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.
In a speech Thursday, President Obama addressed the recent scandal in which the DOJ was found to have been spying on AP reporters’ phone records. In line with the White House’s push Wednesday to reintroduce a media shield law, Obama’s comments made the administration’s position clear — a free press is supported, so long as that freedom is under its control.
Obama said that he made “no apologies” for being concerned about national security — the context in which the Justice Department’s surveillance of journalists was couched. The media shield law the White House has asked Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to introduce specifically includes the caveat that the media shield will exclude reporters who publish leaks deemed to cause “significant harm” to national security. Obama commented today that while he valued a free, independent press, “Leaks related to national security can put people at risk, they can put men and women in uniform that I’ve sent into the battlefield at risk … U.S. national security is dependent upon those folks being able to operate with confidence that folks back home have their backs, so they’re not just left out there high and dry.”
Both his comments and the media shield proposal serve as damage limitation attempts following the AP scandal, while preserving the executive power to prosecute whistle-blowers like Bradley Manning and desecrate the spirit of the First Amendment. Kevin Gosztola wrote earlier this week that “Few took notice of the Obama administration’s policies and how they threatened freedom of the press when leaks hysteria took hold of Washington. But, now that an entire establishment news organization is known to have been targeted by the nation’s surveillance state, perhaps, views toward the administration will rightfully sharpen.” The concern now for civil libertarians, then, is that the administration is responding to the AP scandal by carefully forging a chasm, with words and policy, between journalists and whistle-blowers.
Watch Obama’s full remarks below:
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.More Natasha Lennard.
"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.