Cheap EBooks: Bane, Boon, or Bust for Readers?

If you follow eBook news, you know it’s often all about pricing. From complaints about high prices and allegations of collusion on prices to concerns about cheap eBooks, customers are always keeping their eye on the price. It’s annoying to find that the new eBook you want is $14.99, while the hardback often costs less (including shipping).

To avoid paying too much for eBooks, I check out bargains on the MobileRead Deals, Freebies, and Resources forum every day. The eBook Bargains thread is also hugely popular on AAR’s own Potpourri board. It’s great to find free and bargain eBooks from authors I love, or from authors I’ve been wanting to read. Not long ago, I got nostalgic and gladly bought some Newberry Award winners for $1.99 each because the books reminded me of those great trips to the school library. Of course, I also wound up buying some higher priced titles because I just had to get a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond again. Continue reading

New Lists Open this Month!

In the spirit of keeping the momentum up we’re going to open five more categories on the Special Title Listings page. We have been getting such a great response(thank you all!) and we know how important these lists are to you, our readers, that we wanted to get one more update in before the end of the year. So we are pleased to open up the following categories for submissions: (1) Across the Tracks, (2) Christmas Romances, (3) Inter-Ethnic Romances, (4) Special Settings and (5) Luscious Love Stories. These categories will be open for submissions starting today Monday November 12th and ending Sunday November 25th at midnight. Four of the five categories are ones our readers asked to be updated first while the last one, Christmas Romances, seemed like the perfect addition since it’s about that time of the year. Once again, we are looking for the best of the best in these categories and we’ve included the definitions below. We’ve also included links so you can look over the titles currently on each of the lists. Continue reading

Eagerly Awaited December Books

I guess December 2012 is going to be one of those months where our reading is going to be all over the place. Our paranormal junkies are all looking forward to the latest from Kresley Cole. And, amid all the holiday busyness, the rest of us definitely have a find or several that we can’t wait to check out. So, what about you? Surely you won’t let December get too busy for a bit of reading!

Title and Author Reviewer
Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole Heather S., Cindy, Louise
Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon,and Christi Barth Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, and Christi Barth Lynn
A Taste for Scandal by Erin Knightley A Taste for Scandal by Erin Knightley Lee
The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville Rike
Already Home by Susan Mallery Already Home by Susan Mallery Pat
A Christmas Bride and Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh A Christmas Bride/Christmas Beau (reissues) by Mary Balogh Maggie
Woman in a Sheikh's World by Sarah Morgan Woman in a Sheikh’s World by Sarah Morgan Dabney
The Time of Her Life by Jeanie London The Time of Her Life by Jeanie London Leigh
Homecoming by Rochelle Alers Homecoming by Rochelle Alers Maggie
Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh Tangle of Need(mass market reissue) by Nalini Singh Cindy
Dreamspinner by Lynn Kurland Dreamspinner by Lynn Kurland Louise
Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis Instant Temptation(reissue) by Jill Shalvis Pat
The Prince by Tiffany Reisz The Prince by Tiffany Reisz Lynn
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes Lee
Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones Lea
The Important of Being Wicked by Miranda Neville The Importance of Being Wicked by Miranda Neville Rike
Obsession Wears Opals by Renee Bernard Obsession Wears Opals by Renee Bernard Lee
Tomas: Cowboy Homecoming by Linda Warren Tomas:Cowboy Homecoming by Linda Warren Pat
The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll Lynn
Gold Fire by Starr Ambrose Gold Fire by Starr Ambrose Maggie
When the Duke Found Love by Isabella Bradford When the Duke Found Love by Isabella Bradford Lee

Announcing the Latest Special Title List Updates!

Time to add to those TBR piles! Today we’re happy to announce the completed updates for five Special Title Lists: Arranged Marriages, Cabin and Road Romances, Reunited, Shotgun Weddings, and Tortured Heroes.

As regular readers may know from what we’ve described previously to determine if a title should be added to a particular list. Any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted. Continue reading

Crossover Appeal: World War II Mysteries

Nearly two years ago I wrote here about my fondness for two post-World War I mystery series, Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs series. This past year I’ve moved a bit further ahead in history and have enjoyed two new World War II-era mystery series.

Now of course many classic mystery series were written during the 1940s, and I’ve read and enjoyed a large number of them. Agatha Christie’s mysteries featuring Miss Marple (The Body in the Library and The Moving Finger, etc…) and Hercule Poirot (Evil Under the Sun and Five Little Pigs, among others) are some of my favorites written in the 1940s.But mysteries written today, and set in World War II, have gotten to be a new thing for me.
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Random Penguins? Some Thoughts on the Possible Random House Penguin Merger

Random House was the first publisher’s name I learned to recognize. I didn’t know what a Random was, but I knew what a house was, and I knew Random House was the name on some of my favorite joke books — the Bennett Cerf ones. Of course, I didn’t know Bennett Cerf was one of the founders of Random House, way back in 1927. Now the Bennett Cerf riddle books are considered vintage kids’ books, and last week, we learned that the parent companies of Penguin and Random House were discussing a merger. As if that weren’t enough, there were also reports that News Corp. was trying to bid on the Penguin part of Pearson (stay that three times fast). Yes, that News Corp. — Rupert Murdoch’s company, owner of Fox News as well as Harper Collins. This would have thrown a wrench in the merger plans.
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Aged Out of Paranormals?

Growing up, I knew my mom had a bit of a romance habit. She read a lot of mysteries, but her bookshelf also spilled over with gothics, romantic suspense and the occasional Harlequin. Lately, though, she’s become a paranormal junkie. Writers like J.R. Ward and Kresley Cole are some of her new favorite authors and when she got a Kindle for Mothers’ Day, she was only too happy to start discovering the world of paranormal eBooks. We started talking books one day, and I asked her what made her start loving paranormals so much. Here was her answer, “I get that women in their 60s probably aren’t the target audience for most of these books, but they’re just so much more romantic than the books aimed at people like me.”

When I asked my mom what target audience she thought she fit into, she replied that most of the books with characters anywhere near her age seemed to be women’s fiction or what she refers to as “issue” books. While some of those are good and very relatable, I got the impression she found them a bit too relatable. Continue reading