Tag Archives: opinion

Deet’s opinion revisited- Pro Reviewers VS Amateurs

(I haven’t heard much muttering from the professional reviewers since this was posted back in 2011, but then again, I stopped listening quite awhile ago.  Still it is a topic that rears itself every now and then.  I’m still on the side of the Amateurs.)

professionals-and-amateurs

At PEN World Voices Festival on April 27,2011 (the event was cosponsored by the National Book Critics Circle). On hand were American critics Morris Dickstein and Cynthia Ozick among others.

Morris Dickstein, Professional Critic and Professor of English, “The professional reviewer, who has a literary identity, who had to meet some editor’s exacting standard, has effectively been replaced by the Amazon reviewer, the paying customer, at times ingenious, assiduous, and highly motivated, more often banal, obtuse, and blankly opinionated,”

Ozick, a novelist and essayist , made what she called the “disheartening” case that the most committed American readers are the Amazon customer reviewers. “Not only are they willing to buy books consistently, not as a now-and-then event; they also are intent on evaluating them in a public way, and they devote time and effort to fashioning a response. In short, they are serious about the meaning and effect of books, exactly what we would call a literary point of view.”

Read the full article here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-05-12/the-future-of-book-reviews-critics-versus-amazon-reviewers/#

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So what does this mean to an amateur reviewer like me.  Well….I guess it means that I irritate the professionals a tad.  It probably means that they think I have no business calling my opinions “reviews”.  Somehow I just can’t get worked up about it.

Am I “banal and obtuse”? Perhaps.   I’d rather think I was ingenious and assiduous and at least moderately motivated. 🙂   Do I still think my opinion is worth the read? Hell yes!

I am an avid reader so I figure my contribution is to let those readers, who share my proclivities, know what I think of a particular read.  Maybe in my naiveté I missed the allegory or even the well hidden theme of the book, but I’m betting that most genre readers are not going to fault me for those oversights.  They just want to know if I resent the money I paid or if I felt it was worth skipping the Starbucks coffee to buy this book.  They want to know if they should schedule this read for a Friday night so they can sleep-in on Saturday morning.  They want to know if the book is uplifting or depressing, violent or sweet, sexy or not.

Yes, my reviews are “opinions” as are all reviews whether by amateurs or pros.  I don’t think for a minute that amateur reviewers will infringe on professional literary critics.  Usually we are talking about different things.  Anyone who reads Amazon reviews for deep insight might just be missing the point of those reviews.

The Pros are going to have to make room for us amateurs.  Times they are a changing and all those ensconced in the “good ole days” are going to feel displaced.  This is how it has always been.  Ya think Henry Ford didn’t get flack from the horse breeders?

What do you think?

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 

st-patricks-day-card

At my house we pretend to be Irish every March 17th.  This is how we pretended this year. YUM!

I started early in the afternoon making Irish Soda Bread.

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Bubble, bubble certainly no trouble. Corned Beef, cabbage, red potatoes, carrots.

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Tender and lean sliced like a dream.

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All the preparation came to a close at dinner time.

 

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More WTF Books I’m not going to review

 

Back in the dark ages of this blog(August, 2011), I did a post on really crazy books found on Amazon that I was not going to review.  If you would like to see what those were just click here.

Since then I have found a few more that you might want to pass up….or not.  All are available on Amazon.com when I researched this blog.

People Who Don’t Know They Are Dead and How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What To Do About It by Gary Leon Hill

people who don't know they are dead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living With Crazy Buttocks by Kaz Cook

living with crazy buttocks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Shit In The Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach (3rd Edition) by Kathleen Meyer

How to Shit in the woods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oral Sadism and The Vegetarian Personality by Glenn C. Ellenbogen

oral sadism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick,III

The Haunted Vagina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Ways To Recycle A Corpse BY Karl Shaw

Ten ways to recycle a corpse

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Deet’s Life- Remembering on Memorial Day

Memorial day-2

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May 26, 2014 · 3:00 am

La Deetda Reads Top Reads in 2013

Deet’s Best of The Best Reads for 2013

There are two on this list that were not published this year but I just found the time to read them.  The others were published this year.  Of course, there are many good books out there.  I have enjoyed many more than are on this list. (You can see all of my favorites by clicking on the header above “Deet’s Favorite Reads”)  This list is, in my opinion, the best of the best that I have read out of a total of 134 books since last January.  If you want a good read, you can’t go wrong with any of these. Now in no particular order…..drum-roll please…

The Rosie Project by Grame Simsion,  reviewed  September 13, 2013

The Rosie Project

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan, reviewed  July 19, 2013

(Brothers Sinister Series)

The Heiress Effect

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, reviewed September 2, 2013

The girl You Left Behind

It Happened One Midnight by Julie Anne Long, reviewed August 30, 2013

(Pennyroyal Green Series)

It Happened One Midnight

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean, reviewed February 6, 2013

(The Rule of Scoundrels Series)

One Good Earl deserves a Lover

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, reviewed February 27, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox, reviewed April 12, 2013

About Last Night

Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory, reviewed July 29, 2013

Untie My Heart

To find my review of each you can go to the month of the review in the “Archives”  to the left or you can put the title or the author in the “search” box.

 

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Filed under Books, Contemporary Romance, General Fiction & Literature, Historical Romance, Opinion, Romance

Deet’s Life- Loving those Bad Boys in Novels

bad-boys-by-wam-women-s-t-shirts

What makes us love Bad Boys in Historical Romance novels or any Romance novel?

Confidence with a capital “C”

The thing is, bad boys are uber confident, they know what they want and tell it to their women truthfully. They are totally “take charge” and rarely, if ever, seek approval for their actions. That’s an attractive trait. 

Brawn and Brains, yummy!

Bad Boys are never cowardly in any situation.  They never run from a confrontation. They have superior strength and intelligence. 

Thrill Seekers

There is never a dull moment with a Bad Boy.  There is always adventure and passion or the promise of passion.  They infuse us with the feeling of being adventurous even if our lives are rather 9 to 5.

Consummate Lovers, oh yeah!

Those Bad Boys know all the techniques for seduction and how to put them to good use.

Bad Boys can make us “Bad Girls” (yes they can)

Those of us who read romance novels, like the idea that we can fantasize about those bad boys and maybe fantasize about being a bad girl, then we can go back to being the “good” women we are day to day.  Those novels
can also spice up that “good” woman to act in adventurous ways.  Take note men.

Here is a video that shows us some very bad boys from those Historical Romance novels:

 

 

Movies:
Persuasion
Mansfeild Park
Emma
Sense & Sensibility (1995 & 2008)
Northanger Abbey
Pride and Prejudice (1995 & 2005)
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Becoming Jane
The Inheritance

Music:
Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf

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No Copyright infringement is intended or implied. For personal entertainment purposes only.

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Why Read Romance?

Susanna Kearsley, author of The Firebird, The Winter Sea, Mariana, etc, kindly gave me permission to reblog this very interesting blog on the question “Why Read Romance?”.  I totally agree with her conclusion, do you?  Your comments are most welcome.

Why Read Romance?

(reblogged  from Susanna Kearsley’s Blog http://womaninjeopardy.blogspot.ca/ Feb. 14, 2013 )

Today being Valentine’s Day, there’s a hashtag that’s trending on Twitter and picking up speed—#WhyReadRomance—wherein people share all the reasons they read romance novels. I love this, and yet I can’t help but wish there was no need for that hashtag; no need for those readers to have to explain why they read what they read.
After all, you would never see hashtags for #WhyReadMysteries, or #WhyReadLiteraryFiction, would you? No one’s ever going to be teased for reading modern poetry, or picking up a thriller. And no one’s ever asked me, ‘Why on earth would you read Vonnegut?’

Choose a romance novel, though, and eyes will roll, the implication being romance is a lesser form of fiction, not deserving of a place at the big table of ‘real’ writing.

When I disagree—when I point out I write romantic fiction, and that I have friends who write for Harlequin, and that the genre is a broad and varied one, like any other genre, filled with writers who are brilliant at their craft—I only get the rolling eyes again. And if I name specific books as evidence, I’m often told, ‘That book transcends the genre.’ (If you want to set my teeth on edge, just tell me that a book “transcends the genre”. What that tells me, plain and simple, is you haven’t read enough books in that genre).

Still, at that point, I just tend to bite my tongue, and end the argument. I do this because I remember my first year Philosophy course, at university, in which the professor explained to us why it was pointless to argue with someone who was starting from a fixed and different point of view. You’ll almost never change that point of view, he warned us, and they won’t change yours, and so the two of you will argue in a parallel dynamic with no end, that looks like this:

                       

But I’m an optimist, you see. And I believe a lot of misconceptions can be changed, or challenged, by a little education.
So last weekend, in the middle of a day-long course that I was leading with a great, enthusiastic group of local writers who were wanting to explore how to use love stories within their work, I gave them all a sheet of excerpts taken from four books I owned, that I’d read and enjoyed.

One book, I told them, was a Harlequin Romance. One was a literary novel. One was written by a man. And one I’d put in as a wildcard.

Here are the excerpts:

Lorenzo sat at his desk, idly toying with the orrery. It was a mechanical model of the solar system, showing everything in its relative position. There was something soothing about watching how the moons and planets followed their own unwavering path, each one taking its own specific place in a dance so intricate it was almost beyond human comprehension. Galileo had understood it, even though it went against everything he’d been brought up to believe.

The courage of that, the audacious brilliance never failed to impress Lorenzo. Galileo had had a vision, and he had been unswerving in his pursuit of it. But even he, with his towering intellect, had never fully got to grips with the complexities of women.

With a flick of his finger Lorenzo made the earth spin on its axis, and then slowed it right down again as he thought back to last night. That was how it had felt in the temple, in the candlelight and the silence. As if he had slowed down time. Stopped the world, for a little while.

**********

 He put his hand out to assist her on the last high step into the villa grounds. She looked at his hand in front of her and wondered if he meant to stop her.

Signorina. May I take your hand?’

She could feel her face reddening, warmth upon warmth encroaching. She placed her hand in his palm and took the last step, breathless. He smiled again and turned her hand over. Her open palm was warm from the climb. Dante stroked the skin, none too soft, that he held in his own fine hand, stirring the blood underneath to quickness. He kissed the white inside of her wrist, quick and light, and held her hand for a few minutes more as they walked through the shaded gardens.

**********

 He grabbed her to him and stood for long minutes kissing her and kissing her, dragging his hands over her, skating over her curves, enjoying her. Even through the thick cloth of her coat, the feel of her was something wonderful and the smell of her perfume was filling him. The kissing went on and on, his hands grew more and more insistent until she was pressed against him and moaning deep in her chest, rubbing herself on him, grinding against him with his hands on her as her coat rose up over her hips and her skirt followed it, sliding over her thighs.

**********

 As he said his goodbye, it occurred to him that maybe, just maybe, he meant something to her. Too bad he had so much to do. Too bad armies were on the march. Too bad Laura Brittle stood in the doorway, watching them.

He wanted to clasp Polly Brandon in his arms. He had watched over her on the Perseverance and he was uneasy about leaving her without his protection. Yes, I am proprietary, he wanted to shout to Laura Brittle. Why is it your business?

He did nothing of the sort. ‘Stay off the water, Brandon, and you should be all right,’ he said gruffly, then turned on his heel as smartly as any Marine on parade, and left her standing alone in the courtyard.

 

Nearly everyone guessed that the first excerpt was from a literary novel.

Nearly everyone guessed that the last excerpt was written by a man.

And nearly everyone thought that either the second or third excerpts were from the Harlequin Romance, with a large margin choosing the third excerpt over the second.

Want to know where they were really from? From the bottom up, then…

The fourth excerpt is from Marrying the Royal Marine, a Harlequin Historical Romance, by Carla Kelly.

The third excerpt is from The Good Mayor, a literary novel by Andrew Nicoll.

The second excerpt is from Dante’s War, a literary novel by Sandra Sabatini.

And the first excerpt, the one most of the writers in that group felt sure was from a literary novel, is from Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper, a Harlequin Presents Romance, by India Grey. It’s a beautiful excerpt, a lovely piece of writing, and the hero is remembering a night that he spent talking to the heroine. Just that, and nothing more.
Surprised? If you already read romance, I’m sure you’re not. Most romance readers judge a book by what’s inside it, not what’s printed on the cover, and they know the titles of these books aren’t chosen by the authors—they’re a construct of the marketing department of the publisher, and often have no actual connection to the story.
And the story, in the end, is why I read a novel. Any novel. Literary, Science Fiction, Mystery, or Romance. Good writing is good writing, and no genre, in my optimistic world view, is a lesser form of fiction.

That’s why India Grey’s novel sits alongside Andrew Nicoll’s, on my bookshelves. And that’s why I read romance.

Posted by Susanna Kearsley

http://www.susannakearsley.com/

 

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Favorite Quote: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Before we get to the quote, just let me say that I was inspired by blogger Carol over at http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com who posts a favorite quote every now and then.  Reading as much as I do, I come across many quotes that really resonate.  So-o-o, I decided not to keep so many to myself. This one is a bit long but I really didn’t want to edit it.  This might inspire you to buy the book, it did for me.

Tiny Beautiful Things

Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.

When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.

The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.

One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don’t look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don’t hold it up and say it’s longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn’t say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.

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Extra- Deet’s 18 month blogoversary

Yes, I’ve been at this for 18 months.  For all that time I’ve read hundreds of books and told you all about most of them.  I confess that I have been on a Historical Romance kick for most of that time.  Oh, yeah, I throw in a thriller or mystery now and then, even some literary fiction  but those Regency Era aristocrats really do it for me.  I love the authors that can introduce sophisticated, witty humor into their romance novels, I don’t love authors who try too hard to be funny.  But that is just me,  I read and review books that interest me so that means I’m not reviewing books that are foisted on me by publishers or authors.  I choose what I review and that often means I like the book, not always.  But to celebrate my blogoversary I thought this video from Samhain Publishers had just the right amount of champagne and skin. I hope you laugh as hard as I did.

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Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romance, video

Banned Book Week- Sept. 30-Oct.6, 2012

The American Library Association (ALA) is sponsoring Banned Book Week to draw attention to censorship of the written word.  Here at La Deetda Reads I endorse the freedom to read. In 2011 there were over 300 challenges to books throughout libraries in the United States.  Most of the challenges have to do with explicit sexuality and/or offensive language and sometimes violence.  Classics are not exempt from the book burning attitude of some zealots.  Go th the ALA’s site to see a list of 97 classic books that have come under fire. Then choose one to read because you live in a free country and it is your right to do so.

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedclassics

 

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