Cerebration: June 1, 2021

Missing the Coronavirus Diary?

I liked having a place to talk about whatever was on my mind. Just because I decided to end the pandemic rambliings, there’s no reason I can’t just ramble. It’s my blog! So: Cerebration. I really like how it almost sounds like Celebration, and this feels somewhat celebratory to me so there you have it. A new word for me, and maybe you as well.

Cerebration: noun. The act of thinking; consideration; thought

Dictionary.com. (n.d.) Cerebration. In Dictionary.com dictionary. Retrieved May 10, 2021 from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cerebration

Things I’ve done since I completed my Covid vaccination regimen and waited the requisite two weeks:

  • Haircut and color
  • Manicure and pedicure
  • Dinner (outside) at a restaurant with friends
  • Sometimes I take my mask off at work when I’m in my office and drink coffee!
  • Went to Publix (supermarket) after work
  • Went to V&S Deli and picked up sandwiches
  • Ate inside a restaurant with family I hadn’t seen in well over a year!

I haven’t gone crazy, but I feel like I am taking baby steps. It’s not always comfortable to do these things but I’m working on it. The biggest thing I’m doing is coming up – flying to New York in June to see my grandson. I can’t wait! Everything else I’m taking one day at a time. A friend recently flew from Dallas to Charlotte (hi Beth!) and said the airport was packed and there wasn’t an empty seat on the flight. Which makes me nervous but I am determined.

I’m still reading a lot. Books have always been my salvation, ever since I was a small child. I never needed much sleep, usually 4 hours a night for most of my life. When I was a child, my mother would put me to bed at 8:00. I would wake up around midnight and go downstairs and watch TV (back in the days when there was just one TV in the house!) I watched Johnny Carson and a lot of old movies. When the movies were over, they played the Star Spangled Banner and the TV went off. Then I would read. I read whatever I could get my hands on. Magazines, newspapers, and even some books. Early in the morning, the TV came back on and I watched some agricultural farmer show. Basically it was weather and crop reports back when Long Island still had a lot of farms. Then it was almost time to get ready for school.

I didn’t have many books back then. Neither of my parents were readers. We had some antique Shakespeare in the living room which I wasn’t allowed to touch, and a couple of Modern Classics, which I read but didn’t understand for the most part. I remember struggling for weeks with the Canterbury Tales. We also had a World Book Encyclopedia, which I pored over.

As I got a little older, my teachers gave me books, I borrowed books from the school library (which I read in its entirety by fifth grade,) and finally my mother took me to the public library. She would pull up front and say hurry up, and she meant it. I would go to the Agatha Christie or Ian Fleming shelf, check out my allotted 5 books, and run back out to the car. It’s where I got my habit of reading all of an author’s books, and also rereading books. I was always a very fast reader and 5 books would only last me a couple of days but my mom wouldn’t take me to the library more than once a week at best. Unlike all my friends, my parents were divorced and my mother worked. For my birthday or Chanukah, I always asked for books and eventually had all the Nancy Drews, some Cherry Ames, and some of my favorites, Anne of Green Gables, The Phantom Tollbooth, the All-of-a-Kind Family books, Harriet the Spy. I read those books over and over and over again. My mother gave away all my childhood books to a friend with a daughter a several years younger than I was. I still haven’t gotten over that.

A couple of Saturdays ago I wasn’t feeling well. I had gotten bad chills that Thursday, freaked out myself and my husband, and we ran for a Covid test on Friday. It was negative. Yes, I’m vaccinated but apparently so was Bill Maher and several of the Yankees and they got Covid anyway. But I didn’t – yay! But I didn’t feel like doing much besides reading and watching TV (which I often do at the same time.) While poking around for a movie to watch, I stumbled on a documentary called Naughty Books. Need I say my interest was piqued? It is streaming on Hulu, otherwise you have to pay.

It’s a documentary about erotic fiction. Not the best documentary I’ve ever seen but certainly interesting. There were several authors featured, primarily CJ Roberts and Kristen Proby – at least they are the ones that stuck in my head. After watching, I searched my Kindle for Proby because I know I’ve read some of her books. Sure enough, I had about a dozen of them, but I’d only read a few. So I started reading. I had read the first book in the Romancing Manhattan series, so I read the other two and really enjoyed them. Then I started the first book in the Big Sky series (trilogy,) Charming Hannah, and liked that a lot too.

So here’s my question, and I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this before. What is the difference between erotica and romance? Where do you draw that line? There are sexy romances, which I read often and love. And after reading several of Proby’s books, to me they fall squarely into the sexy romance category. There is a lot of sex and it is explicit, but the book is all about the romance and the relationship, the will they or won’t they. There are many chapters without any sex. When I think of erotica, I just think of sex and not romance. Books without a plot to speak of. Or a minimal plot, like porn. After watching that documentary, apparently I am in the minority on this and that’s okay.

I have so many of Proby’s books because of BookBub. It’s a service that compiles ebook bargains. You sign up for daily email, telling them the kinds of books you like to read, and they will send you a curated list. Usually there are at least half a dozen books ranging in price from $3.99 down to free. Yep, there are always at least a couple of freebies, a few that are $.99 and so on. Authors range from NY Times bestsellers to self published, always a wide variety, so it’s a great way to try new authors. I even get cookbooks through BookBub. If you just don’t want to sign up for one more email, you can check out the website: https://www.bookbub.com/welcome. Click on browse and have fun! And if you’re an author, poke around to learn how to get your book featured.

As always, thanks for reading and stay safe!

2 Responses to Cerebration: June 1, 2021

  1. Jan Zahrly says:

    I agree – writing about our books and our likes/dislikes is our business. As a friend of mine once wrote – there is a delete key for a reason. It is always an option. But why are you trying to get a distinction between romance and erotica. I always assume that if one, it might contain the other. If I don’t like it, I can always stop reading. (Took me a long time to realize I could stop reading a book – that a start did not mean that I had to finish it.] Although I must say that if it is classified as erotica, I will expect more explicit action. Romance may or may have more action but I know that will be true love at the end.
    Please keep up the blog, just so we can know what you are reading. peace, janz

    • Stacy Alesi says:

      It took me a really long time to realize I don’t have to finish every book I start! As for romance v. erotica, I’m just curious as a librarian to how readers differentiate the genres. Thanks!

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