Links and news! You ready?
Via Facebook, I found this link to a May 2012 explanation of a research project about “experience taking” while reading fiction:
Researchers at Ohio State University examined what happened to people who, while reading a fictional story, found themselves feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own – a phenomenon the researchers call “experience-taking.”
They found that, in the right situations, experience-taking may lead to real changes, if only temporary, in the lives of readers.
I admit, I have often twitched a bit at the presumption that romance readers identify with the heroine, or see her as a placeholder for themselves, as that isn't how I've read romance. But I also know that I've read books with vibrant, complex characters and learned from them in such a way that adjusted my own behavior.
What do you think of the idea of “experience taking?” Has that happened to you after reading a novel?
Natalie Ramm wrote a list of typical criticisms of romance and knocked them about one by one In Defense of Romance Novels:
Romance novels are unrealistic.Please. Romance novels simply use love to guide their narrative arcs. Why is it considered silly to read about the wild passions of two unlikely lovers, but appropriate to read a violent thriller about mutant zombies?
Cory Doctorow wrote a column for PW in which he revealed that the CEO of Little, Brown UK Ursula Mackenzie wrote a letter to an author whose books are published both by Hachette in some territories and by TOR/Macmillan in others. Tor recently announced all their book would be published without DRM.
The letter, signed by Little, Brown U.K. CEO Ursula Mackenzie, explains to the author that Hachette has “acquired exclusive publication rights in our territories from you in good faith,” but warns that in other territories, Tor’s no-DRM policy “will make it difficult for the rights granted to us to be properly protected.” Hachette’s proposed solution: that the author insist Tor use DRM on these titles. “We look forward to hearing what action you propose taking.”
The letter also contains language that will apparently be included in future Hachette imprint contracts, language that would require authors to “ensure that any of his or her licensees of rights in territories not licensed under this agreement” will use DRM.
It’s hard to say what’s more shocking to me: the temerity of Hachette to attempt to dictate terms to its rivals on the use of anti-customer technology, or the evidence-free insistence that DRM has some nexus with improving the commercial fortunes of writers and their publishers. Let’s just say that Hachette has balls the size of Mars if it thinks it can dictate what other publishers do with titles in territories where it has no rights…..
What’s also interesting about Hachette’s letter is that it comes at a time when the publishing industry has begun to figure this all out. At the London Book Fair in April, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne spoke about the decision to forgo DRM on Harry Potter e-books. DRM doesn’t stop piracy, he told publishers, and it inhibits readers from using the books they’ve bought on multiple platforms. Exactly. Pottermore even got Amazon to sell DRM-free editions in the Kindle store.
Chutzpah, aisle three! Price check on chutzpah, aisle three!
Kelly sent me the following link profiling a woman with a unique project focusing on depictions of sex, and it's really thought provoking. Kelly wrote,
It's about a new project called MakeLoveNotPorn.tv which, despite the name, offers explicit “real sex” streaming videos for rent. Her basic premise is that young people are overly influenced by hardcore pornography (since it's so easily available and sex ed is often pretty limited), and she'd like to put an alternative out into the world. A teaser quote: “I want to help bring the individuality, the creativity and the self-expression back to [sex]. At the same time, I want to explode a lot of the received wisdom that exists out there about porn.”
Like I said, very off the wall, but I thought the SBTB community might have interesting things to say about it, so I figured I'd send it on over. Whenever people start talking about the influence of hardcore pornography and our cultural ideas about intimacy, I start wondering about where romance novels fit into the discussion — far from being “pr0n 4 the laydeez,” I tend to think of them as being a wholly different way of tackling an important aspect of human experience.
I'm over at Kirkus this week, this time talking about books I read on vacation, and why I put high expectations on them, poor things:
Vacation books come with a lot of pressure. The book has to be entertaining, fun and easily picked up and put down. I believe these books are commonly called “beach reads” in marketing material, but I live near enough to the beach that any book I'm reading could become a beach read. The beach isn't that far away. A vacation book, however, is a book that will happily entertain me for a few hours, but will also allow me to put the book down and go do things with my family without too much of the “just five more pages, no, really, just five more” feeling of urgency.
I am shaking my head at myself for building all these expectations on books for vacation, I assure you.
Vacation reading for me is always comprised of books that I know I'm going to really enjoy, that I've been waiting to read, and that I cannot wait to begin. Starting those books is a signal to my brain: “See this book? This book means you are ON VACATION.” I mentioned earlier that I read these books without the expectation of review, but nine times out of 10, I will review them because I enjoy them so much I have to share that giddy reading feeling with everyone.
What are your favorite vacation reads? Any recomendations?
Want some books on sale? You can has!
First, just about all the digitally released Georgette Heyer books are $2.99 right now at Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and have collected them all in a Storify, should you be looking for ideas of what to buy!
And, more ebooks on sale!
- Pleasures of the Night by Sylvia Day * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
Heat of the Night by Sylvia Day * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
- Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber * $1.59-$1.99 * A | BN | K | S |
- Embrace by Jessica Shirvington * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
The Night is Mine by ML Buchman * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
- Midnight on Julia Street by Ciji Ware * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride * $
0.00$2.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
Love Me With Fury by Janelle Taylor * $3.82-$4.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
- Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman * $3.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe
- Lord and Lady Spy by Shanna Galen * $.99-$1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARe