It's a pain in the ass, being so open-minded and nonjudgmental.
Right now I'm about half-way through this novel that, for lack of a better word, is, well, a romance novel. It says so right on the spine. Actually, it says "Historical Romance" which seems even worse somehow.
I'm enjoying it. It's reasonably well written, it's funny, and the plot has hooked me. I wouldn't say it's great writing, but it's certainly better than some things I've read, and it's keeping me entertained. I picked it up after reading the author's web site bio blurb. I also got to wondering if perhaps maybe I could write something similar. But I'm not so sure about that. She's funny, and that is what makes it work for me. I'm more curmudgeonly, and that's a little harder sell when it comes to romance novels.
But here's the thing: the cover is purple. And when I say purple, I mean PURPLE. Or maybe violet? (the protagonist's eyes are regularly described as violet, so that would be a nice tie-in I suppose) Which means it looks so.... romance-y, damn it! I have to open it surreptitiously to read on the bus and find ways to slip it back into my bag before getting out, because, ehem, Mr. Businessman in the next seat, I'm a guy too, and er, Ms. Banker/Lawyer/suited woman, I'm a man. And it's purple!
In case anyone is as open-minded as I am, it's called Splendid (amazon link), by Julia Quinn. Her personal blurb from her web site gives you a taste of her sense of humor and maybe helps you understand why I decided to give the book a chance. That and I'm open minded and nonjudgmental.
And "holy gosh," in grabbing that amazon link I just saw a couple of other versions of the cover, and I'm now grateful for the one I have. What it's got: a lot of purple flowers (I think) and a small picture of a carriage. What it's not got: a Fabio-style shirtless man with the pecs of a surfer, kneeling behind a Stevie Nicks-haired woman who's sitting overcome on the ground.... I think I'll keep my purple version, thankyouverymuch!
* To shore up my "cred" I'd like to mention that I'm also reading A.J. Liebling's World War II Writings. Oh, and Frog and Toad Are Friends. Neither of which has a purple cover or a shirtless man on it.