It is no secret that I harbor an unnerving fascination for Danielle Steel. Why, the name alone conjures images of romance, tears, and impossibly tall hedges. She is, if anything, a legend. But Catherine Bigelow chatted with the noted scribe about the "comically off-putting" shrubs in front of her limestone Pac Heights palace, Steel had this to say: "Sometimes I think San Francisco hates successful people ... No matter what I do, people say nasty stuff. I mean, the world is falling apart and people complain about my hedge. It's a mystery."

Preach, lady. Let the hyperbole wash over you like a warm Calgon bath.

Steel goes on to say that her mammoth Pac Heights compound is "a lovely home, not a public monument," you vultures. She adds: "For 20 years, I've received threats leveled against myself and my family. Across the street, people stand on the hill in the park and shoot photos of the interior. So unless the hill shrank during the park's reconstruction, the hedge will maintain its current height."

Also of critical importance in this week's Bigelow: the single greatest line of 2014 so far. Behold: "In November, Sue Fisher King hosted a party to celebrate Steel's memoir about treasured pets, Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love." Glorious. If you haven't yet read Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love, please pore over this delight Amazon preview posthaste:

In this moving memoir, Danielle Steel tells the story of how she met a dog the size of a mouse with a personality that could light up an entire room. From Minnie’s arrival at home in San Francisco to clothes-shopping jaunts in Paris, her adventures provide the perfect backdrop for a heartfelt look at the magic that dogs bring to our lives, and how they become part of the family, making indelible memories.

We meet Steel’s childhood pug, James; and Elmer, the basset hound who was steadfastly at her side in her struggling days as a young writer; Sweet Pea—unveiled in a Tiffany box for a dog-loving husband—and all those lucky dogs who shared a household of nine children, other canines, and one potbellied pig....

Totally relatable.

Anyway, be sure to read today's Bigelow in its entirety, wherein she heads to Ken Fulk's SoMa pad with Denise Hale for a Downton Abbey viewing party. The period drama, it seems, premieres this week.