Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

About Jane Litte

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

Posts by Jane Litte:

Your trust circle of reader recommenders

Your trust circle of reader recommenders

trust circle of books

I think it was Kassia Krozser formerly of Booksquare who coined the phrase “circle of trust” as it relates to your book reader friends who you rely upon to give you recommendations. No reader can be without that circle. One of the reasons we have open threads like yesterday is so that readers can communicate with other readers about books they’ve been reading and what they’d recommend. For a voracious reader, the most difficult question can often be “what do I read next?”

At times I feel much like the exasperated person standing in front of his or her closet and muttering, “I have nothing to wear” even as the drawers can’t close because of all the clothes stuffed inside. Many of us have mountains of books to read, but we feel we have nothing so we turn to our friends and ask for recommendations.

And many of our friends are online ones that we’ve cultivated from message board interactions and email loops and twitter exchanges because few of us have romance reader friends in real life. I have one in real life romance reader friend but she and I have almost no overlapping circles of reading interest.

The trusted recommender is one of the most vital positions a reader can occupy. For me, Susan Scribner of the now defunct The Romance Reader was my first trusted recommender. She got me to read outside my comfort zone. Because of her wonderful and thoughtful reviews, I discovered books like Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever and Sally Mandel’s Out of the Blue featuring a heroine with MS.

Shelly, from my email loop, encouraged me to read fantasy books. I read George RR Martin’s first three books, then the Tiger & Del series by Jennifer Roberson (talk about a kick ass heroine), Sharon Shinn’s Angel series,  and The Belgariad series by David Eddings (which I like to refer to as the anti Martin because while there are adventures nothing bad happens to the characters I love).

Jia from Dear Author encouraged me to read the Kushiel series and NK Jeminisen’s One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Keishon is another favored recommender. I read Karin Slaughter and PJ Tracey’s stories based on her recommendation. And it was Keishon who got me to read The Bronze Horseman over ten years ago.

I don’t still read all of the above authors, but the books I noted above were all books that I would never have read without the reviews and fabulous interactions with other readers. Currently my trusted circle of readers is peopled by mostly romance readers. Angela James, Elyssa Patrick, and KatiD regularly influence me. Jayne is my go to for traditional historical romances. I succumbed to reading Last Hour of Gann by non stop posts from Jessica Clare.

The trust circle is so vital because we’re constantly looking for something good to read. It’s not about the money so much as it is about the time. When you devote hours to something, you want it to be great no matter if you paid $12 for it or got the book for free.

Share with us your trusted reader’s circle and what recommended books you read that you might not have found on your own.


Open Thread for Readers

Open Thread for Readers




Today we’re opening it up for readers. What’s on your mind as it relates to books? Is there a book that has lingered long after you read it?  How about a book that you’re hotly anticipating? Did you discover a new story that you’re super excited about?

I’ll start off. The very first review I did here at Dear Author was an angry one about a historical wherein the main male lead pretended, for most of the book, to be his twin brother. The male and female leads make love in the story and she still believes it to be his twin brother. I couldn’t get over that. I felt like she was in love with who the main male lead pretended to be rather than the actual man. Later in the story she learns the truth and declares she had always been in love with the male lead rather than the twin he pretended to be.

The author wrote a justification for this by saying that the heroine knew before the first time they’d made love that the hero was the hero and not the twin, but I didn’t see it in the text.

So frustrated was I by the justification, I had to write a review and put it out publicly. It was my only way to respond to the text, the only way to vent my dissatisfaction and staunch disagreement with the book. Okay, not the only way but I still remember the sting of anger when I read the author’s justifications and wanted to howl that the text never said what she claimed it said.

When writing the review, I felt some catharsis but I still remember that book and how angry it made me feel. In some ways, I suppose that is good. The author achieved something in that nearly a decade later, I still think of the book from time to time and, well, how mad I was about it. I’ve never re-read it and I’ve gone on to read other books by the author since then.

The trickster lead is a difficult one primarily because I just have a hard time buying into the true love. Is the heroine in love with whom the hero pretended to be or in the real man? I almost always think the former. Generally, this is a trope I’ll shy away from for exactly that reason.

Do you have any long memories of books you loved or hated? Do you remember the first book review you wrote or the one that burned up emails between you and a reader friend? Let’s remind each other what we’re here for. Today is about books and readers. Go forth and inspire each other to read awesome!