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Bookish links 16 Nov: bad boy love interests, jargon, dont expect friends to buy your books more!

book news Bookish links 16 Nov: bad boy love interests, jargon, dont expect friends to buy your books & more!

Take me to your (Google) reader:'plus google Bookish links 16 Nov: bad boy love interests, jargon, dont expect friends to buy your books & more!

RIASS stuff:

Ramona Koval on why and how she reads'(my notes from Ramonas talk at the Wheeler Centre on Thursday)

Dead Europe: notes from a Q&A with the director and producers

Ghost towns, history and The Secrets of St Dee by Victoria Routledge

Stop it or you'll go blind! Or, how reading is ruining my eyesight

Other bookish stuff:

On the Mr Darcy Effect: hate someone? Then it must be true love'(I think this is a bit of a misreading of the Mr Darcy/Lizzie relationship, but the rest of the article is interesting) 'The Mr Darcy Effect is the outcome of all the same assumptions, and it results in the same implications, as the other bad-boy tropes. However, because our hero does not outwardly abuse or manipulate our heroine, but simply insults her, he somehow escapes even the minimal criticism experienced by other bad-boy heroes. He also enjoys increased popularity.

An interview with'Dead Europe director Tony Krawitz (audio) (see also my summary of a Q&A with Krawitz here)

A decoupaged comic book chair? Why, of course that exists.

comic book chair 200x300 Bookish links 16 Nov: bad boy love interests, jargon, dont expect friends to buy your books & more!

On jargon and spellcheckers'There is always the danger that using such technical language makes your work irrelevant to a wider audience. Realistically, however, if I had to say 'mark the subject of a ditransitive verb' rather than 'ergativity' then the thesis would be a whole lot longer, and not necessarily a whole lot clearer to other linguists who do the kind of work I do.

A moving post on Charlotte Zolotov'I will be left, when Charlotte goes, not only with her books and the cycles themselves that she enumerated so well but with something she said to me recently. It was late. We were having a long, rambling conversation, which happens rarely but occasionally. I never know if such a conversation will be our last, since there are days when Charlotte does not speak at all.

Kate Forsyth chats to Jaclyn Moriarty'I think many writers can identify with Jaclyns favourite part of writing: The planning phase, before I start writing, when it feels like it's perfectly possible that I'm just about to write a masterpiece, and I'm spending whole days in cafes drawing pictures and I can't believe this is my job.

Louise Erdrich has won the National Book Award for her novel The Round House

Terry Pratchetts daughter Rhianna to take over the Discworld series

Ooh: Murakami parallel universe photography competition

How dead is the book business?'many turn-of-the-century examples suggest what might happen to Penguin-Random and others. On one end of the spectrum, Lamoreaux told me, was U.S. Steel. Its predecessor companies competed by finding new ways of making steel at ever-lower prices. But after J. P. Morgan merged three companies into one behemoth, he discovered a better way to profit. Because all steel producers bought iron ore from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota, U.S. Steel bought most of the range and locked much of the rest of it in long-term contracts. As a result, the company hardly worried about competition; it had little need to innovate or compete on price, which made everything from cars to soda cans more expensive.

Digital books are getting cooler: you can draw inside this one

Sorry, your friends wont buy your self-published book'The next morning, my account still sat at one purchase.'WTF? Do people not read my posts? Do they not feel excited about what I've done?'I checked my Facebook wall, where I had four 'Likes' of my update from the night before.'Great! Why didn't at least two of you buy the book?

On the pain of second book syndrome'I also know that fear is my friend. Call it artistic temperament or anything else you want, but most writers (and other artists) are always going to worry they can't do it again, whatever 'it' is. This is a good thing. Knowing you can do better isn't obnoxious: believing that you're already perfect is. I don't think I want to read books by people who don't believe they need beta readers and critique partners and editors, that everything they write is already perfectionThe fear that I can't be great again is the best inspiration I have to try to be great again.

Julian Tepper on receiving life advice from Philip Roth'Then Roth, who, the world would learn sixteen days later, was retiring from writing, said, in an even tone, with seeming sincerity, Yeah, this is great. But I would quit while you're ahead. Really, it's an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it's not any good. I would say just stop now. You don't want to do this to yourself. That's my advice to you.'

eBook bundling: myth or possible reality?'bundling would be great for bookshops. Imagine if a bookshop could provide, with any print book they sold (where applicable), a copy of the eBook. The print book purchase is verified with the publisher and the publisher sends the customer the eBook in the format they specify (Kindle, iBook, ePub). This would effectively tear down Amazon and Apple's walled garden.


  1. Unless the author of the Mr Darcy piece is talking about the 'Presents' line ' the claim all Mills and Boon books use the trope is untrue. Things have changed a lot in the last twenty years.
    I'm not seeing so many YA heroes who are mean to the heroine for half the book as I am heroes who think it's okay to treat everyone *but* the heroine like they're worthless of course, that will probably escalate to violence against *her* five minutes after the HEA.
    For the record, I never got the appeal of Mr Darcy anyway. But then, that might have something to do with the fact I think Colin Firth is an unattractive dork

    • Stephanie /

      Ive only started reading Mills Boon over the past couple of years, so Im not familiar with the older stuff, but I agree that the use of the bad boy trope isnt as prevalent in romance as we might imagine. Im seeing many, many more incidences of it in YAand in YA theres also the issue of the female character being essentially without agency or a voice, whereas in adult romance the female character is often quite independentand its in YA that I find it really disturbing. So much romance in YA seems to employ a sort of us against the world ideology, and I cringe every time I see it. Its not just the males who are a problem, though: so often the female character treats other females badly (whats with female protagonists not having any female friends?) and has a social sphere thats reduced to only one or two (in the case of a love triangle) romances.

      Dont hate me, but I really identified with Mr Darcy. Ive had so many people tell me that I come across as aloof and arrogant, whereas actually its that Im cripplingly shy, and find it really difficult to assert myself socially unless I know a group of people well. While I dont agree with some of his actions, I do understand what drives his aloofness.