Review: Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded was the first novel assigned to us in Sex, Texts, and Countertexts, my English Literature class focused on gender in Restoration comedies and writings. We began the semester focusing on two plays, The Country Wife and The Rover, both of which were written prior to Pamela and exhibit the kind of culture that Pamela is a backlash against. I’d never read it or really heard of it until I went and downloaded the Kindle Store version of the text and set to reading. That’s really it, people, sometimes I only read things because people make me.

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The Sunday Salon: Fandom Histories

Oh, fandom. This particular level of engagement continues to delight and delightfully horrify me. (…Supernatural.) But we tend to think that fandom started with the Internet, which is false. My fannish foremothers were already despairing of Mary Sues long before I was born. Today, I thought we’d highlight at three works dealing with pre-Internet fans that I’ve read for the blog.

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The Sunday Salon: 2011 in Review

Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate it—but it’s also the last Sunday of the year, which means it’s time for my top ten list. As usual, these are my top reads of 2011, not the top published books of 2011. But I’ve also added my favorite film adaptation and my favorite audiobook of the year, since I’ve started really keeping those posts up. I was lucky enough to have a good handful of five star books, but that meant leaving off a lot of four and a half star books that I honestly loved off the list. I invite you to rifle through those categories to your right. And here’s 2010 in review and 2009 in review, if you’re so inclined. I think that’s all the housekeeping, so let’s get started.

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Review: Among Others

Among Others by Jo Walton

I picked up Among Others on a whim at the library. I’d heard of it vaguely—the Tor blog, naturally, talked about it in the lead-up to its publication, I’d seen it reviewed here and there, and Walton posted a bibliography of every book mentioned in Among Others on her LiveJournal. But despite all that, the synopsis turned me off; I wasn’t quite sure how to reconcile the focus on books and community with the epic battles it promised. But I picked it up at the library nonetheless, and I’m quite glad—the front flap is very misleading.

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Review: The Lover’s Dictionary

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

After reading David Levithan’s contribution to Geektastic, “Quiz Bowl Antichrist”, I knew I had to read more of this man’s wonderful writing. Oddly enough, the universe agreed—I won a copy of his latest, The Lover’s Dictionary, on Twitter a few days after finishing that anthology. The Lover’s Dictionary began life as a Valentine’s Day story written for Levithan’s friends; accordingly, it was published on Valentine’s Day of this year. When I finally swung by the college post office to pick up my book, I took it back and read it in one setting. That’s both because of the fact that this book is so short—it’s a collection of dictionary entries—and because Levithan’s writing is so wonderful.

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