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What I Love about AAR
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1446

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: What I Love about AAR Reply with quote

I just love this site. Let me count the ways.

1. I love, love, love the book reviews. Somehow, most of the time, I agree with the reviewer. The reviews are always interesting and fair, even if (sometimes) the reviewer has not matched my taste, but insisted--for some unknown reason--on her own.

2. Thanks to the past reviews, when I was going thru a dry spell, I looked up A books and found tons of fabulous new (to me) books, most of which were free from the library.

3. I love the postings, even when I don't agree. It is extremely rare that people get snarky with one another, and if someone is offended, most of the time, the ofendee usually makes it right. I'm never nervous about posting here.

4. I love the organization. There is just SO MUCH information available here--reviews of new books, a recording of hundreds? thousands? of past reviews, easily accessible, interviews with authors, an easy way to read what people have posted about a previous book or topic, e-mail addresses if I want to contact people personally, lists of books on sale now and in the future, book titles organized on a theme (like beauty and the beast), a part that "if you liked (fill in the blank), then you'll probably like (another author's name). And there's even more which I'm not including.

5. The care that the reviewers and the people who run this site show constantly in their maintenance and responses to problems or suggestions. I love having someone to e-mail to help me when I didn't realize that I could edit one of my postings, for example, that I wanted changed. I love having reviewers and other people tell us what prompted their thinking when people disagree with a review, etc.

6. The erudition and wit and just general opinions of the posters. What an interesting bunch of people. I just wish I could get people who sneer at romances to read some postings. When I tell my anti-romance friends about some of the discussions, I just know that although they don't think I'm lying, they really can't believe me. Oh, well.

7. I was thinking, last night while making dinner, of past parodies of romance novels and how funny they were. Can we do that again? Please?
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Jean Wan AAR



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 405
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynda X, what a lovely post! Thanks so much.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hear, hear, Lynda!

I also enjoy this site and come here daily ever since discovering it two years ago.

Although I do not rely on AAR's reviews as this is too subjective for me (I prefer to check all books out on Goodreads as there is a wide range of people's opinions), there are some notable exceptions e.g. I find that I almost always agree with and like reviews of the retired reviewer Rachel Potter, and after I saw The Lymond Chronicles being mentioned on this board I read the brilliant review by Jennifer Keirans that set me on this wonderful reading experience that is the world of Dorothy Dunnett's writing (historical fiction, strictly speaking) [I should warn any potential TLC reader against Jo Beverley's review of Checkmate (The Lymond Chronicles #6 and last) as it's very heavy-handed and -spoilt although imbued with passion too].

What I love about AAR:

1. [IMO] it's the most comprehensive site for a romance reader. You can always find an answer to your question concerning romance

2. I also compiled my reading list from here both from various threads and posters' recommendations, and from 100 Top Romance polls and annual polls

3. Some features are wonderful, like Special Title Listings or Favourite Books by Favourite Authors. So I agree with your point #4, Lynda.

4. Ditto your point #5, Lynda. Compared to some other sites, this is is a very civilized environment. And very lively, there's always someone to answer your question or someone you'd like to answer or share your opinion with.

Overall, great job, AAR!
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 667
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am eternally grateful to AAR which I started looking at over 10 years ago for introducing me to North American authors I knew nothing about as they weren't/aren't published in the UK. So I'm also grateful to amazon where I can usually find a secondhand or new copy of these books. If it wasn't for AAR I would not know about: Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, Carla Kelly, Edith Layton, Barbara Metzger, Judith A Lansdowne - just to name a very few.

The reviews are excellent and over the years have provided my TBR pile (which never seems to go down!) and I enjoy the stimulating discussions and particularly look forward to postings by certain AAR members. It's wonderful to see postings from readers all over the world and hearing their ideas and opinions.

I read (and also write) amazon reviews so with that and AAR I feel I get a good, rounded (usually) POV on loads of books.

So: excellent job to all at AAR, long may you continue and my gratitude to you for providing such a wonderful site for learning and exchanging information and opinions.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:26 am    Post subject: In appreciation of AAR Reply with quote

I have been a fan of AAR since it first went online way back in 1996, and have checked on the site almost daily for more than 10 years. It has gone from strength to strength. However, I do miss Laurie Gold, and wish sometimes that she would come back for a guest appearance or two. Like mirole, I also miss Rachel Potter's presence at AAR as she was the reviewer whose tastes aligned most closely with mine, and I loved many of the books she recommended.

I too loved the parodies of romance on AAR - is it archived somewhere? Could the files be brought out again and linked for current AAR readers to enjoy?

I think what makes AAR so successful is a combination of the dedication of its administrators and reviewers, and also the goodwill and camaraderie of posters from all over the world who contribute to discussions about romances. For those who want to post about items which may be incendiary, there is the Wild Wild West forum. Lynda X, you have said it all, and I thank you for your post because sometimes we take things for granted, and I am so glad to Sandy, Blythe, Lynn and the rest of the team at AAR for all they do.
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1446

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading these replies makes me remember my boredom at the time, years ago. My long-time favorite authors had become old, stale, and flat, but when I tried new authors, they too were boring. I was not happy. Although I loved romance novels, it looked to me as if the genre was done. When I googled romance books, I got porn sites.

Then, I commented to a reviewer on Amazon how much I liked her reviews, she wrote to me, and eventually she recommended AAR. I was thrilled! Now, 99% of my favorite books and authors originate here. I'm back, happily reading romances again. What pleasure!
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 892

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: On THin Ice Reply with quote

One of the reasons I appreciate AAR is to find out about new books coming out by my favorite authors as well as hearing about new authors. I just noticed at After Hours, Lea is reading a new Ice book by Anne Stuart and I didn't know she had a new one out (it looks like its in e-book or audio only). So I'm excited to read On Thin Ice. I don't have time to post a lot but I visit AAR often and am thankful for this site.
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JulieR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, would like to express my appreciation for this site. I visit almost daily, and as others have said, I would have missed so many great authors without it. No Mary Balogh. No Susan Elizabeth Phillips. No Jennifer Crusie. No Connie Willis. No Lois McMaster Bujold (ack -- no Miles Vorkosigan!!)

So to all of those who do the work, and all the members who contribute in the forums, THANK YOU!
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LeeB.



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1280
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: In appreciation of AAR Reply with quote

msaggie wrote:
I too loved the parodies of romance on AAR - is it archived somewhere? Could the files be brought out again and linked for current AAR readers to enjoy?

Do you mean these? http://www.likesbooks.com/ppppageindex.html
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread. I was lucky enough that on a different board which had nothing to do with romance reading we got into a topic and romance books came up and someone passed on this board as a good one to me.

I used to visit romantic times site in the past I even once many years ago had a membership to the magazine... Embarassed

But I felt like it was a big advertisement push more than anything. It didn't break down the particulars like we do at AAR. Just coming to the boards and sharing thoughts with savvy readers like yourselves. Finding similar likes and disections of a story we've read. You develop a trust here that leads you to find the next good romance book to read the next favorite author. This site guides me more than any other. From Favorite Book by Favorite Author to Top 100 Romances to the reviews to these boards. All of this compiles for me to be the very best romance website that is out there frankly.

Many readers here are just so passionate and they truly delve deeper into understanding why the book is a success what they enjoyed about it why it hit all the marks for them.

I can go on and on but the point being it's just a really cool site. lol
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, were to begin? I love AAR for the reviews that are not overly long or emotional, but to the point. Enjoy the Special Title Listings over the years. Really enjoy the conversations here, even though we sometimes disagree. And I know I have been, over these many years...the Problem Child at times. I love how I've been allowed to be myself on the boards. I adore you..AAR. (note my 5000 ++ posts) Yes I do.
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 469
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with the sentiment of this thread. I've found so many wonderful new authors and books through the boards, and I like the reviews here. My most recent AAR discovery was to start reading M/M due to a thread by autumn asking for recommendations. Not only have I made my way through most of those recommendations, but I've branched out into other M/M books. I'm totally addicted. I think the boards are for the most part congenial. Even on the threads where people disagree and get their feathers ruffled I can usually see how both sides have a point, and I like getting both perspectives.

I also really like getting other reader's opinions of the books I read. It nice to have a back and forth discussion as opposed to just reading reviews. In general I'm not very critical of my reading material, I usually decide how I feel about them by how much I enjoyed reading it. Reading is my entertainment (I don't have cable). So I find that in most cases other readers see way more than I do, and it makes me think of the book differently in a good way.

Mostly I just love being able to talk about the kind of books I like. I don't have any friends in real life who share my taste in reading material. Every now and then my mom and my sister will read a paranormal with me, but not often. I also have one other friend who likes YA, and I'll check out some of the ones she recommends so we can have fun chatting about them. However, I don't prefer them, and I find it hard to connect with a teenaged protagonist. So yeah, the ladies and gentlemen here are pretty much it for me for book talk.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy the people who participate on the boards and who give their thoughts on books they've read and other topics that are related (and sometimes not so connected). Yes, we don't always agree, but we can have fun hashing it around.

I like that most posters are respectful of others' opinions; and as someone else said, if they're not, usually they're quick to own up. Tone is difficult to pin down when only text and some emoticons are used to try to convey it. But I do feel that most of us do well; and when we don't for whatever reason, we try to set it right (me included). Very Happy

All of these things set in motion a board that can at times be super interesting because of all the thoughts and opinions flying around. I too have found some new authors whom I enjoy reading from readers' recommendations and from some of the reviews.
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CD



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 665
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elaine S wrote:
I am eternally grateful to AAR which I started looking at over 10 years ago for introducing me to North American authors I knew nothing about as they weren't/aren't published in the UK. So I'm also grateful to amazon where I can usually find a secondhand or new copy of these books. If it wasn't for AAR I would not know about: Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, Carla Kelly, Edith Layton, Barbara Metzger, Judith A Lansdowne - just to name a very few.

The reviews are excellent and over the years have provided my TBR pile (which never seems to go down!) and I enjoy the stimulating discussions and particularly look forward to postings by certain AAR members. It's wonderful to see postings from readers all over the world and hearing their ideas and opinions.

I read (and also write) amazon reviews so with that and AAR I feel I get a good, rounded (usually) POV on loads of books.

So: excellent job to all at AAR, long may you continue and my gratitude to you for providing such a wonderful site for learning and exchanging information and opinions.



Second Elaine S's reasons in the AAR love fest! I started visiting these boards over ten years ago - can't believe it's been so long. I still remember the old format of the boards and the page on "Desert Island books"! After a few disapointments, I would have probably given up on romance without the reviews on this website pointing out the gems. This is particularly in the age before ebooks when international postage for US books was so expensive.

Also, on a personal note, I remember the lovely messages from people on these boards just after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It really touched me and speaks to the sense of AAR as a community. I may no longer read that many romance books nowadays but I still come back for the community.

xina - what would AAR be without you! I think I've been more or of a Problem Child than you at various times...
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1446

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me! Me! Me! I'M the problem child! Not you! ME!

Actually, I sometimes feels strange/awkward that I post so much. But then I think, oh, if they don't want to read something because I've posted it, that's their right. They can pass by. Isn't it interesting that a blank slate can bring your insecurities out?

PS I can't think of even one person here that I would call a problem. Really. Yes, sometimes there are spats, but everyone tries hard, I think, to see the other point of view, etc. I never think, when I see the same posters again, "Oh, gotta be careful. She's so fragile or so easily irritated."
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