News & Notes – 9/30/2017

September 30, 2017 News & Notes 10

News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff


Book News


Worth Reading/Viewing


And then there’s this 

The NY Times Book Review published “A Roundup of The Season’s Romances” by Robert Gottleib that got a lot of romance readers steamed up—as in angry—and with good reason. Gottlieb, an 86-year-old man who is neither the target audience nor a fan of the genre, is condescending, patronizing, and oddly clueless about the romance side of romance, focusing instead on the sex (with quotes apparently cherry-picked for a combination of salaciousness and poor writing.) Or, in the case of Barbara Cartland, the lack thereof.  Cartland? Excuse me? In 2017??!!! Even the first book he discusses is not exactly new: Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I (originally published in 2000.) It seems an odd choice for an article about “the season’s romances.” Oh, and then there’s his casual racism. And his complete missing of the whole point of romance: the building of a romantic (emotional) relationship, leading to a HEA. And his dismissal of the whole genre as “harmless.” This of a genre that makes up 34% of US fiction sales, with sales of over $1 billion per year. (source

I could go on and on about why Gottlieb’s article infuriated me, but instead, I’m going to point you to some terrific responses and takedowns by other writers and bloggers:


Great Blog Posts


Book & Movie Announcements

  • Peter Rabbit is getting an origin story… from Sony Pictures. And it turns out everyone’s favorite bunny (voiced by James Corden) is pretty naughty. It’s no wonder Mr. McGregor is so set on catching him. (Personally, I think I’ll stick to the lovely British series of animated Beatrix Potter tales based on Potter’s own drawings, but we’ll see.) (IndieWire, with trailer)


Awesome Lists


That’s it for this week!

10 Responses to “News & Notes – 9/30/2017”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      The thing is, he’s a well-respected (or at least well-known) editor and literary critic — not an ignoramus exactly, but clearly only superficially acquainted with the romance genre. But yes, shame on him for the literary snobbery, sexism, and racism on display in that article… and to the NYT for publishing it. I sure loved some of the responses, though!

      • Bea

        There have been some great articles and Twitter threads in response to that NYT article. I haven’t been able to bring myself to actually read the article.

        • Lark_Bookwyrm

          It’s worth reading if only to see what everyone is steamed up about. But it will probably have steam coming out of your ears, too.

        • Lark_Bookwyrm

          Absolutely. I agree that he was a really, really strange choice. I mean, why not ask someone who is really familiar with and appreciative of the field? Or someone who regularly reviews romance, and can be relied upon to be critical when a book merits it, without essentially dismissing the whole genre with a patronizing pat on the head?

  1. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Yeah, that article made me scratch my head. I didn’t know I needed permission from an old dude to enjoy romance. Nor was I aware of the fact that every single book I read is supposed to ‘teach’ me something. Especially because emotions and being able to see things from a different perspective did not appear to be included in what I’m supposed to ‘learn’ when I read.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Weekend Wrap-up #206 – What a LONG week!My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      It continues to baffle me that he seems to have no concept of what the whole point of the romance genre is — and it isn’t sex, no matter how well or poorly such scenes are written (and regardless of whether the author includes a lot or none at all, and whether the reader reads them or skips them.) The point of romance is the development of an emotionally fulfilling and lasting relationship. (Granted, sometimes these days it’s a HFN, but I prefer a HEA.) How can he have read several romances and completely missed this essential element? Oh, yeah — obviously, he skimmed them looking for the “naughty bits” rather than really reading them. Seriously, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.