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Special Title Listings -- Which Lists to Open First??
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 818

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:12 am    Post subject: Special Title Listings -- Which Lists to Open First?? Reply with quote

If you love the Special Title Listings here at AAR, please check the news blog today:

http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8668

We're planning on opening the first lists for updates on September 4, and would like your preferences for which lists to open first in the comments section of the blog.

Thanks!
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 783

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've got nine anyway:

1. Adventure Romances

2. Arranged Marriages

3. Amnesia . . . Or Not?

4. Marriages of Convenience

5. Cabin and Road Romances

6. Beauty Is in the Eye

7. One Foot on the Floor

8. Favorite Funnies

9. Opposites Attract
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1767
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say, out of fairness, that the two categories which should be given priority for updating are the two that have the oldest dates:

American Indian: last updated in August 2007
Arranged Marriages: last updated in November 2008

However, neither would be on my preferred list of ten. I don't mind reading about arranged marriages. I've enjoyed a few books with that premise, but I'm not the biggest fan of Native American themed romances, so it wouldn't bother me if that was not high on the waiting list.
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Rike



Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn,

we did consider whether we should update Arranged Marriages and American Indian first of all, but decided we were more interested in doing the lists that interest most people first. Arranged Marriages and American Indian will be revised at some point, but for now we want to go by the outcome of the readers' poll.

So please do go ahead and post your list of prefered ten anyway!
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library addict



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1403

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will you be doing away with the rule that the book had to receive above a C grade if it was reviewed at AAR?

To me the purpose of the list is to find books that fit the applicable category. And though I know AAR is proud of their huge database of reviews, just because the reviewer in question didn't like a book enough to give it an A or B doesn't mean it should be left off the list.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 818

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

library addict wrote:
Will you be doing away with the rule that the book had to receive above a C grade if it was reviewed at AAR?

To me the purpose of the list is to find books that fit the applicable category. And though I know AAR is proud of their huge database of reviews, just because the reviewer in question didn't like a book enough to give it an A or B doesn't mean it should be left off the list.


We'll be printing more specific requirements/rules/etc. both on the submission form that will be available on Sept. 4th and in the blog on Sept. 4th. Basically our intention is to have a relatively automatic acceptance if a title was reviewed at AAR with a grade of B- or higher and fits the category (for example, a book that is set completely in England would not fit under a recommendation for the Special Setting list in the category of Africa and Asia).

Beyond that there will be a vetting process that we're still in the process of working on and will have formalized by Sept. 4th. But we do recognize that just because one AAR reviewer gave a book a grade of C+ doesn't mean that it isn't loved by many readers, and deserving of a place on a Special Title List.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 783

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it get too complicated to link to the review? Or could you just add the reviewer's grade? Or do something to indicate to people that there is a review?
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1352

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the special titles are being reopened, I suggest renaming the Luscious Love Stories list as Hot (or Sexy) Love Stories. Years ago (before I saw the current explanatory note under the list title), I read Luscious as not quite the same as Sexy. Also, given the popularity of erotic romances, should you have Erotic Romances or Romantic Erotica or some such list for the hottest subset?
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chris booklover



Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 308
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We need a sticky thread like this one to be maintained on a permanent basis. Its primary purpose will not be to make recommendations for new books to be added to existing categories (I understand that a new form is being created for this purpose) but rather to discuss whether proposed or existing recommendations actually fit the stated criteria. This is not always the case - for example, some of the alleged "rakes" and "rogues" in the current list do not seem very rakish or roguish to me. While I would be more than happy to leave the final decision in the hands of AAR staff, we do need a thread where posters can discuss these recommendations (and also propose new list categories).
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CindyS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO

We will be adding grades to the newest additions to the list and will work over time to fill in the grades for books already listed.

CindyS
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1767
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to limit myself to 10 but ended up with 12. Ugh I realized that some of the categories I chose had similarities which must be why I had difficulty choosing.

1) Favorite Funnies

2) The Limelight (which is similar to Sports Romances)

3) Troubled Marriages

4) Unusual Professions (which is similar to Bluestockings & Feminists)

5) Opposites Attract (which is similar to Across the Tracks and Best Enemies)

6) Sports Romances (which is similar to The Limelight)

7) Heroes in Pursuit (which is similar to Unrequited Love)

8 ) Across the Tracks (which is similar to Opposites Attract and Best Enemies)

9) Best Enemies (which is similar to Opposites Attract and Across the Tracks)

10) Unrequited Love (which is similar to Heroes in Pursuit)

11) Not Your Usual Conflict

12) Bluestockings & Feminists (which is similar to Unusual Professions)


Last edited by Sandlynn on Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 946

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any possibility of refining some categories? I really love books with unusual settings, but I find the "Special Settings" category to be unwieldy to navigate. There are so many ways to consider a setting "special" that almost anything could plausibly go there.

There's such a strong reading difference between a historical and a contemporary that subdividing the list by "Special Settings - Historical" and "Special Settings - Contemporary" would really help me use it to find something for me.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 818

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nana wrote:
Is there any possibility of refining some categories? I really love books with unusual settings, but I find the "Special Settings" category to be unwieldy to navigate. There are so many ways to consider a setting "special" that almost anything could plausibly go there.

There's such a strong reading difference between a historical and a contemporary that subdividing the list by "Special Settings - Historical" and "Special Settings - Contemporary" would really help me use it to find something for me.


Nana, Special Settings is actually my favorite list. I've been sitting back wishing more people were putting it in their top ten --well, wishing they'd make it their #1. But I think you have an interesting suggestion. It's a really long list, and at the very least breaking out by contemporary/history within countries would be helpful, but perhaps just splitting the list as you suggest would work as well.

I'm making a note to look at that when it comes time to update that list.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1767
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops. I didn't realize we had to post our list in rank order. (Should've read more closely.) Okay, back to the edit function because my list definitely isn't in rank order.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1352

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Special Title list suggestions:

Perfect Together
This list is for romances with an especially satisfying HEA because the h/h are perfect complements for each other. They could be called a jigsaw match, because each fits the other wherever they touch physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. If that raises the bar too high, the list could be titles where a reader would say "they are perfect together".
Too many romances take shortcuts with the h/h relationship and end up with a less than convincing couple. Shortcuts include overpowering lust on sight, fated mates, and even an author simply declaring ex cathedra that this is a couple without showing any reason they should be together.
Unlike most lists, where it is fairly easy to say whether or not a story includes a specific feature, this list depends on reader reactions. It might make the list harder to build, but I would suggest handling this by requiring some threshold of user agreement (5 or 10 or ? votes) before any nominated title could become a full member of the list.
The first title I can think of for the full version of this category is Venetia by Georgette Heyer.
Possibilities for the looser definition include:
The Mad Miss Mathley by Michelle Martin
A Rake's Reform by Cindy Holbrook
Lord Sayer's Ghost by Cindy Holbrook
Ravished by Amanda Quick
Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
Agent of Change + Carpe Diem by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Conflict of Honors by Lee Sharon & Miller Steve
Restoree by Anne McCaffrey

Banter Battles
This might be a subset of Favorite Funnies, but not all romances with humor have a lot of banter. There is also slapstick, non-bantering conversational humor, character-interaction humor, etc.

Stormy Courtships
This may overlap too closely with Best Enemies, but not all turbulent relationships are between apparent enemies.
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