Two Special Title Lists Revised

bookstack It seems hard to believe but one year ago Rike, Cindy, and I took over the task of updating the Special Title Lists after they had been untouched for nearly three years.

Since then we’ve updated or created 29 lists. We’ve encountered some unanticipated problems such as inconsistencies or overlapping lists, unclear definitions, and a few clearly misplaced titles. But more than the problems, we’ve had a great deal of fun exploring these lists and learning about some new titles in our own favorite categories. This morning we’re pleased to announce that thanks to you, two more Special Title Lists have been revised and are now available for you to check out: Older Couples and Big City Contemporary Romances. Continue reading

Special Title Listings: Summer Update

list As summer heads into its final months we’ve decided to take a bit of a break and are doing a light update for the Special Title Listings by opening just two lists for your suggestions. Even though we’re entering the Dog Days of summer we hope you’ll be able to help us once again and offer some great suggestions for the following lists: (1) Older Couples, and (2) Big City Contemporary Romances.

We look forward to seeing your submissions for these lists starting today Monday August 5 and going for the next two weeks ending Sunday August 18 at midnight. As a reminder, any additions to the list have to be: (1) the best of the best, (2) stand the test of time, and (3) actually fit the list for which they were submitted. Continue reading

Updated Special Title Lists – Suspense & Mystery, and Heroes in Pursuit

newimproved As we said several weeks ago, we were simply bombarded with submissions when we opened these two lists up for your nominations, with over 150 recommendations for each. We have now posted the revised lists at AAR, but have a few issues to raise as you’ll see below.

Suspense & Mystery List. We’re afraid that the Suspense & Mystery list – as currently constituted – may have outlived its usefulness. This list was created in 1997, long before the power search was available at AAR. We believe that the Special Title Lists should provide something different than the power search feature. For example, we don’t have a Special Title list for Medieval Historicals or European Historicals or Contemporary Romances. So does it make sense to have a Special Title list with part of its definition as Romantic Suspense? We don’t think so, but we’d like your thoughts. Continue reading

Four Special Title Lists Revised

newimproved This morning we’re pleased to announce that thanks to you, four more Special Title Lists have been revised and are now available for you to check out: Nerds & Absent Minded Professors; Bluestockings, Independent Misses, and Feminists; Beauty is in the Eye; and Unrequited Love.

Nerds & Absent Minded Professors
: We added 13 new titles to this list. You suggested a few new contemporary heroes, but the majority of our new nerds and absent-minded professors can be found in European historical romances. One of the nominations – Christian Langland from Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm – generated a lot of discussion amongst AAR staff members. We finally concluded that while he might not appear like a nerd on the surface, Christian Langland is a mathematical genius who is a bit of a closet nerd, and was added to the list with that descriptor. Continue reading

Contemporary Big City Romances – A Little More Help, Please?

mexicocity The Special Title Lists are one of the more popular features at AAR. They’re also one of the more interactive. Nearly a year ago, as a result of reader requests, we once again began updating the Special Title lists. Since we started the process we’ve updated 19 lists and have begun several new lists.

Earlier this month I wrote here about wanting to start a new Special Title List for Big City Romances. You gave me a lot of great suggestions for some of your favorite romances set in big cities. And after reading some of your comments and reviewing some of my own concerns, we’ve decided to limit the list to contemporary romances set in big cities. Continue reading

Unusual Occupations

zookeeper I’m a big fan of romance characters with well-rounded lives. I like my heroes and heroines to have friends, hobbies, and careers. Sure, once in a while a “couple on the run” or “cabin romance” will work for me, but such romances are not my preference. As a result, I was excited when readers asked that we open the Unusual Occupations Special Titles List for submissions, as it’s one of my favorites.

But what is it, exactly, that makes an occupation “unusual” enough to qualify for the list? The description of the list is one of the shortest of any of the Special Title Lists: Continue reading

More Special Title Listings in the Works

list Last August we announced we were going to re-open the Special Title Listings again and asked for your help in a post here. We asked you to list in the comments section of that post up to ten of your favorite Special Title Lists that you wanted to see updated first.

We’ve followed through with your initial suggestions. Since August, we’ve updated the 14 lists that you indicated were your favorites and most deserving of being updated first. We took a brief break from working on the Lists to do the Annual Poll in January and February, but would like to get started again with the Special Title Listing updating process – after all, there are still over 50 lists that need attention.

We enjoy working in tandem with our readers and decided to ask for your help again. Your favorite lists have new titles added and now we’d like you to take another look at all of the Special Title Listings that haven’t been updated. From those we’d like to know which lists you would now like to see updated. You can see all of the Special Title Listings here. Just scroll through the page and any list that hasn’t been updated since 2010 or earlier is now a candidate for updating (the date each list was last updated is listed below the name of the list).

Just as the first time, we would like you to list up to ten of the remaining categories that you would like to see updated first, in numbered order of your preference, in the comments section below. We’ll give you one week to list your preferences. After that point, we’ll tabulate the results and begin opening up the lists for new title suggestions in March, starting with your remaining favorites.

We look forward to your responses and are excited to team up with you again to revitalize the Special Title Listings.

– LinnieGayl Kimmel and Cindy Smith

Love as a Bridge

Do you believe in the power of love to reconcile what is opposite or different? I do. Not without reservations: Some positions are opposed too far to be overcome easily, for example a union between an unrepentant racist and a person who despises racism. And in some instances, where there’s no real compromise possible, love may not be enough to bridge the gap, like whether one wants to have children or not, a pet or not. But in many cases love may bring together people that hold opinions and beliefs that differ, and may make a relationship possible that both partners would have declined for rational reasons before they actually fell in love.

My own marriage is an example of the opposites-attract kind. My husband and I are respectively conservative and green, Catholic and Lutheran, of working-class and academia background. And our marriage works well. We still vote differently (sometimes arguing about details, but always respecting the other’s right to a different opinion), we take turns attending both our churches together, and when we visit with our families, one of us may sometimes roll his or her eyes at the other family’s idiosyncrasies, but always prepared for tolerance. Continue reading

Special Title Lists: Christmas Romances

We’ve just posted the revised versions of three special title lists, including the Christmas Romances list. This seemed to be the perfect time to open up the Christmas list, and we’re glad we did. The revised list includes four full anthologies in which all of the stories were submitted, 23 full-length romances, and another 23 short stories. The new entries are in a variety of genres, from historical, to contemporary, to paranormal. No matter what your reading preference, if you’re in the mood for some Christmas reading suggestions, we think the new additions to the list will give you something to read. Continue reading

New Lists Open this Month!

In the spirit of keeping the momentum up we’re going to open five more categories on the Special Title Listings page. We have been getting such a great response(thank you all!) and we know how important these lists are to you, our readers, that we wanted to get one more update in before the end of the year. So we are pleased to open up the following categories for submissions: (1) Across the Tracks, (2) Christmas Romances, (3) Inter-Ethnic Romances, (4) Special Settings and (5) Luscious Love Stories. These categories will be open for submissions starting today Monday November 12th and ending Sunday November 25th at midnight. Four of the five categories are ones our readers asked to be updated first while the last one, Christmas Romances, seemed like the perfect addition since it’s about that time of the year. Once again, we are looking for the best of the best in these categories and we’ve included the definitions below. We’ve also included links so you can look over the titles currently on each of the lists. Continue reading