Argh Re-Reads: Georgette Heyer

When interviewers used to ask who my inspirations for writing were, I’d say, “Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Parker.” I think that’s still pretty accurate. I loved the liquidity of their writing, the smooth flow of words that let the emotions flow through, the fun of the story over the depth of the meaning. And I loved their humor, not obvious slapstick jokey stuff but subtle plays of language and character, the way they both looked clear-eyed at the insanity of their societies. The difference between them? Parker was acidic, scathingly funny in her indictments but with a sharp edge. Heyer was softer, wrapping everything in the promise of a happy ending for her emotionally healthy characters. They both wrote at roughly the same time although Heyer set her romances in the past, but Parker sat back with her cutting edge while Heyer leaned in and laughed her way through bouncing love stories. I wondered at one time if that wasn’t because Parker was American and Heyer was British, but I’m sure it was also just part of their personalities. Somebody once described Parker as a cross between Little Nell and Lady Macbeth, while Heyer always seemed to me to be the embodiment of one of her book titles: a Lady of Quality. Of the two, which one do I reread? Heyer, of course. If I’m needing a reread, I want that happy ending. Continue reading

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If Good Authors Are Bad People Should They Be Published?

So it turns out that Blake Bailey, the author of the latest Phillip Roth biography, has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault along with predatory behavior when he was a public school teacher. If the accusations are true, that’s bad. The biography had been getting good reviews, but his publisher, W. W. Norton, pulled it and cancelled all future printings based on the accusations.

So here’s the question: Was that the wrong thing to do? Continue reading

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Spoiler Space: Fugitive Telemetry

I started the new Murderbot at 2AM when it dropped into my mailbox. Technology is a wonderful thing. Since we’re going to want to talk about it, I’m putting this post up so we’ll have the comments as a spoiler space.

DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED FUGITIVE TELEMETRY.

Seriously.

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Argh Re-Reads: Martha Wells’ Murderbot Books

First, two confessions: One, I’ve only read one Martha Wells’ novel that wasn’t a Murderbot. Two, I have read all of the Murderbot novels plus the last novel well over twelve times (I stopped counting then) and I’ll re-read them another twelve times at least. Wells is a terrific writer so I’m sure all of her books are terrific, but I am a Murderbot fan (to put it mildly) so this is a Murderbot post. Continue reading

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Argh Re-Reads: Dick Francis

So I’ve been thinking about a new series for here and the comments in the last post about Dick Francis decided it: I’m going to do every-now-and-then posts about my re-reads, one author per post, starting with the Dick Francis post I took down because it was a draft. Basically, it’ll be a paragraph about why I love these authors, whatever other info I have about their lives and writing, and then a Top Five Re-Reads with annotations. That’ll be fun for me and the comments should be interesting since we can talk about one author in depth. Some of my other re-reads will probably be Pratchett, Gilbert, Heyer, Allingham, Christie, Stout, Wells (although only her Murderbots, so maybe not), Aaronovitch and . . . well, there are a lot. REALLY looking forward to the conversations in the comments.

And now, Dick Francis. Continue reading

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This is a Good Book Thursday, February 18, 2021

This week I discovered that iBooks has a page of free books, each one the beginning of a series.

This week I also discovered why they’re free.

Okay, that was bitchy, but honestly, 90% of them I flip to the back at chapter three and the ending is worse. I am grateful to every author who puts “This is a stand alone novel” even though it’s part of a series because I know that means there’s no cliffhanger (that’s a crime against readers).

Bitch, moan, bitch, moan. At least I can hit the space bar without pain now, so I’m good here.

What did you read this week?

(Also, if you’re in Texas, I’m thinking of you. We get snow here, too, but we expect it. Snow in Houston? Who’s ready for that?)

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This is a Good Book Thursday, February 11, 2021

This week I reread Welcome to Temptation and Faking It, mainly to see which parts I don’t skim when I read now. Those are almost always the scenes between the H and H. It’s the romance, stupid. Now, back to cutting Nita. And figuring out the rest of Anna and Lily, not to mention Nadine and Alice. And Liz. Also, do you know how old Dillie would be now, give the date of publication when she was 8? Twenty-nine. That’s almost in my heroine age range. Of course she probably still doesn’t have her driver’s license, but still . . . (That also means Sophie and Phin and Wes and Amy and Davy and Tilda are somewhere in their fifties. And having a wonderful time, too.)

What did you read this week?

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