Monday, January 4, 2016

A Place on My Bookshelf

What does it take for a book to earn a place on my bookshelf?

Blog readers want to know....What's our favorite here at CCC?
(stay tuned all week as each of us talk about our favorite authors, novels, genres, and our 2016 reading lists)

Anne here. It's no secret that historical romantic fiction is the genre I love.
But which ones? By who? And by what criteria do I choose?

To earn a special place on my bookshelves:

I love a cover that is classy, vintage, and intriguing. Not flashy, sleazy, or too glitzy. I want to take my novels on my errands, I'm not interested in carrying around a corset-buster--or reading one. But, I also love when the story beneath the cover is as well told as the cover is crafted.

I love a full-length novel, where I can really get to know the character's hidden depths. I love a multilayered plot--as long as good characterization isn't left in the dust for the sake of plot intricacies.

I have loved the 19th century the longest, but have begun to grow a wonderful love for colonial times, thanks to Laura Frantz and Lori Benton.

I like a romance that is sweet, realistic, and not too predictable. For me, less is more appreciated--meaning I'm picky about not wanting the romance overdone or too sensual. Let's just say, I prefer clever endearing chemistry over cheap combustion.

I'm intrigued by great historical research resources that transport me back in time. I have books from topics of the Civil War, the American Revolution, pioneer medicine, 19th century Montgomery Wards catalog reprints, colonial midwifery, Custer's last stand, and Mackinaw Island history. Also, filling my research and human interest shelf are books about Laura Ingalls Wilder, the American Yellow Fever plague, a collection of adoptions accounts pre-Roe v. Wade, the history of the logging industry, and Robert Louis Gates, Jr.'s edited account of a rare diary of an escaping African American Slave, Hannah Craft.

I like a story that has a fresh story twist, or involves a seldom discovered niche of history. I've read my share of prairie school teacher romances from Texas. I'm on the look out for something new. I think that's why I branched out to the colonial time period.

I still have a running list of classics I'd like to add to my to-be-read list. I skipped the voracious reader stage as youngster and started my love for reading later in life. I have some catching up to do. I still have Pride & Prejudice, Last of the Mohicans, and Anna Karenina on my shelf to tackle.

I am always looking for a story that pulls me in, evokes an emotion or memory, and connects me to the character, or the author's mind. I'm looking for a well-crafted story that makes me pause to ponder. A story that makes me want to reread a scene because somewhere in my soul, I'd once felt the same thing as the character had, or I'd once cherished the same awareness of truth, or the love of a place or time.

What about you? What's on your 2016 shelf?
What stories do you love? Do you have reading "criteria"?
What novels do you hope we will review at CCC in 2016?
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. ANNE, thank you so much for sharing. I agree with you on cover design. I look for a story that will challenge my views. I don't want to waste time reading something that is just fluff. Thanks again for sharing your reading criteria.

    1. You are welcome, Caryl. I agree about not wanting to waste time reading fluff. Happy reading!

  2. My shelf is my e reader now will sell how long it takes me to fill it up. I still do paperbacks just not as much.

    1. I haven't made the e-reader jump. I'm too attached to my paper copies! Someday, I may have to. But for now, I'm sticking with paperback.

    2. E books are nice because there are some good free one's out there as well as 99 cents one's too.

  3. Love this glimpse of your reading shelves and criteria. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly!) my shelves look a LOT like yours. :) I think I've read almost all those historical fiction books I saw. I'm looking forward to sharing my favorites on Thursday!

    1. Looking forward to each of us sharing, though I can guess some will be very similar.

  4. I jump around from contemporary to historical, to suspense and Amish. One of the latest books I've read that really left an impact on me, Eyes of Elisha. It was contemporary but very heart pounding suspenseful, with a very surprise ending. I loaned it to a friend of mine and she got so involved with the story that she left her supper dishes in the sink overnight!

  5. I have a HUGE stack for 2016...but I don't always plan it out...the only ones I have planned right now are the Bible and 12 books for an online classics book club. The rest I just go with the flow of what sounds good. I check out a huge stack and read the first chapter or so...if it grabs me, then I continue, if not I send it back. Sometimes it is SOOOO good, I buy it so I can go more leisurely through it. :)


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