Douglas County Libraries RA Group discussion

In Defense of Romance

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy | 47 comments Mod
My husband emailed me this article,In Defense of Romance. It was lovely in that special NPR way.

I read Harlequin romances when I was in middle school, and remember stopping when I overheard my mom talking to a friend about her concerns that I was wasting my time on this trash.

I will read romances now and then. . . and lately more often than I will admit to you. And I never put these books on Goodreads because I know lots of snobs and don't want to defend my reading habits.

Maybe it's time for me to leave the closet??

I am Amy Hall and I really like Sherry Thomas novels. The more improbable, the better.

Anyone else?

message 2: by Lainie (new)

Lainie | 21 comments I don't read as many romances as I used to, but I still have two authors that I follow very steadily - Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Mary Kay Andrews (Andrews has become a little less "romance-y" over time). And I still like to get a good adventure/historical romance when I'm in the mood for something a bit more scandalous:)

message 3: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 22 comments True confessions: I'm not a romance reader. I like romantic, though - reading a Maeve Binchy novel is like getting a big, squishy hug from your favorite great-aunt.

message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 47 comments Mod
So here is an oddity. I would say that I like chick lit, but not contemporary romance. Possibly because I'm trying to escape, so why would I escape to now? That is all I can think. . .

message 5: by Lainie (new)

Lainie | 21 comments I totally get that because that's part of the reason I still get historical romance every once and a while - it's better escapism. I think I like the contemporary romances more regularly because of the dialogue...I find that the contemporary romance is more focused on being funny, which I enjoy.
Laurie's mention of Maeve Binchy reminds me of the article that Amy directed us to; she was actually the only author in my memory of being a kid that an adult very pointedly talked down about when they found me reading one of her novels. I never did finish that book! Seems funny to think that the "favorite great-aunt" can even get those kinds of responses.

message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill | 11 comments I feel like what Amy and Lainie said about escape rings true for me as well. I actually have a mother who--somewhat guiltily--read romance novels when I was young. She introduced me to Julie Garwood, whom I still enjoy. I like her books for the historical atmosphere and the guaranteed happy ending.

For the past few years, though, Julie Garwood has been writing contemporary thriller-type romances, and neither my mother nor I have felt inclined to read them. She and I always joke that we watch the news when we want depressing stories about murders and violence. If we read a romance, we want that guaranteed happy ending, and an escape from the here-and-now. Maybe there's no reason to feel guilty about that. :)

message 7: by Dedra (new)

Dedra | 13 comments In my 20s and 30s I read a lot of romance, but I've become much more selective. I have a huge box of my old keepers that I have just in case I need them. But I noticed that in the last few years many of the popular historical romances have become much more well, silly, is the only word that comes to mind. Julia Quinn is an example. I like a bit more depth, authors like Sherry Thomas, Loretta Chase, Madeline Hunter...I used to love Judith McNaught's historical romances but she's writing contemporary now.

message 8: by Sherri (new)

Sherri And now for my deep dark secret. When I was in High School I read.... gulp..Barbara Cartland. In my defense my mother said she could always tell when I was reading one by the peals of laughter eminating from my room. I did find them rather funny. Florid doesn't even begin to describe them. Now if I read a romance I prefer something with fast paced witty dialogue. I hate throbbing or heaving anything.

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