Tracie, I noticed some interesting titles on your list of the books you've read this year: Topping From Below, and All's Fair in Love, War & High School. The first one sounds dirty, and the second one sounds like something girls in 6th grade would love. Weren't you an English major in college? What gives?
Curious - I'm glad you asked this question. Yes, I do have a degree in English, and you're right, these titles are kind of outside the norm for even my eclectic reading habits. But I have good reasons for having read these titles, and here they are.
Topping From Below sounds dirty because it is -- the novel is about kinky sex. I'm not a prude but I don't usually read kinky sex books. I read this one because a friend of mine gave it to me -- she knew the author and actually appears as a very minor character in the book (the main character runs into her at the grocery store), which is set in the part of Davis where we live. It wasn't a very good book, but I enjoyed all the references to streets and businesses in Davis that I know. I could have done without all the stuff about without all the stuff about dripping candle wax and nipple clamps though.
In case you're curious, the term "topping from below" is part of the domination/submissive lexicon, and refers to the sub trying to control what's going on. It is not considered a good thing in terms of dom/sub relations, as in "oh, you don't want to get involved with that guy -- he tries to top from below." And before you ask, I didn't know that before I read the book.
All's Fair in Love, War and High School is one of the books I'm reading in the name of market research. I'm looking at different young adult books that deal with relationships to see what's out there and how my own work compares. So far I haven't been overly impressed with what I've read, which makes me think I have a pretty good shot at this whole thing. All's Fair actually was kind of a cute book -- it didn't strive to be anything more than it is -- Chicklet-Lit? -- and it had some pretty funny parts, so I enjoyed reading it. The other one I've read so far, Hard Love, tried for more serious issues, and didn't fair so well in my eyes.
Next up: another YA title (RX, about a high school brain/drug dealer), and a reread of an old favorite (Tim, by Colleen McCullough, my choice for book club this month).