We all do so much reading, and yet when the Romance Writers of America recently announced the winners of their RITA awards, there were only two titles on their that I could say, "Oh! I read that one!"
This week at Romantic Reads, we've perused the list and made room on our August schedules for catching up with the best, but I'm wondering: do you read a book just because someone tells you to? Or do you purchase titles from authors you know you love anyway. I ask, because of all the titles that jumped out at me, Barbara O'Neal's How to Bake a Perfect Life was the one that I ran out and bought, and it was solely because of my experience reading The Garden of Happy Endings. Ms. O'Neal already sold me with her beatiful character explorations; the added adulation for this previous title makes it a can't-miss.
It never hurts to read a beloved author who's writing for a different audience, right? Enclave (Razorland Series #1) by Ann Aguirre won the prize for Best Young Adult book, and if you're a fan of post-apocolyptic tales of survival and teen-aged acumen, this might be up your alley. Deuce and Fade are fifteen, exploring the tunnels that have provided their people shelter in the face of earthly destruction, when they discover a powerful threat to the safety their society has constructed. This enemy is underground, but none of the Enclave's rulers will listen. Deuce and Fade are forced out of their home, banished to the surface of the land, where they must face the light, literally, and all the dangers that linger there.
The complete list of winners has been up at Romantic Reads; if you've got feedback about any of the titles we want to hear it!
Allow me to share my thoughts on Best Historical The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne by using a string of adjectives: stupendous, stirring, epic,romantic, suspenseful, thrilling. This read is made all the more emotional if you've kept up with Bourne's Spymaster series where young Hawker has grown from boy apprentice to a lethal agent in service to the British crown. And all through his adventures, Hawker's life has been twined with that of a worldly, elusive, deadly French agent, Justine.
But some of us want to keep current, and for that you'll need a trusty list of new releases. Lucky for you - especially you lovers of romantic suspense - the list is refreshed each Tuesday. Today there are novels by Lisa Jackson, Lisa Kleypas, Julie Garwood, and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
My favorite part of Romantic Reads is the ongoing conversation about what we are reading, but today I'm asking why. So:
Do you read according to recommendation or previous experience with an author?
Melanie Murray is a writer and editor, and the moderator of Romantic Reads, BN.com's all-romance, all-the-time community forum. You can follow her on Twitter at @Melanie_Murray and get all the latest Barnes & Noble book news from @BNBuzz.