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Episode 47 - Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Happy lunar new year!  We rang in the Year of the Ox with Butterfly Swords , which was Jeannie Lin's first book.  It won the Golden Heart Award back in 2009 and started her illustrious career. Ai Li is to be married to the powerful and hawt Li Tao, a scheming jiedushi.  When she discovers his treachery and his murder of her brother she escapes to warn her father, the Tang Emperor.  Except her father isn't really all that fussed about it?  She's helped along the way by Ryam, Noted White Guy.  They travel all around China meeting people and running away from people and hitting people with swords, which is delightful. There's really no content to be concerned about in this book (it's a more recent book!) - if you dig action packed historical romances there won't be anything in here that's an unpleasant surprise.

Episode 28 - Morning Glory


She's barefoot and pregnant!  He's... awfully close to barefoot!  It's Georgia!  It's 1940!  Chickens!  Old cars!  Manual water pumps!  Dooryards!  BEES!  omg bees


It's LaVyrle Spencer's Morning Glory, a book about not much in particular except the deep meaning of the heart until there's a war and then a... murder framin'?  This book has no nonconsensual sex but it does have a lot of discussion of childhood trauma, the past-tense murder of a sex worker, and some seriously weird slut shaming and then murdering of another woman which is really tonally weird and we expected better of you, LaVyrle.

We read this book because Amazing Human Beverly Jenkins mentioned LaVyrle in a list she so graciously gave us of vintage romances she really liked back when we did our episode on Night Song.  In the future I won't wait that long to listen to the lady because this book is so good except when it makes such weird choices in the last act.

And there's a MOVIE!  Starring, of all people, Christopher Reeve!  Which is incredibly weird casting!  It's one of those weird things you can either rent on Amazon for three bucks or you can watch on the more oddball free streaming places - Tubi, evidently.  Somebody watch us and tell us, wtf Christopher Reeve?  Like he's hot but I don't see him and think "rawboned country boy who probably killed a Texas whore", do you?  It's got a solid... 57% on Rotten Tomatoes with no critic score whatsoever, so clearly we need to find out.

In this episode we discussed Michael Twitty's book The Cooking Gene and this article in the Bitter Southerner, "Dear Disgruntled White Plantation Visitors."  It's a fantastic article and you should read it.

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