Category Archives: Good Shit vs. Shit to Avoid

Ritual Repeats

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In her review for A Slip of the Keyboard, Carrie talks about how she reads Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather every December. I know a few people on Twitter have talked about books they re-read every year, and I know there’s folks who watch movies like Love, Actually every year. I have a few yearly ritual repeats, too. By ritual repeats, I mean the things we read or watch, or re-experience, because of a specific event or…

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Whatcha Reading? October Edition

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Time for The Most Expensive Monthly Thread where I ask what you're reading, and you tell us, and then we all buy books until both the T-Bird and the credit card are taken away! Sounds like fun, right? Currently, I'm reading a nonfiction about focus and efficiency called The One Thing by Gary Keller ( A | BN | K | ARe ). It's a very quick and easy read (and is only 133 pages…

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The Rec League: Character Driven Urban Fantasy

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I received this email from Pammie, who is looking for urban fantasy romances that are character driven with fewer leather-pants asskicking episodes. Have a look: Long time lurker, etc. Listen, there’s been a little thing nagging at me for awhile and I was wondering if I could dump it on your laps. It’s 4 in the morning, I have the flu and can’t sleep – for some reason all I can think about is Urban…

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Hide Your Wallet: October’s New Releases

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As if we don't give you enough opportunites to overload your TBR list, now we're adding one more! In Hide Your Wallet, we'll be talking about the books coming up in the next month that we're most excited about, partly to give the Bitchery a chance to see what we're dying to read and because we want to hear about all the good stuff you fine people are going to snag this month too!   …

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The Rec League: A Family of Strong-Heroine-Loving Series Readers

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I received this email from Ilona, who comes from what may be the coolest family I've read about, and I totally want to listen to all of them talk books someday. I need help finding a new series or several really. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but it's not just for me I swap with my family as we all love romance novels and every new girl in the family is promptly introduced to…

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The Rec League: Gothic Romances to Darken Your Doorstep

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Reader Amanda sent us this call for help! She's in search of some more gothic romances to feed her appetite: I've been devouring Eve Silver's Dark Gothic series ( A | BN | K | ARe ) and am loving it!! I'd like to continue exploring these types of stories, but don't know much about the genre. So I thought I'd ask the Smart Bitches community – are there any “gothic” type romances you would recommend? Thanks…

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The Rec League: Sci Fi Romances When Aliens Are Your Jam

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I received an email from Lela, who is looking for a specific type of romance:  In a nutshell: can you recommend, or solicit recommendations of, some awesome sci fi romances? Longer version: I was trolling the Amazon daily deals and came across a 99cent novella billing itself as “science fiction romance” (it was “Kidnapping Keela“, in case you're wondering). Hold the phone! Is that a real thing? I'm the nerdiest sci fi nerd you could…

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Classic Romances - Which One First? Linda Howard Recommendations

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Time to collect all the recommendations you made for various Linda Howard books, designed to tempt the reader who is curious but perhaps intimidated by the breadth of her backlist.  I want to start by reprinting some of Angela James' recommendations, along with your comments, and then I'll feature the other books you recommended so heartily.    Kill and Tell (Book one of CIA’s Spies): Also known as the book that Sarah and I can’t…

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Classic Romances - Which One First? Linda Howard Edition

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We have a semi-regular feature wherein we develop recommendation lists for authors with extensive backlists, so extensive they might be a bit daunting to anyone who hasn't read that author before. It's called Classic Romance-  Which One First?, and we've done a few, including Elizabeth Lowell, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood and Jude Deveraux.  Thanks to many, many awesome suggestion on Facebook, we've got a fun edition: Linda Howard! Here's the thing: I don't actually like Linda…

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The Rec League: Brilliant Science Heroines Rule! More Please?

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I received an email from Cordy, who is looking for some recommendations: Hello there! Once upon a time, I read your review of Laura Kinsale's Midsummer Moon and I am finally getting around to actually buying and reading the book. And it turns out that I have a never-before suspected intense love for books about weird creative-genius ladies and the suave-but-befuddled dudes who can't help themselves around them. Okay, this book veers, sometimes, toward The Twee…

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The Rec League: Beaches and Beach Reading

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I received an email from Milly, who is looking for some books to read:  I was just enjoying my lunch hour reading the latest O magazine – the summer reading one and I realized very few books in it were HAPPY. Now I wouldn't expect otherwise from “serious” readers but come on… their beach reads section was quite depressing. So I got to thinking: what is the bitchery's best beach reads that some of us…

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Whatcha Reading? June Edition

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And now, the most expensive and tempting thread, wherein I ask what you're reading, and you all share and then we all buy more books because everything sounds awesome.  You ready? Credit cards in the freezer? Yeah? OK, let's do this!  Currently I'm reading Zoe Archer's last Nemesis book, Wicked Temptation ( A | BN | K | ARe ), which I'm enjoying immensely, though I'm still in the first third of the story. It took me…

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The Rec League: Looking for Pimpernel-y Books

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In a recent discussion, StarOpal asked if we could help her compile a list of books similar to The Scarlet Pimpernel. We can definitely do that, right?  The Scarlet Pimpernel, if you're not familiar with it, is an adventure series written by Baroness Orczy about a dashing dude full of derring-do who rescues French aristocracy from the guillotine. He disguises himself and hides in plain sight in society as a clueless dingbat, while pulling off all sorts of…

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Chronic Pain and Coping: Why Romance Novels Are My Equipment For Living

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Eleventy billion years ago, when I was in college, I took a bunch of classes with an awesome professor who used the Blues as a method of framing Southern American literature. We read William Faulkner and Alice Walker and listened to Bessie Smith and just had feelings. Both the Blues and literature have been described as “equipment for living” (read Kenneth Burke’s literary theory tonight if you can’t sleep), a means of capturing what’s working…

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The Rec League: Expectations Were MET!

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I have been thinking about the awesomeness that is the feeling you get when you had high expectations of a book, and those expectations were met. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes it's the fact that I paid more than I wanted for the book, or it's that the last book was so good, I worry like a weird person that the next one won't live up to that enjoyment. But there are times…

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