Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction Recommendations for Best of 2013?

loveliestchocolate LinnieGayl: One of my favorite categories in AAR’s Annual Poll is Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. In most years I’ve read several books in the category and have a hard time deciding which book to vote for. This year is different. With just one month before polling begins on January 13, I realize that I haven’t read a single chick lit or women’s fiction book that I would consider voting for in the 2013 Annual Poll.

So I decided to take the advice we give readers: Do a power search at AAR. For Chick Lit titles published in 2013 that didn’t produce very helpful results; only Katie Fforde’s A Perfect Proposal, which received a B- from Maggie, has been reviewed this year at AAR.

A power search for best Women’s Fiction yields more titles published in 2013, including the following that interest me: Continue reading

Heads Up! The Annual AAR Reader Poll is Coming

winteriscoming Can you believe that in less than a month we will be celebrating a new year? Before that, we hope that many of you will have lots of free time during the holiday season with more time to read. So, with those wonderful thoughts of time to yourself running through your head we would like to remind you that on January 13, 2014 we will open AAR’s Annual Reader Poll for romance books published in 2013. That’s right, it’s time to buckle down and read those “to be read” books of 2013.

This year’s poll will be a bit different from previous years as we lay to rest a few categories that AAR readers have shown little interest in (Guiltiest Pleasure, Best Inspirational and Most Disappointing) while adding/changing categories that we hope will spark some interest.

First we are going to split the Paranormal category into two new categories: Best Paranormal/Time Travel Romance and Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance. The paranormal romance has come to encompass so many different creatures, magical abilities and types of world building that we wanted to try and give our readers more room to vote for their favorite books. Continue reading

2013 Reading Year: In Search of Great Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction

questions2 It’s hard to believe but we’re now into the eighth month of the 2013 reading year. This means there are only four months left to read the best of romance novels published in 2013 before voting begins for AAR’s Annual Reader Poll. As one of the three pollsters at AAR (along with LeeB and CindyS), I find myself thinking early about books I might vote for in the Annual Reader Poll.

Over the last few years one of my favorite categories has been the Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. I tend to favor Chick Lit (lighter, less angtsy) over Women’s Fiction, but have enjoyed a number of Women’s Fiction titles as well. Many AAR readers express confusion about what the difference is between Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction, and Contemporary Romance. Last year I wrote a similar piece here and provided some links to descriptions of just what makes a book Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction as opposed to Contemporary Romance. But this confusion comes through each year in the votes for “best” Chick Lit and/or Women’s Fiction, as titles generally categorized as contemporary romance (such as those by Kristan Higgins, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson) garner votes in this category. Continue reading

And the Results are In!

poll

Thanks yet again for your continued support of the Annual Poll. We would also like to thank all the authors, publishers and readers who publicized the poll, whether online or just by word of mouth.

This year’s AAR Annual Reader Poll for Best 2012 Romance Books had some pretty interesting new obstacles. With the proliferation of so many ebooks being published, the votes for authors, titles and characters were incredibly wide-ranging. Publication dates also caused some confusion for readers and for us. As a result, we took extra precautions to make sure books were published for the first time in 2012 and were not previously published in a digital format. Another interesting outcome is that only two categories yielded honorable mentions meaning almost every category had a standalone winner showing that this year our readers were very decisive about the books they loved. And finally, there is a phenomenon that we pollsters are familiar with called ‘vote splitting’. This is where an author has more than one book published in the year and each title garners its own set of votes thus splitting the author’s chances of winning in a specific category by up to 50%. Many authors have had this obstacle in their path and still found their way into the winner’s circle, for example, this year, Sarah Mayberry had two books vying for attention, nevertheless, she won a category while Sherry Thomas was able to pull off an outright win even with a three title handicap. So without further ado, here are some favorite authors and a newbie who received wins and an Honorable Mention. (Note: Honorable Mentions are awarded when a second (or third) place title receives within 20% of the votes cast for the winner.)

For complete poll results, continue reading here.

– Lee Brewer, LinnieGayl Kimmel, and Cindy Smith

News and Announcements

Decisions, decisions…. – If you haven’t voted yet, don’t forget that our Annual Reader Poll runs through Sunday, January 20, 2013. I’ll admit that I’m one of those still procrastinating over my ballot. My votes for some of the categories jump out at me right away: The Siren was definitely the most unforgettable erotica I read this year and nothing was as much a tear-jerker for me as The Sleeping Night. However, it’s very hard for me to vote for just one book in some of the other categories.

So, what books are you all thinking about as you go over the poll this year? Continue reading

And…It’s Time for the 17th Annual Reader Poll!!

Doldrums from the holidays setting in yet? Too much snow or rain or just too cold to go outside? Nothing new on TV? Well, what better way to start off 2013 than by voting in the AAR Annual Poll? Yes, it’s that time of year again and we want you to let us know which stories, authors and characters you loved from books published in 2012. Today we are thrilled to be opening our 17th AAR Annual Reader Poll.

The Annual Reader Poll is very special here at AAR. The poll is a way for AAR readers to let us – and authors and publishers – know which books you feel deserve honors (and maybe those that don’t). We know that several AAR readers keep spreadsheets, Goodreads/Librarything shelves, or charts in some form or another and hopefully those will help you in filling out the poll. If you haven’t kept a spreadsheet or reading chart (and there are just as many readers who don’t), you can always use the Power Search function at AAR to search for reviews from the 2012 reading year. In Power Search you can search by genre, reviewer, year published, grade, and other categories which should help you in filling out your ballot. Continue reading

Heads Up: The Annual Poll Will Be Here Soon – And We Want Input!

It hardly seems possible, but in just over a month the AAR Annual Reader Poll for romances published in 2012 will be here. Yes, once again, we’ll be polling for your favorite romances published during the past year. The poll will start on Monday, January 7, 2013, and run for two weeks until midnight U.S. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, January 20, 2013.

If you’re new to AAR, or have never voted in one of the Annual Reader Polls, you may want to check out the results from last year, as well as our write-up of the results, including comments from some of the winning authors. We plan to retain all of the categories in last year’s poll, listed below: Continue reading

AAR Annual Reader Poll: Voting Closes on January 29th

We plan for AAR’s Annual Poll for months and since January 16th we’ve been frantically entering your ballots. Now, as hard as it is to believe, the AAR Annual Poll for books first published in 2011 is nearly over. Yes, this year’s poll closes at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, January 29th.

Have you voted yet? If you have, thank you! It’s truly a joy to look at all of your votes and tally the results In the past we would receive a flurry of votes the first few days and then things would die out until the last days of the poll. Not this year. So far, we’ve received a large number of ballots each day since voting opened. This keeps us busy, but very happy.

If you haven’t voted, don’t despair. There’s still plenty of time to vote. And more importantly, your vote can make the difference in many categories. Right now most of the categories – including Best Romance of 2011, Best Romance Hero, and Best Romance Couple – are wide open with just days remaining in the poll.

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And…the Annual Reader Poll Begins!

voting_m-300x225 It’s the beginning of a new year and many of us readers are looking forward to the next must-have title by our favorite authors and those wonderful cherry-on-top moments of discovering a new auto-buy author during 2012. We know this time is special and fun, and we ourselves are basking in the newness of it all. And yet, we need your help in looking back at the books you loved and those that left you wanting so much more from last year, 2011. Today is the start of our 16th AAR Annual Reader Poll .

The Annual Reader Poll has a long tradition at AAR, and is one of the highlights of the year for many readers. It is a time when AAR readers pick the best and worst reads of the previous year. This is your poll and your moment to help us determine what you think readers should have noticed and passed on in 2011. There are many AAR readers who keep charts and know exactly what titles and characters they will be entering on their ballot. If you haven’t kept a reading chart (and there are just as many readers who don’t), you can always use the Power Search function at AAR to search for reviews from the 2011 reading year. In Power Search you can search by genre, reviewer, year published, grade, and a host of other areas that should be helpful in preparing your ballot.

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Heads Up: The Annual AAR Readers Poll is Coming

I know that many of you are in a pre-holiday frenzy right now, and the last thing you need is more pressure. Then again, it’s better to have lots of warning. If you’re a longtime visitor to AAR, you know what’s coming in January. But if you’re new to AAR, let us give you a heads-up now. Yes, even though 2011 isn’t over, we at AAR are getting ready for the AAR Annual Reader Poll for 2011 romances!

Voting in the 16th AAR Annual Reader Poll will begin on Monday, January 16, 2012 and will end two weeks later at midnight on Sunday, January 29th. The Annual Reader Poll has a long tradition at AAR, and is one of the highlights of the year here.

The categories we used last year worked quite well. By changing the previous category of Erotica to Romantica/Erotica and the category of Worst Romance to Most Disappointing Romance, we were able to announce winners quite easily in all of the categories. So we’re sticking with a good thing and will be going with the same categories this year (see the bottom of this post for a listing of all of the categories  that will be on the ballot this year).

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