Links: There Are Things to Read on the Internet!

I have a bunch of different links that might be relevant to your interest, or candy for your brain cells, or both!

First, I must admit to perhaps being wrong. Very wrong. Epic wrong, if this study is to be believed. I've mocked the entire idea of characters “seeing emotions in his eyes” like flashes of anger or glints of arousal or a fleeting speck of indegestion. I think – well, thought, but still think because I am not 100% convinced, that the entire motif of emotions-in-eyes is ridiculous. 

But I'm prepared to be wrong: thanks to this link from Jonathan Allen, it seems a study has revealed a special skill in romance readers. 


The researchers gauged what kind of books participants had been exposed to most by showing them a list of names, and asking them to identify which they recognized as authors. The genres included were domestic fiction, romance, sci-fi/fantasy and suspense/thriller. Some of the other names were nonfiction authors, and some were made up.

Then they tested subjects’ interpersonal sensitivity by showing them black and white photos of actors’ eyes, and having them identify which of four possible mental states the actor was portraying. Subjects also took a personality survey, so the researchers could account for any differences in sensitivity resulting from personality, not reading material.

Results: As expected, fiction readers showed more interpersonal sensitivity than nonfiction readers. (Though there wasn’t a negative relationship between reading nonfiction and sensitivity.) When the researchers looked at the genres specifically, controlling for other variables, they found that reading romance in particular correlated with higher sensitivity scores, which makes sense for fans of a genre built on the foundation of expressing emotion.


Stupid flashes of emotion. It seems I might be wrong about that. Dang it. 

Have we talked about Des Hommes et Des ChatonsHot men and similarly posed cats. It's like the internet was invented just for this

If I've linked to this before, well, sorry. But you're welcome for the reminder! 

And if I have, please enjoy Ballet Dancers in Everyday Situations, from the book Dancers Among Us.

A message for anyone who is into the academic scholarship in romance from An Goris:

On October 24 and 25 we'll be hosting a symposium on the figure of the individual author in the popular romance genre. While academic in nature, parts of the event are specifically aimed at a wider audience of romance readers as well as scholars.

In particular we have scheduled a keynote lecture by Jennifer Crusie and a roundtable discussion with Jenny and Mary Bly/Eloisa James amongst others on October 24 (5-7.30 PM) that we think readers will find interesting. This part of the event is free (with advance registration).

On October 25 we'll have a day filled with scholarly panels; these too are open to a general audience (though perhaps most of interest to academics).: Registration via the symposium website:

I'm flying to Arizona on the 25th, but I'm going to try to go to the evening events on the 24th. Are you going?

And now, some SCIENCE! 


Finally, at Kirkus, I wrote reviews of some of the books I mentioned that I wanted to read while traveling. 

A piece of my review of Big Girls Do it Better

Here are three things to know about Big Girls Do It Better:

1. It's really short. It's a few scenes that bring Anna and Chase together, and then introduce a bigger conflict right at the end—which would prompt you to buy the next one to find out what happens. So, it's a serial of a sort.

2. The story deals with Anna's feelings about her size and her body very frankly, and it was so refreshing and powerful to see her negotiate her pride and shame, and how both show up and affect one another. She knows she's a—per the title—”big girl,” she knows she's overweight, and for the most part, she accepts her size. She's not moaning about a diet or trying to change herself all the time. The first scene involves pie at a diner, for example.

And, a piece of my review of A Curse Embraced: 

In the first book in the Weird Girls series, there is a LOT of silly humor to balance out the entrails. There's a lot less humor and a lot more entrails and anguish in this one, and so I didn't like it as much. It was the humor that hooked me in the first one, and it was much less present in this one, much to my disappointment.

So, what interesting things have you been reading online this week?


The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    An Goris says:

    Thanks for the shout-out to the symposium, Sarah! We’d be delighted to have some of the SB-readership join us here in Princeton. Please register via the website or shoot me an email if you have further questions.

    An Goris

  2. 2
    Karenmc says:

    DagNABBIT! You had to go and tell me about gizmag. The app is downloading to my phone as I type this.

  3. 3
    DonnaMarie says:

    If you mentioned this

    Des Hommes et Des Chatons

    before, I can only say merci for mentioning it again. Things at work have been tres tense. This gave us all a great big smile.

  4. 4
    Dread Pirate Rachel says:

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while—basically since I heard about the Mars One reality show. The Objective Europa link reminded me, so I’m curious now. Here’s my question:

    If you had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream (whether going to Mars or Europa or anything at all), but you knew you would likely die in the process, and you would additionally have to give up everyone you love, would you still do it? Would you say goodbye to your family, friends, lover, pets, and leave, knowing that even if you survived, you would never see them again?

    Obviously, people have been doing just that since we crawled out of the ocean; otherwise progress would never happen, but still. Maybe I’m a coward, or selfish, or maybe I just have small dreams, but I don’t think I would do it. I confess, I’m awfully attached to Mr. Pirate and my whole Pirate family.

  5. 5
    Kelly S. says:

    That bodice chair would seriously mess with the cats.

  6. 6
    LisaJo885 says:

    Thank you for Des Hommes et Des Chatons. I plagiarized your description and shared the site on my FB page. All my gays and gals thank you, too.

  7. 7
    Ren says:

    I’m not seeing anything indicative of a bodice with that chair.

    It looks more like some kind of male athletic supporter.

  8. 8
    dakiMel says:

    Okay, FINE, romance h/Hs can read emotions in each others’ eyes, whatEVer. But for the love of hot men with kittens, can they PLEASE stop pondering “some emotion they can’t quite name” there? Recognize lust, recognize a teasing light, or sorrow, or the pain that comes of having been abandoned by a beloved father, but don’t recognize the fact that you can’t friggin recognize what you’re recognizing!

    I’m feeling better now, thanks.

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