I mentioned before that I was working on my list, and I was curious to see how it would turn out.
Cindy, Lee, & LinnieGayl listed some questions about the poll which I’ll answer here (not registered for the forum.) .
1. How did you do with your choices? Are there books on the list that you think are just ‘one-hit-wonders’ (there’ve been some in every poll) that will get knocked off one day?
I have no response to that.
2. There is a core 34% of titles that have made every poll – how many are among your favorites?
Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Mary Balogh, and all made it and I think they deserve it. Although my favorite titles didn’t necessarily win. I barely remember Heyer’s Fredrica and I love The Convenient Marriage and The Talisman Ring a lot more. My favorite Crusie and Austen and Balogh novels made it. So, I’m happy.
3. With the average ballot having 55 titles on it, what kind of “rules” did you impose on yourself? Did you list only “A” or five-star books, or perhaps books that you’ve re-read at least once? Cindy cops to having “umpteen rules yet somehow made up in my mind.”
I submitted the full 100. I’d say the first 60 or so were all 5 five stars. I tried to put what I considered “legitimate” romances toward the top. Romantic books that were not traditional romances went lower. There were a couple of B+ books toward the end.
4. Are there any titles you voted for that you knew would never make the final top ten, and that you suspected would only be included on your own ballot?
I added a lot of young adult romances which I think are valid but I didn’t expect to see them in the top ten. I put in the manga Mars and From Far Away (and followup) which I knew would only be on my ballot.
I think romance readers are missing out by not reading Mars. I remember loaning it to three women: 15 years old, 30 years old and 50 years old. All three of them later said something to the effect of, “That Rei guy, he’s um, compelling.” Definitely, definitely, missing out.
5. Which are the books that you are shocked to see did not make the Top 100?
I feel no surprise.
6. If nearly half of the European Historicals that made this year’s Top 100 were published after the year 2000, does this counter the argument that historicals have been declining in quality, is it possible that readers have lowered their expectations accordingly, or that fewer long-time readers participated in the poll?
I think that there are some excellent writers working today, and I like to think that fewer topics are taboo for romance which make them richer. I don’t just mean they describe sex but that various points of view are welcome, less pleasant aspects of living in the past can be described and it’s still considered “romantic.” Anyway Mary Balogh is good stuff. So, there.