Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Reads, Old Faves

Strangely, when I'm facing down a deadline, I find myself sinking into other people's book more than ever (do no mention the word procrastination to me!). I already do a lot of reading for my BookPage column on romance, but beyond those books I have a few I thought I'd share with you.

"Book Group" books: My book group recently read THE HELP. Loved it! And then I just finished this month's selection, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. It started slow, but at about page 100 I realized I couldn't put it down. The girl of the title is unforgettable. When I was looking for my copy of TATTOO in Costco, I was intrigued by the book THE 19th WIFE, which entwines a modern mystery and a historical figure. Another that I couldn't put down.

On the romance front: I've really enjoyed a new-to-me author, Emma Wildes. Very sexy, but delightful voice. I just read LESSONS FROM A SCARLET LADY. Recommend!

Old faves: I know some of you don't re-read books. I'm one for "comfort" reading. I recently enjoyed again these two from Lisa Kleypas: DEVIL IN WINTER and SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE. One of my favorite category romances of all time is from Nora Roberts: THE PERFECT NEIGHBOR. I also just re-read BED OF ROSES from her wedding quartet.

When it comes to comfort reads, must mention the Virgin River series from fab author and friend Robyn Carr. I love her stories and had one of those ::gasp:: moments when she emailed me that she enjoyed my books--and I was rereading one of hers at that very moment! What were the odds? Robyn has a very cool contest running. Enter and you might have a character named after you!

You know I'm always looking for book recommendations. Have one (or more) to share? I'm in the mood for mystery that has good romance in it (a la Julia Spencer-Fleming or J.D. Robb).


Terry Odell said...

Well, I could recommend my books, but that wouldn't be proper. JD Robb is my 'comfort read' too. I wish there were more true "mystery" romances; most of them are more suspense oriented. I like series mystery because you get the ongoing relationships so there's a 'romance' angle in many of them.

Took me over 200 pages to get into Dragon Tattoo. I've been reading Eisler's Rain Series and just finished Crais's new one. If you like Joe Pike, it's a great read.

Virginia said...

I really enjoyed Shirley Tallman's Murder on Nob Hill, this is the only one I read of her's but it was an awesome read! For a good Western romance try Rachel and the Hired Gun by Elaine Levine!

Minna said...

Mystery? Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn. It's a part of a series.

Christie Ridgway said...

Ooh, thanks for the recs, guys. Do you mystery lovers read Julia Spencer-Fleming? Really enjoy her Clare & Russ. Also, paranormal-mystery I enjoy are the Charlaine Harris books that feature Tolliver & Harper.

Re: Westerns. I'm sensing a bit of a come-back. I just read Kiki Warner's PIECES OF SKY. Grittier than I expected and very good.

Janga said...

If you like Julia Spencer-Fleming, have you tried Margaret Maron, whom Julia lists as an influence? I love Maron's Sigrid Harald books, but her Deborah Knott series is my favorite mystery series ever. Her characterization is superb, she captures the manners, mores and language of her Southern setting skillfully, and she gives her readers who are romance lovers a wonderful friends-to-lovers story over the course of the series.

I also like C. A. Belmond's books a great deal. They are contemporary (American heroine/English hero/European settings), but they remind me of some of my favorite old movies with endearing characters, more than a little glamour, and just the right touch of humor. She has two out now--A Rather Lovely Inheritance and A Rather Curious Engagement--with a third, A Rather Charming Invitation, set for release next month.

Christie Ridgway said...

Janga: Thanks for the recs! I'm kicking myself because I think I had the Belmond books in hand at one time (through my Bookpage gig) and didn't get to them.

I =adore= friends to lovers and will look for the Margaret Maron books. Thanks!

LSUReader said...

I loved Linda Howard's "Cry No More."

Christie Ridgway said...

LSUReader: I haven't re-read Cry No More in a while. I'm pretty sure it's in my keeper closet (yes, I have a "closet" not a keeper shelf!). I really like Cover By Night. Recently re-read that one. Thanks for the reminder.

catslady said...

I just found a new author that I'm enjoying. Eileen Goudge - Woman in Red. Romance and mystery.

Christie Ridgway said...

Catslady: I think I read an Eileen Goudge a while back. I've got to put her on my list again cuz I do like the romance/mystery blend.


april said...

My bookclub loved The Help. We also just read Sarah's Key which wasn't perfect but a solid, interesting read. Little sad (and by little, I mean a lot).

My comfort reads are usually Nora Roberts (either something in the Chesapeake Bay series or the Dream trilogy). It's not on purpose, but it just works out that way.

I also love reading Harlequin books. I always have a stash to just read when nothing else is working.

I think I'm going to go on a Sherrilyn Kenyon run next. I don't read her often, but when I do, I read them in big marathons, and I'm in the homestretch to finishing her entire backlist. I like the mythology, action and romance mix.

The 19th Wife looks interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Christie Ridgway said...

April: I liked The 19th Wife a lot. It was interesting more than emotional (no tears for me). Re: Nora's Chesapeake Bay series. I read it when it first came out but didn't keep it. I'm going to get it and re-read. I remember liking it a lot, particularly the one where the heroine was a housekeeper/maid (is that right)?

Emmanuelle said...

Hi Christie,
I recently discovered the Young Adult genre and so far I've been lucky to read fantastic stories. I recommend :

Gone Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Both are romance stories but also deal with YA issues. They're not depressing though and have fabulous ending. I'm not saying more, you definitely have to try ;-)

Debra Dixon said...

Wayne's reading or just finishing up Girl/Dragon/Tattoo. He's read it steadily, almost without putting it down...once he reached about page 100, but oddly he *doesn't* want me to order the next book. I find that very odd.

For me, I'm reading previously unpublished books, but I did indulge in a couple of Christmas Regency stories while in the hospital with Wayne. Sadly, they weren't good enough to recommend. One I didn't finish and the other was probably only good enough to finish because I was jonesing for Regency.

Cindy Gerard said...

Great to hear of all these authors and titles. I'm always looking for someone new but so seldom have time to read any more :o(
Currently on a Vince Flynn marathon. Love his action and his take on the 'real' world we live in.

Congrats on your upcoming new release, BTW, Betina!

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie - sorry. I r confused :o(

april said...

Re: Chesapeake Bay series

Yes, the middle one was about Ethan and Grace. She was the family housekeeper to support her young daughter. I reread that one and the last the most. I haven't read the fourth book often because it was my least favorite and unnecessary to me, but I never turn down an opportunity to see my favorite characters again.

Speaking of YA books, I'm reading Cara Lockwood's Wuthering High which is kind of cute and funny. Lots of literary references (as the school is haunted by famous literary authors/characters). It's a nice little break from the heavy books I've been reading lately.