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Tuesday 19 March 2024

A book trope I wish wouldn't happen in real life

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews immediately jumped out at me, because there's one trope I absolutely hate and which came up again recently when I was reading "Valley of the Dolls".

I don't know if it has an official name, but I've always referred to it as "How dare you be a virgin!"

This one I've seen far too many times in books. Woman has her first time with the hero without mentioning she's a virgin, hero immediately realises this (women always have intact hymens in these things) and throws a fit. She's a virgin? How could she not tell him? Now she's going to have Expectations! Meanwhile the poor woman is lying there having her first time, which is presumably painful enough what with being intact, utterly ruined by this idiot ranting and raving.

Unfortunately I went through a similar experience as a teenager, as I had a boyfriend who was the game-playing sort and who also lived in a horrible part of town where there were lots of teen pregnancies. He informed me that he had had to tell all his friends about my innocence because the concept of a seventeen-year-old virgin was so bizarre that he needed to get their advice. (Seventeen, eh? How shocking.) I honestly don't know if he really hadn't ever met one before or if he was just trying to mess with my head - it was hard to say with him - but given I had friends who were the same age as me and also virgins, I was well aware he was being an idiot.

So which trope do you wish wouldn't happen in real life?

Sunday 3 March 2024

Non-fiction books I've read lately

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an easy one, as there's only one non-fiction book I've read in the last few months - everything else has been fiction, and I've got a TBR stack a mile high. However, when this one came out I put everything else aside so I could dig into it.

It was "The Princes in the Tower" by Philippa Langley.

I've been a Ricardian for years and have always been fascinated by the case of the Princes in the Tower, so I was very interested to see what new evidence Philippa Langley had found. It turns out, of course, that the answer was one that I'd often considered was plausible myself - that Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, who challenged Henry VII for the throne, were actually Edward V and Prince Richard, having been hidden away in foreign countries for years. 

Whether this will be laid down as official history at any point is open to question. History tends to be written by the winners, and there are enough powerful Tudor historians who would immediately dismiss any evidence that Richard III didn't kill the princes. However, I personally found Langley's evidence convincing, so we'll see.

So which non-fiction books have you read recently?