After his profanity-laced tweetstorm went viral last week, Portland student librarian Alex Halpern found himself speaking up for his ̶[e̶m̶b̶a̶t̶t̶l̶e̶d̶ thriving and evolving] profession. READ MORE: Portland’s Angriest Librarian Isn’t Mad Anymore | CityLab
Chastened by the negative effects of social media, Mark Zuckerberg says he will tweak his service and upgrade society in the process. Should any company be that powerful? READ MORE: We Need More Alternatives to Facebook – MIT Technology Review
Yes, we all know it’s the right thing to do. But Michael Kimmel makes the surprising, funny, practical case for treating men and women equally in the workplace and at home. It’s not a zero-sum game, but a win-win that will result in more opportunity and more happiness for everybody. Source: Why gender equality is good for everyone — men included | TED.com
My husband and I study history, specifically the late Victorian era of the 1880s and ’90s. Our methods are quite different from those of academics. Everything in our daily life is connected to our period of study, from the technologies we use to the ways we interact with the world. READ MORE: I love the Victorian era. So I decided to live in it. | Vox
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- Other Fun Activities That Woman Living Life as a Victorian Should Try | Pictorial | Jezebel
- Bestselling authors Loretta Chase & Isabella Bradford gossip about history, writing, and yes, shoes. | Two Nerdy History Girls
Language takes an astonishing variety of forms across the world—to such a huge extent that a long-standing debate rages around the question of whether all languages have even a single property in common. Well, there’s a new candidate for the elusive title of “language universal” according to a paper in this week’s issue of PNAS. All languages, the authors say, self-organise in such a way that related concepts stay as close together as possible within a sentence, making it easier to piece together the overall meaning.
Language universals are a big deal because they shed light on heavy questions about human cognition. The most famous proponent of the idea of language universals is Noam Chomsky, who suggested a “universal grammar” that underlies all languages. Finding a property that occurs in every single language would suggest that some element of language is genetically predetermined and perhaps that there is specific brain architecture dedicated to language. READ MORE: MIT claims to have found a “language universal” that ties all languages together | Ars Technica.
A British health website, DrEd.com, delved into the entire corpus of literature, both fiction and nonfiction, to explore the way certain words having to do with “venereal” matters have appeared, faded, or been associated with new companion words over the last two centuries. READ MORE: Sex Talk in Literature: How It’s Changed Over 200 Years | Flavorwire.
It annoys me when the media and the close-minded do not respect or acknowledge the romance genre as quality fiction. Some of my favourite, most memorable, most thought-provoking and most heart-wrenching reads (and Kleypas re-reads) have been from this genre. Romance = HEA. Romance does not equal just sex or “purple prose.” In my opinion, reading romance contributes to developing social skills (connection, relationship-building) and emotional maturity (empathy, empowerment) – we can all benefit from improving these qualities in ourselves.
What I like about this list from NPR is that the whole series is mentioned – not just specific title(s) considered the best in a series. The list is comprehensive and unranked, sorted into the following categories: Historical, Classics, YA, Suspense, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance, Inspirational, Contemporary, Category Romance. What I would have liked to see is a fan fiction romance category, as fan fiction is becoming big business with all the Austen and Twilight continuations. The suggestions would be very interesting I’m sure (i.e. the Sharon Lathan P&P series or E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey/Grey). The suspense category could have included another Linda Howard title. There were no titles mentioned from Elizabeth Lowell or Jayne Ann Krentz nor was Catherine Anderson’s Annie’s Song mentioned. I would vote for Johanna Lindsey’s Malory series over Warrior’s Woman (SciFi/Fantasy).
A single title only Top 100 Romance list I recommend is from LikesBooks: The Top 100 Romance Books as Voted in 2013. (Note: At the bottom of this webpage are links to historical Top 100 Romances lists from 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010).
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- Romance fans may also enjoy the documentary Love Between the Covers which is currently screening at select festivals. Unknown DVD release date.
- Radway, Janice A. Women Read the Romance: The Interaction of Text and Context, Feminist Studies, 9(1), Spring 1983, JSTOR.org
- Why Can’t Romance Novels Get Any Love? | Smithsonian Magazine
- Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance | Jayne Ann Krentz, Editor
As we get into the hottest, most languorous months of the year, it’s the perfect moment for a hot read — and just in time, our big summer book list is here. It’s the NPR Books Summer of Love, and we have 100 great romances for you, from historical to paranormal to LGBTQ to the subgenre that started it all, category romance (the slim-spined Harlequins of your childhood).
Back in June we asked you to tell us about your favorite romantic reads, and you responded in droves. (We had to shut the poll down early after more than 18,000 nominations flooded in!) Once the votes were tallied, we turned to our expert panel, reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell, and authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkou, to help us break down the categories and shape the final list into a love story for the ages. READ MORE: Happy Ever After: 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances | NPR.
Reading doesn’t just improve your knowledge, it can help fight depression, make you more confident, empathetic, and a better decision maker. READ MORE: How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.
Researchers think that they’ve worked out why certain men abuse women over the internet: because they suck… at games. According to a study by Michael Kasumovic and Jeff Kuznekoff, the most vocal abusers of women online are the ones most threatened by their presence in the digital sphere. The short explanation for this is because less-skilled men have the most to lose playing games against a woman, thanks to the perceived social stigma of “losing to a girl.” Rather than risk this supposed humiliation, they’d much rather create a toxic environment that’s outright hostile to newcomers. READ MORE: Study: Men who harass women online suck at games (and life) | Engadget