Category Archives: Reader Recommendations

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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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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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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The Rec League: Your Body is My Wonderland

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I received an email from Cordy, who loved a particular element of Seize the Fire and is looking for more scenes like it:  I just finished Laura Kinsale's book Seize the Fire ( A | BN | K), and I really liked one aspect of it so much I'm hoping to find other books with the same element: The hero loves the heroine's body. It isn't just vague handwaving about how she's so attractive and [insert…

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What’s Your Catnip?

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When you're a romance reader, it's both empowering and helpful to learn what plot devices, tropes, characters and familiar elements of romance constitute your particular catnip. If you know you like May/December romances, or stories about characters who struggle with speech impediments, and you know those make the mental prairie dog poke his head out and say GIMME READ NOW, it gets easier to shop or find books that will make you and your mental…

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The Rec League: Adventure Romance!

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Ilona wrote to me recently, looking for a specific type of book: adventure romance. I was looking at my bookcase today (I'm a student who is moving out again soon so my books are all in a messed up order) And saw Scoundrel by Zoe Archer and remembered how much fun it was to be reading an adventure romance with an adventure in different places. I really loved having obvious bad guys who always lost,…

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