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Here Is Your 2010 Reading Challenge!!
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Here Is Your 2010 Reading Challenge!! Reply with quote

Since no one else has chimed in on the previous challenge thread and it's been a week since we started working on this, I'm now assuming that the following will be our 2010 Reading Challenge!

Please use this thread to clarify anything you don't understand about the rules, to ask about possible reading recommendations, or report in on any books you might have finished this month. As with last year's challenge, we'll open a new thread in a month or two to continue our progress reports and updates.

Welcome to the 10 in 2010 AAR Reading Challenge.

Your Goal: To read 10 romance-related books in 2010

The Challenge: To select your 10 books from among the following categories:

Category 1: New-to-Me Authors
Choose one book each from three authors whose work you have never read.

Category 2: New-to-Me or Least Favored
Pick one of the following two categories (New or Least Favored Time Periods *OR* New or Least Favored Places) and read three books from that category, following the instructions listed.

New-to-Me or Least Favored Time Periods
Choose three books from any three time periods that you tend to avoid or have never read before. The time periods are:

Ancient World
Medieval
Elizabethan
Georgian/Colonial
Regency
Frontier/Pioneer/Old West
Civil War
Gilded Age/Turn of Century/Late Victorian
WWI/Roaring 20's
Depression/WWII
1950's/Mad Men, the Red Scare, and the Cold War
The Time of Global Movements/1960's, 1970's, 1980's
Contemporary - set in 2009/2010
Future

OR

New-to-Me or Least Favored Places
Choose three books from any three places or settings that you tend to avoid or have never read before. The places/settings are:

Africa
Alaska/Canada
New England
Southern U.S.
Northwest U.S.
Caribbean
Western/Mainland Europe
Eastern Europe
Southern Europe
Mediterranean
Russia
New Zealand/Australia
Other Asia
South America
England/Ireland/Scotland

Category 3: Wildcard!
Choose one final category from the seven options below, and make your book selections based on the directions within that category.

Overused Characters. Pick one book from each of these categories:
The hero is a duke or CEO of a corporation.
The heroine is a secretary or a governess.
The hero, heroine or both are spies or detectives

Underused Characters. Pick one book from each of these categories:
Heroine is a CEO of a corporation
Neither Hero or Heroine is from the nobility in an historical
Hero works for heroine.

Overused Plots. Pick one book from each of these categories:
Marriage of Convenience
Secret Baby
Heroine Left Destitute or Hero Wrongly Accused (Must be significant part of book/major plot point.)

AAR. Pick one book from each of these categories:
A book that earned a DIK review
A book that earned a "C" review
A book that earned a DNF or "F" review

An Author Through "the Ages". Pick one book from each of these categories:
A book published by an author in 1990
A book published by the same author in 2000
A book published by the same author in 2010

Contest Covers.
3 cover contest winners. You may use one or multiple years, but make your selections from different categories.
(Cover contest results can be found here: Covers )

And finally....
Oh My Huge "To Be Read" (TBR) Pile! Pick one book from each of these categories:
A book from your TBR pile that you bought at a yard, library, or church sale
A romance book from your TBR pile that a friend/relative/significant other gave you that you would NEVER have bought for yourself.
A book from your TBR pile that is from an expired publishing line, e.g., "Everlasting Love," "Signet Regency Romances," "Kismet," "Harlequin Flipside," "Temptation," "Loveswept," "Rapture," "Second Chance at Love," etc.

Category 4: Ultimate challenge. To get to that all important TENTH book of the year:

Read the tenth book by an author;

Or,

Read a book with the word or letters "ten" in the title. These letters can be in another word but must be together, as in the word "content" or "pretend."
As an example, here are books in my TBR pile that fit that requirement:
Potent Pleasures (1999) - Eloisa James
Noble Intentions (2002) - Katie MacAlister
The Tenderfoot Bride (2003) - Cheryl St. John
A Sheriff in Tennessee (2002) - Lori Handeland


Last edited by Sandlynn on Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:42 pm; edited 2 times in total
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will attempt to participate. I could use an excuse to read new-to-me authors and situations.
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anastacyann



Joined: 03 Oct 2009
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Here Is Your 2010 Reading Challenge!! Reply with quote

I am in for the challenge. Here's what I will do:

Category 1: New-to-Me Authors
1.
2.
3.

Category 2: New-to-Me or Least Favored
1. Georgian/Colonial
2. Regency
3. Civil War

Category 3: Wildcard!
An Author Through "the Ages".
1. A book published by an author in 1990
2. A book published by the same author in 2000
3. A book published by the same author in 2010

Category 4: Ultimate challenge.
1. Read the tenth book by an author
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Maggie AAR
Site Admin


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2491

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure I will be able to swing it. Right now from my TBR pile it looks like I will be doing:

Category 1:

I have so many choices here I won't list them

Category 2:

I have one Georgian -- J. Beverley's Secrets of a Lady which I have not wanted to read and will now be inspired to

The Winter Queen -- Elizabethan

Upstairs at Miss Hatties -- Depression era.

Spares:
Bridegroom by Linda Lael Miller
Dawn of Valor by Lindsey Mckenna


Category 3:

Oh my huge TBR Pile

I have a book bought at a library sale
A book that a friend gave me that I had actually made a decision not to buy (this was sheer luck as I had nothing else like that and was grumbling about the loss of the buy four get fifth free sale thing when she brought it over without even having heard me grumble!)
I have several books from the Harlequin Everlasting Love Line

Category 4

This was a huge giggle for me since I was certain nothing in my TBR would fit but I had forgotten that I had "Smitten" by Janet Evanovich. I was stunned. I am really looking forward to reading that one.

I may do another wild card category. I know I have a Marriage of Convenience one by Debbie Macomber and I have one in the pile where the heroine was left destitute. All I would need is the secret baby. Not sure I want to go there . . . . .

maggie b.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My "problem" is I have books that would fit in a couple of categories, so I have to decide which slot I'm going to put them in. Right now, before the challenge officially began, I've been reading a book by an author who is new to me. But, I think I won't count it because it'll be fun to pick three others.

Quote:
I may do another wild card category. I know I have a Marriage of Convenience one by Debbie Macomber and I have one in the pile where the heroine was left destitute. All I would need is the secret baby. Not sure I want to go there . . . . .


You mean, in addition? If so, go you!!!
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2491

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn wrote:
My "problem" is I have books that would fit in a couple of categories, so I have to decide which slot I'm going to put them in. Right now, before the challenge officially began, I've been reading a book by an author who is new to me. But, I think I won't count it because it'll be fun to pick three others.


My problem last year was that I had *no* books to fit any of the categories. Everything I either bought new or got from the library. So it is a nice change that they will all come from a TBR pile. (A lot of that came from reading the rules wrong and not knowing what I owned. As a result, two books I bought for last years challenge will go into this years.)


Sandlynn wrote:
You mean, in addition? If so, go you!!!


Yup! My goal is to really plow through my TBR and get it down to a tiny size. This will give me some inspiration to read those books! If I am lucky, I will stumble across a secret baby in the pile somewhere Wink

maggie b.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to put the link in -- in the original post on this thread -- to the "Cover Contest" page so that peeps (that's YOU) can review the options if you choose to do that wildcard category. So, I went back and added that.
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Marcella



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
Posts: 223
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in, although I haven't got a clue as yet what to choose for any of the categories. Could use a sorting hat or something like that for my tbr pile (sorry, just reread a Harry Potter).
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that I finished reading Alina Adams' "When a Man Loves a Woman," I am now ready for the 2010 reading challenge. (Actually Adams' book could fit into my challenge since I had never read her before, but I'd rather move on.)

Anyway, I think I might try Maggie Davis' "Hustle Sweet Love" as one of the authors who is new to me. I was going to try Pamela Clare, but I may need her for the time periods part of my challenge. The time periods I will probably focus on is WWI/roaring 20's and depression/WWII, as they seem to get the least love in romance writing. My third one ... I don't know. Probably futuristic.
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bookbug



Joined: 04 Jul 2007
Posts: 300
Location: California USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in again this year!

Category 1: New-to-Me Authors
1. Kat Martin- Silk and Steel ~FINISHED
2. Christina Dodd- A Knight to Remember~FINISHED
3. Elizabeth Hoyt- Wicked Intentions~FINISHED

Category 2: New-to-Me or Least Favored Time Periods
1. Ancient World
2. Frontier/Pioneer/Old West
3. Anna Gilbert- A Hint of Witchcraft WWI/Roaring 20's

Category 3: Wildcard! either
AAR Picks/Reviews
1. Enchanted by Elizabeth Lowell- "A" review~FINISHED
2. The Ninth Daughter by Abigail Adams "C" review~FINISHED
3. The Innocent by Beatrice Small -"F" review~ FINISHED

OR
Covers- Kind of a cheat, but I got such good ones last year!!! Embarassed
1. Bayou Paradox by Robin Caroll
2. The Boundless Deep by Kate Brallier
3. In Camelot's Shadow by Sarah Zettel

Category 4: Ultimate challenge.
Read the tenth book by an author

Obviously I have some research to do but I can't wait!

TTFN
bookbug Smile
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Last edited by bookbug on Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:47 pm; edited 11 times in total
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1391

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally squeezed in time to work up a list for the challenge.

Category 1: New-to-Me Authors
Mary Kay Andrews: The Fixer Upper (read, 2.5 stars humor)
Meredith Duran: Bound by Your Touch (read, 2.5 stars humor)
3rd to be determined

Category 2: New-to-Me or Least Favored Time Periods
Renaissance: Susan Carroll: The Dark Queen
French Revolution: Patricia Rice: Mystic Guardian
1940s,1950s: Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Glitter Baby
(My periods aren't so much least favored as poorly represented. I just don't see that many books in many periods, so I necessarily don't buy or read many.)

Category 3: Wildcard!
Contest Covers. 3 cover contest winners. (Since I didn't use covers last year.)
2007 AR: Maria V. Snyder: Poison Study
2006 Contemporary: Stef Ann Holm: Lucy Gets Her Life Back
2003 Historical Series: Sandra Heath: Lavender Blue

Category 4: Ultimate challenge. To get to that all important TENTH book of the year:
Meredith Duran: WritTEN on Your Skin
I debated Kelley Armstrong's BitTEN, but BYRON lists it as horror, not romance, even though I know I've seen it discussed a lot here.

In an attempt at efficiency, I picked tbr titles I already have on hand. I also picked first books in series where I noticed series. The books I've already read are 2009 releases I got to as lead-up to the annual poll.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1940s,1950s: Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Glitter Baby


Hmm, is this book set in the 40's-50's? Now there's a thought. I have this book and would love to use it for the challenge. It would be a great fit for this category if so.

I was actually going to rely a bit on Harlequin's "Century of American Romance," which was reviewed here on this site:

http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/anthReview.pl?AnthReviewId=162

It features 12 books, set from the 1890's to the 1990's. (A couple of decades have two books.) I've actually already read the first two a couple of years ago and have since collected all of them. So, the books I have in my TBR pile could can take care of the teens, 20's, 30's, etc. from the 20th Century.
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1541

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildcard – Oh My Huge “To Be Read” Pile!

Expired Publishing Line - Ariel’s Desire (Candlelight Ecstasy Romance #509) by Aimée Thurlo:

I enjoyed the basic set-up. The heroine is a dog trainer and the hero is a major in the USAF who works in the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit. They meet when she trains him how to bond with and control Cyrano, a bomb sniffing dog. Sadly, though this part of the plot was intriguing, the characterizations were inconsistent and there were way too many contrived situations. Although the author is still writing, this appears to be the only book she wrote for Dell’s Candlelight line. A shame because as many issues as I had with the book, I also think several of the minor characters were good sequel bait.

1 down, 9 to go…
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2491

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn wrote:
Quote:
1940s,1950s: Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Glitter Baby


Hmm, is this book set in the 40's-50's? Now there's a thought. I have this book and would love to use it for the challenge. It would be a great fit for this category if so.



The beginning of this book is set in the 40/50/60 (it has Errol Flynn character) and is fairly long. The second half though I would have put in the 70/80 category and that half, with Fleur and Jake, is what the book is mostly about. I have always thought the book was about Brooke Shields to be honest.

My 10 in 2010 looks as follows so far:

Books by New to You Author:

Running Wild, Sarah McCarty

Books from time/era you don't normally read:

The Winter Queen, Amanda McCabe, Elizabethan
The Moon Spinners, Mary Stewart, 60's

Oh My Huge TBR Pile!

Forbidden Falls, Robyn Carr -- book given by friend that I wasn't going to buy for myself


maggie b.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1844
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the new-to-me author category, I just finished my first 2010 challenge book: Maggie Davis' "Hustle Sweet Love" published in 1988. At 222 pp., you can buy it printed as an e-read, but it's a bit pricey.

I don't know what to say about this book. It is one whackadoo story, reminding me of a Preston Sturges http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0002545/
screwball comedy. I was a bit reluctant to read it initially because, published as a contemporary from 1988, I thought it would be too dated. And, in fact, there are dated references to celebrities, clothing -- lots and lots of designer clothing -- and technology, or lack thereof. But, frankly the characterizations -- like Sicky-poo the neurotic Doberman; Harrison Salstonstall Potts IV, the erstwhile Harvhad PR wannabee; and the hero, often referred to as the president and chairman of the board of Echevarria Enterprises, Inc. -- and situations are so over-the-top and so funny that it all seems to fit. It's like a well done romance novel parody. (To give you a contemporary touchstone, the heroine, Lacy Kingston, reminded me very much of Linda Howard's "infamous" Blair Mallory from "To Die For": a beautiful, "smart" girl, but with the goofiest thought processes and ways of handling things.)

As I was reading "Hustle Sweet Love," I looked to see if there was a review of the book on AAR just to see if my reading tastes had suddenly taken a deep dip, and there wasn't a review. However, I tracked one down at "Dear Author," and lo and behold, they liked it too!

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2006/04/04/hustle-sweet-love-by-maggie-davis/

(Funny, though, the reviewer above talks about how Lacy's boss always screws up her name, but then the review itself also gets it wrong! It's Kingston, not Kingsley.)

Anyway, as I was nearing the end of this book, I stopped to see if there were any others by the same author -- if not similar in tone -- at least just as good, but the reviews here of Davis' other work (under her alias) and elsewhere seem inconsistent and her work seems to be very eclectic. Maybe only one other romantic comedy.

That being said, I would highly recommend this one offering by Davis. It was, happily, an unexpected "A" read.
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