Saturday, January 4, 2014

Reading Rituals and the New Year

One of my New Year’s rituals is preparing a book calendar of the new books I plan to read in the coming year. I check authors’ websites and other sources to find out what is scheduled, and I fill in my calendar by hand. Since my appetite for books exceeds my book budget, I will use both the public library and my university library, but some books I must have for my own ASAP. I preorder these. Review copies are a boon to my budget, but sometimes I end up buying print copies of favorites that I received in digital format or ecopies of those I received in print.

Creating this calendar heightens my anticipation of the good reads ahead, and I’m convinced it helps me to meet my goal of reading all the books on my list. That last claim may sound like mere superstition, but science is on my side. Research on the efficacy of rituals reported in Scientific American last spring revealed that “Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.” Each year when I post my list, some skeptic expresses doubts that I will really be able to read all the books, but so far each year, I have actually read not only the books on the calendar but also quite a few not on the list. I fully expect to repeat the feat in 2014.

The list below, more than 150 titles, includes only the books that will be published January through June. I’ll do a second post in late June when the publication schedule for the second half of the year is more complete. I repeat my usual caution that this is not a comprehensive list. It includes only the books I look forward to reading. Because I read primarily historical and contemporary romance, these are the subgenres that are most represented, along with a sprinkling of women’s fiction, mystery (the latter mostly cozies), and a couple of NA books. I do not include rereads on the list, even though of the ten books I’ve already read in 2014, four were rereads of Georgette Heyer books that I bought on sale recently. If you are interested in a comprehensive list, The Romance Dish, Heroes and Heartbreakers, and All About Romance all publish monthly lists of all genres of romance fiction and fiction with strong romantic elements.

Of course, even on a list of books I am eager to read, there are some that I anticipate with exceptional enthusiasm. I can’t wait to read Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake and Manda Collins’s Why Earls Fall in Love later this month and Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Man in March. Late March and early April bring a bonanza of books that make me smile just to think about the wonders that await. More than twenty books are on my list for just that two-week period, including a dozen by autobuy authors. And in mid-April I’m going back to Anchor Island with Terri Osburn. In June, at long last, Loretta Chase will give us Vixen in Velvet.

These are some of the books I plan to read the first half of 2014. I’m sure that I will add to the list as more release dates are announced, as friends say “You can’t miss this one,” and as I make serendipitous discoveries.


January 1

From Ruin to Riches
Louise Allen
A Marriage of Notoriety
Diane Gaston
Everywhere She Goes
Janice Kay Johnson
Sweet Nothings
Kim Law
Marrying the Cowboy
Trish Milburn
A Man to Believe in
Kathleen Pickering
Unleashing Mr. Darcy
Teri Wilson

January 7

Grace Burrowes
Scandalously Yours
Cara Elliott
How to Master Your Marquis                     Juliana Gray The Fireside Inn  (novella)
Lily Everett
The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
Boots Under Her Bed
Goodman. Kent, Thomas,
The Last Wicked Scoundrel (novella)
Lorraine Heath
Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard
Vanessa Kelly
Between a Rake and a Hard Place
Mia Marlowe
More Than a Touch
Alexis Morgan
The Last Man on Earth
Tracey Anne Warren

January 14

An Anniversary Feast (novella)
Michael Baron
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
Alan Bradley
Bonfire Beach  (novella)
Lily Everett

The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
River Road
Jayne Ann Krentz
Island Promises
Thayne, Ferrarella, Banks
Return to Tradd Street
Karen White

January 20

Runaway Groom
Fiona Lowe

January 21

Lost Lake
Sarah Addison Allen
Be Mine Forever
Marina Adair
Happy Medium
Meg Benjamin
Love on Mimosa Lane
Anna DeStefano
Lantern Lake (novella)
Lily Everett
When the Rogue Returns
Sabrina Jeffries

January 28

The Cowboy of Valentine Valley
Emma Cane
Why Earls Fall in Love
Manda Collins
Texas Hold 'Em
Christie Craig
Romancing the Duke
Tessa Dare
Shoreline Drive
Lily Everett
The Silence of the Library
Miranda James
The Bride Says No
Cathy Maxwell
Cider Brook
Carla Neggers
At the River's Edge
Mariah Stewart
Wildwood Creek
Lisa Wingate
Home to Seaview Key
Sherryl Woods


February 1

Mint Juleps and Justice
Nancy Naigle
Wife by Design
Tara Taylor Quinn
Whisper of Jasmine
Deanna Raybourne
A Family for Tyler
Angel Smits
His Forever Girl
Liz Talley
The Real Mr. Right
Karen Templeton

February 4

The MacGregor's Lady
Grace Burrowes
Sinfully Yours
Cara Elliott
All You Need Is Love
Marie Force
Princess Ever After
Rachel Hauck
Had to Be You
Robin Kaye
What the Groom Wants
Jade Lee
R Is for Royal
Megan Mulry
Confessions of a Secret Admirer
Ryan, Seasons, Terry
The Curl Up and Dye
Sharon Sala
The Valentine's Day Disaster (novella)
Lori Wilde

February 11

Once in a Lifetime
Jill Shalvis

February 18
The Jade Temptress
Jeannie Lin

February 25

A Wicked Pursuit
Isabella Bradford
A Promise at Bluebell Hill
Emma Cane
The Chance
Robyn Carr
The Scandalous Duke Takes a Bride
Tiffany Clare
A March Bride (novella)
Rachel Hauck
When the Duke Was Wicked
Lorraine Heath
The Trouble with Honor
Julia London
Evening Stars
Susan Mallery
The Bride Says Maybe
Cathy Maxwell
A Man to Hold on To
Marilyn Pappano
The Cottage at Juniper Ridge
Sheila Roberts


March 1

Secrets at Court
Blyth Gifford
The Fall of a Saint
Christine Merrill

March 4

Grace Burrowes
Jonathan and Amy (novella)
Grace Burrowes
The Dark Affair
Maire Claremont
Passionately Yours
Cara Elliott
Why Kings Confess
C. S. Harris
Carolina Man
Virginia Kantra
Loving Lord Ashe
Sally MacKenzie

March 18

The Wedding Ring Quest
Carla Kelly
Beneath the Patchwork Moon
Alison Kent
Sweet Disorder
Rose Lerner

March 24

Fatal Jeopardy
Marie Force

March 25

A Beauty So Rare
Tamera Alexander
Four Friends
Robyn Carr
What a Reckless Rogue Needs
Vicky Dreiling
Fool Me Twice
Meredith Duran
After the Scandal
Elizabeth Essex
Waiting on You
Kristan Higgins
Three Weeks With Lady X
Eloisa James
Sweet Talk Me
Kieran Kramer
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea
Julie Anne Long
Moonlight on My Mind
Jennifer McQuiston
Come Home to Me
Brenda Novak
Taken with You
Shannon Stacey


April 1

A Shocking Delight
Jo Beverley
The Winter Bride
Anne Gracie
Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom
Vanessa Kelly
Her Kind of Trouble
Sarah Mayberry
Wildflower Wedding
Luann McLane
The Husband Campaign
Regina Scott
The Wicked Widow Meets Her Match
Stefanie Sloane
The Day He Kissed Her
Juliana Stone

April 15

Home to Stay
Terri Osburn
The Collector
Nora Roberts
April 17
Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well
Nancy Atherton
April 22
Otherwise Engaged
Amanda Quick

April 29

The Unexpected Duchess
Valerie Bowman
Never Entice an Earl
Lily Dalton
How to Lose a Duke in 10 Days
Laura Lee Guhrke
Dreams of Lilacs
Lynn Kurland
It Takes a Scandal
Caroline Linden
When We Met
Susan Mallery
Inn at Last Chance
Hope Ramsay
Shadow Spell
Nora Roberts


May 1

The Mistress Rebellion
Courtney Milan
May 6
In Want of a Wife
Jo Goodman
It Happened one Wedding
Julie James
Blue Notes
Carrie Lofty
A Reason to Love
Alexis Morgan
To Charm a Naughty Countess
Theresa Romain
Tammara Webber
May 7
Adrianne Lee
May 13
The Best Medicine
Tracy Brogan

May 27

All I Want Is You
Toni Blake
Baby, It's You
Jane Graves
The Scoundrel's Seduction
Jennifer Haymore
The Accidental Duchess
Madeline Hunter
Before We Kiss
Susan Mallery
Dreamweaver Trail
Emily March
Once Tasted
Laura Moore
The Once and Future Duchess
Sophia Nash
Take My Breath Away
Ridgway, Christie
A Dream of Desire
Nina Rowan
Barefoot in Lace
Roxanne St. Claire
Love with a Perfect Cowboy
Lori Wilde
The Secret Life of Violet Grant
Beatriz Williams


June 3

My Fair Billionaire
Elizabeth Bevarly
I Want to Hold Your Hand
Marie Force
How to School Your Scoundrel
Juliana Gray
Mischief by Moonlight
Emily Greenwood
The Baron Next Door
Erin Knightley

June 10

Just One Thing
Holly Jacobs

June 24

The Promise
Robyn Carr
Vixen in Velvet
Loretta Chase
The Secrets of a Scoundrel
Gaelen Foley
Until We Touch
Susan Mallery
Suddenly Last Summer
Sarah Morgan
Lady Windermere's Lover
Miranda Neville
The Tea Shop on Lavendar Lane
Sheila Roberts
Something Sweeter
Candis Terry
Wild Iris Ridge
RaeAnne Thayne
The Beekeeper's Ball
Susan Wiggs

These are my reading plans for January-June.  What are yours? What books are you most looking forward to in 2014? What’s the best book you have read in the new year so far?


Quantum said...

This is an awesome list Janga.

Happy to say that I have read some of the authors, and look forward to reading more.

With so many to choose from, what I really need is a 'Janga Gold Medal award' to select the ones that in your opinion stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Identify the Olympians of the writing world or La Crème de la Crème, using whatever criteria are most important to you. I would buy those even if not in audio format!

Reading plans: more catching up with Janga favs + trying new fantasy and Western writers.

Most looking forward to: Completing the Whispering Mountain series by Jodi Thomas

Best book of 2014: Have a heart!!??
1)Started Maria Snyder's Fantasy series beginning with 'Poison Study'
2)Part way through the first Flavia de Luce mystery 'Sweetness at the bottom of the pie'

Both are 5*+ on initial impressions! LOL

irisheyes said...

OMG, Janga! What an incredible list!

I'm still stuck on your "even though of the ten books I’ve already read in 2014..." statement. You've already read 10 books in the new year and it's only January 4th! LOL Wow!

Let me just say that I LOVE your lists. They help me keep up with much loved favorites, remember those I might otherwise forget and always, always discover new to me gems.

Right off the top of my head I'm most looking forward to Lorraine Heath's THE LAST WICKED SCOUNDREL and Samantha Young's BEFORE JAMAICA LANE. Fortunately, they both come out tomorrow and I've pre-ordered them. So I don't have to wait too long. LOL

Otherwise I would say anything by Robyn Carr, Carla Kelly, Janice Kay Johnson or Sarah Mayberry. Oh, and Terri's HOME TO STAY. I've been waiting for Will and Randy's story.

The only book I've read this year so far is Courtney Milan's THE HEIRESS EFFECT and I started that before the holidays! I just finished it up a few days ago - that's how busy I've been. I've really been in the mood for a Western and can't seem to scratch that itch. Maybe I'll just re-read Lorraine Heath's TEXAS TRILOGY and move on. LOL

Janga said...

The problem with a Gold Medal list, Q, is that I would dither about which books belonged on it until time for the next list. How great that you are reading the Flavia de Luce books! If you are reading more Westerns, you should definitely put Boots Under Her Bed on your list. Jodi Thomas is the lead author.

Janga said...

Thanks, Irish. I owe my ten books already read to a holiday break from freelance assignments. I'm making up for reading time lost to all those back-to-back deadlines.

I'll repeat my rec to Q. If you are in the mood for a Western, don't miss the anthology Boots Under Her Bed. All the stories are good, and Jo Goodman's is close to perfect IMO.