May 3, 2010


Anyone who's known me online for any period of time knows that I love lists. AAR's Special Title Listings, for instance, grew out of the original Laurie's News & Views (which eventually became the At the Back Fence column). The Lists, along with those original columns, were the basis of The Archives of Laurie Likes Books - along with the Castle of the Week and a smattering of Desert Isle Keeper Romances - all of which formed All About Romance after I left The Romance Reader.

I've popped in and out of Amazon over the years as a reviewer, and in recent months have become fairly active. It wasn't until I read my profile, though, and realized the "about me" description was woefully out of date that I noticed the original two Listmania Lists I'd created were equally old and needed to be reworked so that the books listed therein weren't all a decade old, or worse, out of print.

As of today I have four Listmania Lists: Ten Romance Desert Isle Keepers; Ten Non-Romance Desert Isle Keepers; My Favorite Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy Novels; and My Top Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy Romances. And, as of today, two of the lists have once again been over-hauled. Since one of my goals with these lists was for them to be "top ten" lists, I'm happy to report that I've achieved that now with the newly renamed Top Ten Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy Novels list by adding Lori Handeland's Chaos Bites, which I've written about extensively here and in my Amazon review.

The list most changed, though, was my Ten Romance Desert Isle Keepers. Another, more crucial goal with these lists are to keep them timely and to include as many sub-genres as possible to help as many readers as possible. Well, that list already had ten titles, so when I added Mary Balogh's A Secret Affair, I had to remove an existing title. One of the titles is from a book old and esoteric enough that Amazon doesn't have a cover image of it, so it was my choice to be removed: Velvet Bond by Catherine Archer. (The image I've shown here is the only one readily available online. It's the Spanish language cover and it's close enough to the English cover that I decided not to scan my copy's cover.) And yet...since removing it left my list bereft of any Medievals, and because by adding A Secret Affair I was including another European Historical, I decided to also replace Madeline Hunter's The Rules of Seduction with Judith McNaught's A Kingdom of Dreams. True, Hunter's book is Victorian and Balogh's is set in the Regency, and I've already represented the Regency, but...oh well.

Thank you for indulging my inclusion of this bit of mental masturbation with you. My real reason, though convoluted, for doing so was to learn about some of your top tens...either via comment or link. Granted, it's much easier to do a top 50 or 100, but unless you've ranked them, it's just too simple, and I don't roll that way.


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