Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

My RITA Reading Challenge

on April 11, 2012

Stefanie Sloane...finalist in both Regency Historical Romance and Best First Book.

I haven’t really shown it through my reviews here, but the bulk of my reading usually involves romance novels.  I didn’t used to be quite so vocal about this because well, romance gets a bad wrap and I didn’t want to be judged for reading them.  Today, mostly I am older and just don’t care anymore and I have also realized that romance novels are THE biggest selling genre out there, so I have company.  No, I am not exaggerating.  Last year, the sale of romance novels totaled $1.38 billion…the most of any other genre with the nearest competitor more than a half a billion dollars behind.

Eloisa James...a finalist in Best Regency Historical Romance

Let me just say, there is no bodice ripping, no weak females who need a man to save them, no wishy-washy flimsy plot lines.  As with any genre, some books are better than others, but these aren’t the books from the ’80s that spawned all the negative stereotypes.  Are they predictable?  To an extent.  I always know in the end, the hero and heroine will end up together, but the how they get there part varies wildly and is where the entertainment lies.  This is a great article I have found from the Yale Herald that gives some insight into the modern romance novel.

Lately, I have been searching for some good romance reads, but trying a new author can be such a hit or miss process.  This is how I came to develop the RITA Reading Challenge.  Perhaps I should explain what a RITA is. The short answer…it is like the Oscar of the romance writing world.  Every year, the Romance Writers of America— RWA– take nominations and then narrow down the field to the best of each sub-genre within the romance field.  Then, at their annual conference, this year on July 28th, they announce the winners.

Tessa Dare...finalist in Best Regency Romance.

The goal I have set forth, is to read all the books in as many categories as possible before the actual awards in July.  With these finalists being the best of the best, hopefully I will find a new author or two to continue reading.  Here is the list of nominations.  I know I won’t get through every category, but hopefully I will get through quite a few.  I will update along the way as I finish categories with my opinions and picks for the winners and then we will see how well I did when the RWA announces their winners in July.  Feel free to join me in the challenge and share your progress here too.

Happy Reading!

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5 responses to “My RITA Reading Challenge

  1. Elizabeth says:

    You’re right, Romance gets insulted all the time. I think at least two of the ten bestselling authors specialize in Romance. What I didn’t realize was the number subgenres as well, e.g. “Paranormal” Romance, that are included. The number one rule differentiating the genre from others is that the relationship of the couple is the primary focus of the story (and they end up together). Nice article.

  2. Have you seen the Two Nerdy History Girls blog? They are both historical romance writers and they share some of their research on their blog. They are so funny and they know some stuff.

    • Katie says:

      I have seen their blog and they are definitely entertaining. I have read a couple of Loretta Chase’s books and enjoy them too. I am pretty excited about the link they shared today for an online exhibit of haute couture fashion from the Museum of New York City. I always enjoy seeing what the women in some of the books I love would have been wearing.

  3. […] I was getting things together to start my RITA reading challenge, I decided that I wanted to incorporate goodreads to help with reviews and in keeping track of […]

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