Thursday, February 13, 2014

Featuring: Jackie of Romance Novels for Feminists

Today please welcome Jackie, who blogs at Romance Novels for Feminists.


What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?
I gave the blog a title that says exactly what it's all about: romance novels that feminists can read and enjoy do exist, despite popular wisdom to the contrary.

How long have you been blogging?
Since September 2012


Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?
My blog's tagline is "for readers who like a little equality with their love." Once a week (on Tuesdays), I review a romance novel that I believe espouses feminist values; once a week (on Fridays) I write more generally about the intersections between romance and feminist concerns.


What genres do you write about most, and why?
Romance, in any of its many sub-genres: contemporary, erotic, gay, fantasy, historical, lesbian, male/male, new adult, Science Fiction, young adult. As long as a book takes it for granted that equity between people in romantic relationships is possible, or a goal to strive for.


What's your earliest memory of reading?
Going to the local library with my mom and sisters, standing in front of the shelves of children's fiction. Heaven!


What was the first book you read over and over, or the book you've reread the most?
Nancy Drew, of course!


Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?
Oh, yes. Need to be able to find the lines or passages that struck a chord, especially if you want to write about them later.


What's your favorite place to read?
On one end of the couch, with a cat on my lap; if at night, with my spouse at the other end.


Do you have any reading accessories you can't do without?
A good pillow for back support and a strong reading light.


Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...
far too few to hold all the books we own. E-readers were invented just in time to prevent our poor house from sinking into the ground under the weight of our 6000+ volume library.


My TBR pile is...
in many places: I have a pile on my e-reader; a pile on a spinning bookshelf next to my bed; a LONG list on Goodreads; a list of books I've requested through interlibrary loan, etc. etc.


What's a book that's changed your life?
When I was in the 4th or 5th grade, I was big into U.S. history (the American bicentennial celebrations had fascinated me). I remember pulling the book MY BROTHER SAM IS DEAD, a novel about life in the American army during the Revolution, off the school library shelf and taking it home to read on my own. Even though it said it right in the title, I just couldn't believe that an author would actually kill off someone as important as the narrator's brother. It was the first book I ever read that had an ending that was so unjust: Sam is executed for stealing food, even though all the troops did it (because they were starving). It just devastated me to find that out, that even the "good guys" could be so unfair.


One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?
Interestingly, I haven't had too many folks take issue with any of the romances I've reviewed on the blog. I used to be a college professor, teaching children's literature, and I remember many students not liking P. L. Travers' MARY POPPINS--it's so very different from Disney's film version. I like both versions, myself -- they each offer such interesting gifts, if one is open to receiving them. It was always a tough slog persuading younger students to embrace Travers' Mary P, though.


To DNF or not to DNF?
I rarely used to DNF. But now, with so many romances out there to read, and so many that are not as well written as one might like, I find myself pulling the plug if a book is obviously not right for me or for the blog after a few chapters.


What's one book that intimidates you?
As someone with a Ph.D. in literature, I've managed to wade through most of the intimidators in the Western canon: MOBY DICK, ULYSSES, TO THE LIGHTHOUSE, PARADISE LOST, THE DIVINE COMEDY, CLARISSA. If I have to fess up, though, I'd guess I'd point to some of the literary theory I encountered during my graduate training, especially Lacan and some of the French feminists who followed in his wake.


If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?
My spouse and I took a self-directed Jane Austen honeymoon: Bath, Lyme Regis, Chawton, and Winchester, where JA is buried. Great fun!


How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?
Quilting
Gardening
Watching the Red Sox
Snuggling with my cats
Board games and puzzles


What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Surprisingly, not many classic romance novels have been made into films. The BBC PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is a favorite, as is the BBC version of PERSUASION. I'd really like to see more adaptations of contemporary romance novels: why has no one filmed any of Jennifer Crusie's novels??


What are 3 of your must-read book blogs?
All About Romance
Wonk-o-Mance
Dear Author


What is your reading personality? (via quiz at http://www.bookbrowse.com/quiz/)
I fit all four profiles, apparently! Too ornery to fit into any one category :-)


Thank you for joining us today, Jackie!

Remember to check out Jackie's blog, Romance Novels for Feminists, and leave a comment or question for Jackie below!

3 comments :

  1. Welcome, Jackie! Enjoyed reading your introduction and am anxious to read your reviews. Thanks for coming up with such an ingenious idea for a book blog! We have a few things other than books in common -- quilting, cats, puzzles, and gardening. :)

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  2. Thanks for stopping by Jackie!

    I am really intrigued by your blog! I tend to not read much romance because I get annoyed by unequal relationships. I'm curious what books you would recommend that I start with?!?

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  3. I love your tagline, Jackie. I can't get into those "damsels in distress" books. They make me want to vom. lol

    I am so impressed with the books you've managed to get through. Have you read Dostoevsky? I can't seem to keep all the info in his books straight and end up giving up. *sigh*

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