In Which Krissie and I Argue About Georgette Heyer

I’ve been on a Heyer binge the past two weeks, and I was surprised to find that I didn’t love all of the ones I read.  I mentioned that to Krissie and she said, “Which ones?” and of course those turned out to be some of her faves because Krissie and I are Alpha and Omega (or as Krissie put it, she’s Pollyanna and I’m Medea).  The only one we agreed on was The Grand Sophy, a book I loved so much I named my heroine in Welcome to Temptation after her.  It still holds up after all these years, aside from a brief but nasty bit of anti-Semitism which the heroine does not commit (it’s the author’s narration, not Sophy’s thoughts, so I just skim past that part).  

After that, Krissie and I parted company on most of our evaluations.  So here’s what I think, with some Krissie quotes in there to provide a counterpoint;


Continue reading

This Is a Good Book Thursday: Bad Book Warning

Sean Penn has published his novel.  

I generally do not diss other living writers (once you’re dead, your ass is mine), but I’m going to break my rule and say that is just . . . bad.  I won’t even use the “Lord, it wasn’t good” cartoon for this one.  This is abysmal::

“Hence his life remains incessantly infused with her identity-infidelity, and her abhorrent ascensions to those constant salacious sessions of sexual solitaire she’d seen as self-regard.”

That’s on page 11. I think it means the male protagonist is upset that some female within his grasp is masturbating, but that’s just a guess.  (More quotes at the link above.)  I thought Penn had reached the bottom of my estimation when he said that film was too important to waste on entertainment.  (Entertainment is the delivery system for ideas, you moron.)  But this, this sinks him far below that.  This isn’t just dumb pseudo-intellectualism, this is  Bad Writing.

From now on, whenever I look in despair at some of my own Bad Writing, I can comfort myself with the knowledge that at least I’m not Sean Penn.

For the love of god, tell me something good to read.  


This is a Good Book Thursday: Grrrrrr

Power came back on Tuesday night, but the internet didn’t.  Then there was a big snow storm.  Power is out again.  NOT HAPPY.  But I am plugged in at the dinner about to have an amazing late breakfast so, hey, for the moment, I’m happy.

Thank god I have rechargeable lamps, battery lamps, headlamps.  And back-up batteries.  And paper books.

So what are you reading this week?

UPDATE: Power is on, internet is back, Jenny is happy.

This is a Good Poem February 2nd

It’s the month of the dead.  Let’s think about love.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43, 1845

One of the reasons I love this poem, aside from the fact that’s it’s an amazing declaration of love from a wonderful real life love story, is because I taught this in a high school English class once, and a boy told me, “I would kill to have a girl say that to me.”   When you get high school boys loving poetry, you’ve written a good poem.

But my favorite Barrett poem is still Sonnet 14:

“If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only.
Do not say, “I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”—
For these things in themselves, Belovèd, may
Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry:
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.”

Or as some dude once put it, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . . ” (Sonnet 116.)