It annoys me when the media and the close-minded do not respect or acknowledge the romance genre as quality fiction. Some of my favourite, most memorable, most thought-provoking and most heart-wrenching reads (and Kleypas re-reads) have been from this genre. Romance = HEA. Romance does not equal just sex or “purple prose.” In my opinion, reading romance contributes to developing social skills (connection, relationship-building) and emotional maturity (empathy, empowerment) – we can all benefit from improving these qualities in ourselves.
What I like about this list from NPR is that the whole series is mentioned – not just specific title(s) considered the best in a series. The list is comprehensive and unranked, sorted into the following categories: Historical, Classics, YA, Suspense, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance, Inspirational, Contemporary, Category Romance. What I would have liked to see is a fan fiction romance category, as fan fiction is becoming big business with all the Austen and Twilight continuations. The suggestions would be very interesting I’m sure (i.e. the Sharon Lathan P&P series or E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey/Grey). The suspense category could have included another Linda Howard title. There were no titles mentioned from Elizabeth Lowell or Jayne Ann Krentz nor was Catherine Anderson’s Annie’s Song mentioned. I would vote for Johanna Lindsey’s Malory series over Warrior’s Woman (SciFi/Fantasy).
A single title only Top 100 Romance list I recommend is from LikesBooks: The Top 100 Romance Books as Voted in 2013. (Note: At the bottom of this webpage are links to historical Top 100 Romances lists from 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010).
You May Also Like:
- Romance fans may also enjoy the documentary Love Between the Covers which is currently screening at select festivals. Unknown DVD release date.
- Radway, Janice A. Women Read the Romance: The Interaction of Text and Context, Feminist Studies, 9(1), Spring 1983, JSTOR.org
- Why Can’t Romance Novels Get Any Love? | Smithsonian Magazine
- Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance | Jayne Ann Krentz, Editor
As we get into the hottest, most languorous months of the year, it’s the perfect moment for a hot read — and just in time, our big summer book list is here. It’s the NPR Books Summer of Love, and we have 100 great romances for you, from historical to paranormal to LGBTQ to the subgenre that started it all, category romance (the slim-spined Harlequins of your childhood).
Back in June we asked you to tell us about your favorite romantic reads, and you responded in droves. (We had to shut the poll down early after more than 18,000 nominations flooded in!) Once the votes were tallied, we turned to our expert panel, reviewers Bobbi Dumas and Sarah Wendell, and authors Sherry Thomas and Michelle Monkou, to help us break down the categories and shape the final list into a love story for the ages. READ MORE: Happy Ever After: 100 Swoon-Worthy Romances | NPR.