Elizabeth: Not a Romance in Sight

With the end of 2020 came the traditional surge of “Top Books” lists.  The first I encountered was was the New York Times “Top 10 Best Books of 2020,” in which the editors of The Times Book Review chose the best fiction and nonfiction titles of 2020.  Other than Barack Obama’s memoir (which had only come out near the end of the year), I had heard of none of the titles and, after reading the blurbs, I’m unlikely to investigate any of them further.  I’m guessing I am not the target audience of those book review editors.

No surprise – there was not a romance novel in sight on the list.

Next up was the “100 Notable Books of 2020” also by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.  I figured a list of 100 titles would cover a broader range of books.  My mistake.  After reading through it, I mentally renamed this list “98 books I’ve never heard of.”

There was one whole romance title on the list — Courtney Milan’s The Duke Who Didn’t — which also made the Washington Posts’ Best romance novels of 2020 Continue reading

Kay: Finding Love, Literally

The holiday season has been rich with “best of” book lists. I always enjoy putting new titles on my TBR pile, but I also enjoy reading old favorites. This year to ring in the new year right, I picked up Pride and Prejudice again, which never fails to amuse and entertain me. And then I ran into this article by the Ebook Friendly team. Using the tools BookLamp and Google Books Ngram Viewer, they analyzed the occurrences of the words “love” and “kiss” in several romantic classics and compared the number of occurrences to other classics. Is Ulysses a more romantic book than P&P because “love” occurs 412 times rather than 122? Of course not. But the results are fun anyway.

Infographic courtesy of Ebook Friendly

Infographic courtesy of Ebook Friendly

Michille: Reading Lists

Reading ListElizabeth’s post yesterday was a good precursor to my annual (well, second annual) reading lists post. Here are some lists that we can use to add to our TBR piles (like any of us need to do that). There are many books that appear on more than one list, like The Invention of Nature: Alexander VonHumboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf, Beauty is a Wound, by Eka Kurniawan, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Here are some of the lists that are swimming in the ether: Continue reading

Michille: Reading Lists

stack of booksAs some of you know, I am completing a master’s program and spent my reading time last semester on Jungian psychology texts, monomyths, and the hero’s journey while this semester has been spent reading ancient Greek and roman texts (with a little Shakespeare thrown in). Therefore I haven’t had a lot of time for pleasure reading. I am hoping to change that after the next two papers have been submitted. So I’ve been surfing around to find book lists that can give me some ideas of what I want to read.

There are a lot of book lists out there: best selling, most notable, editor picks, genre picks, and the lists readers post on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Several show up on more than one list like A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison, and The Dog by Joseph O’Neill. Some lists have lighter fare or mixed fare like the best selling lists. Continue reading