Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Top Ten Favorites from '08

All the blogs I've been reading lately have been listing their favorites from this year so I figured I would give it a shot. I've only just recently started a book journal (not this blog, obviously) so I'll do my best to be accurate not to mention that I will be forgetting so many that I would want to include (so sorry)...These are in no particular order:

Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis
Magic Bites & Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (count them as one)
Moon Called, Blood Bound, & Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (count them as one too)
Demon Night by Meljean Brook
Touch the Dark, Claimed by Shadow, & Embrace the Night by Karen Chance (also one)
Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series
Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Hunter's Prayer by Lilith Saintcrow

Other authors I discovered for myself this year:
Diana Gabaldon
Terry Goodkind
Lee Child
Gena Showalter
Christine Feehan
Julia Quinn
Lori Handeland
Tara Janzen
J. R. Ward
Julia London
Vicki Pettersson
Anne Stuart
Cindy Gerard
Vicki Lewis Thompson
Lara Adrian
Maryjanice Davidson
Laura Griffin
Faith Hunter
Lynsay Sands

Looking at this list makes me wonder what I read before 2008 :) Thanks to all those hardworking people who are much more diligent than I and are able to keep their book blogs up to date and so damn interesting. You have no idea how much I (and so many others out there) appreciate all your efforts. The genre of urban fantasy (as well as romances of any type) has become an utter obsession of mine that I can't keep up with all the books I want to read (and I read a-lot). Please keep up the good work in '09!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Historical Romances

I resisted reading historical romances for a long time. Looked at them with disdain actually. I don't know what I expected - I guess I just figured they were just bodice-rippers (or "do me" books as a friend of mine called them). Would they have any substance or would they just be flimsy plot devices crammed in between raunchy sex scenes? I still can't bring myself to read the ones with Fabio-like cover models and if I read any that dance on the threshold of those dreaded covers then I do it on the sly. :) I recently broke down and read The Duke and I by Julia Quinn and was instantly hooked. I devoured each one as I got my grubby hands on it. Another writer is quoted on the covers of some of her books as saying that (I'm paraphrasing) Julia Quinn is the contemporary Jane Austen. I guess that is supposed to lend some legitimacy to this genre; romances are generally considered fluff (as I already admitted to) and no "serious" reader would never stick their big toe in the lake of romance novels (or something like that). But the aforementioned paraphrased author is right. I read the first seventy or so pages of Pride and Prejudice just prior to reading The Duke and I and I was struck how similar the stories are, though certainly not the prose. The time period, the society scene in London and surrounding english countryside, and attitudes toward the sexes and marriage are all seriously considered. I will also admit that I while I did enjoy (and will finish) Pride and Prejudice, I enjoyed Julia Quinn a great deal more. Jane Austen wrote some wonderful stories (ironically, most of them romances) but Julia Quinn was easier to read; Austen's prose can be difficult to navigate. Having said all this, I can no longer stick my nose up at historical romances. However I still sometimes can't take myself seriously when I read them but I'm not going to let that stop me. Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey and others, here I come. :)

Blog Templates

Picking out a new template for a blog has been a pain in my petunia. I either find one I like that won't allow me to tinker with it or it won't work at all. For now, I'll stick with this boring one while I continue to play around with the format. For those who have been looking at this blog to see what I've been reading, I'm sorry I haven't added anything new. Stay tuned!