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.
Legendary comic Jerry Seinfeld visited Jimmy Fallon on his second night hosting the “Tonight Show,” which Fallon brought back to their native state after 42 years in Los Angeles. The two comedians, who are both parents, lamented about the trials of modern-day parenting.
“We’re too into it,” Seinfeld told Fallon. “When we were kids, our parents didn’t give a damn about us.”
Seinfeld described the bedtime routine for his children as a “royal car nation jubilee centennial of rinsing and plaque and dental appliances and the stuffed animal semi-circle of emotional support.” “And I’ve got to read eight different moron books,” he added.
“You know what my bedtime story was when we were kids?” asked Seinfeld.
“Darkness!” he exclaimed.
The comedian also performed stand-up commenting on society’s ridiculous reliance upon cellphones, which are filled with not-so-important contacts whose names we scroll through “like a gay French king,” though we rarely use that “juiced-up hard rectangle” for phone calls anymore.
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.