Thursday, April 6, 2006


I have been thinking recently about the number of romance books on my keeper shelf. For some reason, I thought that I had to have at least 50 books that are so great, so wonderful, that moved me in some way that I kept them on the “I want to be buried with these books” shelf.

Imagine my surprise when I did a quick count and found only 17. Yep. 17. How pathetic! I’ve been reading romance for about 20 years and only 17 books made it to the keeper shelf???

So, without further ado, here are the aforementioned books (in no particular order):

Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase
Flowers from the Storm - Laura Kinsale
For My Lady’s Heart - Laura Kinsale
Getting Rid of Bradley - Jenny Crusie
Something Wonderful - Judith McNaught
Heaven, Texas - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Then Came You - Lisa Kleypas
After the Night - Linda Howard
Her Secret Thrill - Donna Kauffman
Knock Me Off My Feet - Susan Donovan
Wicked - Jill Barnett
All Through the Night - Connie Brockway
Saving Grace - Julie Garwood
Indiscreet - Alison Kent
By Design - Madeline Hunter
Untie My Heart - Judith Ivory
Black Silk - Judith Ivory

Interesting to note that out of the 17 mentioned, only 6 are contemporary romances. I am not a big historical romance reader (would read 4 or 5 contemps to 1 historical romance), yet 11 historical romances made my keeper list.

Originally published in Poptart - Musings of a Pop Culture Tart
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Labels: ,

15 comment(s):

Blogger Harlot said...

I've yet to read Loretta Chase and Laura Kinsale. I've been meaning to but somehow, i just keep putting their books off LOL. I do have them though.

Now my keeper shelf will always include the ff (in no particular order :P)-

THE DUKE - G Foley
THE PRIZE - J Garwood

Hmm, just 5 comtemps. But unlike Tart, i read a lot of historicals. So that's okay i think LOL.

4/06/2006 04:11:00 PM  

Blogger Bawdy Babe said...

tart, there is a serious lack of linda howard in your list.

4/06/2006 05:25:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Bet me - J Crusie
Heaven Texas- SEP

These are my only keepers from Harlot/tart's list. I even HATE some of these books lol

Betwitching and kiss an angel come to mind. mmmm they actually have something in common, both have abusive jerks as heroes (the one in the cape is actually worse. Who the hell wears a cape??? And yes, I know he worked in a circus, but that ladies doesn't get him any extra points lol).

Lord Of scoundrels is loved by many. Bawdy, who rocks *wink*, send me her copy to read. The book is ok, but it won't be even making my top 50 (I don't even think I have enough books for a top 10 though lol).

4/06/2006 06:11:00 PM  

Anonymous 2nd Amdt said...

A keeper shelf? I have keeper boxes - somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 banker-sized boxes.

I have about 10 Catherine Anderson; numerous Lori Fosters (though some I keep because I like others in a series); bunches of Linda Howard (but almost all category, only one single title); Sharon Sala; and alot of categories. There are a good number of historicals, but I'd say 95% are contemporary.

4/06/2006 06:54:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

My Keeper in Historical is gool ol Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice & contemporary would be Linda Howards "Shades of Twilight",
"Open Season" and "Mr Perfect" all of which get my vote on account of the witty/humerous writing. Mr Perfect made me laugh until I cried. Loads of others on my keepers list, but not necessarily Romance category.

4/06/2006 07:46:00 PM  

Anonymous Tart said...

Harlot - so this Gaelen Foley chick is quite good then? Do you recommend that I read hers?

Bawdy - Yes, I know there's a lack of LH. I could probably have a second tier of keepers and add a few of hers like Kill & Tell, Mr Perfect, Diamond Bay and Midnight Rainbow LOL.

2nd Amdt (do I call you 2nd for short? LOL) - whoa, that's a lot of keepers!

Aggie - this is my romance keeper non-romance keeper shelf is twice as big, but still not a lot of books on it. I'm notoriously picky and fussy with books. Plus, I don't keep a lot of them. Usually buy it, read it and then hock it off on Trade Me LOL.

4/06/2006 07:58:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

After i've read THE DUKE, i've looked everywhere for GF's books (at the time, her books weren't being released here). Then i luckily got PRINCESS in a book fair. I LOVED that book so much, it reminded me of the time i first read McNaught and discovered the beauty of romance novels. ;)

I highly rec both books, but read PRINCESS first LOL.

4/06/2006 08:59:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Tart: Yup - I'm a read 'em & sell 'em on Trade Me gal too!
I keep very few - only ones that I know I'll go back to time & again. Which, for most, I don't. I'm exactly the same with Movies and DVDs. Unless they are something pretty exceptional I'd never watch 'em again. Cheers.

4/06/2006 10:09:00 PM  

Blogger Serendipity said...

I have keeper shelves. I have a serious lack of willpower to whittle my selections down. In my Diana Palmer phase, I have 98% of her books on my shelves, same with Nora Roberts. Doesn't mean I've read or will read all of it, just that I wanted a complete collection as I could get.

Then there are stray books...I stopped counting at 500 paperbacks. I think I will just have to tighten my belt, take a deep breath and grab the top 10.

It would include
Bel Canto
The Bronze Horseman
Tatiana and Alexander
Welcome to Temptation
The Duke
Something Wonderful
Kingdom of Dreams
Coltrain's Proposal- Diana Palmer

OMG...I cannot do top ten. It's so damn hard. It's to much work for my recovering body. It will just have to wait!

4/07/2006 02:57:00 AM  

Anonymous romance reader only said...

Tart - I'm with you, I think I have about 50 but it's probably less and if I ever did some re reads it would be less.

I agree w/you on LK- FFTS and JM-SW both in my top ten.

I must be the only one who did not care for LC- LOS. She's not made it to my keeper shelf yet! I'm a big fan of Julia Quinn but I've only read each book once.

4/07/2006 11:34:00 AM  

Blogger Gun_Wielding_Bitch said...

I have only read about 20 romance novels, so my word is not any kind of authority but I have kept one romance book, Once A Princess by Johanna Lindsay. Everything else I sold back.

My step-mom is a romance novel reader so Johanna Lindsey is the only name I recognize as romance (her keeper shelf is 99.9% her) but I was shocked that I never see her name on this site, not even on a keeper list. I must really be naive about romance books then because I thought she was the goddess of romance writers. Maybe because that is all I really was ever exposed to, until you.

Still, I don't know if I'd ever have a keeper shelf of romance. They would look kind of silly next to my Criminal Justice textbooks and police training paraphernalia, let alone my gun magazines. I'll admit, too, I am a bit of a closet romance reader. Only the boyfriend knows I have started to read romance and my bf makes fun of me and calls it my "girl's version of porn."

I'm glad you guys have a list though. It helps me to pick books out. I just read Bet Me and loved it. Right up my alley!

Bless you sassy ladies for helping this hard ass find soft books, without feeling like an idiot! Maybe some day I’ll make it out of the closet and whomever tries to make me feel shame about reading material might get pistol whipped ;-)

4/07/2006 03:26:00 PM  

Blogger Helena said...

You just let me know who they are and I'll turn them into Frogs for you.

4/07/2006 08:19:00 PM  

Blogger Reese said...

A while ago I put a list of my top 10 favourite books of all time (or some such thing) on my blog, and - although I'm a person who's supposedly really into romance novels - the only romance book I could honestly put on the list was a Shannon McKenna book.

I like SEP, too, but putting her on the list would have meant bumping off maybe "the quiet american," or "shogun" or something - forget it!

Anyway, I'm not slamming the genre, of course. I'm as into the shit as you guys are. I just often remark on how I compartmentalize the romance novels separately from the so-called "literary" books. They really are different. I've got 2 separate "keeper" shelves at my place.

4/09/2006 02:05:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Reese, I completely agree with you.

I think the romance genre has such high demand, that the books are popping out like crazy, and publishers/editors are not very selective of the material they put on the stands. So much of it is really badly written; quite embarrassing.

I wasn't a romance reader until a couple of years ago, and while I've found some wonderful novels, I, very sadly, have to admit that most of the stuff out there is gad awful.

I'm not reading as much romance anymore b/c of this. I'm back to historical fiction, drama, I love well-written chick lit; any good novel will do.

Always eager to hear recs :P

4/09/2006 11:48:00 AM  

Blogger Bawdy Babe said...

Lord of the Scoundrels is a seriously over rated book.

4/16/2006 01:03:00 PM