August 26-29, 1976 I read:
The Reader Over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose, Robert Graves, Alan Hodge
I didn't finish this book, which I believe was recommended by Mel Gilden, whose science fiction short story writing class I had just taken. The main point I got from the book was that everybody writes crap--even the great ones, if you sample their work at random, will write garbage. So shut up and write already. Reading some reviews of the hardcover on amazon.com I see that the authors rip up the poor examples of prose from Hemingway, Huxley and Shaw and are very strict with perpetrators of poor syntax. Oops, didn't get that far. I evidently misunderstood the thrust of their argument, but I can't say I regret the message I took away from the part of the book I did read. I also don't regret not finishing it.
Capricorn Games, Robert Silverberg
F&SF July '76, The First Time
(The magazine, The First Time might be a novel or novella…?)
Insanity Inside Out, Kenneth Donaldson
August 26-28, 2006:
I read a so-called paranormal romance novel this week. I didn't know that such a subgenre existed till recently. But almost as soon as I finished the book, I found that Susie Bright had done a fascinating interview it's the August 28, 2006 entry of her web log, the full text of an interview for Publisher's Weekly on the success of the romance genre and its impact as mainstream erotica for women. She also offers some sobering perspectives about the publishing industry
The book I read was:
Night Play (A Dark-Hunter Novel), Sherrilyn Kenyon
Speaking of Publishers Weekly, I can't improve on this description from their review:
Can a gorgeous werewolf with magical powers and an overweight boutique owner with a broken heart have a future together? They can in Kenyon's fantastical world, which imagines a contemporary New Orleans teeming with vampiric Daimons, immortal Dark-Hunters and various were-bears, leopards and wolves. Vane Kattalakis is a lone wolf in every sense. His brother, Fang, is in a coma; his werewolf father wants to kill him; and his mostly human mother, who was taken by force by Vane's father, would happily see them all dead. But after Vane shares a sizzling sexual encounter with Bride McTierney, he realizes his life is about to change. Bride is Vane's "predestined mate," which means that he has three weeks to convince her to be his partner or he'll spend the next several decades impotent and alone.
I wasn't so sure I'd continue, but once I started reading, I spent the day with the book. Can't argue with that. It worked for me as escape. Interesting how commenters on Amazon freaked out over the heroine being a size 18 and feeling no one could love her because of her size.
Sherrilyn Kenyon also writes as Kinley MacGregor and has an interesting web site at