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I guess it's all been said?
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not a high-volume poster but I read a lot of the threads on the different boards. Like others, I feel that it is harder to find well-written and fresh books in the sub-genres I like to read - historicals, light romantic suspense, and contemporaries. I am not into erotica, alternate reality, heavy paranormals, urban fantasy, other world-building, and vampires; it seems that these sub-genres are growing while others are shrinking. I think this is just the way publishing trends go. Certain sub-genres go in and out of styles; it is cyclical and I am hoping the pendulum will swing back at some point. I have been reading more historical mysteries, straight mysteries, straight contemporaries, and other non-romance fiction to compensate for fewer romances to pick from.

I do read the reviews here and watch the boards for titles and authors that might appeal to me. I have been introduced to many new authors and titles here at AAR which I appreciate. I read a lot of older books and backlists of new-to-me authors that I discovered here.

One of the reasons I don't post a lot is that I have not read the majority of the books that are discussed here. I have started threads on some books but usually don't get much response which supports my theory that I am kind of out of the mainstream of many in the AAR community. I don't have a problem with that; it is just the way it goes. I still enjoy the boards and the conversations.

Also I am not the type of person who gets too analytical about what I read and am not into heavy-duty critiquing of books. I am sometimes intimidated or awed by some of the analysis that shows up here. Many times others have already said what I am thinking and instead of adding a "me too" or "I agree" comment, I just don't post. I tend to lurk more than I post. I know that a board cannot survive with so many lurkers so I do try to join in when it is a book I've read or when I have something meaningful to add to the conversation.
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Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ladynaava wrote:

Hah. I accept the challenge. I'm out of town right now, but will find you some fugliness soon.


Yay! I see being out of town can't stop you from posting fugliness, ladynaava. Have laptop, will find cheesy covers! I particularly enjoy posting from a cafe and showing all & sundry the important work I do daily with my laptop.

On another note, I'm curious how the economic downturn has affected booksales, romance in particular. If even we used-to-be-diehard romance fanatics aren't spending $ on new books, who is??
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gail K. wrote:
On another note, I'm curious how the economic downturn has affected booksales, romance in particular. If even we used-to-be-diehard romance fanatics aren't spending $ on new books, who is??

I'm still buying the same number of new books I always did - it's just harder finding ones I want to buy. Also, finding used books has become difficult. I used to go to the UBS every other week and leave with a book or two every time I went - now I go once a month if even that, and rarely find anything. My feeling, from reading this thread, is that it's not so much a money issue as it is disinterest in the bulk of what is being published (especially the lack of longer, more interesting historicals). On the other hand, I'm sure there are new readers who are into AR and the like and who have been supporting this trend in romance publishing with their $$.

Gail K. wrote:
Thanks for the updates, Yulie. And I'm so glad you are now a more-thoughtful-than-most (myself most definitely included!) "regular."

I don't know, Gail - I think everyone who's weighed in here generally has an interesting perspective to offer in various threads. But thanks, I'll take my compliments where I can find them! Now, if only I had your talent for unearthing hideous covers. I guess it'll be up to you and ladynaava. :lol:

Which reminds me - ladynaava, how did you come up with the name you use here? I've been curious about it for some time.
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Maggie AAR
Site Admin


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2476

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gail K. wrote:

On another note, I'm curious how the economic downturn has affected booksales, romance in particular. If even we used-to-be-diehard romance fanatics aren't spending $ on new books, who is??


Well, I have been posting so I am not sure I am the perfect one to answer this Laughing BUT my buying has been affected by the prices + economic downturn. I have found myself going to the library more and more for my new reads.

I have been finding new books to read but right now my tbr pile is made up of non romances. I do find the coming months slim pickings and am really surprised by that. Don't know what it means though.

This is just a thought, so nobody hurl tomatoes or anything but one thing I have noticed is that I miss conversations because of the number of boards. I don't always check every board so I haven't been to general chat in awhile, have probably checked in on ATBF by accident since this weeks topic wasn't really me, haven't been to the reviews board etc. The end result is that a topic can start that I would love to participate in and be dead before I find it! Sometimes it seems having sooo many boards to choose from can feel overwhelming. In reality, it doesn't take much time but often, it feels like it takes awhile to check everywhere. If I have limited time for posting, that can be deterrent.

maggie b.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Moving on to manga Reply with quote

Elaine S wrote:
I agree with everyone on this thread. I attribute part of it to the generally low standard of books released lately - you only have to look at the grades new reviews are getting - and part of it to a bit of ennui and a sense that, like others, I've said my piece before.......
Good on you, Dick, for stirring the pot!
Yes, thanks to Dick for bringing this up. In fact, I have now moved on to manga - and I would highly recommend "Nana" by Ai Yazawa. You can read it online at www.onemanga.com if your local bookstore doesn't stock manga. I read several books at the same time, and despite having the latest Liz Carlyle (Never Romance a Rake), Marjorie Liu (Iron Hunt and Wild Road), and various others which got good grades at AAR, I kept re-reading Nana. It's the most popular josei/shojo manga in Japan in the last few years, and it's the story of 2 girls called Nana who meet on a train, become friends, and share an apartment together. It's a story about love and friendship, and the nature of love between men and women, and how the choices we make really do impact our lives and relationships, to the extent that there's no going back, even if you want to. There are several romances within it - and really makes you think about relationships in your own life (well, it made me think anyway). The first few chapters are typical teen as Nana is 18 and acts like a boy-crazy 18 year old. Later, it has "parental advisory - mature content" on the cover not because of sex and violence, but because the issues handled are deep once you look beyond the surface (the fact that it's a graphic novel in serialisation, and some parts are rather comic). It's absorbing because the plot is unpredictable (e.g. the men the girls end up with) but not contrived (there's no unending Morelli-Plum-Ranger triangle, or multiple new love interests as in the Sookie Stackhouse books). I like its take on female-male friendships and how it's hard to differentiate from true romantic love, and brotherly-sisterly love. I think the problem with current romances today is that they are far too predictable, and the plots are all re-runs of stuff you have read too many times before (and perhaps done better).
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Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I forgot to mention that BookMooch/Paperbackswap has really saved me a bunch of $$$ (I finally figured out how to use my points effectively). One time, I was wandering around B&N for about an hour. I had a stack of 8 romance novels or so (not all new releases) that I wanted to buy...I also had my laptop with me and they had a Starbucks cafe inside so I thought hey, why don't I check out what I can find on the 'Swap Sites. I found 6 of the 8 books I was originally going to buy! I ordered them online then & there. So there went immediate $$$ out of the coffers of publishers/authors. Sorry, but everyone's on a budget these days.

-Gail


Last edited by Gail K. on Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maggie b. wrote:

This is just a thought, so nobody hurl tomatoes or anything but one thing I have noticed is that I miss conversations because of the number of boards. I don't always check every board so I haven't been to general chat in awhile, have probably checked in on ATBF by accident since this weeks topic wasn't really me, haven't been to the reviews board etc. The end result is that a topic can start that I would love to participate in and be dead before I find it! Sometimes it seems having sooo many boards to choose from can feel overwhelming. In reality, it doesn't take much time but often, it feels like it takes awhile to check everywhere. If I have limited time for posting, that can be deterrent.

maggie b.


I'm in the habit of navigating directly to the "new posts since your last visit" page. So if a topic isn't "hot" or "current" then I think it tends to die a fairly quick death.
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ladynaava



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 938
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:

Which reminds me - ladynaava, how did you come up with the name you use here? I've been curious about it for some time.



Not very exciting story I'm afraid.

Back in the day when I played Baldur's gate- a popular game, I chose Naava as the name for my character and when I came up to think of a name for my online presence that was the first one I came up with. I lke the name because of the double-letters in the middle. It sounds exotic.

Naava is hebrew for beautiful. Not sure I new that at the time, but I like it now, heh.
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ladynaava



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 938
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:

Which reminds me - ladynaava, how did you come up with the name you use here? I've been curious about it for some time.



Not very exciting story I'm afraid.

Back in the day when I played Baldur's gate- a popular game, I chose Naava as the name for my character and when I came up to think of a name for my online presence that was the first one I came up with. I lke the name because of the double-letters in the middle. It sounds exotic.

Naava is hebrew for beautiful. Not sure I new that at the time, but I like it now, heh.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ladynaava wrote:
Naava is hebrew for beautiful. Not sure I new that at the time, but I like it now, heh.

That's why I was curious - naava indeed means beautiful or more accurately "fair" so I kept thinking of My Fair Lady Very Happy .
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All we need is for someone to say something controversial.

Laura Kinsale and Judith Ivory suck.

Other than Lady of the West and All That Glitters, all Linda Howard books are phenomenal.

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files aren't very impressive.

Cassie Edwards writes all her own stuff, and you guys are mean to say otherwise.

Andrea Kane needs to go back to historicals full time. Her older historicals, barring the dreadful The Music Box, are wonderful.

I actually believe everything I said above with the exception of one sentence.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting take. But you know, as far as I'm concerned, Laura Kinsale's and Judith Ivory's styles do suck, especially Ivory's. Kinsale's is somewhat redeemed by a kind of ironic undertone in some parts, but Ivory's is so deadly boring I've never been able to complete reading one of her books.
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Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kass: I love guessing games! I'm going with your LH statement.

Since it worked so well with ladynaava, I'm going to try and invoke the names and thus hopefully presences of more MIA posters. Feel free to join in the incantations. Occurring to me just now: Gwen G, Kerstin, MarianneM...where are you??
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
, but Ivory's is so deadly boring I've never been able to complete reading one of her books.




I feel the same about most of Kinsale's. **ducking, and running**
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'll bite!

But only because I'm honestly curious.

What is it about Kinsale's style that you all don't like?

I've only read My Sweet Folly, and though I found it rough in places, I find that I really love Kinsale. (It was the scene with the knitting woman that charmed me for life.)

Like all fans, I really can't fathom what there is to dislike. Please enlighten me! Very Happy
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