Posted by: Katie | January 5, 2018

Dunneback’s Two Rules of RA

Earlier today, I saw some tweets. A good friend was trying to clarify the meaning of parameters that had been set for a discussion of “what’s the best X book”. Let’s just say the person’s responses were not the best. Especially as the person purports to be a librarian. I get wanting to be snarky and flippant. I certainly can be. But when you’re trying to have a discussion about books and start by saying (my paraphrasing here) “but you can’t include Y title AND THE LIKE because it’s shit” and then compound it by refusing to clarify what you mean by “and the like”, well, you lost me. And if you recognize this little exchange as being you, seriously rethink your role in this profession and discussing books. You pissed off a lot of readers, many of whom don’t think that book is the best example of X either.

Anyway, for those not on Twitter, and since Storify is going away, I’m copying and pasting my tweets into bullet form here:

  • So, hi. This is going to be a thread on reader’s advisory/RA. I got my start in the library world doing RA because I *love* talking about books and being an enabler.
  • Romance is very much my specialty as I’ve been actively seeking it out as a reader since I was 12. There’s a lot in romance I do read and a shit ton more that I don’t.
  • But, here’s the important thing. There’s these 5 laws of library science promulgated by S.R. Ranganathan. There are 2 that are core to RA work: 2. Every reader their book. 3. Every book its reader. This does not mean that there is a single book out there for *every* reader, but there is a reader out there for every book.
  • If you do any kind of RA work (and you might not even know that you are), you *have* to respect the reader. Their tastes are not going to be your tastes because we’re all individuals.
  • If you don’t respect the reader, they’re not going to trust you enough to come back. I try to pound this into the heads of library workers when it comes to romance, but it applies to *all* books read for leisure purposes.
  • or example, no way in hell am I going to read books on the current political climate. My doctor already has me on blood pressure meds.
  • *BUT* I know there are readers out there who are all grabby hands over it, and I’m going to do my best as a professional to make it available to them & guide potential readers to it.
  • Opening a “discussion” regarding the best books of whatever category with a clause that X type of books are automatically dismissed makes me think you’re not actually earnest about that discussion.
  • Sure, that book and related may not be my cup of tea for that best designation, but it is going to be the best X book for other readers out there. RESPECT THE READER.
  • This ties back to a conversation I had last week with about reader’s advisory ethics. Sure, there are books I may say “ennhhhh…ya sure?” about, BUT…
  • I also try to figure out *WHY* that book is going to appeal to other potential readers. Part of this is marketing. Alter ego’s working on a book on that intersection.
  • But part of it is just understanding why readers read. Readers’ tastes are going to change. It’s the one constant about RA work.
  • They’re going to change collectively and individually. Every reading experience is different because the reader is bringing new experiences to the table, even if they’re rereading a book.
  • Good discussion about books and what to read and why a book appeals is going to take this into account. Being open to discussion is the key of good RA work.
  • So, I’m petering out. Takeaway points: 1. Respect the reader. 2. Ranganathan knows his shit.

Later, I had a couple of requests to make this a t-shirt. So, get your “Dunneback’s Two Rules of RA” shirt at Zazzle! I do make a few bucks off of each sale.

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Posted by: Katie | January 1, 2018

2017 reading

I know I haven’t been doing the monthly reads updates this past year. This was a conscious, if not stated, decision. I still kept track of my reading as maintaining that habit is important to me. This was a low reading year, probably the lowest since I came off of my duties on The Reading List committee. Part of that was the fact that my writing alter ego released new works, most notably a novel, this year and I took on publisher duties to make that happen.

The other reason, as usual, was mental health. I honestly thought I reread more books than I did, but that may because it took longer for me to read. I never stopped reading, but I may well have in June and all I can think of for the low total was the stress related to the build up to the book release which happened in early July. There’s also the general mental fug that has hit all of my friends and family to some degree this year. You can probably guess why.

As has been the usual for the last few years, my audiobook consumption has been abysmal due to that “time” being taken up by listening to podcasts. I’m debating on how to change that, but part of that is also going to be how I change up my exercise regime. I go through podcasts faster when I’m walking. If I can do more walking, that opens up time for audiobooks. We’ll see.

Anyway, here are my reading statistics for the year. I’ll list books of note below that!

January
Read: 1
Reread: 1
Novella: 1
Listened to: 1
Children’s: 0
Total: 4

February
Read: 6
Reread: 3
Novella: 3
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 1
Total: 13

March
Read: 4
Reread: 5
Novella: 1
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 10

April
Read: 5
Reread: 2
Novella: 1
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 8

May
Read: 4
Reread: 0
Novella: 2
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 6

June
Read: 2
Reread: 0
Novella: 0
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 2

July
Read: 2
Reread: 1
Novella: 0
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 1
Total: 4

August
Read: 1
Reread: 4
Novella: 0
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 5

September
Read: 3
Reread: 1
Novella: 1
Listened to: 1
Children’s: 0
Total: 6

October
Read: 1
Reread: 5
Novella: 0
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 6

November
Read: 1
Reread: 3
Novella: 1
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 2
Total: 7

December
Read: 7
Reread: 0
Novella: 4
Listened to: 0
Children’s: 0
Total: 11

2017
Read: 37
Reread: 25
Novella: 14
Listened to: 2
Children’s: 4
Total: 82

Seal Claps & other books of note

Seal Claps
Dr. Bad Boy by Ainsley Booth & Sadie Haller
SO SWEET by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Pretty Face by Lucy Parker
Beary Christmas, Baby by Sasha Devlin
Lake Silence by Anne Bishop (out 3/6/18)

Other books of note
Full Mountie by Ainsley Booth & Sadie Haller
Mr. Hat Trick by Ainsley Booth & Sadie Haller
Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne
Take the Lead by Alexis Daria
Games People Play series by HelenKay Dimon

Books that came out in 2017 that I haven’t gotten around to reading/finishing, but totally will:
Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai (well, books 1 & 2 came out in 2017, but I have the ARC of book 3 and I’ve already started reading bits of all of them)
The Loyal League series by Alyssa Cole

Books coming out in 2018 that I’m totally looking forward to:
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (2/27)
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (1/30)

Posted by: Katie | January 5, 2017

RWA1st chats for RWA 2017

The #RWA1st chats will return once again to Twitter! This year’s RWA National Conference will be held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort from July 26th to 29th. Registration for the conference opens on February 7th. If you’re going to the RT Convention in Atlanta in May, feel free to join in as well as a lot of the information will be useful at both. RWA does not sponsor nor endorse (even if they drop in with useful information) these chats and I’m doing them on a strictly volunteer basis. However, as of this writing, I am in the middle of writing a series of articles for RWA’s Romance Writers Report on attending your first RWA conference. The articles start in the February issue.

For the sake of some continuity, I have decided to hold these one-hour chats on the 4th Monday of the month this year at 6 pm Eastern/3 pm Pacific. In order for me to see all of the questions, as well as so I can easily Storify the chat later, the #RWA1st hashtag must be used in each tweet. You can certainly break up your question/answer into multiple tweets if you need to so there is room for the hashtag. If you have space, feel free to include #RWA17. If you cannot make the time of the chat, there are a number of programs where you can pre-schedule a tweet/series of tweets to post at the time of the chat. One other note for those with private/locked Twitter accounts: only the people who have requested to follow you, and you have approved can see your tweets. Even if you include my Twitter handle (@younglibrarian) in your tweet, I will not be able to see it unless I’m an approved follower of yours, which is not likely. You will either have to come out “in public” for this chat, or get a friend of yours who has a public account to ask your question for you.

An additional resource for this year’s conference is Elle Mason’s planning guide.

Without further ado, here are the scheduled dates:

Posted by: Katie | December 31, 2016

2016 Reading Roundup

So, I see I haven’t done the monthly update since March. Oof. You know that feeling of when you fall behind on something, and then it gets too overwhelming to catch up? Yeah, that. April is when conference season started for me, and that essentially lasted almost the rest of the year. Between April and May, I had four conferences packed into six weeks. June was essentially spent in a recovery coma where I did almost nothing. Looking back over my earlier monthly reads posts, I see a lot of rereads. Well, that trend definitely continued. I did read new and new-to-me books, but even many of those got tossed into the reread pile when I needed it. Sometimes multiple times. In some ways, I’m glad I’ve got as many rereads as I do because that means I felt mentally healthy enough to read, but I generally reread for comfort reasons, and 2016 gave me way too many instances of needing that comfort. I’m not going to list every single title I read since March, but I will talk about some highlights along with statistics.

April

The total isn’t surprising as this was the beginning of my crazy-making period of travel. In addition to the actual travel, I was trying to ensure that I accomplished 5 weeks of work in the 2 1/2 weeks I was actually in the office during the period between the first and third conferences as one of my coworkers was out on maternity leave so I couldn’t just leave the work to be done by my other coworkers.

  • Read: 1
  • Reread: 0
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 1
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 2

May

Again, the total is unsurprising for reasons similar to April. I spent two weeks in Chicago between a conference work sent me to and personal time which included attending a writing conference in the area.

 

  • Read: 1
  • Reread: 0
  • Listened to: 1
  • Novella: 0
  • Children’s: 1
  • Total: 3

 

June

The first half of the month was spent in a daze recovering from April and May. It took me a couple of weeks to realize I was in the middle of a depressive episode. Thankfully, it passed quickly, and things started to pick up at the end of the month, both mental health-wise and reading-wise. Which, as I’ve noted in previous years are generally tied together.

 

  • Read: 4
  • Reread: 1
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 1
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 6

 

July

The interesting thing to me about this month’s total is that I had two major trips in July. One was home for a family wedding, and the other was to San Diego for the RWA National conference. I’m going to talk about this in my highlights section, but while I was attending the conference, I was also gulping down a series by a new-to-me author. All the while being my social butterfly self.

 

  • Read: 11
  • Reread: 1
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 1
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 13

 

August

This month’s total was primarily due to beginning a project related to the ALA Reading List Council. For those who don’t want to dig through the archives, I was on the inaugural committee and they will be announcing the 10th list in January at the ALA Midwinter meeting.

 

  • Read: 5
  • Reread: 5
  • Listened to: 1
  • Novella: 0
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 11

 

September

I spent most of my reading time finishing up the RLC project, and I’m glad I participated in it.

 

  • Read: 3
  • Reread: 8
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 1
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 12

 

October

This total surprises me a bit, though I did have a conference in Seattle. Thinking back, I feel like I took my time with the books I was reading and not gobbling them down for whatever reason.

 

  • Read: 1
  • Reread: 4
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 0
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 5

 

November

I’m going to put this baldly: my grandmother died on Halloween. We knew it was coming as she was 99 and had been in failing health for a while, particularly since I last saw her in July during an unexpected layover on my trip home from San Diego. I knew at that time it was likely going to be the last time I saw her alive. This month’s reading was all about retreating to a sense of comfort.

 

  • Read: 0
  • Reread: 10
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 0
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 10

 

December

All but one of my new reads was an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher. Frankly, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to break out of my reread zone, and I’m glad I binged a bit on upcoming books.

 

  • Read: 5
  • Reread: 1
  • Listened to: 0
  • Novella: 0
  • Children’s: 0
  • Total: 6

2016

While I felt this year was dominated by rereads, and some months most definitely were, new/new-to-me books just edged them out. However, 12 of those new-t0-me books were reread at least once this year and 7 of those were reread twice. The interesting thing is that I began the year with a slew of rereads, and ended it with mostly new-to-me books, though the latter half of the year was primarily spent rereading.

 

  • Read: 40
  • Reread: 37
  • Listened to: 3
  • Novella: 9
  • Children’s: 4
  • Total: 93

So, Seal Claps for the year:

  • Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop – read in January
  • Stay With Me Forever by Farrah Rochon – read in February
  • Act Like It by Lucy Parker – read in February
  • And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander – read in March
  • Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole – read in June, novella. Even thinking back to reading this, I want to squee. This is a medieval set in Scotland during the tourney for a woman’s hand. The historical details were delicious, and felt true for the time.
  • The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston – read in June, novel. As soon as I finished reading this, I started rereading it. I loved Jace and Ski, and this was one of my absolute favorite books of the year.
  • Hot as Hades by Alisha Rai – read in July, novella. I am a *SUCKER* for retellings of the Hades/Persephone myth, and Alisha did a fabulous job with this one. Definitely one of my favorite retellings.
  • Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – read in August, novel, ARC provided by publisher. This was a flat-out fun book. I really admire the way Tessa weaves in easter eggs of contemporary references without kicking you out of the historical setting of the story.
  • Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh – read in August, novel, ARC provided by publisher. I love the broader world Nalini is building with this series and every entry makes me wonder what’s going to happen in the next book. In this one, you find out more about Elena’s family history, and, man, the ugly crying. If you need an emotional catharsis, go read any one of these books.

 

 

Posted by: Katie | April 3, 2016

February and March reads

February and March were hit and miss reading months for me. I’d go on a binge for a week or so, and then read, but not finish anything, for around two weeks. There was a lot of emotional stuff happening in my family and at the day job, both happy and sad, during this period. The next couple of months are also shaping up to be busy, and may result in a lower amount of reading complete books. I’m hoping with getting a better handle on my to-do list of projects, I’ll be able to carve out more time to read, though.

Read

  • Stay With Me Forever by Farrah Rochon* – *SUCH* a fun read! Sawyer and Paxton are both professionals brought back to their hometown to work on a flood prevention project. They each had secret crushes on the other in high school, but neither realizes this, resulting in much miscommunication/misperceptions. I’ve been recommending this book like crazy to people, and I think you all should get your hands on it.
  • Act Like It by Lucy Parker* – I finally picked this up after hearing friends talk about it, and it lived up to its billing. Heroine who knows herself and doesn’t put up with shit from her lovers. Hero who is snarky, brooding, and hates that what he loves doing (acting) results in a fame he wishes would ignore him. I’m looking forward to reading more from Parker.
  • When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris – The latest in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. There was an author’s note that she had a change in editor with this book, and I can see some of the differences, mainly in the absence of description tics. This book was also a breath of fresh air to the series in that it took Sebastian and Hero outside of their usual millieu of London and forced them to solve the crime without their trusted support system.
  • Fear the Dark by Kay Hooper – Latest in the Bishop/SCU series. I’m curious to see where Kay is going to take the next couple of books as she usually has an overarching story that goes for about three to five books.
  • Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley – ARC provided by publisher – There was a long wait for this book, which the author acknowledges in his note, but well worth it. I was in the middle of reading it and recommended the first book, The Rook, to my dad. This book deals with political implications of events that unfold during The Rook, so it is helpful to have read that book. I almost wish I’d reread The Rook before reading Stiletto to refresh my memory about what happened in it.
  • And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander* – I stumbled across this series, Lady Emily Mysteries, thanks to the day job. I devoured this book and the following two over the course of a weekend. This kind of mystery (strong, smart, clever heroine, a romantic interest with secretive work of his own, and intelligent plots) are my catnip. In this book, Lady Emily is in mourning for her husband and belatedly discovers an interest in his research of Greek antiquities that leads to dangerous intrigue.
  • A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander – Lady Emily has officially come out of mourning and is drawn into a mystery surrounding a man claiming to be the lost heir to the French Bourbon throne and the theft of objects which once belonged by Marie Antoinette.
  • A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander – At a house party given by the mentor of her best friend’s husband, Lady Emily begins to investigate a murder there and must go to Vienna to find proof that the person accused is innocent.

Reread

  • Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz – One of my all-time favorite books by JAK.

Listened to

  • None

Novella

  • The SEAL’s Secret Lover by Anne Calhoun – I *lurve* Anne, and this is the first of a prequel novella series to launch her upcoming Alpha Ops sexy romantic suspense series. This is for anyone who loves the “best friend’s sister/brother’s best friend” trope.
  • Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare – I love Tessa’s Spindle Cove novellas, and this is another winner. Childhood crushes come together during bad weather.
  • The SEAL’s Rebel Librarian by Anne Calhoun – Anne, a former SEAL hero, and a librarian heroine who wants to take up motorcycle riding. SOLD!

Children’s

  • The Book Itch by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson – This was a fabulous little book highlighting a (real) young boy’s experience of Harlem in the 1960s.
  • Dear Yeti by James Kwan – Very cute!
  • Ida, Always by Caron Levis – Thankfully, I read Dear Yeti right after this because this book had me weepy as all hell. Based on true events, and might be helpful to when trying to discuss death and grief with young kids.

Read in February and March: 15
Total read in 2016: 25

Posted by: Katie | February 7, 2016

January reads

2016 kicked off with a slew of rereads for me. I was still partially in a reading rut in that I found it hard to pick up books by new-to-me authors, and frequently new-to-me books period. I seem to be coming a bit out of that rut, but that’s not really reflected in my January reads. Most of these were also done in the first three weeks of the month. I barely read the last couple of weeks due to working on other writing-related projects. It’s a trade off I’m still evaluating.

Starting this year, I’m instituting a new feature in the all of the sections but the “Reread” section as it will only be for new-to-me titles. If a title makes me do what I call :SEAL CLAP: when I finish reading, it gets a star (*) after the title. These books are going to go on my end of the year “Best of” list, and will be added to the Book Recs page if the series is not already listed there.

Read:

  • Marked in Flesh* by Anne Bishop – ARC from publisher – This is the latest in Bishop’s Others series and will be out on March 8th. I’m really enjoying the story arc of this series and liked the way she incorporated deeper aspects of the world into the storyline. I’m *very* curious to see what will happen in the next book, which I’m expecting to be the last book as early marketing/promo for the series stated that it was to be a 5-book series.

Reread:

  • Rock Hard by Nalini Singh – This really is my favorite book in the series so far.
  • The Hampshire Hoyden by Michelle Martin – This is one of my all-time favorite books and I *frequently* recommend it to people looking for old-school category Regency romances. It riffs on a lot of Shakespeare, but mainly Much Ado About Nothing, which I didn’t realize until a few years ago despite having read MAAN around the same time as reading THH for the first time. As far as I know, it’s only available in the original print edition. Luckily I’ve had my copy for nearly 20 years. I’m *really* hoping Martin releases her backlist electronically at some point. She’s one of those authors who I wonder what happened to, though, as I haven’t seen any books in around 10 years now.
  • Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie – I went on a Crusie binge because there was a sale on her 7 book omnibus from St. Martin’s. It’s been so long since I’ve reread this one in full that it wasn’t in my LT library that I use to record what I read. I’ve read bits and pieces of it periodically, though. If controlling/abusive romantic relationships are a trigger for you, tread lightly with this book. Quinn is a very strong woman and when she decides to get out of her relationship at the start of the book, she does it to the best of her ability. It’s the rest of the town that has trouble seeing her ex for what he really is, and even Quinn can’t believe it of him, but she’s not going to got back to a relationship she knows is wrong for *her*.
  • Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie – This is another from Crusie’s period of women’s fiction with a romantic comedy tone. I enjoyed it and will probably go back to it again.
  • Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie – When I first read this book when it released, I remember thinking that I couldn’t imagine rereading. I’m glad I did now because I’m better able to position it within Crusie’s oeuvre and appreciate it for what it is: women’s fiction with a romantic comedy tone. Also, I’d forgotten that this story was loosely tied to Maybe This Time.
  • Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie – I’ve actually frequently listened to this in audio, but this may be the first, maybe second, time I’ve read it in “print”. Still a really fun read.

Listened to:

  • Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich – I’m sticking with the library copy of Lorelie King reading the series for humor reasons. I honestly cannot tell you the plot of this story, though in terms of relationship development, there is teasing. I in no way trust Evanovich to carry through with what she teases in this book.

Novella:

  • Sated by Rebekah Weatherspoon – I think this is my favorite out of the entire trilogy of FIT novellas. It’s #3. Reread.
  • Tamed by Rebekah Weatherspoon – This one’s #2 and is probably my least favorite, but I still really enjoyed it. Reread.

Children’s:

  • None

Read in January: 10
Total read in 2016: 10

Posted by: Katie | January 24, 2016

Monthly Twitter chats for #RWA16 First-Timers

Greetings! After the success of last year’s chats (when I happened to choose an appropriate date/time), I will once again be holding monthly chats on Twitter for first-timers to the Romance Writers of America 2016 National Conference in San Diego to ask questions. If you’re going to the RT Convention in Las Vegas in April, feel free to join in as well as a lot of the information will be useful at both. RWA does not sponsor nor endorse (even if they drop in with useful information) these chats and I’m doing them on a strictly volunteer basis.

For the sake of some continuity, I have decided to hold these one-hour chats on the 2nd Monday of the month (except April for RT reasons) at 6 pm Eastern/3 pm Pacific. In order for me to see all of the questions, as well as Storify the chat later, the #RWA1st hashtag must be used in each tweet. You can certainly break up your question/answer into multiple tweets if you need to so there is room for the hashtag. If you have space, feel free to include #RWA16. If you cannot make the time of the chat, there are a number of programs where you can pre-schedule a tweet/series of tweets to post at the time of the chat. One other note for those with private/locked Twitter accounts: only the people who have requested to follow you, and you have approved can see your tweets. Even if you include my Twitter handle (@younglibrarian) in your tweet, I will not be able to see it unless I’m an approved follower of yours, which is not likely. You will either have to come out “in public” for this chat, or get a friend of yours who has a public account to ask your question for you.

Without further ado, here are the scheduled dates:

Posted by: Katie | January 2, 2016

A year of reading: 2015

I almost had some accounting errors because you know that I suck at being able to count correctly. When I originally toted up my counts using the 2015 tags in LibraryThing, I only had 75 books which would have been my lowest year since I began recording in 2007. Well, I missed a few books. I missed a couple in recording them in the appropriate tag (a few books that I both read *and* reread in 2015), as well as a couple of books that I reread twice over the course of the year. While I did properly note which month I had reread them, they are only recorded once for the purposes of the “reread2015” tag. I managed to sort all of that out before writing up the previous post, thankfully.

The biggest category note for me was the “listened to” section. I only completed listening to two audiobooks this year. This is by far the lowest amount of audiobooks I’ve listened to since I first bought my car in 2004 and was commuting in the Chicago area. I couldn’t believe I had listened to so little until I realized how many podcasts I listened to as well as all of the workshop recordings from the 2015 Romance Writers of America conference. All of those fall into the same category as audiobooks for me (spoken word recordings which are listened to while I’m walking to work/around the neighborhood as I’m exercising), and therefore take away from the amount of time I have to listen to audiobooks. I’m surprisingly okay with this as it’s hard for me to get some of my favorite series in digital download format from libraries due to distribution agreements (well, the lack thereof).

The other note is that my rereads of novels outstripped my reads of new-to-me novels. Admittedly, a few of my rereads were of the same books, but they were good. That reading funk I mentioned feeling in last year’s wrap up continued into this year. I did find some new-to-me authors like Rebekah Weatherspoon who I really enjoyed, but I didn’t seem to be able to fully break out of the funk. I fell back on books I knew I enjoyed because I needed that comfort. I’m hoping I can spend 2016 trolling for some more new-to-me authors, and I’ve got a few on my TBR pile waiting. At the same time, I refuse to beat myself up over the falling into a the reread rut because it means that I’m still reading. Sometimes you need to coast the wave of the familiar to cross over into new territory.

So, here are the stats:

  • Read – 30 novels – the lowest, by 2, since I began keeping stats. 2013 had the next lowest entry with 32.
  • Reread – 32 novels – the highest year since stats began by more than ten.
  • Listened to – 2 novels – the lowest by a good margin.
  • Novellas – 14 – dead middle of the pack.
  • Children’s – 2 – the lowest, but as this is an incidental category for me, not one I worry about.
Posted by: Katie | January 2, 2016

July through December 2015 reads

A few corrections and revelations from earlier posts. The [REDACTED] by [REDACTED] book that I read in February was Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl which released in July. I’m friends with Victoria and beta read it for her to make sure the library bits rang true (please direct any ire over that my way as I told her it read true to me). I *definitely* recommend it for the fact that it’s a very well-written book and I was in the middle of a depressive episode and it really lifted my spirits at a time that I needed them lifted. In the June post, I listed as having reread The Elusive Bridegroom by Stephanie Laurens. It’s The Elusive BRIDE. I’m blaming that error on the fact that I’d also listed The Substitute Bridegroom by Charlotte Louise Dolan as a reread.

As you can see from the following list, I did a *bunch* of series rereads in the latter half of the year. It was needed. I was surprised to see that I didn’t finish any audiobooks in this six month period, and then I remembered all of the podcasts and workshop recordings I’ve been listening to. I’ll go into this in a little more detail in my 2015 write up.

Read

  • Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh – Naasir’s story. I’d been waiting on this story for a while and loved it so much. Nalini definitely knocked it out of the park.
  • Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase – ARC provided by the publisher – This book hit all the right notes for me in such a way that I couldn’t read *anything* for a couple of days afterward. I think this one will end up being one of her better-known books.
  • Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb – I realized that I was heading down the slippery slope of getting too far behind in this series to catch up, so while I have the hardback of this and the others in the series, I bought it the digital copy because it’s easier to read with my commuter lifestyle. Very enjoyable.
  • Festive in Death by J.D. Robb – Enjoyed
  • Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb – Enjoyed.
  • Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh – I know some people had some issues with how this story played out, but I felt that Nalini supported the actions of the characters and I really loved seeing them finally come together.
  • The Muse by Anne Calhoun – So. Good. I think I started reading this on the day it released and I didn’t want to put it down. Anne is such a master of erotic romance.
  • Shadow’s End by Thea Harrison – Graydon’s book in The Elder Races series. On the spectrum of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, this leaned more toward UF. I say this because I felt like the balance of the romance storyline to the overarching storyline was more 60/40 rather than around 80/20. I think because I had recently come off a binge of Anne Bishop and Patricia Briggs, I was in a good place to still appreciate the story.
  • Troublemaker by Linda Howard – ARC provided by the publisher – O! M! G! Seal clapping. Squeeing. Wanting to immediately reread. I’ve been telling friends that this is in a similar style to Dream Man, Mr. Perfect, and Open Season, but LH’s voice is very fresh. Last night on Charlie Rose, I heard Tom Jones talking about having a “young ear” and paying attention to the sounds being created today. After reading Troublemaker, I feel like LH must have a similar philosophy because this read like an author who was firmly rooted in the “now” of the romance genre.
  • Falling Hard by HelenKay Dimon – Poor HelenKay has been a victim of my very fickly reading mood over the last year. I really enjoy her stories as I’m reading them, but I always seem to pick them up as I’m about to get slapped with a funk. Falling Hard is book 2 in the Bad Boys Undercover series and I really liked Wes and Lexi. Both were very up front with their feelings both to themselves and to the other person. HelenKay adroitly managed the tension of developing a romantic relationship while the pair is on the run by shining a bright big spotlight on the insanity of doing that with both main characters’ thoughts.
  • The Lady’s Command by Stephanie Laurens – First in her Adventurers Quartet series and loosely tied to the Bastion Club series. I enjoyed this. The main couple has already married by the start of the story, so it was interesting to see how their relationship developed in the “how do we work together as a married couple?” phase of the romance. I’m definitely reading the next book.

Reread

  • Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn – This is one of my absolute favorites by JQ
  • Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase – High on my list of rereads from LC’s backlist, partially because the heroine is an unapologetic courtesan and the hero loves her for it.
  • Faking It by Jennifer Crusie – Annual-ish reread of this story.
  • Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh – I finally read this series in order! (I usually end up reading book 2 first because that was the one I read first to drive all of you series purists mad.) I love this series and world so hard, so I’m not going to expound much.
  • Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh – Loved.
  • Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh – Loved.
  • Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh – This is the first time I’ve reread this book because it’s such a cry-fest for me. Seriously, Nalini knows where your heart is, rips it out, stomps all over it, and then gently places it back into your gaping chest cavity.
  • Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh – Another cry-fest especially at one point in the book.
  • Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh – Loved.
  • Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh – Loved.
  • The List by Anne Calhoun – I binged on the series in loose anticipation of the release of The Muse.
  • Now You See Her by Linda Howard – I felt the need for a mini-LH reread binge even before I knew Troublemaker was coming out. Basically, I was missing her. When this book came out, I ended up owning three copies in hardback (2 were bought from the remainder pile in the book store) because I loved it so much.
  • Dream Man by Linda Howard – Loved.
  • Written in Red by Anne Bishop – Crack.
  • Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop – Crack, part 2.
  • Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs – So good, but I really recommend reading Alpha and Omega first because the opening of CW flows so cleanly from the end of A & O.
  • Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs – Loved.
  • Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – Crack, part 3 which I had to wait on the digital copy to come available from my local library.
  • Fair Game by Patricia Briggs – Loved.
  • Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs – Loved.
  • Open Season by Linda Howard – I immediately read this after Troublemaker because I had to ease myself back into a non-LH reading zone.
  • Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase – The last book I read in 2015 and I loved it as hard as I did the first time I read it. It took me a day and a half to even contemplate picking up another book.

Listened to

  • None

Novella

  • Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon – An overweight heroine who works on the production side of a food-oriented show who falls in lust and love with her personal trainer who resembles a certain Norse god and has a very strong kinky side. So many checkbox ticks! I’ve been recommending this and the other two novellas in the trilogy since I read them. Rebekah goes into some hardcore BDSM lifestyle issues over the course of the trilogy, but she makes it very accessible to the average reader who is open to having that in their erotic romance.
  • Tamed by Rebekah Weatherspoon – Loved.
  • Sated by Rebekah Weatherspoon – *Really* loved, and this is definitely the one with the hardest of the BDSM elements in the trilogy.
  • Angel’s Flight by Nalini Singh – Reread. *SIGH*. Yes, that’s all you get.
  • Taken by HelenKay Dimon – This is a m/m story and one that had been building over the course of the previous two books in HKD’s Holton Woods series. I’m not really a reader of m/m, but I’d been looking forward to seeing this couple finally work out their issues, and I loved reading this. HelenKay has turned me into an m/m reader of the right author 😉
  • Afternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun – Reread. Seriously loved.
  • Evening Storm by Anne Calhoun – Reread. *Melts*
  • Hades by Larissa Ione – The latest in her series of side stories in the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance universe. I enjoyed it.
  • Dragos Goes to Washington by Thea Harrison – Fun with a little murder mystery.
  • Pia Does Hollywood by Thea Harrison – Zombies!
  • Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs – Reread. So good.
  • Liam Takes Manhattan by Thea Harrison – copy gift of author – Very sweet and an interesting bridge to what is shaping up to be the next phase of The Elder Races series.

Children’s

  • Supertruck by Stephen Savage – This is a cute little picture book that is a riff on Superman. I definitely recommend it for any child who’s intrigued by work vehicles.

Read in July through December: 46
Read in 2015: 80

Posted by: Katie | September 3, 2015

The Importance of Weeding

I’m overdue on the post about my monthly reads, but for now, have a Twitter rant on weeding library collections:

View the story “Weeding Library Collections – A Rant” on Storify (I apologize for the lack of embedding, but WordPress is being weird tonight and keeps stripping out the iframe code when I hit “update”. I’ll troubleshoot later.)

If you teach a class on collection management in libraries, feel free to share with your students.

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