Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Romanciest Post Ever!

   I am going to talk about taste but I want to talk about it through what romances I read. This is going to be a long post, but it's something that has been on my mind, so...

   I recently have gone cold turkey on my Kindle. I keep buying romances that claim to be similar to the one that I have read before (many people have discussed with far better depth about the Amazon rhythms that leads to this happening, and I think it also depends on how many people have bought the book in comparison to the one you are reading but don't quote me on it as I am my well be talking rubbish) and it just leads to me reading stuff that is ultimately unsatisfying. 

   I have been thinking about the problem for a while, I love romance, it is by far the thing I read the most. This is great, but the way to find out if I like something is not it turns out relying on a rhythm that is out of my control. I do find samples a great help, but have been disappointed by great first chapters that do not live up to the rest of the book. So I have been really seduced by the idea that I will find something great similar to Kristen Ashley or Anne Gracie and they really are just not. 

   I think the idea is great, but the metric by which you try and compare something is always going to be flawed. I do want to find authors that excite me and write a book that I respond to in a genre that I am in love with, but I am now going to do this by different means. 

   I have also been thinking about how my taste has evolved. Someone like Jennifer Crusie  my favorites of her work used to be very early in her career, What the Lady Wants (and that blue cover is the one I own), and Getting Rid of Bradley I would re-read all the time, this has now shifted I really love her collaborations Agnes and the Hitman is something that I return to a lot. I have also got back to really liking Tell Me Lies as I get older. My taste has changed with the authors work. I like all her books but the ones that I find returning to change as my life changes.   

   I do not think that this is a bad thing at all, in fact I liked stuff when I was young that I find completely silly as I got older (Reality Bites is that movie that I now find mawkish and tedious when I was nineteen I thought it really spoke to me man, now not at all). I might well look back in ten years and say that about the culture that I like now. I think though this leads me to how trying something similar to thing you already have read can be a defunct exercise, and again the metric you use to say something is similar it can be so flawed. Not every gritty motorcycle romance is going to be my jam, and nor can every light hearted historical romance have the same tone.

   There are authors that respond to, and I have hard time pinning what I find engaging about that author. I tend to like authors that have humour in their books but not always and it isn't always the same type of humour that I like. Some books are really intense and again what type of romance I want to read sometimes changes month to month.

    I am going cold turkey, and I am no longer going to go down the hole of recommendations, it very rarely leads to anything good. That is not say that I have not found good romances down that avenue, but it has lately turned into this idea of it happened once thirty books ago, it might happen again, I want the lightening to strike! I have broken up with it, it's not longer a fruitful task. 

   Talking of taste I am now going to look at twitter, at different romance websites, different places to see whether my interest is the same. Again this method may lead me to reading some books that I do not respond to, but I think I am much more prepared for it not to work. This is a investigation that I have not really done before, and not everyone is going to like something in the same way that I do. Nor do I want that, but by being a bit more open to this I think it will make my reading experience a lot more enjoyable, and that really is my goal.

   To conclude about taste, the romance authors that I respond to are vastly different. I love historicals, Tessa Dare has a great series set in Spindle Cove. My favourite of that by far is A Week to be Wicked. I absolutely loved Romancing the Duke (I love that red dress and the ribbon on it yum!) as well which is a new series by her (the audio book that I bought via ITunes is something that I love, it's read a little differently to my other audio books but I really liked it). I really like Eloisa James, Duchess by Night is my total favourite of hers, I do have a soft spot for A Duke of Her Own. Lisa Kleypas, Anne Gracie, Courtney Milan (I thought Unlocked was a great novella), Julia Quinn and Elizabeth Hoyt are authors that I read with great enthusiasm. 

   Just as a companion to historical authors that I like (and that is by no means a full list of authors that I read, that is a list of authors that I really fully respond to) I am going to mention some contemporary authors. Ruthie Knox, I really, really liked her latest called Truly (and I am very excited that this is the first in a I think three book series, I am already anticipating her next one that is nearly a year away). I thought the way she handled the sex in that book was amazing, both the awkwardness and the pleasure. Jennifer Crusie (enough said), Jill Shalvis and I am going to mention a line of romance that I found really great, called Entangled Brazen (I think Entangled has multiple lines including as memory serves Impulse). I have been really impressed by all of the books that I have bought from there, it is sex heavy but I have found that line really good for short romances that are up my alley.    

   All of the authors that I have mentioned are different and all the books that I mention have such different things to recommend them. I couldn't say from my list what I would read that would coincide with all of these voices, so I am going to stop trying. I am going to get my romance needs and wants met elsewhere, and look forward to finding new places to get my information. I am, however, taking a kindle break for now. 

   There are three things that I am going to recommend this week. One linked to romance.

1: I fell in love with this Orchestral version of Call Me Baby (I was listening to an old episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour and Trey recommended this, I don't know whether it is this exact version, but this is the version that I just thought was amazing). It just make me smile so much, which you can find here:

2: This lead me down to remembering how much I loved this version of the Doctor Who theme played on the Cello (she syncs herself, I can't quite explain it just watch it!) by the Doubleclicks. It charmed me the first time I saw it and it still charms me now. You can see it here:

3: Saving the one that made me laugh the hardest, and about romance. I have recently found on Twitter an account called Trope Heroine which you can find here: @TropeHeroine. It is done by Jenny Holiday who you can you follow @jennyholi and God you guys I was on the floor. These are just a few of my favourites:

If your breeches aren’t made of buckskin, I don’t even want to talk to you.
— Trope Heroine (@TropeHeroine) September 10, 2014

I blush a lot. Almost as much as you raise your eyebrows.
— Trope Heroine (@TropeHeroine)
September 24, 2014

I don’t think that’s weird. Lots of people's dead rich fathers stipulate marriage as a condition of inheritance, and I’m happy to help out.
— Trope Heroine (@TropeHeroine) September 5, 2014

   Just there are no words for how much I laughed at this, it made my week. You can tell it's by someone who loves the genre which just makes me love this all the more. 

   Oh and I haven't figured out how to embed tweets properly I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to figuring this kind of stuff out so I've done my best and you can definitely see them so sorry for technical difficulties! 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Bookclub! A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

   So this month's book is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

   I thought that this was a really great book that plays with time, objects and people. I also thought that the way this treats it's protagonists was really refreshing. Meg for a lot of the book is angry, and for me it's an anger generated from youth but I am with her all the way. I really liked her as a character. 

   The theme of standing on your own, that parents and older people around you are fallible was really great. Meg throughout the book has to trust herself. For me it really is about her, and I think you see the world through her the most. 

   A great book with a great premise. I am not usually a fan of time travel when over explained but this did just enough for me to be taken along the ride. I really liked it and the edition that I read had really great illustrations for every chapter, which I really liked.

   This kind of reminded me off Gillian Cross's great series of books that starts with The Demon Headmaster. Children are the powers of agency in that as well, and it's the adults that are not to be trusted. If you ever read that series it's really wonderful (skip the TV series that went along with it, I loved the books and it just ruined the tone of them for me). 

   I am glad I got to read this, knowing almost nothing about it made me enjoy it all the more. I really liked this so it was enjoyable September's bookclub.