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.
Amy Winehouse’s untimely death took one of modern rock’s greatest voice. But she left behind a definitive style: of beehive hairdos, arm tats and pre-Gaga hipster by way of Camden punk. Because her fashion sense was so unique (for better or for worse), I assumed that everyone saw Amy Winehouse the same way. Now, looking back over years of artists who used Winehouse as their muse, it becomes clear there are as many ways to view the singer as there are people to do the viewing. Was she a crazy, drugged-out freak, or a tragic beauty? Did she look like a donkey or like royalty? Is it possible that she was all of the above?
Out of many, many visual interpretations of Amy Winehouse, we chose 10 that highlighted this difference of vision, since it speaks equally to what we projected onto her as well as who we envisioned her to be.
"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.