Sessions at RT: Reading!

I took a lot of notes at the RT sessions I was part of – and this might be the most I've written by hand in a long, long time. What follows is a general round up and highlights of the sessions and things I noticed at RT this year.


I was part of four sessions. One was “Choosing the Right e-Reader for You,” with Jane Litte and Angela James. That sessions was up against some very popular sessions, and was very intimate. We had some folks who were still unsure which reader they wanted, and some who were thinking about upgrading to the newest model or getting a new reader to replace a very, very old one.

Having a small group to discuss e-reader pros and cons meant that we could make specific recommendations for the people who were seeking their next digital reader, and we could talk about the major questions that each person must answer, namely: how much do you want to spend, where do you read, and where do you shop for books.

One point that I made: there are a lot of people who can tell you that you're using a piece of technology wrong. With e-readers and most pieces of technology, there are a lots of different ways to use them. But however you use an e-reader, if you're happy, you're doing it right. I like that about e-readers, especially as there are so many models with different price points.

More Reading!

Thursday, Jane and I hosted our reader roundtable, which is a casual conversation we've hosted at RT for a few years now with a very simple premise: what are you reading, and what do you like to read?

MaryJanice Davidson, Julie James, and publicists from Avon and Sourcebooks attended as readers, which was totally fun, and I wrote down what everyone was reading in case you were curious.

Books and authors that readers mentioned, and some comments as I wrote them down included:

Chairman of the Whored by Lucy V. Morgan ( A | BN | K S ) “It's an erotic novel without an HEA, but it's really good.”

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs ( A | BN | K S ) “It's amazing.”

Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin ( A | BN | K S ) “This book is amazing, and it's not just the writing. It brought me back to reading fantasy.”

Celebrity in Death by JD Robb ( A | BN | K S )

Hearts and Swords by Robin D. Owens ( A | BN | K S ) “I bought the collection of novellas because I like the author.”

The Girl's Guide to Manhunting by Jill Myles ( A | BN | K S ) “Myles is so good at the sexy comedy.”

Driftwood by Harper Fox ( A | BN | K S ) “This book has given me happy book sigh.”

Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines ( A | BN | K S ) and

Darkness Dawns by Diane Duvall ( A | BN | K S ) “At RT, I find so many new authors, and I really like to try books. I try free books, too. The first Jess Haines I tried was so good, I looked for more like it.”

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt ( A | BN | K S )

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ( A | BN | K S )

Body Check by Deirdre Martin ( A | BN | K S ) “I love contemporaries that I call 'gentle reads*.'”
*She meant contemporaries that aren't about crime, trauma or suspense, but are funny and feature lighter emotional drama.

The Pink Carnation Series by Lauren Willig ( A | BN | K S )

The Tattooed Duke by Maya Rodale ( A | BN | K S ) “I heard her read at the Lady Jane's Salon in Raleigh-Durham, and it was amazing. I am loving this book because the heroine has a job.”

Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer ( A | BN | K S )

Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh ( A | BN | K S ) “Oh, this book is SO GOOD.”

Wild Thing Robin Kaye ( A | BN | K S )

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones ( A | BN | K S )

Once Upon a List by Robin Gold ( A | BN | K S )

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison ( A | BN | K S ) “Usually I don't like books with weird character names, but people kept telling me it was good, and it was.”

50 Shades of Grey by EL James ( A | BN | K S ) “I think it says a lot if you stop reading at 97% and have no real desire to finish the end of the book.”

Lothaire by Kresley Cole ( A | BN | K S )

Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley ( A | BN | K S )

The Seduction of Lady X by Julia London ( A | BN | K S )

Moving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham ( A | BN | K S )

Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry ( A | BN | K S )

Some Like it Hot by Louisa Edwards ( A | BN | K S ) “I love her books. She always includes a metaphor involving food, but she never repeats them, and I love it.”

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice ( A | BN | K S )

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins ( A | BN | K S )
“I love YA romance.”

And my favorite quotes from the reader session:

“I just read everything you ever wrote – you're fantastic!”

“I've been rereading old favorites like Fifteen by Beverly Cleary.”
“Oh! I just gave a boy at my library Henry Huggins as his first chapter book.”

“I'm in a funk. I've started several books and am in the middle of them all and not loving any.”
“It's never good when you buffet books like that.”

I have more notes to write up (if I can read my own handwriting, holy smoke) about the panel on contemporary romance that I was on, plus two podcasts that we recorded while we were here.

So: were you at RT this year? What was the best session you attended? And what book are you reading that you purchased or found this week?


Romantic Times

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Rider says:

    E-readers are such personal things.  I loved my Cybook Opus so much, but last week the screen died, and so far Bookeen haven’t got back to me.

    It was Amazon’s sync between devices that got me, and how the new touch can be held left handed with ease which wasn’t always the case.  That and the price of getting the Opus fixed was getting on for half or more of the Kindle’s price.  I still might get it done as it is *such* a lovely thing.  Light and easy to use.  I really notice the kindle being bigger and heavier.  (Those of us with very small hands do notice these things!)

    Those who want to do notations and word lookups and wirelessly download and don’t want to crack DRM wouldn’t like the Opus at all, everyone’s needs are different.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    Rider, yes, so true. Everyone’s needs are different, and it’s amazing to me personally how irritated I get when my “autopilot” process for handling ebooks is disrupted or changed. Once I get things set up the way I want, downloading and sideloading or whatever is an easy process because it’s familiar. The farther apart the different processes are for each device/DRM system, the harder it is to switch from one to another. I know I don’t want to spend an hour dealing with an ebook!

    And yes, small size and light weight are very important for those of us with small hands! I get fatigued holding a Kindle Fire, for example. Such a delicate flower I am.

  3. 3

    I spent a couple of days at RT and my favorite session was the one on contemporary romance. Susan Elizabeth Phillips was hilarious. As both a reader and writer of contemporary I loved hearing what some of my favorite authors had to say about the genre.

  4. 4
    Bnbsrose says:

    I really HATE when you do this! I just had my reserve list at the GBPL under control and now! ARGHHHH! I really wanted to go to RT this year, but had to be realistic about time/expense. Maybe next year… Of course, that’s what I say every year…

  5. 5
    azteclady1 says:

    Oh dear lord, I need a tshirt with this (and my picture):


    “I’m in a funk. I’ve started several books and am in the middle of them all and not loving any.”
    “It’s never good when you buffet books like that.”


  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    ME TOO. So true, isn’t it?

  7. 7
    Carin says:

    I buffet books whenever I’m in a book funk.  I just never knew it was called that! 

    I was not at RT.  But I discovered this week that it’s in Kansas City next year.  Kansas City is practically in my back yard!  I’m so excited to think I might go next year!  It would be my first convention of this kind and I’m excited!

  8. 8
    Becky says:

    Carin, this was my first convention (except for going with my mom to her Mary Kay conference when I was 18—so not the same thing), and it was fabulous.  Way beyond my expectations.  I’m already adjusting my budget to see if I can swing it again next year.  If there’s any way you can make it happen, I say go for it!

  9. 9

    50 Shades of Grey by EL James ( A | BN | K S ) “I think it says a lot if you stop reading at 97% and have no real desire to finish the end of the book.”

    I had the same exact reaction when I finished it last week. lol.

    I didn’t go to RT but I did just buy a 99-cent eBook called Lust in the Library.

  10. 10
    Melanie Greenberg says:

    Sarah, I was in your reading panel, and the contemporary one and enjoyed both very much.

    This was my first RT convention, and it was just so great to be around so many other readers and people who LOVE books!  My facebook post yesterday was that it’s hard to decide which of my 36 free books from the convention to try first! Talking with authors and other readers in lines was one of my favorite parts, too.

    I’m definitely going to try to make it to the one in Kansas City next year. 

  11. 11

    I decided to ditch learning anything about writing or promoting and go as a reader to the Villains panels with Gregg Hurwitz, James Rollins, F. Paul Wilson & company, which was a lot of fun.
    It inspired me to do this post on 5 Villains Who will Break Your Heart:…

  12. 12
    Kim in Hawaii says:

    Aloha, Sarah!  Too little time for all the great sessions at RT!  My favorite was Under the Kilt – the Truth About Scotland.  Panelist Kim Killion was escorted by a hunky man in a kilt.  Panelist Cathy Maxwell commented the session could be titled “Fifty Shades of Scotland.”  Panelist Veronica Wolff noted that she often uses Scotland’s mystique to help write books in other genres (not set in Scotland).  Panelist Sahara Kelly added her perspective as an English author (there is no conflict without an English person about).

    I asked the audience about the criticism that Scotland has been saturated.  We all agreed that there are plenty more stories to be told about Scotland – past, present, and future!

    The conversation drifted to “Exploding Sheep’s Stomach!” when a haggis maker in the audience explained how to make the Scottish delicacy (he’s the gentleman who wore the kilt with St. Andrew’s Cross woven into the pattern).

    The only thing missing was the drams of whisky.

  13. 13
    Brigid Kemmerer says:

    Sarah, if you’re a delicate flower, so am I. I fell in love with my second generation Kindle when my first son was a baby. It was so easy to read and feed at the same time, especially because I could hold a bottle with my right hand and click the button with my left hand.

    My husband got me the Kindle Fire for Christmas, and I gave my old Kindle to my mom. Now, I kinda wish I had it back. The Kindle Fire is heavy on my wrist, and my new baby, at seven months, likes to fling his hands around, which constantly turns the page before I’m ready.

    Wow, I sound spoiled, don’t I? :-P I guess this is what people mean when they talk about first world problems.

  14. 14

    Argh, I gave the wrong author when I said what I was reading during the session. The Girls Guide to (Man)Hunting is by Jessica Clare, which is a pseudonym for Jill Myles. Just so you guys won’t be confused.

  15. 15
    ksattler says:

    I SOOOOOO wanted to be there! It was close, only a 4 hour drive and I have relatives nearby plus c2e2 followed. Alas, I had taken too much time off from work in March and it was for anything fun and believed I needed to do the responsible thing and stay home and work. I wanted to go not only to meet awesome authors but all the wonderful twitter people I interact with. Also, the swag, the sessions, the parties, etc.  Maybe the next time it is near me.

  16. 16
    MargaretNKinnley says:

    I’m definitely going to try to make it to the one in Kansas City next year.

  17. 17
    pisceschick says:

    The Scottish session sounds like fun!  Wish I had been there!  Do you have to be in the book business to attend?

    In regards to ereaders, I have both a Nook and a Kindle and I love different things about them.  I have often joked that I wish I knew an evil genius of comic book proportions who could make a machine to combine both devices into one ultimate mega-reader.  I’d call it a Noodle. 

  18. 18
    Susan says:

    Brigid—I have a Fire, which I use quite a bit, but very little for actual reading.  Way to heavy—and it also has a short battery life.  I feel for your aching hands.

    If you can swing it, I was going to suggest the Touch.  Very easy to read one-handed and is also pretty durable compared to earlier Kindles (kid-resistant?).  But, the page-turning-by-other-parties syndrome exists here, as well.  My cat likes to make a nuisance of himself and swishes his tail over the screen, turning the page or even making it jump forward or backward to an entirely different chapter.  He also manages to reset the font simply by rubbing his face on the side of the device, something I’m unable to duplicate when I actually try.  If you can tolerate quirks like that until your son gets a bit older, you still might consider it.

  19. 19

    As the source of the funk comment, I am noticing a definite link between the state of my mental health and how many stories I complete reading in a month. Definitely one of the benefits of tracking what/how much you read!

  20. 20
    Bookgroupie115 says:

    This was my first RT. The Scottish session was an absolute blast, but Cherry Adair was my favorite. I’ve never read her stuff, but if she’s half as witty in print as she is in person, I’ll be a fan.

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