Bout of Books: If You Like This, Try That

Today’s challenge for Bout of Books 28 is “If You Like This, Try That.” This can be a really fun challenge (if I have enough time to put two thoughts together and type up the post). The organizers of Bout of Books 28 have provided the additional instruction for this challenge:

Put your recommendations hat on, #boutofbooks-ers. For this challenge, pick a book, author, or trope (or whatever!) from your TBR and suggest similar books.

Example 1: If you like Sarah McLean, try Lenora Bell.

Example 2: If you like a modern day, romantic twist on Greek mythology, try Staci Hart’s Hearts and Arrows series.

My examples that I’ve gathered are a mix of different categories and examples from books and other things I’ve experienced over the last year, hopefully it helps someone find a new and interesting read!

If you like being a part of a book club -> Try PODCASTS!

I started listening to podcasts last year and I’ve been hooked ever since! I have a few favorites, which I featured in a blog post earlier this year, but there are so many options out there! It’s especially fun to read along with the podcast hosts and other listeners and then “discuss” the book!

If you like vampires and / or other folklore -> Try the Immortals After Dark series!

I can’t say enough good things about the Immortals After Dark series. After listening to the intro episode to the Fated Mates podcast last spring I decided to give the series a try and I was immediately HOOKED. I read the whole series in like 3 months, I devoured it. It may not be for everyone but damn that series is definitely for me because it is BAT SHIT AMAZING.

If you like family secrets and plenty of plot twists -> Try The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

If you like books by Sarah Addison Allen -> Try The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

If you like the movie The Proposal -> Try Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher

And if you are for some reason enjoying the anxiety and panic and just craziness that comes with all this pandemic business but you’re looking for a love story to somehow find root in it -> Try After Sundown by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

It isn’t exact since it isn’t about a pandemic but I have to say when I first started reading this book it reminded me so much of what we were experiencing right now that I almost couldn’t continue reading it because it was creating so much additional anxiety for me!

Podcasts Galore! Romance Novel edition

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I have pretty much an hour long drive to and from work each day and I’ve always heard about podcasts being a good way to pass the time. So when I got an iPhone this year (for work) I decided to try them. And I quickly became obsessed! There is such a wealth of podcasts out there, there’s something for everyone really. And I found so many that are about reading, and many specifically about romance novels. I’ve tried a variety of them and there are a few that I’ve really come to love!

  1. Fated Mates Podcast – I was going to try and summarize this podcast but really I don’t think I can summarize it any better than what’s listed on their website: “Fated Mates is a romance novel podcast co-hosted by author Sarah MacLean and romance critic Jen Prokop. Weekly episodes include romance novel read-alongs and discussions of the work of the genre, highlighting the romance novel as a powerful tool in fighting patriarchy…with absolutely no kink shaming.” This is a great podcast and I’ve gotten so many good book recommendations from the interstitial episodes. And its hilarious!!
  2. Learning the Tropes Podcast – Erin (romance novel veteran) and Clayton (romance novel virgin) read a variety of novels and discuss them. My gosh this blog post is FUNNY. I love Clayton’s take on these books – it’s so refreshing to hear a man’s view on books I’ve loved forever. And I think this podcast also “fights the patriarchy” in a similar way.
  3. Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club – Ellen and her Mom are very entertaining and sweet. Their interactions remind me a lot of how my Mom and I talk to each other. They seem to read a lot of the books that I’m either interested in or are signed up to review for new publications.
  4. Wicked Wallflowers Podcast – This book is a little different from the other three as it doesn’t necessarily go in depth to discuss a certain book per episode. This podcast features popular romance authors, and while they do talk about books the podcast overall is more about discussion of different tropes and issues surrounding the romance genre. Listed on their About page on their website: “this podcast about romance fiction takes the guilt out of “guilty pleasure” with author interviews and deep dives into new releases. It’s a compelling reminder of why the oft-dismissed genre is a real force in cultural conversations about consent and desire.” It’s super funny!!

All four of these make me laugh out loud on a regular basis and really keep the drive to work much more entertaining. There are a number of other romance novel specific podcasts out there – and really a wealth of non-romance book podcasts also. I’m listening to a few new ones now to see if I like them before I delve into the backlist episodes. But the four listed above are super and I would definitely recommend them!

What about all of you out there? Any podcasts you love?