Unusual Historicals in June 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 23, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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After a strange, upended spring, we now find ourselves in a strange, upended summer with most of us wondering what the heck autumn will bring. How much is my budget going to tank at the library? Will the kids be back in a traditional classroom setting come September? When might life feel normal enough to take a couple of vacation days again?  Uncertain times call for snatching moments of joy when you can - and I think I speak for most of Romancelandia when I say books are a great way to find some joy.  Here are some unusual historicals releasing in June that caught my eye:

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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for May 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] May 21, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Not even COVID-19 can stop the arrival of Spring. Romancelandia, my sincere wish for all of us during this time is that we snatch our moments of joy where we can find them. Mine has taste-testing new tea blends from a company I learned about on Facebook (hey, it’s not a complete dumpster fire over there…), getting back into a reading groove, and, of course, hunting up new unusual historicals.  Here’s what is catching my eye for May.

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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for April 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 17, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Somehow we’ve ended up in April. I’m not sure how it happened but one moment I was looking forward to burying 2019 out in the desert like a Las Vegas mobster and then the next I’m trying to figure out how to do my job in a post-COVID-19 world.  On the bright side, I’m past a string of books I was obligated to read for various reasons and I’m diving head first into comfort reading. For me that means category romance, mysteries and historical romance. Because nothing will take me away faster than a time period I’m not currently living in.  Here are some of the unusual historicals landing in April that caught my browsing eye.

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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for March 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 23, 2020 9:36:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? Our unwelcome guest COVID-19. The library system I work for is closed to the public and I oversee the division that is responsible for all the delightful items you find on the physical shelves and in our digital collections. So keeping that machine running, while re-configuring staff schedules and work spaces has meant no time for reading or Romancelandia. And let me tell ya, I miss it y’all. So let’s take a collective break and enjoy looking at some new Unusual Historicals out this month. And lucky for us, it’s a bonanza!

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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for February 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 20, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Here we are in February 2020 and I feel like this year is out to get me. I’m starting to take it personally.  My reading so far has been fairly lackluster and the continued RWA crisis has now devolved into me keeping a small pillow on my desk for fear of repeated concussions.  Hey, at least I have half-priced Valentine’s Day candy and a new crop of unusual historicals to cheer me up.

Here are the February publications catching my eye:

 

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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for January 2020

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 20, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Dear Romancelandia, was it just last month that I was wishing for blue skies ahead? Here we are, not four weeks into 2020 and already this year has felt like it’s been six months long.  Between what’s been going on with RWA, coupled with world events, the start of my reading year hasn’t been all that great.  But it’s too soon to throw in the towel on 2020 yet and what better way to head off a potential reading slump than book browsing?

Here are some new Unusual Historicals catching my eye:

 

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Andrea's 2019 Audio Faves

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 2, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Andrea posted in best bets, list

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This year was really difficult. For all the reasons that many of us struggled with, and for many personal reasons on top of those. I struggled to find motivation to be a person at all, and my concentration capabilities basically quit on me with no notice. As Suzanne said in her 2019 Favourites: It was "a really bad year for reading with my eyeballs." When I could eyeball-read, (Can we trademark this term? Getting my lawyers on this, stat!) I reread the books that comforted me; ones I could dive into and know everything would be exactly as I needed. But this year of limited eyeball reading also lead to an Audiobook Adventure! (Pretend there are sparkly emojis here, okay thanks!) 

[Editor's Note - All reading is reading! To suggest otherwise is horribly ableist among other things. So please don't. There are lots of reasons why reading with eyeballs doesn't go well/isn't possible, and everyone deserves stories.]

Suzanne has beeeen repping audiobooks, and I really wanted to be the kind of person who was there with her, but I never got round to it. Then, during a LiP Patreon chat (whoop whoop this is the sign up link, join us for the next one wink wink) before my long flight to South Korea, the LiP Patreon gang SOLD me! I signed up for Audible while still on the chat, and added a ton of their recs to my Wishlist. In the end, I was violently ill the entire flight there and knocked out cold on the flight back, so I did not get to listen. But when I came home and everything sucked, audiobooks swept in and saved the day! These are my favourites on the adventure so far:

 

Salt Magic, Skin Magic, by Lee Welch  
This is the very first audiobook I listened to. Got dat free Audible trial credit, listened to this sample and boom. I was hooked. It was SO captivating and intriguing, and it made me smile. Even just looking at the cover, I hear the specific atmospheric British accent and immediately feel pulled into the Salt Magic, Skin Magic realm and wanna go back. I've never really been into things this... mystical and magical in Romance but wow this one captures your whole heart and man, these guys are so deeply devoted to each other it's magnificent. Thank you Suzanne for the rec! It's literally the reason I got into audiobooks. I am eternally grateful, and so are my eyeballs.  
 
Finders Keepers, by N.R. Walker
This is a book I will never stop recommending. And now I can recommend it in audio format! It is PURE SUNSHINE. This will come up in my eventual 'books I read for comfort' list because man, oh man, I must have read it eight times this year alone. Twice on audio. It's equally cheerful and sexy and utterly perfect in both formats. I love the Australian-ness of it, I love how normal and genuinely good both these guys are. And I love love love Wicket, the dog the story centers around! It's a charming, sweet as heck, all-in perfect summer romance that is as delightful as the cover makes it seem. Possibly even more! 
 
King Me: A Forever Wilde novel, by Lucy Lennox
Okay, whoa. Think of every cool heist movie you love, and then squish them into one. You're thinking 'But Andrea, how would that even work? There's so many twists and levels to just one of them! How could that all fit into a single book?' I don't know how!! But that's what happens!! And the thing that really hits my heart in the very golden juicy middle (my heart is now a Caramello bar, apparently) is that these guys are sworn enemies, but pretty much from the moment they dive in and accept they're into each other, that's it. Sold. All in. The drama and the worry and the ups and downs of the story and the EPIC crime plot twists are all set on the solid ground of knowing they trust and love each other, which MAKES MY HEART SING. The art heist suspense vibes often made me GASP. And these characters made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! A lot. Like, a lotttt.
 
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Amazon (and Audible)
There's something about the wonder of a YA Romance --that ohmygoshisthishappening of the first kiss and the first crush and the chaos of being a teenager against the quiet of being with someone that stills your heart because true love. Jandy Nelson is... The person whose writing I am most in awe of. I have read her books to escape into their magical realism, I have read them as a writer being like "howww can I do what she does here," and I have read them as a young adult daydreaming that I too could find bright love in the middle of my grief. I know this story well. Hearing it on audio somehow showed it to me from new angles and emphasized a whole new layer of whoa.
 
Turbulence, by E.J. Noyes
Isn't this cover just great? Such pretty colours! Awesome things in this book: Women just killing it in their professional lives. Brilliant stockbroker. Badass pilot. Doing their jobs well and having epic sexual chemistry. There's teasing, and a whole lot of masturbation while they fantasize about each other and also when they can't spend the night together. The HR logistics and employee-relationship conflict is very much addressed and considered a lot, with company lawyers and Isabelle's (really great) therapist, which is dope. It's also extremely (2011 rom-com) Friends With Benefits in its "This is just sex, okay wait I took you home to meet my mom, oops we're in a wonderful rhythm of food and friendship on top of the sex, okay woah are we basically dating aaaahh! but neither of us is gonna say that aloud because we don't want to risk it ending" vibes. It is Great! Also very very sexy, did I say that? I mean it, from the bottom of my heart. 
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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for December 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 19, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Well Romancelandia, we made it. 2019 somehow managed to flit by in a second and still feel like the longest year in recorded human history. It’s been a rough year for a lot of folks, but I hope that you were able to snatch a few moments of joy and that nothing but blue skies are ahead for 2020. Let’s blow this popsicle stand by taking a gander at some of the unusual historicals that caught my eye for December.

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Ana's Best of 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 11, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Ana Coqui posted in best bets, top reads, list

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I’ve read so many wonderful books this year it actually hurts to pare down the list to a Top 5, so I had to cheat a little bit and create sub-genre specific Top 5 (and occasionally Top 10) lists to figure out what should be in my Top 5 list of the year so I am going to sneak in mentions of all the others books I loved in here too.

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Unusual Historicals: Best Bets for November 2019

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 22, 2019 9:45:00 AM / by Wendy the SuperLibrarian posted in best bets

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Here we are, in November, and I’m in denial. Have I thought about Thanksgiving dinner or my holiday gift purchasing? Of course not. Because it just doesn’t seem possible that somehow nearly a whole year blew past while I was busy doing...stuff, I guess. Who the heck knows anymore. I’m sure it involved The Day Job, continuing to finely tune my tea snobbery and books, because of course books.  Which brings us to the latest crop of unusual historicals that have caught my eye. Here’s what’s hitting my wishlist for November:

 

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