptation (which I picked up because of that cover). Both of those writers I started a love affair with that never stopped. 

   My romance beginnings: a twelve year old girl with a library card in the backwaters of a village. I still have the library card, just in a different place, and can share my passion with my people. 

   I love the stories of what began the romance road for readers. Mine I have realised covers a lot of different romances. I realised that I didn't get into historicals until way later. I only by chance picked up Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas and to my delight found a whole other corner of romance I had turned away from for whatever reason. 

   Happy reading this weekend!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Bossy Boots Bookclub: May Edition!

   Here we go!

   The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin


   This book is unlike any other I have read. I was blown away by Jemisin's world building. It took my a while to get into it, but it was well worth while.

   This is the first in the Broken Earth Trilogy and if I remember correctly it's been finished. I would recommend it. This and Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik ties for my favourites this year. 

   Just a little bit of housekeeping. I've changed my mind about what the bookclub pick is for July. I saw this and I wanted to read it. So instead of Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong, I'm going to go with The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothchild. I'll remind everyone again next week. 

   June's pick has not changed. It is still The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. I'm really looking forward to this. Happy reading for the weekend!

Monday, 30 April 2018

Bookclub Picks for May, June, July

   So I have decided what I'm picking for the next three months. 

   May

   The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin 

       
   I know almost nothing about this book. I'm getting into a fantasy kick this month, I've heard a lot of good things about it. It's a trilogy and this is the first book in it. Plus that cover is great.

   June 

   The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae


   I've seen bits and pieces of the series that she created. I've seen a lot of interviews with her and really like her. This book is in my library so I'm excited to read it. 

   July

   Spinning Forward By Terri Dulong


   I like a book about that has knitting in it. I also like this cover. I don't know much about it but I'd like to read it. 

   Those are my picks, The Fifth Season to be discussed on the last Friday of May, which is the 25th. Any and all welcome to join! 

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Bossy Boots Bookclub: April Edition!

      I'm a day late in posting this. I finished the book a while ago and forgot yesterday. Anyway onwards:

   
   I picked this one for April because it was compared to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. I understand why. They are both set in similar time periods and dead with letters. 

   I liked it. I was on board with the main character. I liked the subject matter of the problem pages. Women's issues during the war are front and centre. Tone is always a hard thing to pull off, this does it. 

   Ultimately I think the comparison to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is a little unfair. That book is entirely made of letters, this features them. The tone of that book felt lighter to me. I think I worked out why for me, this is set in 1940, the other set just after war ended. 

   I would still recommend this. 

   I will be posting tomorrow about my picks for the next three months. I'm excited for what I've decided. Happy weekend reading! 

Friday, 30 March 2018

Bossy Boots Bookclub: March Edition!

   It's Bossy Boots Bookclub time again! Here we go...

   Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik


   This is my favourite book that I've read this year. I've heard it compared to Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. I understand why, it is in the same format, written as diary entries and Sofia has a similar job to Bridget. For me this book has more depth. 

   I thought it was imaginative, funny and insightful. I want to find voices of people that I don't know and rave about them. This book fulfilled that need ten fold. 
    
   Tone is a tricky thing to pull off. First person narration is also hard to do well. This book does both really well. I really liked this book. 

   Next month Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce. To be discussed on the 27th of April, the last Friday of the month. This doesn't come out until the 5th, but any and all welcome to join me in the dash to read it! 

Friday, 23 February 2018

Bossy Boots Bookclub: February Edition!

   It's Bookclub time, the first of this year. Here we go:

   Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 

      
   It took me a while to get into this but I eventually started to enjoy it. I think because the world of the opulent is so distant but the humour comes through really well. He's written two more books that I might check out set in the same universe. I was happy that I could get this through my library. Also side note this is being made into a movie. Constance Wu is playing Rachel (from Fresh Off The Boat), I will definitely want to see it for the costumes alone! 

   Next month Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik to be posted on the last Friday of March (the 30th of March). Happy reading!







Saturday, 3 February 2018

Bossy Boots Bookclub Is Back!

   Bossy Boots Bookclub is back! I have decided what books I am choosing for the next three months. So here we go...

   February 

   Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan 


   I have seen a lot of good reviews of this. I am also excited that my library has this book. I'm looking forward to diving into this. To be posted on the last of February, the 23rd (I know this is close, I wanted to start in February, any and all welcome in the three week dash :))

   March

   Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik


   I know almost nothing about this book apart from this is dating within a Muslim lens. I am intrigued by this and it is in my library. Hurrah! To be posted on the last Friday, the 30th of March. 

   April 

   Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce


   I am super excited for this one, I know it's been compared to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society that I totally fell in love with. This is about an advice column set in 1940. To be posted on the last Friday, the 27th of April. 

   Happy reading!