When I went looking for fat heroines in historical romance, I quickly learned to be skeptical of book covers. A main character might be plump, abundant, generously rounded, or my favorite, “a lady of healthy appetite,” but the model on the book cover will still be thin. A reader of fat histrom has to be a detective, examining each cover for clues: Is most of her body covered by a sheet? Is there a flower … Continue reading Fat Girls in History
January is my least favorite month. Every January, the steady stream of people hating their bodies intensifies into a deluge. Nonstop weight loss ads fill my tv screen and social media feed, promising dramatic, if unlikely, results. At gatherings, the delicious holiday cookies from December have been replaced with tasteless grain-free hockey pucks. Inevitably at least one family member will talk incessantly about their diet, while looking askance at my body. And I’m grumpy because … Continue reading Fat Representation in Romance: Counter-Programming with Fat Romances
I mentioned on the podcast a few weeks ago that I’ve spent a lot of the past year being ANGRY. And being so angry I couldn’t focus on reading or enjoying things I read or make. I was always angry. I’m still always angry. (No, I am not going to use a gif of Mark Ruffalo here, because I’ll be damned if I use a dude to express my rage right now.) The latest in … Continue reading Art is a Political Act
In the most current episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour during a discussion of Suicide Squad, Glen Weldon starts talking about heroism (something he’s devoted a considerable amount of time writing about) and says the following, which pretty much set my hair and my brain on fire: We’re embracing the antihero. We have been for decades – especially in tv but also in books and movies. We tell ourselves we embrace the antihero because we think it’s more sophisticated. We … Continue reading Real Quick – Why Reading Romance is Brave and Powerful
I saw this sentiment echoed in a few places, and it certainly applied to me: I did not expect to be emotional last night watching the last evening of the Democratic National Convention. My husband is a complete politics nerd – he worked for the DNC in 1996 in Chicago, arranging housing for all the delegates, so his knowledge of convention miscellany is unrivaled. (I was an intern at that same convention for the LA Times, … Continue reading Chelsea Clinton, Books, and Happiness
NB: Welcome to Flashback Friday! During FBF, we’ll be resurrecting older posts and reviews that are relevant to things we’ve published on the site this week. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Seeing as how Amanda reviewed Hyperbole & a Half this week, which covers a blogger’s battle with depression, we wanted to revive her previous post about finding the right book at the right time. This post was originally published November 5, 2014. Last Wednesday, in … Continue reading Depression & Amy Poehler
We like to recap and talk about shows that we think romance readers might like, and that we want to help attain a wider audience. Last year we recapped The Librarians episode by episode, and it’s back this year for season 2 on TNT in the US. (Yay!) We’re not recapping it since we’ve got other shows on the schedule – but I would feel terrible if y’all missed out on seeing the Seriously Smoking Hot Bad Guy. Now, … Continue reading SYSBW: Hot Villain Alert on The Librarians, Season 2
Reading slumps suck, and I know because I’m in one currently. When you’re a reader, books become part of your daily life and reading part of your routine. When you can’t get a book to capture your attention and are thrown out of that routine, it can feel awful. Right now I suspect my slump is due to the fact that this is a very busy time of year for me professionally and also because … Continue reading How to Handle a Reading Slump
Recently Amanda commented internally that she used to read a ton of historicals, but that she hadn’t reached for or even considered one for awhile. This got me thinking about genres that I used to adore and read like I was starving and had an unlimited supply of those chocolate covered fruit snacks from Brookside. Figuring out what I used to read isn’t difficult; I’m packing up most of my possessions and donating at least … Continue reading Burnt Out vs. Moving On: Subgenres We Don’t Read As Much Anymore
Today, I’m a guest on an episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour, which is among the best of the NPR podcasts. My inner 13 year old barely kept herself together, I was so excited. But I figured since perhaps some PCHH listeners are romance fans, or curious about romance, or curious about what we do around here, I’d introduce the site a bit. So: Hi! I’m Sarah, and welcome to the Hot Pink Palace of Bitchery, … Continue reading Greetings, PCHH Folks!
Well, bookshelves. Who can possibly have just one? I have recently moved (well, recently, like six months ago, but I lived in my last place for six years before that, so recently is relative) and as such I have had my hands on every book I own- twice. It’s a lot of books, and one of the requirements for a new place was enough places to put up my bookshelves… and roommates who would understand … Continue reading A Tour of Redheadedgirl’s Bookshelf
Being honest about what we think of romances (and movies, and covers, and man titty, and Jeremy Renner gifs) is our intent here. I want the comments to be a safe space for you to talk about personal and challenging subjects – subjects that romance deals with frequently, such as sexuality, emotions, assault, overcoming obstacles, vulnerability and happiness. I don’t take myself seriously at all, but I take the community at Smart Bitches very seriously. So … Continue reading Nothing But Squee: Is it Spam? How Do You React?