Piles of Links! Miles of Links!

All hail the wondrous things about Wisconsin. There are many. And not just the Packers and cheese. Evidence: The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Library Nurse Romance Cover of the Week collection. Like nurse romance cover illustrations, with absurdly long, lithe, and monochromatic legs? This is your Mecca.

I’m particularly fond of catwalking Luxury Nurse and the unnaturally-pigmented Redheaded nurse.

[Thanks to Mary for the link.]

Speaking of libraries, this Smithsonian magazine article about library special collections, which mentions the above Love Nurse Collection, is fascinating. (Also, I think “Tobacciana” would be a great name for a heroine set in a historical during US Colonial times.)

[Thanks to Katie for the link.]

In a step to the left, and a jump to the right, Nelson announced NelsonFree, which “allows readers to receive content in multiple formats—physical book, audiobook and e-book—without making multiple purchases. With NelsonFree, the price of the hardcover book includes both the audio download and the e-book.”

Two titles are included in the initial release.

Please note: to do the complete Time Warp with hands on hips, etc. more progress must be made. Pelvic thrusts, if you’re curious, would be DRM free releases from all major publishers. 

[Thanks to B2 for the link.]

How’s your blood pressure today? Thanks to the many, many readers who forwarded this link to the CBC’s extensive examination of 60 years of Harlequin.

The article itself is pretty straightforward, particularly as it parallels the history of the company with the development of the women’s movement in the 60’s and the advent of feminism in the 70’s.

my favorite quote: “Like some sort of love-peddling drug dealer, the company often gives away free books, hoping to get readers hooked.” YES. YOU ARE THE CRACK DEALER OF LUUUUUUURVE™ Harlequin and you KNOW IT.

Medical advisement: Reading of the comments to this article is not recommended for anyone with high blood pressure, a sense of intellect, a healthy love of romance novels, or anyone who has difficulty not reaching through the monitor to commit felonious assault upon the mindless idiocy of others. Use as recommended. Some restrictions apply. Please consult your doctor if reading these comments causes a throbbing headache lasting more than four to six hours.

While we’re raising your blood pressure, here, have some more. In a New York Times article published 3 March, Dwight Garner questions whether “female novelists write about sex less often, and less skillfully, than men.” He bases his examination on a book by Jane Vandenburgh titled A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century wherein Ms. Vandenburgh greets the idea of women writing sex with a whole new can of whoopass.

“Most women don’t write about sex at all, and if they do, they don’t do it very well,” she intones. Ms. Vandenburgh breaks the sex writing of female novelists into two classic and derogatory subtextual categories: “I’m Actually a Lofty Virgin” and “I’m Really a Whore.”

She adds, in a sentence that made me smile: “Or women write all purplish or silly and blushing or get gothic or medieval or do it with Space Aliens or become all mannered, elaborate and Victorian, and all of this is just about equally irksome to me, and some of it makes me almost physically ill.”

Vandenburgh’s book is a memoir (natch) and as such details her own troublesome history with her self-identity and her sexuality. Not to demean her experience in the least, but I wish she’d stopped short of painting all female novelists with her own brush. I dislike the paint color considerably.

Certainly, as my source pointed out, “she raises interesting points about how, and in what contexts, women might feel more comfortable writing about sex, but it’s done in such a derisive way that instead of contemplating new and interesting ideas.”

I’d prefer more sex scenes with aliens, with or without manners, please.

[Thanks to rd for the link.]

 

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  1. 1
    Eirin says:

    The Luxury Nurse will need orthopedic surgery if she goes to work in those shoes.

    I have a week spot for these kind of covers. I’m also totally in love with the crime/thriller novel covers from the same era.

    The people here are kind of scary tho’. Not what I’d want to see first thing if I ever wake up all unknowing in a hospital :)

  2. 2
    Moley W says:

    at least she had the unnaturally-pigmented eye brows to match.

  3. 3
    Suze says:

    I find it just astounding that the most strident objections to anything, but especially romances,  come from people who’ve never tried them.

    “I have never read one, and I never will, because they’re all dreadful.  I base my opinion on secret information transmitted to me telepathically from a mysterious, technologically-superior race of aliens, who have established a cloaked base in geosynchronous orbit on the far side of the moon.  Or something.  Because otherwise, how would I know?”

    Ah, the Nurse books.  I used to read old ones (from the 60’s) when I was a tween, and I thought nursing was such a glamourous job.  Cherry Ames, Clinic Nurse!  Except then I realized that my mom was a nurse, and she certainly didn’t have exciting adventures with millionaires in exotic locations.  She mostly just dealt with ordinary people who oozed various bodily fluids and weren’t very pleasant to be around.

    length17!  17 what?!

  4. 4
    Betsy says:

    I’m definitely going to lose valuable “studying for my Oceanography midterm” time looking through that catalog of nurse covers.
    And, ooh, I’m not going to even start on the sex-scene writing bit.  My eye is starting to twitch as it is.

  5. 5
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    ROFL!  Back in the Seventies, I used to spend a lot of time at the home of an aunt who had, literally, an entire attic filled with romance novels, many of which were of the subgenre “Nurse Romances”.  Those pics bring back a lot of fond memories.

    As for the blood-pressure raising article, NO FREAKING WAY do women write “less often, and less skillfully” than men when it comes to sex.  In my experience, exactly the opposite is true—when men can actually bring themselves to write about the act at all, they are either very clinical and medical in their descriptions (out of embarrassment, perhaps?) or else they try to get creative and come up with weird metaphors that make you go “WTF?” and wonder whether you’re reading an automotive repair manual or a cookbook.

    Juts my 2 cents…

    Spamword:  outside68.  Pretty close to the weather here in Connecticut today!

  6. 6
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    I can’t find the comments section for the Harlequin article! Help!  I wanna raise my blood pressure too!

  7. 7
    joanne says:

    Love the nurses!  My faves are:
    Nurse Marcie’s Island where she’s evidently yachting in her nurse uniform.
    Wayward Nurse who appears to be making a house call in Robert Stack’s hotel room.  And
    Nurse on Terror Island who’s making out on a jetty in a hurricane while wearing starched cap, white uni, and pumps.  No easy feat!

  8. 8
    Carrie Lofty says:

    Here’s a little w00t! for Wisconsin. Although, living in Kenosha, I tell people I live “just north of Chicago.”

  9. 9
    Rebecca says:

    If anyone has a chance to see them, must recommend Richard Prince’s bizarre Nurse Paintings, based on nurse romance covers.  (Some not very good examples available at http://www.richardprinceart.com/nursepaintings.html)  I saw his show at the Guggenheim and was eerily intrigued.

  10. 10
    Chasity says:

    I liked this one:

    His cheeks burned hotly.  “Sometimes, Shelley, I’d like to turn you over my knee.”  (p. 25)

    —Excerpt from Nurse Shelley Decides, by Arlene Hale, 1964.

    Shelley better make sure her cap pins are secured, otherwise that “sexy” cap won’t stay in place, especially during a spanking.  Don’t ask me how I know…

  11. 11
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    “ ‘Now don’t be that way!’ He took his hand away from the trolley and patted me on my gluteus maximus muscles.  I stiffened from head to foot, but he didn’t notice that. ‘You know I want you to come.’

    -from Paper Halo

    I love how these quotes can be taken out of context!

  12. 12
    JoanneL says:

    Harlequin covers: TYCOON sighting! woot!

    I can’t find the link to the Times article by Dwight Garner on Jane Vandenburgh. I didn’t know she was still writing.

    If I could read the entire article I would demean her demeaning of women who write sex scenes.
    —- yes, I know, I can’t make that sentence work either—-

  13. 13
    kittyfischer says:

    Why does the NY Times article link go to amazon?

  14. 14
    Cristiane Young says:

    Anybody else find her (or him) self singing the words Luxury Nurse to the tune of the old Mystery Date ad?  Anybody?  No?  Just me?  Sigh.  I am elderly.

    “simple99” – not quite that old.

  15. 15
    Liz says:

    I love the special collection from UW-Milwaukee.  It’s a cool collection, and makes me feel extra special because I live a block from UWM and my husband works there.  I have a few friends who got their nursing degrees there, so I will have to share this link.

  16. 16
    beggar1015 says:

    I just want to snark so badly over these nurse romance covers. Going back to Redheaded Nurse, just what is that in her hand? The Disobedient Nurse sounds like she’s coming down with something: furious one moment, cold the next, then becoming warm and melting, ending “crisp as chilled lettuce.” Somebody get this woman a doctor! (Preferrably handsome and rich.)

  17. 17
    SonomaLass says:

    Ah, nurse romances!  A staple of my tween and teen years.  I read and re-read the series about Sue Barton, and I was thrilled when I graduated to the nurse stories in my aunt’s romance collection.  Many fond memories there.

    My DP says that he would never read erotica written by a man—women know how to capture the mix of emotion and sensation, in his opinion.  I expect that’s just as broad a brush, since I suspect there are good and bad “writers about sex” of both genders.  A lot of it is about personal taste/preference—there’s no one good way to write about sex, because readers like different things.

    Totally agree with Suze: ironic that so many people “know” about romance without reading any.  Ass-hats.

    Thanks for the blood pressure warning; I’m having such a nice day that I won’t go read those comments.

  18. 18
    Hydecat says:

    As a redhead, my favorite cover is Redheaded Nurse. Who knew that my hair color posed such a threat?

    I really wish I could find my old Cherry Ames books and read them right now.

  19. 19
    Carmen says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t see one title by Betty Neels. She was Queen of the Nurse Romances! It does make me want to go dig out my copy of A Nurse In Holland or Sister Maggie.

    Hmm..perhaps I missed just missed it..

  20. 20
    nekobawt says:

    the new york times article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/books/04garn.html?_r=1

  21. 21
    KellyMaher says:

    When I was in library school, I got to hear someone from the Kinsey Institute’s library speak on their conservation efforts. It was *almost* enough to tempt me into special collections and preservation & conservation. Unfortunately, my mind doesn’t lean enough into the technical services side of the field for it to be wholly professionally fulfilling. I would love to visit it one day, though :) That and Bowling Green State University’s Browne Popular Culture Library which is home to the RWA’s archives and manuscripts of quite a few authors including SEP and Pat Gaffney.

  22. 22
    amy lane says:

    Dudes, my dad is a nurse—he’s 6’ 4” tall and looks like a Hell’s Angel—especially on his Harley… now HE’S someone I want to see on a romance novel!

    And about the women write less sex scenes less skillfully?  I’d answer that, but I’m starting to see black spots and hear shit roaring in my ears…I’m going to go read some sex scenes and snap out of my rage…

  23. 23
    Kelli says:

    Just a thought regarding why some of those people who denounce Romance as a genre without reading it do so (speaking from experience): It’s the cover copy.  How many romances in your local library/bookstore/grocery store have truly appalling back copy?  You know, fitting in every single trope of that particular sub-genre while simultaneously turning violently violet?  Plus a lot of the old “clinch” covers.  I know it’s judging a book by its cover, but it makes it hard to find the gold nuggets.  (On a related note, I literally snorted when I read the back cover copy for Dark Lover, but I decided that it might just be laughably good.  I would have been better off listening to my instincts—I got disgusted less than halfway through the book and punted it back to the library.)

    Also, I have to agree that women write much better sex scenes than men.  I don’t think it’s coincidence that the majority of the winners in the 2007 Bad Sex in Fiction Awards are written by men.

    working46—well, that’s not too many hours overtime…

  24. 24
    Gail Dayton says:

    You know, I’m wondering if this woman who thinks women write less and less well about sex than men do either hasn’t been exposed to romance novels—or doesn’t think they’re “real writing.” 

    Wouldn’t be surprised.

  25. 25
    Lorelie says:

    “It simply came natural to him to look at women as women, not just as patients and nurses. And women had a way of making it plain to him that he was for them a man as well as their doctor. It was only part and parcel of his behavioral pattern to acknowledge women as such; they asked for it. As an obstetrician, women actually held no mystery for him; he saw them at their lowest ebb to often.”

    —Excerpt from Nurse with a Past, by Diane Frazer. 1964.

    They mistitled that one.  It’s actually a quote from “Your OB/GYN Is A Rapist.”

  26. 26
    Marie says:

    Wow, that last one is why my OB/GYN is female!!!  And I love nurse romances… I particularly like the sub-genre of “Congo Nurse,” “Safari Nurse,” etc., and all the WWII ones with iron-jawed Marines and such… it’s a seriously guilty pleasure.

    As for men writing better sex scenes… um, is she on crack???  Picking a genre where men and women both write and I read both—science fiction—gender has very little impact.  If anything, one can’t judge fairly because the men seem to often gloss over the sex scenes and just make it clear that it happened with no details.

    Also, one of the worst kiss scenes I’ve ever read was in a short story by a man, where the hero’s lips are described as “chapped, yet deliciously spongy.”

    WTF???  I hope no woman would ever attempt to use the word “spongy” in an erotic context. 

    And the actual worst sex scene I have EVER read was, of course, by Norman Mailer.

  27. 27
    Nita says:

    Can I ask why the woman on the cover of Dr. Diane’s Decision, has a ticket stapled to her forehead?

  28. 28
    ev says:

    You know, I’m wondering if this woman who thinks women write less and less well about sex than men do either hasn’t been exposed to romance novels—or doesn’t think they’re “real writing.”

    Or wouldn’t know what real sex is if it slapped her in the face.

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