Bethanne Patrick

My Beautiful Librarette

The digital evolution of the home library

A few weeks back my husband and I watched “My Beautiful Laundrette,” Stephen Frears’s 1985 film of a Haneif Kureishi screenplay that made Daniel Day-Lewis a star. Day-Lewis plays Johnny, a London tough whose schoolboy crush on his Pakistani classmate Omar (played by Gordon Warnecke) blossoms into love as the two men make a go of Omar’s uncle’s laundromat–and cope with all sorts of prejudices of class and race and sexual identity. It’s a movie with, in other words, with themes that should stand the test of time.

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The Book Maven’s top ten novels of 2012

And while we're at it, here are my bottom ten as well

Everyone puts together Top Ten lists, right? I put together both a Top and a Bottom Ten, and here’s why: I consider any Top Ten put together by an individual to be entirely subjective. These aren’t necessarily the “best;” they’re just the books that I loved best during a particular calendar year. How could they possibly be the “best,” given all of the books that I didn’t read? No one person can possibly compile a definitive list.

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Fiction is a feminist issue

Why publishers can and should encourage men to read fiction

Yesterday we saw some friends and I gave the female half of the couple a bag stuffed with books. Her husband looked downcast and said “Don’t you have any books for me, Bethanne?”

I explained to him that I did not–I receive fewer nonfiction books and pitches these days because I tend to write about and talk up fiction, although that could change any day depending on what project I’m working on at the time. His disappointment, however, sparked a dinner conversation about why men tend to choose nonfiction over fiction–especially because on of the books we discussed was Midnight in Peking, and our friend’s comment was “It was so good; it read like a novel!”

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