Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

August 16: Exhibit that Celebrated the Ordinary

August 16, 2010

Zeb Spaw’s angry_with_britain exhibition. Tonight only. 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Gallery in Cork Street. 27 Cork Street, London, W1S 3NG.

The exhibition is in connection with the launch of Wendy Holden’s new book, a comedy titled Gallery Girl. Holden’s website reports that Gallery Girl is “about the loot, the lust and the giant egos in the chucklesome world of contemporary art.

Click here for the brochure from the exhibit. We see several ordinary objects, objects we are pleased to see being celebrated in an exhibition like this.

Spray paint on shopping trolley

“The sun rises, we shop…”

Spanner and oil on canvas

“I looked into myself and saw endless empty space…”

Gardening gloves, limpets and oil on canvas

“A lot of my work brings out my Christ-like
tendencies and this one is no exception…”

Y-fronts on canvas

“Art is pants and that is what I am saying in this work…”


“Desires of a Perfect Lady” — desires a dull man

March 30, 2010

In a new historical romance, Desires of a Perfect Lady by Victoria Alexander available in stores March 30, Olivia, Lady Rathbourne, falls in love with a dull man, Sterling Harrington, the Earl of Wyldewood. Olivia eventually pries Sterling into a bit of adventure, but not by much. As the author writes to us (attached below), “While it might be argued that Sterling is no longer dull, he still has those great dull qualities that tell a woman he will always be there for her. And dull or not, that’s something every heroine, in fiction or real life, wants.”

A fine example of a dull man, Sterling frequently brought up his responsibilities of being an earl. Dull men are responsible — as well as reliable, predictable, safe.

When Olivia suggested traveling to Egypt, Sterling was taken aback. “There are snakes in Egypt,” Sterling said. His idea of travel was going to Scotland. He eventually agreed to go to Egypt with Olivia. But he booked the slow, less exciting way. By boat all the way instead of by train to Marseilles and then by boat. By train would have meant changing trains and probably staying a few days in Paris, a city much too exciting for Sterling.

Should we elect Sterling to be an honorary member (postmortem) of the Dull Men’s Club? And Olivia for the Decent Women’s Club?

From the author:

Dear DMC,

Appreciating the Dull Man

There is a belief among the female characters in historical romances that reformed rakes make the best husbands. I have no idea if that’s true since my books usually end at marriage but I do assume my characters are indeed living happily ever after. And while a reformed rake might make the best husband I don’t think reforming a rake is nearly as much of a challenge, and not quite as much fun, as luring a dull man into adventure.

Take Sterling Harrington, the Earl of Wyldewood and hero of Desires of a Perfect Lady. Olivia, the heroine, his brothers and even his mother do not hesitate to point out how very dull, as well as stiff and stodgy, he is. Why, when challenged to relate any adventure he has had, he can’t think of a single one, now matter how minor. He is not fond of travel—thinks it’s simply not worth the trouble. He is well aware of his responsibilities as earl and head of the family and takes them very seriously. While his first wife was not the love of his life, he was content in his marriage. He likes efficiency, matters to be accomplished in a timely manner and he does not like change. He likes his meals served promptly, his clothes to be of the finest quality but always conservative and his house to be kept in order just the way he likes his life. No surprises, nothing unexpected and absolutely no change.

Everything does change for Sterling however when Olivia’s father asks him to rescue his daughter. Knowing his own nature, Sterling points out the man must be thinking of his much more adventurous brothers. Sterling is not prone to rescue. But because he is aware of his responsibilities and feels he does owe Olivia, and dull men do live up to their obligations, he agrees to do what he can. Thus begins Sterling’s reluctant foray into adventure.

Dragging a dull man out of his comfort zone isn’t easy. Sterling has to leave his responsibilities behind and accompany Olivia to Egypt, a place he considers uncivilized and teeming with Egyptian snakes who are, no doubt, just lying in wait for a proper Englishman. From there it’s on to Italy then back to England. Along the way, Sterling discovers there is much to be said for seizing the moment, for seeing new places and trying things he’s never tried.

But some of the qualities that might make a man dull—like accepting responsibility for his actions—are the very things that make dull men so worthwhile. A dull man can be depended upon. A dull man is more than likely to have a good heart, wickedness is definitely not dull. And once you give a dull man a taste of adventure, while it might be argued that he is no longer dull, he still has those great dull qualities that tell a woman he will always be there for her. And dull or not, that’s something every heroine, in fiction or real life, wants.

So how do you pry a dull man out of a dull life and into a little bit of adventure? Offer him the one thing he doesn’t have and probably didn’t realize he wanted. Love, of course, with the woman of his dreams and the promise of happily ever after.

And not even the dullest of men can resist that.


Victoria Alexander is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Desires of a Perfect Lady (in stores March 30th). She admits she might be much duller than her husband who is almost always willing to try something new and drags her along kicking and screaming. Much to her delight.

Click here to find out more about this book in our aStore, an Amazon store. And you can order the book there.

Click here for the Romance Blog from the publisher (Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers).

“The Breach,” a debut thriller by Patrick Lee

February 7, 2010

From time to time I like to see how other people — people who are not dull — live their lives. Recently I did this by reading a new thriller I’d heard about. The Breach by Patrick Lee from HarperCollins. I heard it was full of action that ratchets up and up. And full of surprises.

I am glad I read The Breach. This is the case even though it had far too much action for me. I couldn’t put  the book down. I prefer books I can put down. (Dictionaries are my favorites — words set out in order, not all jumbled up like in a novel.)

And too full of surprises. I try to avoid surprises. I like predictability.

After finishing The Breach, I enjoyed more than ever retreating to the comfort, predictability, and ordinariness of

To read excerpts from The Breach, click here.

To view a trailer about The Breach, click here.

To order at Amazon, click here.

If you are one of us dull men, you’ll probably want to order this book so you enjoy the same feeling — gratitude — I had. If you are not a dull man, then this is the book for you.

Browning of Washington

September 21, 2009


[this posting is a work in progress — as I make my way around Washington while reading The Lost Symbol — viewing sites covered in the books — a nice break from viewing monuments, which is what I normally enjoy doing when in Washington — I like monuments, they are my favorite color (gray) and they don’t move (my favorite position) — stay tuned]

The picture above is from an great article in the Washington Post, “Mysteries All Over the Map,” that I highly recommend. Click here to get to the article. (I hope the newspaper does not mind us linking the article and the picture from the article being in this posting.)

“I Can Make You Sleep,” a book review

September 21, 2009

I can make you sleep

[this posting is a work in progress — stay tuned]

British [dull?] Magazines, subscribe thru Amazon

September 4, 2009


British Goat Society Yearbook

Dear DMC,

The website contains a section on British Magazines to which one can subscribe.

A few are not dull, but so many are – it’s really quite comforting. One of my favorites is a magazine which is a list of theses on the History of British Science (no, I’m not making this up – (, but the whole website deserves reading (, if one is prepared for the occasional un-dull entry.

I am quite tempted by the magazine of the British Goat Society.

Yours faithfully,

Lenore Rosenberg
Teaneck, New Jersey

[Go to]

Power of Less ~ needed now more than ever

May 13, 2009


Right in line with DMC thinking. A helpful book. Get it now. Let us know what you think.