Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories

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None of the comic book nerds I know are vigilantes.

None of them can even run a block without puking. And most have great and stable partnerships with smart, capable women. Or at least they have me as a friend, which counts as maybe partial credit? It seems here that the antidote to toxic masculinity is in part having strong women in your life that you love and respect. It's also having smart people around to talk through the themes found in comic books and explain why some of them might be outdated figments of a more misogynistic culture. So do both of those things, and also maybe buy your son Bitch Planet 1 or Ms.

Marvel or Planet of the Nerds 2 for Christmas, and start your own comics tradition with your son.

The Complete Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham

Its contents might be a bit mature for a four-year-old, however. Unless you want your son to learn about female masturbation before he goes to preschool. Written by this site's very own Paul Constant, who did not endorse this reference but hey, he wrote a clever comic grappling with 80s stereotypes of toxic masculinity and nerd culture, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

You likely know Saeed Jones from BuzzFeed, where he covered books and culture in such a way that even the mainstream had to pay attention. Every month, Olivia Waite pulls back the covers, revealing the very best in new, and classic, romance. We're extending a hand to you. Won't you take it? And if you're still not sated, there's always the archives. In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy of course tries to hide his generosity from the Bennet family: he swears Lydia to secrecy as if that was ever going to work and gets palpably awkward when Elizabeth dares to break silence and thank him for it.

In Persuasion , published posthumously, there is no final grand gesture at all — a single letter, secretly delivered, brings our characters into harmony with one another. Boomboxes held up beneath a window, cue card confessions on a snowy London street, blue French horns stolen from candlelit restaurants, pop tunes belted into a microphone with a surprise marching band accompaniment. A declaration in front of the Queen.

One thousand anguished airport pursuits. The modern grand gesture is painfully, necessarily public, shading sometimes into cringing embarrassment on the part of a character, or sometimes the audience. Current Western culture takes it as a given that love is what marriage is for — but any half-hearted glimpse into history will show just how recent an innovation that attitude really is one not-too-ivory-towerish recommendation: Marriage, a History by Stephanie Coontz. Anti-miscegenation laws were on the books in living memory. Romances novels that engage with these margins often end up looking rather Austenish: quiet, intimate, even a bit secret.

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On the quiet side we have a pair of s queer ladies, two disaster bi lovebirds in small-town California, and a couple on opposite sides of an urban garden. On the side of spectacle: two Regency naturalists in a rom-com retelling and a jewel thief wooing a prickly detective with stolen opals and self-abnegation. Note: I will be taking the month of December off, so I will see you back here in January with hopes for a fresh new year! Who has to compromise, to bend, to give in? And why?

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No, the best resolutions here involve something specific , and it has to be at least a little bit of a surprise for the reader. This book gets it. Just know that it was perfect and I wish I could reread it a thousand more times. Ruby Lang continues to shine, her prose the best kind of snappy contemporary writing—and then it started knocking me flat on my ass.

Magda and her perennially disappointed sisters. Oliver and his grumpy friendships with the elderly women gardeners.

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And the sex scenes? Whooo boy. I was a wreck. If you need a little bit of springtime as the leaves begin to fall, this is the book to reach for. Rebekah Weatherspoon writes the best people. What is a grieving bisexual witch supposed to do?

We Shall Never Know: Murder, Money and the Enduring Mystery of Greystone Mansion | KCET

Xeni pulled her knees to her chest and then stared at the water. She wanted to cry, desperately needed to, but her body refused. Still, she needed just a moment to try and take it all in. She had about three seconds to pretend her pain was private before the unmistakable drone of bagpipe music rose behind her. Xeni had forgotten how fucking loud the bagpipes were. She closed her eyes against the sound and forced herself to breathe. It was another ten seconds or so before Xeni realized what song he was playing. Her head turned automatically. He continued to play even as she raised an eyebrow at him, questioning what exactly the fuck was going on, but all he did was shrug and roll his eyes, the sadness on his face disappearing for just a moment.

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My favorite new critical tool from this year thanks to Jennifer Hallock is the chronotope: a specific way of representing time and space in fiction. Regency romance is a chronotope — and so, of course, is high school. From noir-inspired mysteries like Brick to Jane Austen-in-Los Angeles in Clueless to Shakespeare retellings like 10 Things I Hate About You , turning classic literature into high school narratives is something of a cottage industry.

The translation works because high schoolers and 19th-century aristocrats are both groups obsessively fixated on social status, sex, and money. Also dancing! The waltz scene in this book was unusually gorgeous. I giggled through half of it and cried through the rest. Lady Grace Wyatt is wealthy and brilliant and wants a partner who can share her passion for natural history. She knows just the man, a dashing explorer — except he admires her mind, and has made it painfully clear he sees her only as a mind, not as a marriage prospect.

What better way to catch his eye and spur his interest than by being courted by a fashionable, flirtatious dandy? She knows Sebastian Holloway, anthropologist and one of her closest friends. Who, if he removed his spectacles, would be rather stunningly attractive. And who, unbeknownst to Grace, has been half in love with her ever since he loaned her a pencil on her first visit to the library all those years ago.

This is the purest kind of melodrama, fluffy but with moments of raw angsty goodness, and a rather spectacular amount of drama at the end. It is completely over the top and full-commitment in every way, and I had an amazingly good time throughout. Before Grace could object, the duke plowed on. The younger set. Her pencil moved in rapid strokes. Very common within the animal kingdom. She rolled her eyes. We have to use every available avenue to record our findings. The one where we finally get to spend a whole novel basking in the razor-edged light of Susan Fucking Lazarus, spiritualist fraud turned detective turned terror of the London criminal classes.

This novel is as finely balanced as a blade from a master smith. And the sharpest, cuttingest banter this side of a screwball comedy. Our characters have deep feelings, impossible longings, and wracking vulnerabilities; quite naturally, these commonly express themselves as insults, denials, and wry asides. It makes the few moments of pure, shining sincerity burst like fireworks and make me silently cheer.

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Susan is wary and intelligent and hedges her bets whenever possible. She hides her emotional truths as deeply as she can, even from herself. She hardly turns a hair when lying to the police, pursuing leads, interrogating suspects, or doing any one of a number of reckless, questionable things in the pursuit of justice. But ask her to explore her feelings? Ask her to trust someone with her heart? Ask her to hope? Templeton Lane, our aristocratic younger son turned mining laborer turned jewel thief, is much the same, wounded and self-isolating — except that he is incapable of hiding how much he adores Susan Lazarus. It spills out of him at the most inconvenient moments. You would have been first on my list of people to ask, given a choice. I am fond of midcentury romances, medievals, Tang Dynasty duologies , and increasingly, romances set in the s, either British or American or pretty much anywhere else.

This is a very precise, small-scope novel in terms of perspective. But never swept too far out of her orbit of good sense and caution. It stresses me out in advance.

The Magical Gifts Story in English - Bedtime Stories - English Fairy Tales

Spoilers — but we get nothing like that here. A delicate thread of narrative tension holds the whole thing together until the end. It is precisely as the title promises: nice. Marian began brushing the sleep-pressed waves from her blonde hair. It was darker, more like the colour of straw. It never seemed to catch the sun or shine in the lamplight at a ball. Everything about Marian felt like a rough imitation of Cecilia: her eyes were blue, but a light, unsettling colour that made her look far too clever to be trusted, her cheeks and jaw were pale and angular instead of rosy and round, and she never attracted others like Cecilia did.

It was almost as if everything beautiful got used up in Cecilia and all that was left for Marian were the rough and faded bits.

Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories
Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories
Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories
Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories
Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories Mystery, Thanks, and Parting Gifts: 3 Titillating Short Stories

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