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The Golden Darter

My Life Through Books


Middle School was a weird mix of classics and Star Wars. I was obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux to the point of the book falling apart. I also discovered that while I love Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters can go hang. As for Star Wars... I've read almost every meta-verse book that was published up until the New Order cannon. I can still go into detail and recite storylines of a few beloved books. Hence, my nerd life began.


High school was very paranormal, vampire, scifi, etc. I would literally go online and search for book series that concerned vampires and read everything on the list. We are talking Anita Blake, Charline Harris, Anne Rice, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tanya Huff, Steven King, etc. This was before they sparkled, ya'll. Early college was philosophical and political theory for school, and mainstream fiction in my personal time. Wicked, Life of Pi, Memoirs of a Geisha. These are the 3 books that pushed me into my next phase, mostly because of how ambiguous I felt about them, and their questionable endings.


Late-mid college I was introduced to LaVyrle Spencer by way of Hummingbird courtesy of a gripe session with my Mom about how depressing the books I had been reading lately were. I've never looked back and have been hooked on the romance genre ever since. I've read and loved a ton of LaVyrle Spencer (who is a little hit and miss), Judith McNaught (of the rapetastic 80s era of romance), and Georgette Heyer (who writes in the vein of Austen). More recently I've discovered the joys of contemporary authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips.


Lately I've been trying to read more non-fiction. I really do enjoy learning about subjects that interest me, but non-fiction can feel like work sometimes. So I fall back to romance. You just can't go wrong with knowing that there will almost always be a happy ending.

Currently reading

Playing Dirty
Jennifer Echols
Searching for Someday
Jennifer Probst
Mara TP
Ming Doyle
The Quest
Susan Kearney
Play by Play (Play Makers #1)
Kate Donovan
Mrs Ronnie The Society Hostess Who Collected Kings
Sian Evans
Fat Girl: April Flores - Carlos Batts "It is hard for women of all sizes to feel confident because, from the time we are young girls, we are bombarded with messages and images that make us feel like we can never be too thin, too young, or too successful. It is even harder for plus sized women to feel good about themselves because rarely are plus sized women represented in the media in a completely positive way. This book is my answer to that problem, and exhibition of my confidence and happiness as a plus sized woman."First off, the cover on NetGalley and the one on GR and Amazon are very different. One looks like it could be a thought provoking take on "fat girls" through photography. The other looks like we are about half a step away from a porno. Even with this juxtaposed discrepancy, in the words of April Flores(whom this photo book revolves around), "I decided 'Fuck it'. Let's see what happens."Each chapter begins with a page of text written by Flores followed by several photos. Considering that April Flores is in the adult entertainment industry, it should be no surprise that some of the pictures are a little... ahem, risque? I would definitely say that around 1 in 10 had nudity of some kind in it. And since she is talking about being comfortable in her own skin, I can see where that is coming from. But it was worrisome to me personally because all that talk of feeling good about yourself etc made it seem like she sees her self-worth through the lens of sex. When that is clearly not all there is to her, even though her job is what it is. Not going to get philosophical about it though. I've included a few notes/photos that were most interesting to me personally, but the majority of them felt like shots left of the cutting room floor and stuffed here. Yes, women of all shapes and sizes can be sexy... But "sexy" is not equivalent to "sex" which is the bigger picture that I think was missed here.p30- Standing totally naked in a room of people watching her and artist drawing her over and over. Totally self composed. I sure as hell don't have that kind of confidence!p33- Standing in the waves, arms out and happyp38- One of the few nudes I liked. Lying on her back in the ocean (such a blue ocean, her hair is a sharp contrast in red). Also on this page, a picutre on the beach, but you can only see her legs, encased in fishnet. Another juxtaposition which I think plays to the theme of the book of having a larger woman in photos/situations normally reserved for smaller women by most media.p45- Clothes without the body in themp56- A face of pure confidence in oneself.p61- Naked, kneeling and looking as bored as if she was sitting in a doctors officep66- This is just a beautiful photo, the black and the red so sharply contrasting.p68- Confident in only slightly revealing clothes, still drawing stares from the man and woman at the car behind her. p90- And she's peeing... Could have done with out those... Several images...p103- So a company takes a mold of her for a sex toy, and they decide to give a few to various artists to decorate. This was hands down my favorite part of the entire book. They were all so beautiful! And if not beautiful, at least inventive, ha! The skulls on p111, the ham on p112, and the traditionally tattooed version on p103 were my personal favorites. Would have totally gone to see that exhibit!p127- The back view of a tight, tight corsetp138- Her just looking into the camera with a busy street in the backgroundCopy courtesy of Rare Bird Books, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.