Links: Saturday, June 7th

June 7, 2014 Links 4

A dagger with a white porcelain handle and sheath moulded to look like erect penises.Artifact from the secret cabinets of Catherine the Great. (Allegedly. I can’t find a source.)

  • Criminals and Heartbreakers – Brie compares her reactions to a contemporary romance with a violent hero and a paranormal with a violent hero and wonders what makes the difference.

    This dichotomy of sorts is fascinating to me. Why is it harder for me to deal with violent, criminal heroes in contemporary settings? Does this mean that not all heroes are made the same? Shouldn’t heroic qualities be the same across sub-genres? I don’t have an answer to those questions, but I do know that from now on, I’ll be paying closer attention to how I react to certain types of characters and contexts.

  • Why We Need Diverse Books – Ellen Oh is at Angry Asian Man talking about why and how she came up with the idea for #weneeddiversebooks.

    I don’t think any of us could have predicted the response we got. Nor could we have predicted how moved we’d be by the submissions. “#WeNeedDiverseBooks because” let people tell us exactly how not having enough diversity affected their lives. From the queer girl who told us that she might not have tried to commit suicide if she’d seen someone like her reflected back in her books, to the little black boys who said “I’m a superhero, too!” These were powerful stories that were even more meaningful when paired with the visual of a real life human.

  • Book Nerd Problems #21: When Epic Reads Steals Your Book Nerd Problems – Epic Reads is a book community and blog run by HarperCollins and they apparently lifted a feature idea wholesale from a YA blogger without crediting her.

    If you are about to start a new feature, do a Google search for your desired feature name. Honestly, had Epic Reads done this, they would have found my blog. To be fair, there are other things that pop up in a similar trend, most created after my series, – a blog post by Barnes & Noble, Epic Reads’s own previous Buzzfeed article, random Pinterest pages, a Tumblr blog “Problems of a Book Nerd” – but that doesn’t bother me too much as a FEATURE would. Would finding my blog have stopped them? I doubt it, because they’re a big corporate entity who can do whatever they want, but it would have been respectful if they tried to search at least once. They could have chosen any other name on the planet, or checked with me first, or given me any kind of recognition or acknowledgement. I put that in my email to them as well and it was ignored.

  • LeVar Burton: Criticism Of Reading Rainbow Is ‘Bullsh*t’ – The title regrettably goes for shock value, but this is a great interview with Burton about why the show got cancelled and what he sees as its future.

    Tell me the origin story for this Kickstarter. Where is Reading Rainbow now, and where do you hope it can go?
    Our seed funding got us to where we are. It enabled us to hire a team, develop a product, and release the Reading Rainbow app two years ago. So far we’ve proven that, like the television show, it is possible to use technology to stimulate a love of and foster a passion for reading. Kids are coming to the app are reading about 139,000 books a week. However, we’re only on two platforms: the Apple iPad – not even the iPhone – and the Kindle Fire. So in order to be effective, and that is our desire, we knew we wanted to expand our footprint toward universal access. And the web and classrooms were the natural place to begin that march toward access. Quite frankly, the traditional venture capital community, they’ve been slow to embrace this idea. And we just were tired of waiting for them to feel like we’d jumped through all of their hoops.

  • Sexuality. Disability. Not so different after all. – An important post on how disability and sexuality are not only not mutually exclusive, they’re remarkably similar in how society speaks about them in hushed tones.

    As a visibly disabled woman, am I not breaking down basic barriers of what is expected from disabled people, and what is deemed “appropriate” conversation, every time I publicly mention bodily autonomy or the nearly limitless potential we all have for experiencing pleasure?

    In talking about sexual pleasure, we (or at least I) make a pretty natural leap to questions of sexual health, relationships, intimacy, safety and recovery from sexualized violence, and access to help with all of these. In talking about disability and access we need to include access and inclusion in recreation, leadership and social opportunities, as well as employment, education, and living conditions. To break that down, we who are disabled need to be able to access fun things—including fun sexy things.

    Continuing down this road of thought, I begin to realize how similar sexualities and disabilities, as topics of conversation, are to one another.

  • Bill Millin, piper at the D-Day landings – I forget who RTed this into my feed, but it’s an amazing obituary for a man who played the bagpipes at the D-Day landing. War is utter insanity.

    ANY reasonable observer might have thought Bill Millin was unarmed as he jumped off the landing ramp at Sword Beach, in Normandy, on June 6th 1944. Unlike his colleagues, the pale 21-year-old held no rifle in his hands. Of course, in full Highland rig as he was, he had his trusty skean dhu, his little dirk, tucked in his right sock. But that was soon under three feet of water as he waded ashore, a weary soldier still smelling his own vomit from a night in a close boat on a choppy sea, and whose kilt in the freezing water was floating prettily round him like a ballerina’s skirt.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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4 Responses to “Links: Saturday, June 7th”

  1. lawless

    The link about sexuality and disability really spoke to me as an invisibly disabled queer woman. Thanks for including it.

  2. Ridley

    @Meoskop: Not surprised. I went through page after page of google image search without seeing a museum listing and the caption was identical every time. Smelled like a factoid.

  3. Meoskop

    @Ridley – I like it’s actual origin better but isn’t it interesting that we’re still slut shaming Catherine the Great a couple hundred years later?

    The article on violent heroes is one of my hot points in romance, it ties back to “but does he rape / hit the heroine?” conversations. I agree that it’s less apparent in non-contemporary because we say well, that’s the world. But I think she lets readers off a bit. Domestic violence norms are one of the hardest weeds to pull in romance because readers love that shit. Love. It. Especially if the heroine is the only safe woman in his world.