Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the good fortune to help develop a new e-reading app. I’ve been a fan of e-readers since the day I got my very first Kindle. Currently I read on a Kindle Paperwhite, a Kindle Fire, an iPad, and an iPhone. I also use a variety of apps to read. I’ve tried the Kindle app, iBooks, Marvin, and Bluefire. I read five or more books a week and, despite searching, have yet to find the perfect e-reader.
Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Perhaps it’s the fact that Thanksgiving was yesterday and the crazy crowds of Black Friday are something I try to avoid when possible. Or maybe it’s that I’m in the midst of moving. As I pack up my books and decide what to keep and what to donate, I’ve felt like I’m at a reunion with old friends. I pick up each book and remember encountering the characters within, and I have a few seconds of savoring that first time I encountered favorite characters ranging from Alinor of Roselynde, the Bridgertons, Katniss, or the cast of the Harry Potter books.
I pick up Venetia and want to read just a few scenes, or I find Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series and try to decide if I can spare a few minutes from packing to enter that world. I spend plenty of time picking out the weaknesses of books with improbable plots, poor writing and idiot characters, but there are so many good things to read as well. And for some reason, today I’m feeling sentimental and very thankful for the ways that the best books make me feel.
So, today instead of lots of commentary, I have a question for readers to answer in the comment section below. I want to know what book you’re thankful for and why. I’m curious to see what people say. I’m also planning another column for later and could use your help on this, so please do chime in!
I’ll give one to start. Since I’m rereading Bet Me at the moment, I’ll use that one. I love this book and I’m thankful for it because it’s one of those sweet, fantasy/wish fulfillment books that leaves me with a smile on my face. The dialogue makes me laugh every time.
Now, what about you? What book are you thankful for and why?
– Lynn Spencer
How do we choose our books? First, because this is All About Romance, these novels are all romances or books with strong romantic elements. They are books at least one of us has already read and given a grade above a B. All things being equal, we’ll choose a more obscure book or non-AAR reviewed book over a more recent, buzzed-about one, in the hopes of showing something you haven’t seen before. Within our grade range, we also prioritize books which do something original, like show an unusual setting or feature under-represented characters. We’ll avoid spoilers whenever possible.
Our first YA Corner features American contemporaries. The books we chose this time around are: (more…)
Whenever we look at the nominations for a currently open Special Title Listing, we are thrilled at how divergent the entries are. Each and every time, there are classics that for some reason no-one had thought of before, there are well-loved novels that were published during the last ten years or so, and there are recent books that have already made a great impact.
Taking the Virginal Heroes, there is Scaramouche, from Rafael Sabatini’s swashbuckling romances of the 1920s. There are Nalini Singh’s Judd Lauren from Caressed by Ice, and the Earl of Ardmore from Eloisa James’s Kiss Me, Annabel – both books were published in the 2000s. As for 2013 novels, there are Kaleb Krycheck from Heart of Obsidian (also by Singh), and Samuel Cooke from Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman.
Newly entered classics on the May-Dec/Dec-May list are Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman (1947), Arabella by Georgette Heyer (1949), Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (1956), and The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren (1974), an early male-male romance.
This month’s TBR Challenge was to find a book that got inescapable buzz. As it turns out, I have had one sitting in my Kindle for ages, waiting for that perfect time to be read. When Carina Press launched back in 2010, one of their debut titles, Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey generated lots of chatter almost from the beginning and it filled my Twitter stream for months. In fact, this title generated so much buzz and so many sales that it ended up being picked up for reissue in print by HQN. As it turns out, it ended up being the perfect companion for me as I sat through my 3 hour glucose test(ah, the joys of pregnancy.) If you like single-title contemporaries, this one is a cute, light-hearted read. I’d give it a B+ for the huge smile it left on my face.
The basic set-up is this: Hero and heroine fall in love in high school. Heroine wants a life outside of small-town New England and she takes off for the West Coast, where she starts to build a career for herself writing for celebrity tabloids. Hero, meanwhile, goes on to become a famous author and also notoriously reclusive in his private life. (more…)
AAR is – and will remain – primarily focused on the adult romance genre, but we often foray into other areas of publishing as books catch our interest that we think might catch yours, too. Young Adult fiction(and New Adult, for that matter) has become a tremendous force over the past decade or so, and many AAR reviewers have been swept up in the wave. In the interest of indulging and sharing our love of YA literature, Caroline Russomanno and Jenna Harper are launching the Young Adult Corner, a series of posts discussing YA titles and topics of interest. So, if there’s anything YA-related that interests you, let us know in the comments.
Perhaps the first step is to talk about what, exactly, makes something a “Young Adult” title. There seems to be much debate, particularly with the rise of the New Adult category. Given the fact that 55% of YA books are purchased by those over 18 (Publishers Weekly), a clearly “adult” demographic. (more…)
In the past, and quite possibly right this minute, when we’ve posted the results of the Top 100 Polls and the Annual Reader polls a frequent reaction for our readers has been, “I didn’t vote for any of those books!” So we thought it might be fun to see how the AAR staffers’ Top Ten romances matched up with the results of the 2013 Top 100 Poll. We suspect the results are probably similar to how many of your results matched up, meaning some yes, some no, some none at all.
Of the Top Ten books chosen by readers in the 2013 Top 100 Poll, AAR staffers’ combined choices matched up with four books: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton was chosen by three staff members (13%), and Lord of Scoundrels, Slightly Dangerous and Outlander by two staff members (9%).
Of the other Top Ten books, Devil in Winter, Flowers from the Storm, Dreaming of You, and The Viscount Who Loved Me only appeared on one AAR staff member’s Top Ten list, while The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was not listed on anyone’s Top Ten, though it did show up elsewhere in our Top 100 ballots. Meanwhile, the book that garnered the most votes (5) by AAR Staff members was J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened which landed in 34th place.
All in all, 46 of the books in the final Top 100 were actually picked by at least one AAR staff member.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the final Top 100. Did any of the titles on your ballot make the final Top 100? Which authors or titles were you surprised to see or not to see on the list?
And what about the “Best of the Rest,” or the titles in positions 101-200? Check back here over the next month for some additional analyses of the Top 100.
– Lee, Cindy and LinnieGayl
As we coast into the holidays, December is looking like it will shape up to be a slower reading month for many of us here at AAR. I’d love to get my hands on a good meaty historical, but those seem to be perilously thin on the ground lately. Several of us are happy to see new releases from Anne Stuart and Connie Brockway, and we’ve still got several other books we’re looking for on shelves as well. What about you? Looking forward to any end of the year reading?
|Title and Author||Reviewer|
|No Place for a Dame by Connie Brockway||Lynn, Lee, Caz|
|Never Trust a Pirate by Anne Stuart||Lea, Caz, Cindy|
|The Devil Wears Kilts by Suzanne Enoch||Caz, Lee|
|No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean||Dabney, Caz|
|Passion and Peril by Suzanne Brockmann and Jill Sorenson||Rike. Lynn|
|The Heart of a Duke by Victoria Morgan||Lee, Caz|
|Running From Scandal by Amanda McCabe||Lynn|
|Heirs of the Body by Carola Dunn||Rike|
|Wild Justice by Kelley Armstrong||Maggie|
|Out to Lunch by Stacey Ballis||Lee|
|Caught Up in You by Beth Andrews||Rike|
|Christmas at the Castle by Marian Lennox||Caroline|
|Wake to Darkness by Maggie Shayne||Maggie|
As a child I used to frighten extremely easily, which meant Halloween was a dreaded holiday. On Halloween night, the mere sound of the doorbell was enough to have me scrambling behind the couch and screaming “Go Away!” I wouldn’t even let my parents open the door to give candy to the bewildered trick or treaters. As I grew older, my fear of all things scary stayed with me. I once went to a birthday party late just to avoid the screening of The Ring. Then one day, I just changed. I suddenly wanted to scare myself silly. I wanted the thrill that can only come from a truly scary story. When someone suggested watching a scary movie, I heard myself seconding them. Scrolling through the channels, I found myself lingering over a famously scary scene. I took a couple English courses in college, one on ghost stories and another called Vampires and Other Mystical Creatures (No, I did not go to Hogwarts- I wish). To feed my sadistic need of terrifying myself, I started a tradition every Halloween of reading something scary (because I’m a book lover, reading the stories was obviously my first step, followed by the movie). I’m still not a horror junkie, but here are some of my favorite creepy reads. My choices below reflect only what I would consider scary and are in order of least scary to sleeping with the lights on, if you can sleep at all. (more…)