- At some point in the past few years, I completely ran out of patience for discussions about genre. You know the kind I mean: the ones where someone comes up with a disingenuous, self-serving definition of genre that goes something like, “if it questions the status quo/if it’s well-written/if the characterisation has any depth/if it’s actually any good, then it’s not genre”. It’s No true Scotsman at its finest, and I just can’t be bothered to engage with this sort of argument anymore. However, reading a good, thoughtful response to pieces like this is still extremely satisfying, which is why I appreciated Clare’s last Sunday Salon post so much.
- Speaking of satisfying responses to frustrating arguments, you all need to read Stefanie’s excellent Digital Humanities, More Than Just Data, a response to a piece that includes such pearls of wisdom as “digitization leads to the decline of the sacred”. I wish I were making that up.
- Jenny’s post about the things we believe because we encountered them in books when we were young and our brains can’t quite let go of them put the biggest smile on my face. Jenny’s example is wolves attacking trains because of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Make sure you read the comments too!
- loudbookishtype (a new to me blog I’ve been really enjoying) has a post about why Dorothy Sayers’ Busman’s Honeymoon is such a satisfying read even though it breaks all the rules of a good mystery:
That’s why I love Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries: I love Harriet and Peter, selfishness and elitism and post-traumatic stress and all. They are wonderful, fully realized characters, and I will never get tired of reading about them. Keep your Nick and Nora Charles, keep your Darcy and Elizabeth, keep your goddamn Heathcliff and Kathy; this is the only literary couple I swoon for. They are lovely people, and I want them to be happy forever, and I want to keep reading about it. To hell with the rules.This one definitely falls under “things I wish I’d written”.
- Violet at Still Life With Books has a trans friend who could use some help: Paying it Forward.
- Remember how much fun Advent with Austen was last year? Well, you’re in luck. This year Yvann is hosting Advent with Atwood, which is similarly pleasingly alliterative, and I’m helping out again. You can join the read-along of The Blind Assassin, join us for a Twitter chat about the movie adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, or simply read a book by Margaret Atwood in December.
- Lastly, Book Gazing is recruiting participants for two lgbtq reading projects. One is a group read of Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch culminating in a chat about the book; the other is having a team of six people come together to read the Green Carnation Prize short list. If any of this sounds like your sort of thing, just click over.