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.
When it first kicked off in 1982, only a few stars showed up to the mid-day event meant to honor them. But within about 10 years, the luncheon has picked up steam; last year, the event set a new record: 150 of the 188 nominees arrived, with 18 of the 20 actor nominees in attendance, Variety reports. (Even Deadline hails the invite-only event as “unquestionably one of the highlights of any awards season”). This year, about 140 attendees showed up.
Though the event is mostly just a “feel-good , ‘everyone’s still a winner’ ” pat on the back for nominees, awards strategists took the opportunity to gauge Oscar reactions in Q&A sessions, as ballots go out on Friday for the final vote. The stars who generated the most buzz at the insider event were “Beasts of the Southern Wild’s” 9 year-old best actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis, “Argo’s” Ben Affleck (who has been shut out of the best director category although his film is a front-runner for best picture) and ”Life of Pi” special visual effects nominee Bill Westenhofer.
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Prachi Gupta.
"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.