Romance novels need a canon
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
A contemporary romantic comedy set to Elvis Costello and lots of luxurious and sinful sugary treats. Read the whole essay.
Somewhere, in the back of your mind, you’re a little terrified of the peak-oil apocalypse, where man turns on man and we start waging tribal warfare for what little dribs and drabs of fossil fuels we have left (wait, that hasn’t happened already?). You traded in your car for a bike, you’re praying for the solar power revolution. You know what’s really going to give you a heart attack? A new study in the American Chemical Society’s journal that found that Americans waste — just straight-up throw away — the equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil a year in the form of food. That’s about 70 times the amount of oil in the BP Gulf oil spill.
Basically, we’re tossing more than a quarter of all the food we grow, package, ship, buy, cook, serve and store, including almost a full third of all our dairy, grains and eggs. But I’m not wagging fingers; I’ve forgotten about stuff in my fridge, been too lazy to figure out what to do with stuff that’s past its prime, and tossed my own share of food, much as it breaks my heart. But we can all listen to our better angels and eat the food we’re fortunate to have, and here are a few tips on how to keep or use stuff up.
"For My Lady's Heart" by Laura Kinsale
A medieval romance, the period piece functions much like a dystopia, with the courageous lady and noble knight struggling to find happiness despite the authoritarian society. Read the whole essay.
"Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner
A Regency that uses the limitations on women of the time to good effect; the main character is poor and needs to sell her vote ... or rather her husband's vote. But to sell it, she needs to get a husband first ... Read the whole essay.
"Frenemy of the People" by Nora Olsen
Clarissa is sitting at an awards banquet when she suddenly realizes she likes pictures of Kimye for both Kim and Kanye and she is totally bi. So she texts to all her friends, "I am totally bi!" Drama and romance ensue ... but not quite with who she expects. I got an advanced copy of this YA lesbian romance, and I’d urge folks to reserve a copy; it’s a delight. Read the whole essay.