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Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels [Format Kindle]

Sarah Wendell , Candy Tan

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Funny, irreverent, and insightful, this guide zeros in on the joys and woes of the romance genre... delivering both in delightful, readable style." -- Nora Roberts, New York Times bestselling author

"A high-octane, hilarious and revelatory look at the romance genre...It's too much fun to be missed!" -- Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author

"Sarah and Candy point out all that's ridiculous and annoying in the genre, while showcasing all that's good and valuable, with wit, style, intelligence, and snark." -- Jennifer Crusie, New York Times bestselling author of Welcome to Temptation and Crazy for You

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name...

We do it in the dark. Under the sheets. With a penlight. We wear sunglasses and a baseball hat at the bookstore. We have a "special place" where we store them. Let's face it: Not many folks are willing to publicly admit they love romance novels. Meanwhile, romance continues to be the bestselling fiction genre. Ever. So what's with all the shame?

Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan -- the creators of the wildly popular blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books -- have no shame! They look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world of romance novels and tackle the hard issues and questions:

-- The heroine's irresistible Magic Hoo Hoo and the hero's untamable Wang of Mighty Lovin'

-- Sexual trends. Simultaneous orgasms. Hymens. And is anal really the new oral?

-- Romance novel cover requirements: man titty, camel toe, flowers, long hair, animals, and the O-face

-- Are romance novels really candy-coated porn or vehicles by which we understand our sexual and gender politics?

With insider advice for writing romances, fun games to discover your inner Viking warrior, and interviews with famous romance authors, Beyond Heaving Bosoms shows that while some romance novels are silly -- maybe even tawdry -- they can also be intelligent, savvy, feminist, and fabulous, just like their readers!

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 878 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 306 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1416571221
  • Editeur : Touchstone; Édition : Original (27 mars 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001NLL66M
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°214.099 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  42 commentaires
71 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good in parts (as the actress said to the bishop) 12 avril 2009
Par rooreads - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
As a regular reader of the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog, I was happy to buy this book. Having read it, I found myself wishing it had been better. A blog of its nature - and quite reasonably - is a bitsy beast and can, like the curate's egg, be good in parts, because tomorrow is another entry: a book needs greater cohesion, particularly if the publisher describes it as a 'guide', with all that implies.

In some ways, I'm not sure if the book quite knows what it's trying to do: raise a snicker with uninhibited language, amusing observations and romance-related games? analyse a best-selling but often disregarded genre with academic language and reference to research/surveys/articles? share the passion of the authors as readers of this hugely-popular genre? All of the above, even if the combination doesn't quite hold together?

The chapters cover some main features of the romance genre - heroes, heroines, plot devices and so forth; and yet I felt that there were assumptions about the readership of the book which might limit its audience. Perhaps this is something carried over from the blog, which has its own distinct community, which will no doubt embrace this book as a continuation of something they already know and love. Sarah and Candy have engaging and distinctive voices and opinions, and the comments on their blog entries are entertaining and informative discussions too.

I wondered about the assumption that 'Old Skool' romance meant old like, the 1970s. The genre has existed for far longer - Mills and Boon/Harlequin's publishing history goes back further, even if you step away from the 'romance is as old as stories' argument. Perhaps the focus on the more recent years of the genre accounts for odd factual errors/sweeping assumptions. I am a dabbler-reader in the genre, rather than any sort of expert, but found myself disagreeing with some statements/assumptions, even with my limited knowledge. I'm sure I didn't get all the in-jokes in the book, either; entertaining for the cognescenti, but excluding others from sharing the hilarity.

I wondered about the assumption that readers would know the whole genre - a guide to its main strands would seem a likely inclusion to a, well, guide to the romance genre, from category romances to Regencies to paranormal to the rest, with reading recommendations for each. While any such lists would, by their nature, be subjective, the point is of course that if you respect the authors, you're happy to be informed by their recommendations/opinions on the books they review/suggest.

There are recommendations within the text, but one of my frustrations, having read the book, was my difficulty in finding sections again to which I wished to refer - what was that recommended author/title? Where was that list of authors' favourites? There is a list of works cited at the end of the book, but this is a list of works about romance novels; there is no list or index covering romance titles or romance authors mentioned in the text. This is something the publishers should have seen as being necessary/important. I have found myself skidding through the text, looking for this mention or that, a search not facilitated by the structure the publisher/editors have chosen for the book.

There are some important issues covered, such as plagiarism, and race (where to shelve the African-American romances, the for and against of various options). The book also includes some games/choose-your-own romance sections which I found not especially engaging - I flicked through them; devoting about a third of the book to these seemed indulgent for a 'guide'.

There are some hilarious issues covered, such as snarkable cover cliches - the authors are undoubtedly witty and observant, and the covers are ripe for their style of ribald analysis. I don't think the authors have been well-served by the illustrations, which I found banal and not especially well-done.

Sarah and Candy have, through their blog, done much to raise the profile of the romance genre, raise awareness of issues, authors, books; and have provided a lively and amusing focus for a diverse and intelligent community of readers.

I wish I had enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy the blog.
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 a snark-tastic journey 14 avril 2009
Par she reads - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Before purchasing this book I can not suggest strongly enough that you go visit [...] and get a feel for the authors. I've been a big fan of the bitches since discovering them earlier this year, and I've been anxiously awaiting the release of this book for several weeks now. They have good snippets of material + bonus 'outtakes' on their site that you can look at.

Like another reader mentioned, this book seemed to have a confused identity. Chapters that break downs of heros, heroines, common plots, and more were mixed in with snarky, poke fun at the romance lists and jokes. Is this a book for or against romance, remind me?

I didn't find it a useful guide to romance novels, so much as a snark-tastic journey through the eyes of Sarah and Candy. Was it fun and fabulous? Sure! The 'make your own hero' stories at the end had me hooting, I loved the breakdown of the heroine, the author interviews were insightful, and goodness abounded.

I had expected a more comprehensive guide to great romances of all sub-genres. Instead there's a heavy lean towards historical romances (sigh, groan) and never did I find a good resource guide or listing of great novels to read or anything. I'd hoped that some 'all time greats' would be looked at, talked about, and listed to show off the greatness of this, my favorite genre. I wanted to know more about specific examples of awesomeness that I should be aware of and read to be more educated as a fan... I didn't feel satisfied. Paranormal, suspense, contemporary, and other genres within romance were mentioned but not given equal billing compared to the heavy handed historical mentions.

As I closed the last page, it just wasn't all I'd hoped for and now I've shared why. Will I keep visiting the bitches daily and loving them? You bet.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Smart Bitches on Romance 12 novembre 2009
Par Alexandra - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I am a relatively new convert to SBTB followers. I only picked up on the site about a year ago and wasn't sure what to make of it. I wasn't a closet romance reader--I've always been very open about reading romances, even when I was thirteen years old toting around a bag full of 80's Harlequin titles with subject matter most 13 year olds wouldn't think about in relation to 'romance' (like revenge sex, never heard of that until I read Harlequin). When my friends would deride me for my tastes in reading material (amongst everything else they chided me about) I'd just shrug and ask them what they knew about romance.

To say I enjoyed reading this book is an understatement. When I picked it up at the bookstore to flip through a few months ago I was texting my twilight friends the definition for 'vampire' before I got to the last word, storing away information about the various archetypes of heroine to compare against my favorites and thanking god that I knew enough about the female anatomy before I read my first romance that I never believed in the magical hymen that every romance heroine has.

There were some portions that I skimmed over quickly--parts of the chapters labeled 'Corset' (about heroines) and 'Codpiece' (about heroes), 'Bad Sex' (about rape in romance) and 'Love Grotto' (about sex scenes) had sections where I just skipped them to the next header for whatever reason. Like any other Fandom meta-essay analysis book (which if you're into the Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, or Star Trek fandoms you will have read at LEAST one meta-essay book, in my case I read them like a thirsty man needs water) some of it can just be very dry and 'well I knew that'.

This book though I think is good for anyone who has a friend (male or female) who constantly teases them for liking books about 'women who swoon at men's feet and have sex willy-nilly' (I hear this a lot). Now you can pull this book out, flip to the section they just accused you of enjoying and have them read just how wrong they are. This isn't a comprehensive guide to romance books, this is a guide for the genre itself told in a witty, intelligent and easily understandable way. There's illustrations (of Mavis, the romance reader stereotype), ridiculous 'Create the Perfect Title for Your Lordly Hero' (because every historical hero needs a title that conveys his dark, brooding self) and the 'Oh Honey What's Your Problem?' (involving some of the more ridiculous reasons heroines are still virgins) games and best of all--its funny. It takes its subject matter seriously, but makes fun of all the tropes, stereotypes and plots that make the genre hard for outsiders to swallow.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Part academic treatise, part adolescent snicker-fest 28 août 2012
Par L. Jonte - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
I fired up some music as I sat down to write this review, and what in the world of coincidental appropriateness should be the first song but, I Need a Lover that Won't Drive Me Crazy, by Pat Benatar. If that's not a serendipitous shuffle, I don't know what is. It put a smile on my face, or would have, if Beyond Heaving Bosoms: A Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels hadn't already pasted a smile there from the very first page.

What joy this book has been to read! A few points:

-Chapter names of AWESOMENESS
Right from the start, BHB begins as it means to go on by kicking chapter numbers to the curb and giving us chapter names made of pure brilliance. From chapter Cleavage through chapters Secret Cowboy Baby and Love Grotto, I loved them all. My favorite, however, had to be chapter Phallus, not just for the name (though, c'mon) but for its content, part of which was a serious look at the inner working of the genre and the ways in which it hamstrings itself in the larger publishing world. Which brings me to...

-Niceness and what it means for policing one's own genre
I stand firmly with the Smart Bitches on this one, plagiarism is not sexy. Nor is it something to overlook or gloss over in the name of "Can't we all just get along?". This isn't a Ladies Aid Society meeting in 1810, people. It's not about making nice in order to save face in society. Your work had better be your own goddamn work, and your attributions regarding the work of others had better be writ large and unambiguous. In a genre that's long been under siege as worthless trash, nothing signals the larger literary world that you STILL aren't ready for the big kids' table than circling the wagons around an obvious plagiarist.

And no amount of, "the author didn't know better" or "if it's on the Internet, (or public domain) it's not really stealing" will change that. Plagiarism isn't new. You know what you've written and what you haven't, full stop. And saying that things published online are fair game for poaching is like saying that pilfering your neighbor's outdoor holiday decorations is acceptable because, "they were out there in public, so that must mean they're free to take." It's bullshit and everyone knows it.

-Old school romance, its lingering stigma and romance as a denigrated genre
This is where I admit that, while I used to read romance novels for the pure fun of finding the sex scenes amid the implausible plot devices, I stopped reading them in my early 20s. I stopped because that was the heyday of the Rapist Hero and after a time I just found the idea of rape-is-a-gateway-to-romance all too oppressive and vile.

Sadly, that image of romance novels persists to this very day. It's part of the easy dismissal the genre gets from, well, pretty much every other genre out there. "Hey, I my read ______," the reader says. "But at least I don't read crappy bodice rippers/lady porn/your epithet here." As if implausible plots and sex scenes only existed in one genre.

Happily, the Smart Bitches are here to exorcise the ghosts of plot devices past, and boy do they ever.

-It's okay to love books about love, sex and sexuality
Really, it is. Like the old school Hero rampaging across the Heroines personal landscape, the common idea is that emotions are weak, therefore anything that celebrates emotions (or emotionally charged human pursuits like sex) must be correspondingly weak. The Smart Bitches drag those dusty old notions out into the yard for a good beating in the fresh air.

They point out that, unlike any other genre, romance novels alone focus on female sexuality as pivotal, not only to the plot, but to the heroine as a fully realized human being. They give us a view of romance not as the unloved step-child of publishing, but as the subversive renegade, daring to openly embrace what everyone privately knows but refuses to admit in polite company. And ain't that just the best thing ever?

-And finally, a quibble
If I had one quibble with this book (and I did) it was the lack of editorial oversight with regard to the use of there's vs. there're. Yes, I know it's common vernacular now to default to there's in all situations. I also know that language is fluid, that it changes as society changes. But damn it all, common or not, it's still incorrect, and what I can forgive in conversation I cannot in print. Not yet, anyway.

You kids, get out of my yard.

There you have it. I thoroughly enjoyed the Smart Bitches and their guide to romance novels; part academic treatise, part adolescent snicker-fest, both sides of my brain reached the last page highly satisfied.
13 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 avidreader 2 juin 2009
Par katherinemarcell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The book is funny in parts with the humor of the blog (smartbitchestrashybooks)within the pages. Silly? Yes, to a point. Too bad the authors didn't give a real look into romance novels and leave behind their "snarky" humor. Possibly, they may have enlightened others that don't frequent their blog. Too much emphasis on Cassie Edwards and the games, oh, the games that are ridiculous. Save your money if you are not friends with the authors. Waste of time and $$$. Just read a romance novel and take your chances. It's cheaper.
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