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Preview — Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendell
Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels
We do it in the dark. Under the sheets. With a penlight. We wear sunglasses and a baseball hat at the bookstore. We have a "special place" where we store them. Let's face it: Not many folks are willing to publicly admit they love romance novels. Meanwhile, romance continues to be the bestselling fiction genre. Ever. So what's with...more
It's full of the snarky humor and clever insights that I expected, as well as serious essays and citings to famous works in the field of romantic academia.
It also cont ...more
The bad news is that these are not blog posts but a book. And the book has a bit of a multiple personality.
There are games.
There are serious essays on the cultural aspects of all things in Romance Reading History with lots of citings to famous essays in the field of academic study of romances.
There are lists.
There are more games.
There is cover snark.
There are intervie ...more
There was lots of surprises to this book. In addition to literary analysis, there was mad-libs, choose your own adventures, board games, coloring, and ...more
Plus there's the difficulty I have staying interested in ANY humor-based book. Not that I don't love the lulz, bu ...more
This is an awesome book for romance novel fans or readers The Smart Bitches, which would be a huge overlap.
For critics of the genre and people who just don't get it, I imagine it's educational and might make them come away with a better upstanding, but this is -- first and foremost -- for readers in-the-know.
Why does it make a reader's heart go pitter-patter when a book is mention that she's read? Even more so when the book is praised. Since there are ...more
The authors provide numerous book samples--made me realize how few books I've actually read. Neat interviews by Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Emma Holly and a few others.
This would be an excellent "source" book for someo ...more
Hats off to the Smart Bitches, these ladies not only made me laugh but also made me think, and more than once they made me shout, "Hells, yeah!" I particularly liked their strong stance against plagiarism and racism in the romance genre, and their sharp observations about the Seriously Screwed Up (but occasional ...more
Also, I don't really care what parts were boring, because you get the feel that the authors know and love the genre as much as you do (or the person that forced you to read the book does), so it's more like listening to your smart, bitchy, wordy (and often hilarious) friend ramble.
Parts I liked:
1. Old School vs New School flowchart - comprehensive and amusing
2. Summary of Old School was interesti ...more
It’s this dual attitude that makes their commentary work. Their tongue-in-cheek-jokes and their more serious criticisms are coming from a place of love for the genre (or for the genre when it’s done well), not from a superior attitude that dismisses all romances as insipid.
To paraphrase t ...more
Written by two romance fans for romance fans, Beyond H ...more
I like the Smart Bitches, Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan, because unlike a lot of romance bloggers they don't absolutely fangirl over every romance book they read. They're quite forthco ...more
A few things bothered me at times, however.
* The constant use of cute little phrases like "man titty." The book has a very "insider" feel to it (as does the website). Crisp, hu ...more
What do you get if you look past the heaving bosoms? A fairly decent overview of the modern romance gen ...more
the authors strive to defend the genre to those who also enjoy the genre. their witty banter is enjoyable, and their breaking down of the romance genre useful when looking at the ways cultural ti ...more
The authors are witty, irreverent and never take themselves too seriously. Their langage is somewhat colorful but it's so much fun : wang of mighty loving is an exemple!
Also, the chapter names : chapter cleavage (introduction), chapter corset (on the heroine), chapter codpiece (on the hero),...
I couldn't help laughing out loud at what I was reading. So much so that people asked me what it was.
But it's not only funny, it's insightful and teaches us a lot about this ...more
There's a lot of interesting stuff in here about the romance novel industry, the common tropes of the genre and why they exist, and the influence of changing social norms on genre trends. The book is definitely written with tongue firmly in cheek(or possibly any other available orifice, har har), with lots of cuss ...more
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. The site specializes in reviewing romance novels, examining the history and future of the genre, and bemoaning the enormous pr ...more