Three quick links and a rather saucy graphic.

Link the first: New York Magazine reviews Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth, a werewolf story told in poem format.

From the review written by Sam Anderson:

Anyone terrified by the rigors of poetry—its arcane references, pickled language, and subtle Keatsian line-stitching—has nothing to fear from Sharp Teeth. Its verse is prosy, slangy, aggressively unchallenging, and very, very, very free. Occasionally a tiny herd of iambs will break free and gallop in formation (“they kill to fuck, they kill to eat/and they sleep in the noonday sun”), or nouns will line up in rhythmic strings (“Bone, love, meat, gristle, heat, anger, exhaustion, drive, hunger, blood, fat, marrow”), or a sentence will fold itself neatly into a couplet (“Smiling straight into Venable’s eyes/Cutter chews up the last of the fries”). But most of the book reads like nice snappy prose arbitrarily pinched into fragments. Its tone is often so determinedly anti-poetic it would have made Wordsworth (advocate of “language really used by men”) vomit into the nearest cold lake….

Werewolves in poem format? Holy cow. Romance fans have been reading about lycanthropes ad nauseum. I’ve read many of the werewolf romances, and some, like Armstrong’s Bitten are on my personal top ten best romances list. Not a mention of the prevalence of paranormal lunarly-hairy folk in the romance genre in the article, of course. You’d think the whole werewolf thing just popped outta nowhere.

Link the second: First, glaze your eyes at the odd juxtaposition of Fabio depicted in an article about Mills & Boon’s 100th Anniversary, and try not to get too upset over the tired and limp romance stereotypes being flung about with heedless abandon. No, wait, I have to leave a note to any author being challenged on her career of writing romance: you do yourself and the genre NO FAVORS by being snide about “pretentious literature” when defending your own. You can stand up for your own work without demeaning the work of others.

Now, imagine this article in the hands of the ever-so-creative Statistical Analysis Team:

The books certainly have a special place in Hilda Raine’s heart. Indeed, she believes the novels, as well as a passion for Liquorice Allsorts, have helped her live to a ripe old age.

The Sunderland grandmother-of-two, who celebrated her 104th birthday last week, reads up to 10 romance novels each week — all published by Mills & Boon, of course.

“There is no bad language in them, but very often there is a good sense of humour, which makes them lovely to read. They make me feel happy,” said Hilda.

“I don’t like to sleep all day, I like to read a good Mills & Boon instead. It is good for you, and keeps your brain and eyes working together.”

Staff at The Croft Care Home in High Barnes, where Hilda has lived for the past 12 years, have even set aside a special reading corner for her and her beloved books.

“I don’t have a favourite; I love them all, although I do like a nice family story. I could sit reading them all day. Well, I do actually!” she said.

“Do they make me feel young again? Come off it! But reading a Mills & Boon helps to pass the time beautifully, as I’m a bit of a romantic at heart. Well, aren’t we all?”

Hilda was just four years old when young entrepreneurs Gerald Mills and Charles Boon joined forces to launch Mills & Boon back in 1908.

I can see the headline now: Romance leads to longevity! Read romance, and you’ll live to be over 100!

Link the Third: Thanks to commenter and journalist Sara Brady, Smart Bitches has made the big, big hugely huge news: we are in the Metro! The Metro is a free paper distributed to commuters all over Manhattan, and that huge collection of half-awake uncaffeinated readers got a treat today: Brady’s article discusses the state of the romance genre. What, a positive article on romance? Boo yah! Well played, Ms. Brady!

And finally, in honor of Super Tuesday, and the half-asleep up-since-2:30am vote I cast this morning: a saucy graphic for your enjoyment. Ok, well, I enjoyed it. But I like Varga girls.


Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    sara says:

    Yay! Thanks! I’m tickled that the photo in the skybox on the front page is of a particularly mantitty-licious Cassie cover.

  2. 2

    Right above the ad for the hemmoroid cream! Yay, Bitches! :)

  3. 3
    Jill A says:

    LOL, fun article in the Metro, and refreshingly straight. Did you notice the ads around it?  MBAs on one side, hemorrhoids on the other!  Lovely combination!

  4. 4

    Woah, did I ever spell ‘hemmorrhoid’ wrong. Although I guess my lack of familiaritiy with the term is a Good Thing.

  5. 5
    Alyc says:

    Vargas FTW!!

    Congratulations on the article mention.  I particularly like the “200 percent more lame” line.

    Lovely pic, and even lovelier message.

  6. 6
    talpianna says:

    How odd that the piece on the Cook sisters never mentioned Ida’s famous pen name, Mary Burchell!

  7. 7

    We have a Vargas calendar. The hubs thinks I “let” him have it, but I love it.

  8. 8
    SonomaLass says:

    Great linkage, SB Sarah!

    It amazes me, though, this sort of “OMG, romance novels are popular!?!” thread in the media.  Wake up, people—how can you think of yourself as an observer of modern culture if you are ignorant of this huge phenomenon!?!

    Sorry, down off the soapbox now.  For what it’s worth, though, I think SB Sarah is correct that this is an “it’s only a woman’s thing” dismissal.

  9. 9

    I think that’s actually an Elvgren girl, but if you like pinup art, you will certainly enjoy Art Frahm.

    (If the link doesn’t show up, it’s here: Be to use the navigation bar at the bottom to look through the whole collection!)

  10. 10

    Re: Link the Second

    This confirms what I’ve known since I was 12 – reading romances pickles you well into your old age.

    I had a “spinster” great-aunt who religiously read romances. She was almost 100 when she passed away, still chopped her own wood, and the more naked the cover and the more graphic the sex the more she liked it.

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