Thursday, November 7, 2013

What I'm Reading Lately . . .

by Amanda Earl

Anne Tourney's "Taming Jeremy: A Rouge Erotic Romance" (Cheek, 2010) is about a woman torn between a control freak dominant who schedules her time for various boundary pushing sexual adventures and a bipolar artist who gets her to paint murals and spins her around when he kisses her. I decided to check out what else Tourney had written because I liked her story "Come for Me, Dark Man"  in "Sacred Exchange." The story was perhaps a bit more intense and more to my preference, but this novel is an enjoyable read.

TR Verten's "Confessions of a Rent Boy" (Burning Book Press, 2nd Edition, 2012) is a fun read about a 20-something fellow named Andy who ends up working as an escort in London. I like Verten's style; it's snappy and articulate. I'd like to read more of her writing. Burning Book Press is a fairly new publisher started up by some excellent erotica writers, including Aisling Weaver, Wyeth Bailey, Raziel Moore, Ximena Mendez, Will Crimson, T.R. Verten, Michele Bekemeyer and Remittance Girl. RG describes the press as "an indie press dedicated to intelligent creative writing for grown-up readers who don’t require hand-holding, moral guidance, or limited vocabulary reading matter." Hurray! The press is putting out some quality titles and I can see already that I'm going to be a loyal follower.

"Secrecy"  by Rupert Thomson (Granta Books, 2013) is a novel set in 17th century Florence about the intriguing encounters and adventures of a wax moulder. I discovered the author at a recent fall reading at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. I haven't started the book yet, but am looking forward to it. When he read from it, his descriptions were remarkably sensual and vivid.

"The English Stories" by Cynthia Flood (Biblioasis, 2009)  is another book I discovered at the Writers Festival. I liked Flood's style. There was a Q&A about writing craft and Flood may have spoken (or it could have been someone else, my memory's hazy) about the small moment of the short story. Also about how writers can mine their childhoods for memories that can find their way into their work. She read from her most recent collection "Red Girl RatBoy," (Biblioasis, 2013) which also sounded compelling.

"Moby Dick" by Herman Melville is a book I've been meaning to read for ages. I'm about 25% through it and I'm captivated by the language, the imagery, the humour and the characters, not to mention the anticipation of the encounter with the massive creature.

Reading is my great pleasure.  If it is yours, please tell me in the comments section about your current reads. I'd love a few recommendations.


  1. I hadn't seen anything new from Anne Tourney in ages. I've got to check this out.

    And I'm delighted to hear that BB Press is living up to its promise.

  2. It always amazes me when people who see so much erotica still can read it for just a read. When I read for myself, It's usually out-of-genre, unless self-abuse is the goal. :>).

    "Secrecy" puts me in mind of Suskind's "Perfume", also a period piece. Gonna have to look for that one if it's anything like it. I read Moby Dick some years back, and remember being enchanted with it for a time when we hippies went 'back to the land' in coastal California where the bookmobile came every two weeks. It was a social event for us living off the grid. Long, complex books came in handy, no electricity, reading under kerosine lamps.

  3. thanks for your comments, Lisabet & Daddy X. DX, i'm a firm believer in reading within the genre that one is writing. otherwise much of the work can come off as cliche because a writer thinks she is entering new territory when others have already written of such. not that it isn't possible to cover old ground in a new way, but it's better to be educated about what you're doing & aware of it. i also wank to a fair number of smutty books myself ;)

  4. Trying to catch up on classics I never got assigned in my honors English classes in school, where we were reading a whole lotta Shakespeare and not much else. Only 100 pages to go on "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller. Half-way through the misogyny really started to get to me, and I wasn't sure if I could finish it. Didn't want to read about yet one more naked female whore, with no other female characters in sight. But my husband reminded me what wartime in the 40s for his Dad was like, and my son who owns the book said he never finished it either for the same reason. So I'm soldiering through to the end, because he promised me that I'll love Vonnegut's "Sirens of Titan" a whole lot, so that's my reward for finishing this one.

    Not reading any erotica because I can't just pull it out when I'm subbing in high schools. Have to keep the reading books there totally above-board. They don't know what I write either! (phew!)

    And Amanda, I'm not like you. I purposely DON'T read in my genre because I'm afraid I might inadvertently plagiarize. So instead I try to read anything BUT the genre of my current WIP, which is contemporary, but with heroine/hero in their 50s. .

  5. I read Moby Dick in my teens by choice, and loved it. The movie with Gregory Peck inspired me. Much later I read the whole thing out loud to my younger son, who grooved on the detail as (possibly) only a pre-teen with a touch of OCD and Asperger's could.

    1. i never saw the film. i should watch it. i love Gregory Peck. it's the perfect book to read aloud. i have a couple of poet pals who have done the same.


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