In April, I attended the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic experience. The parties were fun, the panels were usually very interesting and I came home with bags full of free books, but what I loved most was standing around talking with people about the books that they love.
The convention opened my eyes to authors, genres and all kinds of books that I never knew were out there. I made a commitment that I would pick 10 books by authors that I haven’t really read before and try them out in the next year.
There is no method in the books I chose other than my limitation that they not be from authors that I regularly read. I ended up with dozens of possible books to read, and decided to just chose 10 that sparked my interest in some way.
What follows are my list of books in no particular order:
Blackbird Summer by Em Shotwell: This might be the most shallow reason for choosing a book — I was walking around the book fair and loved the cover of this book. I spoke with the author who gave a good pitch for the book. It features a heroine with supernatural powers and takes place in the rural South. It happened to be on sale on Kindle so I bought it right then. The cover looks like a pictures I’d like to have on my wall.
Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole: I saw the author speak at one of the panels and was impressed by how articulate and funny she was. I really like clever books so I have hopes that this author’s personality will transfer to what she writes. The book is part of a post-apocalyptic series and I’m going to have to decide whether or not to read from the beginning of the series or start here.
Being Plumville by Savannah J. Frierson: I met this author at the Book Fair. I was wandering around talking to different authors and approached her table. I asked what her book was about. When she told me that the story was about an interracial couple in the 1960s, I was hooked. I know I haven’t read this book before so I was determined that it would make my list of books to read.
Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake: One of my favorite events at the RT Convention was the Perfect Gentlemen event. Lots of cool swag and a free copy of this book along with a signing by the authors. As we waited in line for the signing, the group of women I was with laughed and drank the pink champagne. It was a fun time. The entirety of the event plus the blurb on the back made me put this book in the read really soon pile. A group of powerful and really sexy men finding strong women while investigating the death of one of their members is definitely my type of catnip.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: This book was chosen as Book of the Year at the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards. I love the idea that all people deserve a happy ending. Once again, I was impressed with the author as she accepted her awards that night. Her remarks were touching and I knew I would have to read this book.
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton: Lot of buzz about this author and series at the convention. Someone else had recommended the book to me a while ago, Sarah MacLean has recommended it several times, and the repeated recommendations at the convention finally moved it to my list.
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay: I went to the Sweet Romance Morning Coffee Break event and this author was in attendance. One of the attendees at my table recommended reading this book and I was intrigued by the letter writing involved in the book and its connection to Pride and Prejudice.
Claimed by Elle Kennedy: Another of those post-apocalyptic books, I received and ARC of the second book in this series at a blogger event and decided I had to look at this book to decide if I had to read it first. I read the blurb “Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.” and I had to add it to my list.
Smoke and Fire by Donna Grant: Dragon Shapeshifters. Nothing else needed except I do need to decide where I want to start with this series.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I talked to many people able YA books and two different people suggested this book to me. I know that it was on sale on Kindle not long ago so I decided I would give it a try.
Over the next year, I’m going to read these books. Stay tuned to read my reviews.
Do you create book challenges for yourself? If so, what is on your challenge list?