• recommendations

    Comfort reads…blanket forts made of words

    There’s a lot of scary stuff out there these days. A lot of my friends (and I) are turning to books for comfort and recharging our depleted batteries. My good friend Kate said it much better than I could yesterday: I am not running away from anything or hiding from anything. Everything awful in this world is still knocking around in my head. But for that time I give myself, I’m running TOWARD the emotions and ideas that fill me up. — Kate Clayborn (@kateclayborn) June 21, 2018 Love, hope, kindness, human decency: these are fuel. These things make it…

  • recommendations

    In case of emergency, break glass

    Most of us have favorite authors and if we’re lucky, they have a huge backlist so we can spend a lot of time soaking up their words. But what happens when their words run out and you’re left waiting not-so-patiently for their next project? Some people actually have the fortitude to hold a book in reserve for when they’re having an especially awful day. I asked Twitter to tell me who had authors like that and what their favorite book from that author was – recommendations below. (And, as always, if you want to peruse past recommendation lists, they’re all…

  • recommendations

    Found families

    I love a good found family. When friends become more than friends, when relationships you choose are at least as solid as (and sometimes more than) the family you’re born into, that’s a really beautiful thing. So here’s a recommendation list of romances with excellent found families in them. And, as always, if you want to see the master list of recommendation lists, it’s here. Also, Pene Henson wrote a blog post about just this topic for Binge On Books last year! Kristen Ashley, Colorado Mountain series, starting with SWEET DREAMS (Per KT Gilbert, Ana Coqui, and Jenn) Kristen Ashley,…

  • recommendations

    “…and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

    I don’t love James Joyce (the source of the quote), but I LOVE good, affirmative consent between partners. Give me a partner who waits for a yes and who will respect a no, and you HAVE ME. So, being me, I decided to crowdsource a list of romances where nobody ever says anything like, “Your mouth says no but your eyes say yes,” or God forbid, “You’re wet therefore you want it” (this is so gross, I can’t even begin to grapple with it. I can highly recommend Emily Nagoski’s COME AS YOU ARE – it’s a fascinating look at female…

  • recommendations

    It’s all happening at the zoo

    I do believe it, I do believe it’s true… Or it’s happening at a farm, or a suburban home, a Manhattan apartment, or even outer space. The latest crowd-sourced list is of romances with pets. And after a bit of a slow start, I got ’em! So, if you like your adorable couples with a side of adorable animals, I got you: Cats Kristen Ashley, ROCK CHICK RENEGADE – Boo the cat (Per Amy Kathryn) Kristen Ashley, SWEET DREAMS – Buster the cat (Per Amy Kathryn) KJ Charles, AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION – Clem has a cat (Per Ellie Reads) Tessa Dare, THE DUCHESS DEAL…

  • other people's books,  recommendations

    Let’s play “Subvert the Archetypes”!

    I was thinking about archetypes the other day and how often romance adheres to them. But, for me, there’s a special thrill when I realize an author has decided to turn an archetype on its head. So I asked Twitter for recommendations. There wasn’t the immediate outpouring of recommendations like I had for the “Difficult” heroines list, but boy do these books sound GOOD. I’ve done my best to organize them – where a book seems to land in more than one category, it’s repeated. Know another title that would fit? Leave a comment or chat with me on Twitter!…

  • other people's books,  recommendations

    Lucy Parker’s MAKING UP

    At long last, Lucy Parker’s cover for her third London Celebrity book has been revealed. And it is stunning. I’m not usually one to squee over covers. I can appreciate a good one, I will sometimes blink like hell at a bad one, but covers don’t usually inspire me with the desire to run around like a maniac and yell, “IT’S SO GOOD.” But this one does. And I’ve also had the great good fortune to read it already (shh. Don’t kill me). She’s flipped her usual script here: instead of giving us a grumpy hero, she’s given us a…

  • other people's books,  recommendations

    Tidying Up the House at Hag Corner

    Okay, so yesterday’s FESTIVAL OF LOVE FOR “DIFFICULT” HEROINES has spilled over into today and the librarian in me is looking at the list in all of its jumbled, dysfunctional glory and thinking, “This needs to be organized. Now.” So, now! New and improved! Subgenres! Ordered by author’s last name, then title if there are more than one! NB: All recommendations are tagged with the name/Twitter handle of their recommender. If one person seems to have the same taste as you do, you can control-f search to see if they’ve rec’d more than one. One of the conversations that was…

  • other people's books,  recommendations

    A Home for “Difficult” Heroines

    NB: If the list below gives you hives because it has absolutely no organizing principles, I have also posted it by subgenre. A couple of days ago, I tweeted a thread that began here: I’ve been thinking for a while about how we punish/judge heroines, especially when they have a negative first impression of heroes. First of all, let me say I really hate it. Women have bad experiences. Women have bad days. Women just sometimes don’t like someone at first. pic.twitter.com/Qn0uOkuwDm — Adele Buck 📚🇳🇴 (@_AdeleBuck) February 17, 2018 It led me to further discussions and the reminder that while…

  • general book stuff,  recommendations

    Some thoughts on audiobook narration and narrators (with recommendations)

    It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have strong opinions about audiobook narration. I tend to have strong opinions about a lot of things (my own mother, in her inimitable way, says that I am, “Never far from an opinion”). I also have a master list of recommended books in other areas here. Ever since Audible instituted a return policy I’ve been both more adventurous about trying new narrators and absolutely ruthless in returning books that aren’t doing it for me. As a former actor, I not only hear things that drive me nuts, but…