Authors have a tendency to love or hate research, and often it’s a little of both. I admit to often reading books I might not ever have looked at if I wasn’t attempting to understand character interactions and potential quirks for the people who populate my books and stories. This morning a brand new release landed on my Kindle that I was really looking forward to reading. So far, it’s proving to be fascinating stuff. I thought I’d recommend a couple of the books I really enjoyed, though they look somewhat odd once they’re grouped together. I’ve also included a couple that are just for fun.
Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained: Expanded Edition: Long before clinch covers and bodice rippers, romance novels have had a bad reputation as the lowbrow lit of desperate housewives and hopeless spinsters. But in fact, romance novels—the escape and entertainment of choice for millions of women—might prove to be the most revolutionary writing ever produced.
Dangerous Books for Girls examines the origins of the genre’s bad reputation—from the “damned mob of scribbling women” in the nineteenth century to the sexy mass-market paperbacks of the twentieth century—and shows how these books have inspired and empowered generations of women to dream big, refuse to settle, and believe they’re worth it.
For every woman who has ever hidden the cover of a romance—and for every woman who has been curious about those “Fabio books”—Dangerous Books For Girls shows why there’s no room for guilt when reading for pleasure.
If you’re writing something that requires an understanding of a very different kind, you might find this useful, especially writers who write thrillers or suspense where your villain is often as smart as your hero or heroine.
The Empathy Trap: Understanding Antisocial Personalities: If you write anything in which an understanding of psychotic personalities is needed, this book is chilling and thought-provoking.
I really enjoyed this one, as well, for creating solid and real heroines, and understanding how to make them accessible to readers, as well as real.
Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl - A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship: Wonderful book for getting into the personality of a strong and feisty heroine and make her even more real. Sherry Argov's national bestseller Why Men Love Bitches delivers a unique perspective as to why men are attracted to a strong woman who stands up for herself. With saucy detail on every page, this no-nonsense guide reveals why a strong woman is much more desirable than a "yes woman" who routinely sacrifices herself.
And a couple that are just for fun:
TheSEXaurus: Sexy Words for Writers: Organized in quick and easy reference sections, this book is a blast! Lots of fun, and very informative.
Thinking Like A Romance Writer: The Sensual Writer's Sourcebook of Words and Phrases: This one is a ton of fun, and the phrases are more like triggers to encourage you to explore more creative ways to convey your own emotions and scenes.
These are just a few of the books in my collection of oddities, if you’re interested in more of the titles, I posted the entire list to my Writers Resource page on Facebook: The Writer’s NewsStand