Links: Fascination, Amusement, and Hoses

 From Billie Bloebaum, a product with the best taglines ever:

 Book Pocket Hose

 “Pocket Hose! The hose that grows to 50 ft!”

Says Billie: 

But, the ones I see at my local supermarket are positioned in such a way that the only packaging text one sees is “The Hose That Grows” and “Pocket Hose” and the gigglesnorting ensues. And you are never going to convince me that whomever named this didn't come up with the whole “Hose That Grows” marketing plan knowing exactly what we sweet innocents were going to think. NOT a perfect Father's Day gift. Notnotnot.

Jane at DearAuthor posted about a book that lifted huge chunks of text from Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jaime McGuire. The author of the plagiarised book, whose gender is listed as male on Goodreads and female elsewhere, said via Twitter that the book had been written not by him/her but by a ghostwriter. 


Within a few hours, the book was offline and no longer available at online retailers. Nice job!

I'm over at Kirkus talking about the nonfiction I love to read, including cookbooks and travelogues: 

While I do read a lot of romance, I do in fact also read other things. Many romance readers do—we're incurable readers, many of us. And we do read outside the romance genre…a lot outside of it. I have a few different kinds of books that I love in the nonfiction realm, and I thought I'd share a few recommendations.

What nonfiction do you like?

Jodi McAlister has sent me evidence of The Greatest Heroine Name Ever In the History of Romance: 

So in the course of my PhD research, I think I have come across the GREATEST HEROINE NAME OF ALL TIME, and I think you need to know about it.

It's from a 1938 Mills & Boon called Devotion. I haven't read the book, but I found this review of it on the National Library of Australia archive

The heroine's name is – wait for it… Happy Penistone.


And people think the old Mills & Boons aren't dirty as fuck.

Every now and again I do speaking engagements about social media and interaction with readers, and one thing I do is go on (for probably too long) about how much Facebook's ever-changing evolution of services bug the absolute crap out of me. This article is not well written, and it has annoying popups, and the site itself is a little annoying, but I thought the points Mr. Adair makes about the frustrations of Facebook are spot on

For the record, I do not recommend you spend any significant time right now building up a list of people who like your business page. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. You can’t message your fans
  2. You your [sic] fans don’t see your posts on their news feed
  3. Nobody can share your page
  4. It’s not going to go “viral” like it’s supposed to
  5. My growing list of other random things

I love the SBTB Facebook community, and I love talking to the readers who like to hang out on Facebook. The Facebook Bitchery are very fun people, well dressed, and with excellent taste in all things, but Facebook itself frustrates the hell out of me.  The building of a Facebook page as a measurable evaluation of… anything seems to be increasingly flawed. This isn't to say Facebook communities have no value – they absolutely do. But the ways in which Facebook increases the number of boundaries between you and the people who have already said they want to hear from you is angrymaking for me. 

Thank you to Taylor Reynolds for his link to a photographer Eric Schwabel's portfolio of shots of Alex Minsky as a steampunk angel

Alex Minsky's Facebook page (which is awesome) reveals other model shoots he's done, and shows some workout pics that are very inspiring.

From Jane Drew: the womanly art of parasol self defense. I need a parasol, stat. More information at

All that is necessary is a little practice in the use of the umbrella, and the self-confidence which knowledge of its potency as a weapon of self-defence will give, for the most delicately-nurtured lady to feel herself more than a match for any cowardly ruffian of the streets.

Cowardly ruffians, you have been warned.

Author Jennifer Lynn Barnes wrote about bias and male privilege and used SCIENCE. Like, hard core science and reasoning. This was fascinating and I learned a lot about things I had no understanding of, like null hypotheses.

What stands out to me the most about your question is that you seem to believe that the evidence that you present is sufficient to robustly conclude not only that there is no effect of male privilege within the literary world (especially the young adult literary world), but also that anyone who so much as suggests there might be is being “remarkably disingenuous” and “silly.”

This is particularly striking to me, because as you pointed out in the question, “male privilege exists in many areas of life.” If you come into this knowing that male privilege—and white privilege and so many other kinds of privilege—do exist, in many different arenas, why does it take so little evidence to convince you that not only is it unlikely that male privilege exists in this domain, it is remarkably unlikely?


This invention made my day: graduate student Amanda Savitzky designed a cooking system to teach adults with autism how to cook:

The project focuses on food preparation and creates structure in place of the constant redirection between cupboards and the fridge as you gather ingredients for a person with ASD. Savitzky was inspired by the “Mies En Place” cooking system where everything is gathered on the counter, measured into small bowls and arranged for easy mixing.

The Match bowls are the result of this inspiration; they are numbered and filled according to the recipe prompting the user to follow the sequence. The measuring utensils devised to fill the bowls are designed by color and shape, while the larger sized handles assist with fine motor skills by enabling a more secure palmar grip.

I thought I'd linked to this before, but perhaps not. Thanks to Ben, there is a lovely collection of Amazon reviews at for …Veet hair removal for men.

I am suffering so that you don't have to. Heed my lesson. DO NOT PUT ON KNOB AND BOLLOCKS.

I'm thinking a parasol armed with Veet for men would really put the fear in cowardly ruffians, right?


The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Torifl says:


    My day is complete. :)

  2. 2
    Nicole Hulst says:

    I read a fair amount of nonfiction too. Mostly it’s organization, home design, or parenting books. I also love science ones and hope to get to reading Do You Believe in Magic? by Paul Offit soon. I loved his book called Deadly Choices. And then of course there’s the flipping through cookbooks.

  3. 3
    Gail says:

    I like a wide range of non-fiction too. This week I finished Narwhals: Arctic Whales in a Melting World by Todd McLeish and I’m almost done with I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did by Lori Andrews. Read the first if you want to know more about the unicorns of the sea (like there’s a throne in Denmark made mostly of narwhal horns) and read the second if you want to get a better understanding of how social networks (Facebook features prominently) are changing the way your formerly private information is used and regulated. In a similar vein Big data : a revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is in my TBR pile.

  4. 4
    Catherine says:

    Ahh, The Design of Everyday Things! It’s so good and totally messes with your mind.

  5. 5
    Bibliophile says:

    In any given year anything between 25 and 40 % of my reading will be non-fiction. My absolute favourite non-fic genre is travelogues, followed by popular science, history (micro rather then the sweeping kind) and any subject concerning food, especially foodie travelogues, foodie memoirs and food science.

    I’m about to start reading Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach and hope it’s a least as good as Bonk, Spook and Stiff. All of these are scientific explorations of interesting subjects.

  6. 6
    Karin says:

    I subscribe to The New Yorker and I read every issue from cover to cover(except for the fiction, go figure), so that’s a lot of long non-fiction articles on every topic imaginable. I also like to read books about food, not necessarily cookbooks. My favorites are “Home Cooking” by Laurie Colwin & MFK Fisher & Ruth Reichl’s books.

  7. 7
    EC Spurlock says:

    I do mix nonfiction titles into my reading. I follow popular science, especially astronomy and space science, and also enjoy historical biography, particularly Medieval and Renaissance. I share my hubby’s American History titles too.

  8. 8
    Dread Pirate Rachel says:

    I love reading cookbooks. In fact, I buy so many Kindle cookbooks that my entire Kindle Fire is devoted to them (so many pretty pictures!), while all my other books go to my Kindle Keyboard. My favorite cookbook of all time—one that I have gifted and/or recommended for years—is The New Best Recipe, by Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. I’ve made many recipes from it, and they have been unfailingly… well, the best.

    Aside from cookbooks, I love reading literary criticism and history. My current nonfiction obsession is Viking: The Norse Warrior’s (Unofficial) Manual. I bought it for my husband (whom I fondly call either “the Viking” or “Redbeard the fierce”), but as soon as he finished it, I stole it from him.

  9. 9
    Fran S. says:

    I just started injecting more non-fiction into my reading.  I just finished 1066 by David Howarth and Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff, both of which I really enjoyed.  I mostly stick to history when reading non-fiction, but I also essay collections, I guess I’d say personal narrative-type stories?  I absolutely love David Sedaris, but I think a lot of people do.

  10. 10
    roserita says:

    Back when I was young and poor I would sit down to an uninspiring meal and read a cookbook to take my mind off what I was eating.  My favorite cookbooks to read are still Marion Cunningham’s, especially The Fannie Farmer baking book, and you can’t beat Calvin Trillan’s Tummy Quartet.  And with Travels with Alice, you get food and travel! 
      I am about a third of the way through Gulp, about to start the chapter on saliva.  Yes, saliva.  She has the amazing ability to make you laugh and cringe at the same time, and it’s one of those “hey, you’ve got to hear this!” books that make you follow people around reading excerpts until they hide when they see you coming.

  11. 11
    Lindsay says:

    I like nonfiction, especially biographies and anything about animals/rescue/behaviour, and a lot of sociology and business/management books. My only issue is that I can’t read it at night! My brain won’t shut off and I will read for hours needing to know what’s next, whereas with fiction somehow I’m able to understand that I can close the book and it will still be there in the morning.

    My husband has found me in the bathtub, the water drained over half an hour before, reading “just a few more words” of mountaineering biographies.

  12. 12
    Vicki says:

    I saw the hose that grows in the hardware store today. Fortunately, you had warned me so I didn’t choke or otherwise embarrass myself. Thanks, Smart Bitches.

  13. 13
    Jazzlet says:

    Penistone is an outlying part of Sheffield, they make steel bars there …

    I love cookery books, books about food like McGee ‘On Food and Cooking’ on the science of cooking or Claudia Roden ‘The Book of Jewish Cooking’ on the foods and history of those foods of various branches of Judaism – not just Sephardi and Ashkenazi either. I like science books and books that explore a small part of a subject in great detail.

  14. 14
    Vicki says:

    Like many of you, I read cookbooks. I recently spent an afternoon with my BFF Kate, reading cookbooks to each other. Right now, cookbooks are especially big as produce season is upon us. I am cooking what I can and getting into pickling. Some of this I can do out of my head but I really like being able to look things up. Especially fennel. Who invented fennel? And why does my CSA think I need it?

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