Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Julia's Top Ten Books Recommended To Non-Romance Readers



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
For future Top Ten Tuesday topics through February, check them out here!


Happy Tuesday Everyone! Julia here with today's topic.

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read X

Now. A little background for my choice if you will. I love reading romance novels. According to my statistics that I do for myself, last year 42% of the books I read were romance novels. The year before that it was 46%. So I love romance. I have lots of reasons, but that is not for this post. I have reviewed/mentioned romance novels about six times on this blog, and review them a whole lot more over at my own blog.

So I decided to make my list...

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read Romance Novels
More specifically... historical romance. Because that is really what most of these are.

1. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
I love fairytale retellings, and this is a wonderful modernization of the Beauty and the Beast tale. Well modernization meaning it is still set in the past but not in the far distant past of legends. The hero and heroine are both dynamic and is has an interesting story propelling you to the end.
(Add on Goodreads)

2. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Oh, the Bridgertons. I love this series. The Duke and I is the first one in that series. It's a family of 8 kids, one kid per book. Trivia! They are named alphabetically. The first one is the Duke and I. It is about the first gil Daphne and Simon. I love this story because it has just the right balance between levity and plot. Other favorite books in the series? The Viscount Who Loved Me, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and On the Way to the Wedding.
(Add on Goodreads)

3. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
This is one of those books that most people (meaning the threads I read on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) recommend to first readers of romance. Dudes in our readership, the Smart Bitches even had a math professor read and review these books, and he even liked it! So its not only the womens who like romance. Trivia! There have been a few men who have written romance under a woman's name. Anyway, I loved both of the main characters, both strong in their own way.
(Add on Goodreads)

4. The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne
This one was my first review here at TBTB. Oh the days. Let me summarize. This is a spy romance. The spy story is super interesting and because the whole plot isn't a "big misunderstanding" or some other relationship centric thing it may be an easier book to get into over some other romances for a newbie.
(Add on Goodreads)

5. Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
This was the first romance novel that I fell in love with. I honestly don't know how, at the age of like 13, I plowed through this book. It has it all. Marriage from jail, trans-Atlantic boat trips, pirates, life on an island. It's an older romance, so it may not be as... modern as some of the newer ones. And to be honest I have not read it in years, but it holds a place in my heart. I felt like at least one place on my list should be one of the pioneers.
(Add on Goodreads)

6. The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
This is the first book in a series about the Mackenzie family. THis one hilights the youngest son whom, though it is never stated I dont think, has a form of autism or something like that. Since this takes place in the 1800s, it is not surprising I dont know which. Regardless, his character and the romance he has with Beth is very believable and a wonderful story.
(Add on Goodreads)

7. Yours Until Dawn by Teresa Medeiros
Teresa Medeiros has written romance across the board. There was contemporary with a hint of magic, historical with a hint of paranormal, and even scottish highlanders. This one is not so out there and takes place mostly the house of a blind ex-soldier. I love the way she writes and this one is one of my favorites.
(Add on Goodreads)

8. Soulless by Gail Carriger
I don't know if I would technically classify this as a romance novel. It's more of a fantasy series... but what a good way to get into a new genre! It's a bridge of sorts. This steampunk novel takes place in alternate history Britain and is chock full of paranormal and mystery.
(Add on Goodreads)

9. The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
This is the third in Elizabeth Hoyt's prince trilogy. I think it would be better read as a series (but then again I MUST read things in order), but this book was my favorite. This may not be the best one to start with if you are squeamish toward sex scenes, but the story was wonderful. I am actually due for a reread!
(Add on Goodreads)

I am going to cheat a little on number 10 as it really isn't a romance novel, but a book about romance novels.

10. Beyond Heaving Bosoms by Sarah Wendel and Candy Tan
This is the guide to romance novels written by those aforementioned Smart Bitches. Why do we love them? What are the rule to romance novels? What are the loved and not so loved cliches? If you are interested in the genre but not quite ready to dive in, this is your book.
(Add on Goodreads)

So that is my list! I am SOOO looking forward to pursuing the list this week. I hope to find some really cool new books to read! Happy Reading!

67 comments :

  1. Great list! I don't read romance novels so this is perfect to use as a guide!

    Michele | Top 10

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    1. Thanks! I think a lot of lists this week would be good guides for people!

      -Julia

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  2. Ooh thanks for the recommendations. I like reading romance novels, but for some reason, I don't read them much any more.

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    1. Yeah, I went through a period of that, too. I think Julia Quinn was the one who kicked me out of it.

      Thanks for reading!

      -Julia

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  3. Great recommendations! I'll definitely have to check some of those out :) (I think I accidently posted my link twice? Sorry.)

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    1. Cool! Let me know what you think of them if you read any!

      No worries about the link.

      -Julia

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  4. Great list of recommendations! I will have to check some of those out =)

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    1. Thanks! Yay! I hope you enjoy them!

      -Julia

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  5. I am not really into Romance so I might have to check out some of the books on your list. Some of them look interesting. =]
    Here is My Top Ten

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    1. I think they are interesting, but I guess I am a little bias :)

      -Julia

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  6. Gosh...I read only romance and even I haven't read a lot of the books on your list! lol Too funny!

    I saw one of yours that I desperately wanted to add though; The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie! I LOVED that book! Makes me want to re-read it now! But I tried to add books from all genres (suspense, contemporary, paranormal) so I didn't get to add all my favorite historicals!

    Either way, I'll have to check out the novels on your list! They sound great!

    Lisa Jo @ Once Upon A Chapter

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    1. Haha. Soo much romance, so little time!

      Thanks!
      -Julia

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  7. Soulless keeps popping up everywhere. i simply must read it.

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    1. If you like steampunk with a hint of romance and a dash of wit, you'll like it! :)

      Thanks,
      Julia

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  8. The only book on your list that I haven't read is the Medieros title. Will have to rectify that at once! I loved all the others on your list, especially the Jennifer Ashley and Elizabeth Hoyt--I have read their entire backlists. My top ten this week is Top Ten M/M Romances for someone new to the genre. As a die-hard romance reader, I've had so much fun in the last year discovering m/m romances and it was awesome to make the list and try to match up which readers might like which titles! Great topic!

    Annabeth Albert @ Cloudy with a Chance of Books

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    1. Yay! A fellow romance reader!

      Medeiros has a WIDE array of books, but I just really loved Yours Until Dawn. I haven't checked out much m/m, so I'll have to look you are your list and see what you recommend.

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  9. Soulless sounds awesome, with steampunk being a good incognito cover for the excursion into the genre. I heart Top Ten Tuesdays!

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    1. It's a fun book. Your comment reminds me I need to get caught up before the last novel comes out!

      Thanks!
      -Julia

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  10. Thanks for the Romance recommends! Romance isn't a genre I've dappled in much so I look forward to possibly starting with these. Particularly When Beauty Tamed the Beast.

    ~Aspen

    http://inner-aspen.blogspot.com

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    1. I really loved that book. If I remember correctly the DR. has a House like quality to him. Loved it!

      Let me know if you like it!
      -Julia

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  11. The only book I've heard of on this list is the Gail Carriger book. I don't remember the last time I've read a romance novel. I think I was ten. But some of the books on your list sound interesting. Although the idea of a novel that will help me ease into this genre makes me all the more interested to read Soulless.

    I'll definitely have to keep a record of your recommends should I decide to take the plunge and read a romance novel in the near future. Thanks!

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    1. Not a problem! I hope you like them if you ever decide to plunge :)

      -Julia

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  12. I loved Soulless, I thought it was a great read! I'm definitely going to have to check some of these books out as they all sound awesome! :)

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    1. Yay! I am glad. Let me know what you think of them if you do read one.
      -Julia

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  13. Excellent list! Shanna is one of the first romance novels I read too and I loved it at the time. I recently became a fan of Julia Quinn and think that is a fantastic choice for new readers of romance. In addition to the Bridgerton series which I'm currently making my way through, I also loved What Happens In London, which was the first Julia Quinn book I read. I am also glad to see Soulless on your list-it is one of my favorite books. This one more than the other books in the series does have a romance flavor to it.

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    1. I adore What Happens In London as well and almost put it on the list. If there was a number 11, it would have been that.

      My sister and I still bring up the scene with Sebastian and the reading of the Mrs Butterworth book. Oh what a great book!

      -Julia

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  14. I've avoided romance for the most part until now, but maybe I'll give something from your list a try. Thanks!

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    1. No problem! I hope you enjoy it!

      -Julia

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  15. I haven't heard of any of these books but I am going to have to check a few of them out.

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    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy them if you decide to read one :)

      -Julia

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  16. When Beauty Tamed the Beast sounds great! I love retellings as well. Great list!

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    1. Yeah, Eloisa James is doing a whole bunch of romance novel flavored fairy tale retellings. She did Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and most recently The Princess and the Pea, but When Beauty Tamed the Beast was the best of them.

      -Julia

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  17. I am not a reader of romance, but I'm wanting to step outside of my comfort zone a bit. This list would be a good starting place! Also, I LOVE books about books, so I think I'll be giving Beyond Heaving Bosoms a try!

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    1. Beyond Heaving Bosoms is really interesting even just from an academic perspective because it gets into the history and how the genre has changed from the boddice rippers to today. Also it's hilarious :)

      -Julia

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  18. I think I may have entered my link twice too, sorry, but I can't tell because I can't see the list! Where is everyone?

    I love a good romance book and I see some here I haven't heard of before (When Beauty Tamed the Beast was lots of fun and Soulless was great, but I didn't like the Joanna Bourne one as much as I'd hoped to - they're the only ones here I've read), so these are great recs!

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    1. I am glad you liked the recs! I tried to just not chose my favorite romance novels, but ones that people who were new to the genre wouldnt be scared off by :)

      Thanks
      -Julia

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  19. I stopped reading romance in high school, mostly because I think I overdid it a bit. These sound quite good, so I might dabble in it just a bit.

    My list is on South African literature, be sure to have a look here:
    http://barefootmeds.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/top-ten-books-i-would-recommend-to-someone-who-doesnt-read-south-african-literature/

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    1. Yeah, I definitely overdid romance for a while too. It usually goes in waves for me, but there are time when I just can't read them.

      I think I added a couple of yours to my GR TBR shelf.

      Thanks
      -Julia

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  20. I don't read a lot of romance, but I do like Eloisa James. I want to read her new one. ;)

    I'm reposting last week's link since I was silly and did the wrong week!

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    1. Not a problem. I have done it before too (obviously not on this blog but my own haha).

      Her new one was pretty unique too! I am not familiar enough with the Princess and the Pea to know if it was a good retelling or not though. Regardless it was entertaining.

      -Julia

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  21. I'm not I blogger but I am a blog reader and I love this topic! I'm going to go through these and hopefully will find a new blot or two to follow.

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  22. I do enjoy the occassional romance novel. I'll have to refer to you list on those occassions :) kaye—the road goes ever ever on

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  23. I adore historical romance, but since I have a PNR blog I never get to read it anymore. Le sigh.

    Have you read Castles by Julie Garwood? It is amazing. Actually any historical romance by Julie Garwood is the bees knees (lol!)

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  24. Love this list, and it's perfect timing for me right now! The reading challenge I'm doing concentrates on Romance in the month of February, and since I don't read a lot of romance I will be using your list to help me pick my books. Thanks!

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  25. I would add The Time Traveler's Wife to this list :)

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  26. I love this fill-in-the-blank idea for the topic!

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  27. Ohhh I'm not a big romance reader so this is a good list to check out!

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  28. Wow, thanks for recommendations, they're awesome! :)

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  29. This is my first time participating in your meme so I can't wait to explore everyone's lists! Thanks for hosting Top Ten Tuesday!

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  30. This is the best weekly meme ever (not just this topic in particular). Great list too! I love historical romance but you had some good ones that I think I need to pick up. :)

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  31. My favorite romance author is Jennifer Crusie... I love every single one of her books!

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  32. Love all the ones you mentioned! I haven't read "Beyond Heavin Bostoms" yet, but I want to so bad!

    Jennifer
    Feminist Fairytale Reviews

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  33. This is great! I haven't read any romance novels yet so I'm looking forward to reading a few from your list! Great topic :)

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  34. Just posted my list. Loved reading your list. But then I'm always fascinated by reading lists. :)

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  35. Awesome topic! I wrote about science fiction books because so many of my professors/classmates were snobby about the genre. :)

    (Also, huge apologies to you at B&B, because I accidentally posted my link in the last TTT as well...sorry!)

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  36. Awesome books, for sure-- I'm just starting to get back into romance myself, so I'm using this as a rec list.

    My TTT was on fantasy books because a.) I love them and b.)they tend to get such a bad rap.

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  37. I love this topic and I got to say I'm pretty proud of my post this week! I hope you have a chance to check it out. I used the point of view of a high school teacher and did books for teen reluctant readers.

    http://deadtreesandsilverscreens.blogspot.com/2012/01/10-books-id-recommend-for-teen.html

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  38. This is a really fun meme and topic this week.

    Into the Mystic

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  39. Really enjoyed the topic this week! Super fun! I actually haven't read any of the books you mentioned so I need to try some of them! Thanks for the post! :)

    -Meredith

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  40. Wow, what a great list - of books, blogs, and comments. Thanks for hosting this! I had a lot of fun with this - I took the path of recommending books to different sorts of people who share one of my passions (cooking, gardening, dogs, knitting, etc.) Great fun! Happy Reading, Ruby

    http://yearofreadingmybooks.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/blood-and-love-and-dickens/

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  41. That was a really fun topic for my first list! Thank you for hosting. :)

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  42. I'm a little late to the party, but this was such a great TTT to chime in on. Looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and checking out all the recommendations today!

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  43. This is a great list for me because I hardly read romance. I did read Soulless and it was a hilarious and exciting read. I might have check out the Beauty and the Best retelling. I love fairy tales! Just started my own blog but I've been reading your top ten tuesdays for awhile, so glad to do my first one!

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  44. Hi: Sorry! I didn't mean to post my link twice - I couldn't find the first one so I put it up again and of course, that's when I saw the first one.... :-( Thanks, Ruby

    http://yearofreadingmybooks.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/blood-and-love-and-dickens/

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  45. Great list - I'll check some of these out.
    Ann

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  46. The list is endless with most readers preferring one or the other.

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