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.
As Washington begins the fight on gun control in earnest, a new poll from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health should bolster Democrats pushing for new firearms regulations.
According to the survey, released today, a majority of Americans support a wide array of policies being discussed in Congress: 89 percent support closing the so-called gun show loophole by requiring background checks for all firearms sale; 69 percent support banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons; while 68 percent support banning the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent favor prohibiting “high-risk individuals” from having guns, including those convicted of a serious crime as a juvenile or those convicted of violating a domestic-violence restraining order.
GfK Knowledge Networks conducted the survey, which was in the field this month and polled 2,703 respondents nationally. The results are being published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Several other polls have found similar numbers, though this one found greater support for some policies. A Gallup poll released last week found that 91 percent would vote for universal background checks, while 60 percent and 54 percent, respectively, favored a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
To gain further insight, the Johns Hopkins researchers over-sampled gun owners and people living in homes with guns. “Not only are gun owners and non-gun-owners very much aligned in their support for proposals to strengthen U.S. gun laws,” said study co-author Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, “but the majority of NRA members are also in favor of many of these policies.” For instance, the survey found that 74 percent of NRA members supported universal background checks for all firearm sales.
Of the 31 different gun policies researchers asked about, a majority of Americans supported all but four. “This research indicates high support among Americans, including gun owners in many cases, for a wide range of policies aimed at reducing gun violence,” said lead study author Colleen Barry, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.More Alex Seitz-Wald.
"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie
"Welcome to Temptation" by Jennifer Crusie
Another of Crusie's romantic comedies, this one in the shadow of an ostentatiously phallic water tower. Read the whole essay.
"A Gentleman Undone" by Cecilia Grant
A Regency romance with beautifully broken people and some seriously steamy sex. Read the whole essay.
"Black Silk" by Judith Ivory
A beautifully written, exquisitely slow-building Regency; the plot is centered on a box with some very curious images, as Edward Gorey might say. Read the whole essay.
"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.
"The Slightest Provocation" by Pam Rosenthal
A separated couple works to reconcile against a background of political intrigue; sort of "His Gal Friday" as a spy novel set in the Regency. Read the whole essay.
"Again" by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Set among workers on a period soap opera, it manages to be contemporary and historical both at the same time. Read the whole essay.