Category Archives: Dabney AAR

I M A U-M B-N.

CDBLong before our phones started to light up with “Wr r u?” there was CDB! by the wonderful and wacky William Steig. Steig, more famous for his stories with plots–Shrek, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and, my favorite, Dr. De Soto (about a very tiny dentist), wrote two books in “code': CDB! and CDC? . I loved CDB when I was younger–it was first published in 1968. I read both books to my siblings when they were small and then fell for them all over again while watching my own children puzzle over each page.

If you’ve never see one of the book, here’s a sample:


Did you ever read these marvels?


The Sexiest Man Alive

This article which gives an in-depth but not too long history of People Magazine‘s Sexiest Man Alive is a funchris-hemsworth-768 read.

It makes several stellar points. It is absurd that there’s only ever been one man of color–Denzel in 1996. And last year’s choice of Adam Levine was a poor one. I agree with Jezebel’s Madeleine Davies, “Adam Levine is not the Sexiest Man Alive.” He is “the human equivalent of testing positive for chlamydia.”

What do you think of this year’s choice? Does Mr. Helmsworth make you swoon? Personally, I prefer his brother. liam


The romance I want to see… and it’s not 50SoG.

Anyone seen this romance featuring a love story between a pop star and the LA cop assigned to protect her? The initial reviews are strong. writes:

Beyond the Lights, writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s show-business romance about the slowly blossoming affair between an ascendant pop star and a down-to-earth L.A. cop, is as shamelessly soapy as movies come—but I challenge you not to slip on the soap bubbles and fall right in to this movie’s invigorating bath. Onscreen love stories live and die on the connection between their leads, and as the troubled singer Noni Jean and her earnest protector-turned-paramour Kaz Nicol, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker all but spontaneously combust each time they look at each other.

It’s got a 84% rating at Rotten Tomatoes which writes:

Thanks to smart direction and a powerhouse performance from Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights transcends its formulaic storyline to deliver thoroughly entertaining drama.

It’s been quite a while since I saw a good love story at the movies. I think the last one I loved was About Time.  (One could argue that Gone Girl is a love story but I’m not going there.)

Do you plan to see this movie? What was the last great love story you saw at the cinema?


Chinese pop singer Wang Rong Rollin’s music video “Chick Chick” is, well, something.

Is this, as several on the internet have claimed, the most bizarre music video of all time? The video, which sounds mostly comprised of avian sounds and electronic bass, features so many odd objects it has to be seen to be believed. I especially like the dancing topless men wearing farm animal masks….

another amazing Sam Smith cover

I listen to Whitney Houston covers with a judicious ear. The only one I think improves on the original is Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You because I think it undersells the song in a gorgeous way.

But this cover by pop crooner Sam Smith who, thus far, appears to be able to do no vocal wrong is so elegantly spare, I think it might be an improvement over the exuberant original. Maybe. Both are pop music at its best.

Now this is funny

This post, from the website Jaunty Quills, lists the differences between writing contemporary and historical romance. It’s hilarious. For example:

Historicals: Hot dukes.

Contemporaries: Hot showers.

Head over and check it out. It will put a smile on your face.


Not that I need more, but here are two extra reasons to love Patrick Rothfuss.

My love for the words of Patrick Rothfuss is well documented. I think his Kingkiller Chronicles–The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and the to be released some day in the far too distant future Doors of Stone–are better than Mr. Martin’s far more famous fantasy series. I, and my four new adults, have read both books several times and listened to the audiobooks and, every time, discover new greatness. Continue reading

The 2014 Goodreads Choice contest has begun. What will you vote for?


The 2014 Goodreads Choice Contest is open. If you’ve never participated before, it’s a readers’ choice contest featuring competitions in twenty categories. Romance is a single catetory–there’s no sub-genre separation–and this year, like like last year, is heavy on New Adult picks. There is one straight historical romance: Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke. Also representing romances with a historical bent is the latest by Diana Gabaldon, Written in my Own Heart’s Blood.

You can go here to begin voting: