My pick for best romance of 2013 was the very sexy Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun. (AAR readers liked it too: It won Best Erotica/Romantica in our most recent Annual Reader Poll.) Read the rest of this entry »
Romance audio enthusiasts – it’s here! After years of wishing for Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels in audio format, Blackstone Audio released this eternal romance favorite on January 28th. To make it even more irresistible, the highly talented Kate Reading narrates.
In both the 2011 and 2012 Speaking of Audiobooks Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll, Loretta Chase was overwhelmingly voted the Author’s Romance Backlist You Most Want to See in Audio. And, in discussions at Speaking of Audiobooks, our Romance Audiobooks Goodreads group, and beyond, romance listeners mentioned that Lord of Scoundrels was at the top of their Loretta Chase wish list. Read the rest of this entry »
February proved to be quite the “challenging” month for me and I finished only four books that applied to my challenges. The good news is that reading three of those books helped me finish off my geography challenge. None of the books were standouts to me unfortunately, although A Gathering Storm by Rachel Hore was certainly the most memorable.
In Hore’s novel, Lucy Cardwell’s father seemed to have some sort of breakdown shortly after his mother’s death. He divorced his wife and seemed obsessed with some strange branch of family history. When Lucy sorts through his papers she finds out about an uncle she never knew she had. Intrigued she finds herself visiting her father’s childhood home, the once beautiful Carlyon Manor. The house has burned down but the village near it is still around and it is there that she meets Beatrice, an old woman who knows all the secrets of Lucy’s family. Starting in the 1930’s and ending shortly after the war we learn of a boy, a girl and a breathtaking adventure. Read the rest of this entry »
We added several new categories this year: New Adult, Young Adult, Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and Best Sci-fi/Fantasy Romance. We are pleased to see that the new categories also resulted in some new authors winning some of the categories for this year.
Next Monday – February 17 – we will announce the results of All About Romance’s Annual Reader Poll for the best romance novels published in 2013. Working on the poll has me thinking about the best books published in 2013 from my other favorite genre, mystery.
I admit it: I’m a genre fiction reader. Nonfiction reads rarely find their way on to my TBR. Last year only 5% of my reading was nonfiction. The majority of that was religious reading done through a church book club. The one other read was a Dr. Phil book a friend told me had really helped her. She wanted to discuss it and I found it an easy if not exactly scintillating read.
This year I’ve gotten off to a stronger start. I’ve already finished four nonfiction books but once more they are religious reads and revolve around the subject we are doing in the church book group. To shake things up I’ve begun Living with the Enemy: What Really Happened by Roy McLoughlin which details the German occupation of the Channel Islands during WWII. So far I’ve found it an intense (and shocking) read. I’ve also been reading Hitler’s Furies by Wendy Lowery which details the role of German women in the Nazi regime. This isn’t exactly cheerful reading but it is thought provoking and educational. The fascinating thing about history is that it reminds us that all those times we accuse a fiction book of not having a dose of reality, we are probably wrong. Reality trumps fiction in terms of being bizarre, emotional and just plain crazy.
When I look over my favorite nonfiction reads of the last several years I realize that it is as eclectic as my fiction reading. Here are five of my favorites:
Gift of a Letter by Alexandra Stoddard – this little gem of a book is dedicated to a rapidly declining art form — the letter. Brimming with enthusiasm for her subject Stoddard gives us history, anecdotes and tips all designed to help us revive this intimate and underappreciated form of communication.
Living a Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard – Stoddard invites us to add beauty to everyday living through simple things. It’s a lovely way to remind yourself that beauty really is all around us.
Home Warming: Secrets to Making Your House a Welcoming Place by Emilie Barnes – My home is more practical than lovely but I love to read books that describe the best ways to make a space both functional and pretty.
The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette H Elgin – This is a must read for anyone who has a passive-aggressive in their life. Wonder why you feel insulted when you technically weren’t insulted? Learn the secrets behind those conversations that have frustrated you for years.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell – This fabulously written account of what goes into being successful is an absolutely riveting read.
A lot of these books are out of print because they are older reads I’ve picked up at various sales. Still, they are books that have moved me, helped me or enlightened me in meaningful ways. It’s nice to have books like that in your life – books that haven’t just entertained or taken your breath away with their artistry but books that have really helped you know more about yourselves or others.
So what about you? Do you read nonfiction? What are the books that top your favorites list? What would you recommend adding to my TBR?
I can’t believe we’re already thinking about spring releases! But, March is just around the corner. Judging by the list of books we here at AAR are eager to try, I think it’s fair to say that Deanna Raybourn’s historical novels have our attention. Spring is bringing a variety of interesting-sounding books in other subgenres as well, and there seem to be more category romances than usual catching our eyes. So, what are you looking forward to in March?
|Title and Author||Reviewer|
|City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn||Lynn, Caz, Pat, Lee, LinnieGayl, Rike, Maggie, Alexandra, Melanie|
|The Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin||Maggie, Caroline, Lynn|
|All a Man Is by Janie Kay Johnson||Heather, Pat|
|Carolina Man by Virginia Kantra||Lee, Haley|
|Night Broken by Patricia Briggs||Maggie, Heather|
|The Fall of a Saint by Christine Merrill||Caz|
|Awakened by His Touch by Nikki Logan||Rike|
|Secrets at Court by Blythe Gifford||Lynn|
|Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell||Maggie|
|The Bride Insists by Jane Ashford||Lee|
|Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop||Heather|
|Atonement by B.J. Daniels||Pat|
|For His Eyes Only by Liz Fielding||Caroline|
|The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland||Alexandra|
|The Rome Affair by Addison Fox||Lynn|
|Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty||Melanie|
|The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont||Caz|
|The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan||Rike|
|Precious Thing by Colette McBeth||Maggie|
|A King’s Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman||Caz|
|Love Another Day by Gina Robinson||Lee|
|The Kindred of Darkness by Barbara Hambly||Caroline|
|Dancing With Dragons by Lorenda Christensen||Lynn|
|The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O’Neal||Heather|
|Death by the Book by Julianna Deering||Maggie|
|All I Ever Wanted(reissue) by Kristan Higgins||Jenna|
|Double Blind(reissue) by Heidi Cullinan||Pat|
|An Arranged Marriage(reissue) by Jo Beverley||Rike|
When I heard CBS was doing a modern day Sherlock Holmes set in New York, my response was pure, unmitigated outrage. Yes, I tried to be moderate and keep an open mind; yes, I understood that any resemblances to the BBC Sherlock would be highly unlikely; and yes, it stars Jonny Lee Miller, who can’t really be a bad thing, ever. But my biggest apprehension came with the news that they had cast a female Watson, as personified by Lucy Liu. Read the rest of this entry »