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.
The unlikely gig came up when Gaga requested to shoot her newest music video in the Hearst Castle’s iconic Neptune Pool, which, due to the fact that it had been leaking up to 5,000 gallons of water per day, has been drained since February. But the crippling water shortage wasn’t enough to stop her:
So park officials and the singer came up with a plan. Gaga would pay for water to be pumped from an on-site irrigation storage facility to fill the cracked pool, which was leaking up to 5,000 gallons of water per day.
The water will be returned after the photo shoot, officials said, and the cost of the transfer will be picked up by Gaga.
The singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, will donate $250,000 to the Hearst Castle Foundation, part of which will be used to repair the pool, in addition to the standard $22,000 fee for filming at the estate. She is also paying $25,000 for a water supply study in Cambria, according to a statement from the foundation.
As part of the deal, Gaga also filmed a public service announcement promoting water conservation, and she spread the message to her 41 million Twitter followers and elsewhere on social media.
President Obama was also in California today where, apart from announcing his new $1 billion Climate Resiliency Fund, he promised to make $100 million available in aid for farmers who lost livestock in the drought, along with another $15 million to help farmers and ranchers implement water conservation practices.
But only Lady Gaga got a thank you note personally signed by Calif. governor Jerry Brown.
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
"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.