249 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Progress: 96/454 pages
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. Kendi
Progress: 22/750 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer
The Power of Myth
Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers
Progress: 20 %

I need some help from my BL friends


Can anyone here walk me step-by-baby-step through Patreon?


A sleepless night ahead????

The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election - Malcolm Nance

My library's electronic collections yielded some gems today.






I've also downloaded the Mueller indictment in PDF to read in full for myself.


I'd rather be knitting or making jewelry or writing a contemporary gothic romance, but these political issues have disrupted my very existence far too long. 

I almost bought it

Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible: 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida - Hitomi Shida, Gayle Roehm

Someone posted about this book on Twitter last week.  I really do enjoy knitting, and I have a stash of yarn I really need to do something with.  Right now the forecast is for two more weeks of clouds and cool temperatures, which means the studio will be too chilly for comfortable work.  Sitting in the house with a ball of yarn and some new patterns seemed like a good idea.


I made a deal with myself:  If I made enough money off last week's art show, I would treat myself to the Kindle edition, currently on sale for $8.98 US.  Last night I finished my bookkeeping and decided I sold enough at the art show to justify a slight splurge.


Having bought (or acquired through other means) more than a few craft books in my time, I knew enough to take advantage of the online previews. 


The first few patterns looked scrumptious!



I was ready to hit the Buy it Now button!


Caution took hold again.  I read further on the sample.


The instructions for each pattern are given in a symbol coded chart rather than the familiar "k1, p1, yo, k2tog" text.



A comprehensive key is provided for the symbols, but even on the "Look Inside" preview, it wasn't easy to read.  Zooming enlarged the text font, but didn't make the Key any clearer:



Discouraged, but not without hope, I decided to download the actual Kindle sample.  The screen caps above are all from my laptop and the "Look Inside" feature.  Unfortunately, what I got on the Kindle download was even worse.  Here's the Key as it appears on the same laptop via Kindle for PC:



Changing the font size does not change the size of the chart, which is formatted as a graphic.


The Kindle version, therefore, was virtually useless for me.  Others might find it workable, but I couldn't justify it.  There's still a part of me that wants to buy the paperback -- currently $14.01 -- and then re-translate it into traditional knitting instructions, but I'm not sure I'm that dedicated.


The patterns sure are gorgeous though, aren't they?


Once more into the fray

After a lengthy absence, I returned to Facebook this morning.


I found it to be frightening and overwhelming.

Not all things are lights

The Night’s Dark Shade: A Novel of the Cathars - Elena Maria Vidal

Disclosure:  I downloaded only the free sample preview of the Kindle edition of this book.  I do not know the author nor have I had any personal direct communication with her about this book or any other matter, but I am aware of her through discussions here on BookLikes.  I have also read reviews of her books and her comments regarding those reviews.  I am an author of contemporary and historical romance novels.


The Amazon preview feature is an option afforded to self-publishing authors so that they can give potential readers the opportunity to look at the opening of the book the way they would if they were browsing the shelves in a brick and mortar book store or a library. If the reader likes the beginning, they can buy or borrow the book and take it home to read the rest.  If the beginning isn't quite so intriguing, the reader puts the book back on the shelf and moves on.


Elena Maria Vidal's book is, in my opinion, outrageously over-priced at $9.99 for a Kindle edition of approximately 228 pages.  A writer with no professional credentials or writing track record would be well advised to lower the price and hope to get some readership.  At the current price, however, it had to be one hell of a fine book to tempt me.  In truth, if not for the fracas surrounding Ms. Vidal, I would never even have considered this book.


I've been interested in the Cathar "heresy" at least since my first reading of Frank Yerby's The Saracen Blade when I was in high school in the 1960s.  This was about the same time as the popular song "Dominique" was topping the charts, sung by a Belgian Dominican nun.  The song chronicles the life of Saint Dominic.  Although the English lyrics


At a time when Johnny Lackland
Over England was the King
Dominique was in the backland
Fighting sin like anything


seem innocuous enough, the original French words reflect more of Dominic's history:


A l'e poque ou Jean-sans-Terre de' Angleterre etait Roi
Dominique, notre Pere, combattit les Albigeois


"Combattit les Albigeois" does not mean "fighting sin like anything."  It means "fought the Albigensian(s)."''


I already knew what that meant.  I knew who the Albigensians were -- the Cathars -- and I knew why the Catholic Church was determined to exterminate them.


Years later, I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the allegedly non-fiction account of Knights Templars and Cathars and the hilltop village of Rennes-le-Chateau in the south of France.  I also picked up Robert Shea's novel, All Things Are Lights, about the Cathars.  Right now it's on the top shelf of the big bookcase or I'd get it down and add a photo.


So I'm not totally ignorant of the history of the Languedoc and the Cathar heresy.


Oh, and one other thing.  In early February 1969, I hitchhiked from Paris to the Spanish border.  My journey took me through Cahors, Limoges, Montauban, and Toulouse before heading into the Pyrenees via Pamiers, Foix, and Col de Puymorens.



With this personal background, I downloaded the sample of The Night's Dark Shades.


For one thing, it's very short, hardly enough to get much of a taste of the story.  But, as I've noted often enough before, it's not difficult to determine a writer's skill at writing in just a few pages.


Elena Maria Vidal is not the greatest writer in the world.  Millions of murex snails would have to be sacrificed to produce so much purple prose.  It's not just the extravagance of adjectives and speech tags that make my eyes roll while reading, however.  It's also the fact that the text is boring. 


Lady Rafaelle is heading to her uncle's chateau where she will probably wed his son, her cousin, after the deaths of her father and her betrothed in . . . some war.  There's a lot of info dumping, but not much else.  Well, there are questions raised that should be answered right away.  They aren't.


Lady Rafaelle seems to be the heir to the estate of Miramande, in the somewhat distant region of Auvergne.  Her father is dead and there's no mention of any brothers or other siblings who would have inherited the estate and its chateau.  So, why is Rafaelle leaving her estate to go to her uncle's? Why did she initially consider entering a convent? Who is minding Miramande in her absence?


We get more information about Jehanette, the peasant who serves as Lady Rafaelle's handmaiden, than about why Rafaelle has seemingly abandoned her chateau.


That bothered me.  It seemed like that should have been an important plot point.


What also bothered me was that there's no description of the "rabble" of pilgrims who are accompanying Rafaelle and her troupe on the journey.  Well, no, that's not quite right.  There is some description, but it's not adequate.  How many are there?  I thought at first it must be a hundred or more, but apparently it's less than 20.  I would have liked to know that sooner.


Who else is in this train?  Two attending women, a couple of knights, and . . . . that's it?


This is important because one of the knights, in a tedious little info dump, informs Rafaelle that there are bandits in the mountains, murderous renegades of the religious war, I guess.  Because of the bandits, the knights advise against stopping for a brief rest.


Wait a minute.  What difference would stopping for a rest make?  I mean, if bandits are going to attack, couldn't they attack while the company from Miramande are on the move?  After all, they aren't moving very fast, because some of the pilgrims and men-at-arms are on foot.


If I as a reader think this, why didn't Rafaelle?  Why didn't she ask about this?  Well, of course she didn't because that wouldn't be good for the story, I suppose.  And also of course, Rafaelle prevails in demanding a brief rest and the bandits attack.


That's when I quit reading.


Purple prose for the sake of purple prose turns me off.  The opening paragraph that describes the pass in the Pyrenees would almost have been enough to make me put this book back on the figurative shelf.  But further reading didn't really improve my opinion.


There's no real sense of the historical period established.  Oh, the history is given: one king is dead, the new king is a minor, France is under the rule of the king's mother Queen Blanche, blah, blah, blah.  But it takes more than a few data points to make the reader feel as if she is in the scene.  Author Vidal wasn't able to bring me into that mountain pass.  She didn't give me a full sense of Rafaelle as a character, someone I could identify with as the story progressed.  I didn't know what she looked like, or even how old she was. 


Writers are free to write their stories any way they want.  Once they put their stories into the public marketplace, however, they must also accept the judgment of the readers who choose to look at those stories.  And readers are free to form and express their opinions on the writing, the stories, and yes, even the authors themselves.


As a reader, I'm not inclined to read any further into The Night's Dark Shade.  I'm more inclined to climb on a stepstool and pull All Things Are Lights down for a re-read.  Vidal's writing is insufficiently professional to command the price she's put on the book, but more importantly, it's insufficiently professional to command my attention.


One-half star and a Do Not Want to Read.




Booklikes is still sloooooooooooooooow

I've been having internet issues most of the day, but Booklikes has been even slower.  Five minutes to load the Dashboard is becoming the new normal, and even then I only get three or four posts.


/so I'm going to bed.  Maybe things will be better in the morning.

No safe spaces

The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book - Alfred Allan Lewis

Commentary, but not a review.  Maybe later.


I purchased my copy of this book at a Friends of the Library sale years and years ago. The price was $1.00.


Yesterday my artists' group held a show at a local restaurant.  Outdoors, in a lovely but very dusty setting where the set-up and take-down is incredibly awkward and difficult and frustrating. 




The weather was perfect, and we had a lively, steady crowd.  Overall, the event was financially rewarding enough for me not to complain too much, other than to say I was completely exhausted by the time it was over and very glad I have no more similar shows until next fall.  Yippee! 


I'll spend most of today unloading the car, washing table covers, and getting ready for our Spring Fling Studio Tour in April.  At least will take place here at my own house.  I can set up over a period of several days and do the same when it's over, rather than having to do everything in a single day.


Most of the customers at these events are wonderful.  They come into our little booths genuinely appreciative of what we do, whether we are "artists" or mere "crafters."  (That distinction is a subject for another post!)  Sometimes they try to bargain on prices, but it's up to the individual vendor whether to go along with it or not.  I personally don't, and most of the time the customers understand.


The few annoying customers come in a variety of techniques.  Some want you to tell them exactly how you do your creative thing, as though they will be able to absorb years of study and practice and failure in a few minutes, then go home and replicate your work.  They can completely monopolize your time, while other customers go unaddressed.  Others want to tell you all about their own art, or their grandmother's.  We even have a few who try to sell their work to us, or who want to know how to get into our shows, or . . . a dozen different ways.


Fortunately, these nuisances are few and far between.  Most of them are easily dispatched, too, with a few pointed words or even a laughing brush off.


Yesterday, however, I had one who was less easily brushed off.  And he was actually more frightening than almost any I've ever encountered before in over 40 years of doing art and craft shows.


He started by complimenting me on my work, saying it was really beautiful.  I thanked him, and said, as I always do, "I have fun with it."


He asked if I did everything myself.  I explained that most of my pieces are made from stones I have gone out into the desert and collected myself, but that I do occasionally buy rough material or slabs at rock shows and estate sales.


He asked if I did all the wire wrapping.  I answered that I did every single bit of it.  I have no helpers.


He was eating a large, crumbly cookie and holding a plastic glass with what looked like iced coffee.  Cookie crumbs were landing on my table covers, and the iced coffee was sloshing enough that I feared he was going to spill it on my jewelry.


At some point in the conversation, some ladies came into the booth.  I greeted them, not just because it's what I do with all potential customers but because I was also trying to subtly hint to the guy with the cookie that this was my place of business and that if he wasn't going to buy something, I had to attend to other people who might.


The ladies didn't buy and soon left.  Did they leave because the guy kept hanging around and blocking their access to part of my merchandise?  I don't know, but since he did keep hanging around and he did block their access, I had to think that might have been at least part of the reason.


After they left, he said again that my jewelry was very beautiful.  Again I thanked him.


And then he said, "And so are you."


I laughed and thanked him again, even though I knew that was the wrong thing to do.  I knew it meant he would stay longer, that he would be encouraged to continue the conversation, that he would think . . . whatever.


But what else was I supposed to do?


Ten or fifteen more minutes passed.  He maintained this kind of conversation no matter how I tried to steer it away.  More customers came in, more customers left.  I began to think they saw me as having a personal conversation with this guy and they were deliberately leaving me alone with him.  More cookie crumbs landed on my table.


He hadn't done anything physical, there were plenty of other artists and customers around that I think they would have come to my aid if he did.  He didn't, and eventually some ladies came in who showed serious interest in a couple of pieces so that I excused myself and turned all my attention to them.  I just literally turned my back on the guy with the cookie. 


Finally, he left.  How long he had been in my booth I'm not sure.  How many potential sales he cost me, maybe none, maybe a lot.  I brushed all the crumbs from my tables and tried to brush off the whole experience.


I thought about saying something to the other artists around me -- all women, by the way -- to see if they had had similar experiences.  I ended up not saying anything, however, because I feared they would laugh and tell me he was just an old guy trying to be nice to me, paying me compliments.  That they would tell me I should be flattered.  That he was harmless.


But this is my place of business, I kept thinking.  I didn't bust my ass to set up this morning because I'm looking for a date.  I'm here to sell stuff, to make a living, to pay my bills and buy my groceries.  I don't have time to humor some old guy with a messy cookie.  And what gives him the right to harass me but I have no right to complain?


An art show obviously isn't the venue to make a scene over some guy trying to hit on me.  But the experience brought home once again how pervasive the harassment is, and how easy it is to brush it off as harmless and inoffensive.


No, sorry, I was highly offended.  Not by the compliments, but by the guy's assumption that he could invade my place of business and take up my time with his compliments and flattery as though he had a right to.  As though I should be so flattered that I would give up the opportunity to make a living in my chosen field in order to make him feel . . . flattered.


No, sorry, guy with the crumbly cookie and sloshing coffee, I was not flattered.


Our art group meets on Wednesday afternoon.  I'm going to bring this up and see what the reaction is.  Anybody wanna bet a nickel I get the "Oh, he was just an old guy trying to be nice!" response.

Nightmares revisited

Shattered Dreams - Charlotte Fedders

UPDATE 19 February 2018 at the end of the review



Link to my original online review here.  It's also included at the end if you want to keep reading and not get off on tangents and too many windows.


I'm also including some contemporary (late 1980s) accounts of what happened to Charlotte Fedders in the immediate aftermath of her divorce and the publication of Shattered Dreams.  The first may enrage you; just keep reading.  Take a blood pressure pill if you have to.






Charlotte Fedders (née O'Donnell) had everything a nice Catholic girl could dream of: a magnificent home, a wealthy husband, five sons.  She also had every woman's nightmare: a violently abusive husband.  Reading the book she wrote (with Laura Elliott, a Wall Street Journal reporter), I had limited sympathy for Charlotte's plight for two specific reasons.


The first was that she had the means to leave him.  She had an education and could work as a nurse, making at least a reasonable income to support herself and her children.  Many women in abusive relationships do not have the financial means to leave their abusers.


The second, and somewhat related, was that she admitted in the book that she liked the luxurious life John's income gave her.  The private Catholic school for the boys.  The country club.  The big house.  The status.


It's been 30 years now since she left him and filed for divorce and the whole tale of his violence was made public.  John was forced to resign from his high level government job and eventually went to jail for his abuse.  Charlotte was reduced to bankruptcy and working in a flower shop.  I still have difficulty getting past her admission that she stayed because the material benefits made at least some of the abuse bearable.


But that first reason came back to mind in recent days with the revelations about White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter and the abuse he (allegedly) inflicted upon his now-ex wives and perhaps other women.  As Lawrence O'Donnell has recounted with the news, there are so many women who have endured physical abuse and who have been told year after year after year after year that it is their fault, that they need to go back to their husbands and make the marriage work, that it's a sin to leave a marriage, and on and on and on.  Catholic, Mormon, it doesn't matter.


Rob Porter's wives did leave him, at least eventually.  One of his romantic partners reported his abuse.  But we still have people -- and I use the term rather loosely -- like John Kelly, the president's Chief of Staff, who support the abusers, who blame the women, who either lie about the facts in order to preserve their own position or who are so deluded by out-of-date religiosity (Kelly's claims that he was raised to believe women are "sacred") that they perpetuate the abuse and deny any protection to the victims.


Charlotte Fedders was one of those women raised in the church to believe in women's innate inferiority.  To believe marriage to a man was a woman's sacred duty, her vows unbreakable regardless what he did to her.  We ignore the power of upbringing, of religious and/or social indoctrination far too often, and we allow our own indoctrination to perpetuate the system.


It was that kind of indoctrination that brought Charlotte Fedders to the point of placing material comforts over her own or her children's safety.  Her devout Catholic upbringing led her to put such a value on a Catholic private school education for her children that she could not walk away from abuse because it would mean giving up that benefit.


We look at the unshakable beliefs of the christian fundamentalists who know nothing else and we wonder how they can deny the contra-indicating evidence in front of them.  It's easy to forget that many of us have similar beliefs that, though they do not shape all of our thinking and all of our actions, still have an incredibly strong influence on certain aspects of our lives.  If nothing happens to shake them, we go on believing.


Charlotte O'Donnell grew up in a staunch Irish Catholic family.  That's all she knew.  Catholic teaching and Catholic beliefs infused virtually every aspect of her life.  And thus those beliefs formed a strong part of the overall structure that put that overwhelming value on a Catholic education for her boys, so overwhelming that she used it to rationalize staying in that viciously abusive marriage to John Fedders.


If John Kelly had one tenth the shame that John Fedders had, he would resign immediately.  (We won't even talk about Kelly's boss.)  But John Kelly, who is no doubt as Irish Catholic as Charlotte Fedders's family -- or Lawrence O'Donnell's -- has no shame, no morals, no integrity.


A TV movie was made of Shattered Dreams in 1990 or so, starring Lindsay Wagner.  I don't recall if I ever saw it or not.  Charlotte's comments, after she had started to put her life back together -- she returned to nursing -- are enlightening.




This week, Charlotte Fedders is scheduled to testify on the Hill, explaining the effect such violence has on children.


"My theory is that if by some wild chance they never hear it, which is impossible, or never see it, which is a little easier, but still pretty much impossible, or never have it directed towards them -- most of the time if he's abusive toward the wife, he'll be abusive toward the children, which was my case -- even if they never see any of this, my theory is the woman is not in condition to parent as well as she should. So that is a subtle form of child abuse. And it affects them at school, it affects them in maturity."


Now she concentrates on helping her sons become "better men and good friends. I want them to grow up to be good men to my daughters-in-law. I'm already protecting daughters-in-law that I do not have. I have said to Luke many times,

'You are not going to treat your wife, my daughter-in-law, and my grandchildren like your father treated us.'


"I don't feel I'm a rampant feminist. I'm a human rights person. I believe that we really are all equal."



Link to original review:




UPDATE 19 February 2018


Charlotte Fedders, now 74, was back in the news today.




She was also the subject of the opening segment of The Rachel Maddow Show tonight.



note to self

Out Of Reach - J. B. Millhollin

Author followed me on Twitter.

Amazon reviews are all 4- and 5-star, several same reviewers, some with no other reviews.  "Twists and turns" abound.

Publisher Fulton Books is a subsidy publisher.

Downloaded only the sample, haven't looked at it yet other than to note that 20% of it is the TOC.

I saw this on Twitter



Two experts say the Gallivans are likely unwittingly being used in a ruse to manipulate Amazon buyer reviews. The anonymous sender is likely writing glowing reviews of their own product.



My weird library

BookLikes is not allowing me to "connect" this post with a book that is in the BL catalogue and is listed on my shelves.  I DON'T KNOW WHY.


Even when I "search on my shelves," it says not found.  As you can see, the book page shows that it's on my "Read" shelf, which is where I put it when I entered it a few days ago.  I own this book, the 1966 paperback edition.


Why do I own it?  Why do I own Coe's The Maya?  Because of Charles.


Charles Cooper Schlereth was my high school Spanish teacher my junior and senior years at Arlington High School.  He was a graduate of the City College of Mexico City, where he had earned a degree in Pre-Columbian History.  As a result, we got a lot more history and culture than most foreign language students.


Our textbook for Spanish 3 was the third in the Holt, Rinehart and Winston series, Español: Leer, Hablar y Escribir. Formatted into nine issues of a magazine titled "Leer," the book presented articles, columns, advertisements, and other features originally published in magazines and newspapers in Spanish-speaking countries.



I enjoyed it so much that many years later -- 1981 or thereabouts -- I paid a visit to the high school and managed to obtain a copy of the book, which was no longer used as a current text.  I still have it.  Of course!


My senior year, we didn't have a formal text.  Instead, Charles selected several popular novels for us to read and discuss, among them Doña Barbara, Lluvia Roja, and Pensativa.  We watched the film version of Doña Barbara starring María Félix.  I still remember the opening line of the novel, though nothing of the plot stuck with me.


"Cuando el bongo remonta el Arauca.. . . "


Our fourth year class was somewhat illegal, a distinction we all took pride in.  School policies required that any class have a minimum of ten students registered or it would be cancelled.  On the first day, we had only nine students present -- I can probably name all of us if I think about it long enough -- out of the ten registered.  One of the ten, however, was known to have moved away, leaving us under the legal minimum.  For the first week or two of classes, Charles dutifully marked Kevin Harvell present each day until the time passed for cancellation of classes.


Charles talked occasionally about the idea of taking us to Mexico City, perhaps over spring break, but the topic usually faded.  Then one Friday morning we nine took matters into our own hands.


Our class met the first period of the day, and we were all seated like good students a few minutes before the bell rang.  Charles had not appeared yet, and we started talking about this Mexico trip.  How we came up with the idea, I don't remember, but we decided to go on strike.


At the beginning of the year, Charles had told us we would no longer speak English in class.  We were, after all, fourth year students and we should be able to converse in Spanish by now.  Sometimes we struggled -- we all had dictionaries and referenced them often! -- but the rule had stuck.  So when Charles entered the room that Friday morning, we simply refused to speak at all.


"No estamos hablando," we said in response to his comments and questions.


That is, we weren't going to talk until he agreed to look into the possibility of taking us to Mexico City over spring break.


That was Friday.  He agreed to see about putting something together, and we consented to participate in class once again.  And by Monday, he brought us the proposal:



Yes, my BookLikes friends, we went from northwest suburban Chicago to Mexico City and back . . . by bus.



(My brother on the right, my dad holding my sister on the far right.)


It was cold the day we left; everyone else was in long pants and heavy sweaters.  I was the only one in cut-offs and a lightweight shirt.  Two days later it was 90-something degrees in Waco, Texas, and everyone else melted.  I was comfortable.


We spent a total of 100 hours on the bus -- 51 hours down, 49 hours back -- and only had six days or so in Mexico City.  We didn't see nearly enough.  The pyramids, of course.



And Obregón's arm.



(For those interested, the ultimate fate of Obregón's arm is here



I've remained interested in MesoAmerican history and prehistory ever since.  I have lots of weird books, as a result.

Joanna Russ, + 35 years

How to Suppress Women's Writing - Joanna Russ


Reposting from Twitter.

Reddit kind of scares me, but I went there and I'm reading it and I'm crying and raging all over again.

When I responded to the original Twitter post, I said I was in the middle of feeding the dogs and fixing supper.  I got to a break in the supper stuff and went back to read a little more.  A minute or two later, I was raging all over again:

(Booklikes formatting isn't working because I had to save-and-paste this from a text file.  I'll fix it later.)


Quote from the Reddit essay:

However, Russ uses an example that rings modern. Marie Curie’s biographer, her daughter Eve, wrote how Marie and Pierre did their scientific work, but Marie also did the cleaning, shopping, cooking, and child care. Perhaps the most common interaction I have had with female authors (and gay male authors) of a certain age is how to get their male partners to “let” them write. How exactly, Krista, do you convince your husband to let you have uninterrupted writing time, whereby he is in charge of the dishwasher, dogs, and kids?

It is such a fundamentally frustrating question because it has come from all kinds of writers. From twitter fandom theory writers to multi-published Big 5 authors, and boils down to, “How do you get your husband to respect your writing time?” It’s a question I have always been unable to properly answer, as I don’t know how to get one’s husband to respect you, your passions, and your pursuits.


I'm just a romance writer.  There's a certain unfortunate implied/inferred put-down of romance as a genre when the target audience is science fiction and fantasy writers.  I understand this: the SFF genre has long been dominated numerically by male writers, so women often have to battle within their chosen genre.  

Romance writers have the advantage of being the overwhelming majority in their genre, but the publlshing industry -- including reviewers, editors, publicists, and so on -- was overwhelmingly male. Romance writers often made a lot more money than their counterparts in other genres, but that didn't mean they got any more respect.  Ball addresses this later in the essay but I'll hold off on quoting more.

I don't know how functional BL is going to be over the next couple of days, but I'm going to try to add to this particular post as I read more of Ball's essay.

From my library:


I no longer know what to do

The Far Right - Donald Janson,  Bernard Eismann

I'm not sure exactly when I entered this book into my catalog.  My review is dated 18 October 2012, so I'm guessing the review was part of the mass migration from Goodreads in September or October of 2013.


I needed some information about the book regarding publication, but the book itself wasn't handy.  I was logged in to Booklikes, so I went to the Search function.  I typed in "The Far Right."  The book I wanted didn't come up, though the titles that appeared were at least political in nature and addressed far right politics.


I typed in The Far Right Janson, because I remembered the author's last name but couldn't remember if he was Don or Donald.


The results were incomprehensible



Totally frustrated, I left where I was and came to get the book off the shelf.  I provided the information to the person who asked for it, but I was completely and totally frustrated that ONCE AGAIN, Booklikes can't handle a simple, straightforward search.


I searched once again, this time using the author's full name, Donald Janson, and the book finally came up.





But it didn't show as being on my shelves.  Yet I knew it was.  I opened up my shelves and looked, and sure enough, there it was.


I reported the one NOT on my shelves -- the one shown above -- as a duplicate, with an ASIN that could only have come from a "marketplace" seller, since the book has no other presence on Amazon.


But then I looked at the edition that IS on my shelf, and it, too, has an ASIN.  Was it because I tried to remove it and couldn't?  Has someone edited the listing?  I don't know.


And why wasn't the cover there?  I was positive I had scanned and uploaded the cover.  That wasn't a particularly big deal; I scanned the cover again and uploaded it.


I'm less concerned about my particular copy on my particular shelf than I am with the Booklikes search that fails to turn up that copy.  My copy has a review!!!  It's not a book that's going to have many readers or many reviews, but why shouldn't/doesn't mine come up on a search?




I sent through several reports on both books' book pages.  The Librarians are probably calling me nasty names.  They can contact me if they want.  I have the damn book in my hand.


I'm hoping this post will go through before BL shuts down for maintenance.  I'd like to be hoping that the issue gets some attention, but I really don't have a whole lot of hope.  I'm beginning to think that all Booklikes cares about is the hot new popular releases that people are going to run right out and buy.  Never mind that there are some of us who read older books and then go out and buy related newer books.  I guess we just don't count.


I'm angry.  I've used up my store of patience.

Please, tell me I'm not losing my mind completely

— feeling cry
Medieval Future: The Last Dragon Throne - Michael Anthony

(edited to add more craziness at bottom)


I own this crappy Kindle book.  All I want to do is add it to my Booklikes shelf and know where it is.


The book page had the author listed as Michael Anthony Steele.  I've already reported that.  I don't know where the "Steele" came from, but I'm so frazzled now that I may have missed something.


The copyright page of the Kindle version only lists the author as "Michael Anthony."


I have difficulty finding things on my Booklikes shelves because the first names get all mixed up within the last names.  I've already pointed this out.  Piers Anthony books are mixed in with Evelyn Anthony books and so on, and it's very frustrating not to know how they're sorted.


But this terrible book doesn't show up anywhere in the Anthonys.  I don't know why.  Oh, it shows up if I SEARCH for "Anthony," but I don't know where it is.  It doesn't show up if I search for "Steele" either, so I know it's not with the "S" authors.  It shows up if I search for "Michael Anthony," but it's the only one that does, so I have no idea where on my shelves this book is.


Maybe it sounds nitpicky, but I have had so much difficulty locating books that I know are on my shelves, that have been listed under alternate authors, or alternate titles, or the wrong authors, or whatever, that I'm tearing my hair out.









Why are these Marx books in the middle of the last A authors?



Search on tags isn't working either. Will cross-post in Bugs

A recent review I wrote didn't show up on the book on my shelves.  I knew I hadn't finished the book and suspected there was a DNF tag on the blog post.


I went to "Blog" and searched on the tag "DNF."






Am I using "Search" wrong? Or is there a problem?

If I search for a title "The Maya," I get books by Maya Angelou and Maya Banks, but nothing like the title I'm looking for.


If I search on author "Michael Coe," I get books with Michael in the title or any author named Michael.



I added the book because the existing entry is for another edition but under the wrong author name.


Half an hour to enter ONE BOOK.