Monday, November 08, 2010

Publisher's Weekly 'Best Books of 2010'

Publisher's Weekly gives us a list of The 100 Best Books of 2010.  Here.  As they put it:

This year we took our annual slugfest to the pub underneath our new office and came up with a list of the year's top 100 books.

Courtney Milan 'tagged' me this morning in a Facebook post saying congratulations.
I'm on that list.

That's saying it's one of the 100 best books of all kinds of books.
I cannot tell you how puzzled, dazzled, and delighted I am.

Every once in a while I'll climb on my hobby horse and complain about how Romance genre gets no respect from reviewers.  I will have to eat a number of those ill-considered words.
Romance genre has FIVE books on that list.

(Two of those five Romances are from Berkley.  They're doing something right at Berkley.)

The five Romance genre books listed among the 100 Best Books of 2010 by Publisher's Weekly are:

The Forbidden Rose
Joanna Bourne (Berkley Sensation)
In mid-revolution France, a noblewoman and a spy are torn between wartime practicality and headstrong passion. The gripping espionage story and wry voiceovers from the heroine will win hearts.

The Iron Duke
Meljean Brook (Berkley)
Brook's fabulous steampunk tale has an iron-boned war hero and a half-Asian detective inspector matching wits and wills on airships and battleships and in smoke-choked London as England recovers from 200 years of Mongol rule.

The Heir
Grace Burrowes (Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Burrowes pulls off an improbable Regency affair between a spoiled ducal heir and a housekeeper with a secret.

Barely a Lady
Eileen Dreyer (Grand Central/Forever)
The wartime amnesia romance is as old as the hills, but RWA Hall of Famer Dreyer (aka Kathleen Korbel) makes this one work.

Trial by Desire
Courtney Milan (HQN)
Modern readers will be as intrigued by the Victorian-era political issues as they are by the central story of a man trying to reconnect with the wife he abandoned.

from Publisher's Weekly, quoted under Fair Use.

Two of those are already set aside in my mammoth TBR pile, waiting till I finish the manuscript.  I will zip out and buy the other two.


Rose Fox, over at PW's Genreville, gives us an insider look at the process of selection and reveals the books that nearly edged out the five 'listees'.   

More great books, says jo, rubbing her hands gleefully.

Rose Fox's comments on these other great books are:

Proof by Seduction,
Courtney Milan
A stunning debut Victorian that very nearly made the top list, outclassed only by its sequel. 

Whisper of Scandal,
Nicola Cornick
An adventure story wrapped around a heartbreaking tale of a woman rendered barren by her husband’s beatings. 

Last Night’s Scandal,
Loretta Chase:

The hilarious and adorable story of two rapscallions renovating a haunted Scottish castle. 

Marry Me,
Jo Goodman:
A moving 19th century American romance with tons of interesting period medical detail.

Zoë Archer’s
Cranks up the Indiana Jones–style adventure to 11 and then piles on the sexy heat.

Welcome to Harmony
Jodi Thomas
Contemporary Western, is a really lovely meditation on what it means to be family.

No Chance,
Christy Reece
series kickoff  is an exemplary romantic suspense novel with a fabulous self-saving heroine.


  1. Congratulations :)

  2. Hi Phyllis --

    Thank you so much. I am rather shocked.

    I think I need another cup of coffee.

  3. I saw Courtney's tweet, went to the site, then saw your name! Congratulations! Totally deserved.

  4. Congratulations to you! And you're right--very nice to see some romance on the list. I was surprised to see that one of the five is one I haven't read yet (The Heir). Only to find out it won't be released for another month. That's on my wish list now!

  5. Hi Sandy --

    This is superlatively cool. I am so surprised the dog is following me around, worried.

    And I'll bet my local library STILL won't buy a copy of my books.

  6. Hi Phyl --

    Yes. I was wondering how PW could pick books for 2010 when 2010 wasn't . . . like . . . over.

    But PW sees the books long before the rest of us.

    THE HEIR is one of the two that hasn't made it to my TBR shelf yet. I have an excuse.

  7. Congratulations, Jo!

    You can't imagine how much it means to me to be on a list that puts my book in the same category as yours. It choked me up more than just a little bit.

  8. That is so wonderful, Jo. Congratulations!

  9. This is thrilling news, Jo, and well-deserved. I'm so glad PW released the results while your deadline is looming. Now whenever you have trouble with a scene, you can stare it down and say, "you haven't got a chance. I'm on PW's top 100 list."

  10. So so so fabulous and wonderful and THOROUGHLY DESERVED!!!!! Hurray, you!!!!!

  11. Makes perfect sense to me :-)
    You'd top my list (if publisher's weekly ever asked me, which is highly unlikely).

  12. Hi Courtney --

    You is a fully growed-up and spitting rattlesnakes Romance Novelist, Miz Milan, what with one book on the list and your debut coming in 'reeeealy close'.

    Now it's other folks is going to be bragging about being on the same list as YOU.

    Not to mention PROOF BY SEDUCTION is up for the RT's 'Best First Historical Romance'.

  13. Hi Annie --

    I try to hold onto the knowledge that I was and am fiercely dissatisfied with my work on Forbidden Rose, and yet that came out reasonably okay. This helps me get past my dissatisfaction with JUSTINE and just keep plugging away.

  14. Dee and Aven, Elise and Robyn --

    You are so very kind and supportive. Thank you. I am profoundly grateful to anyone who reads my work and likes it.

    I don't know what basis PW uses to judge 'best books' -- it must be like walking through the wild diversity of an upland deciduous forest and picking out 'best trees' -- but I am tremendously flattered they think Forbidden Rose has it.

  15. Wow! Fantastic. Congratulations. :)

  16. Fabulous news, Jo — congratulations.

    I also have several of these in my TBR pile. Not Forbidden Rose, though. That I devoured the moment it came out.

  17. Of the five romances they picked, I've only read The Forbidden Rose and Trial By Desire, and I must say that you and Courtney deserve this honor (and any others you receive). Congratulations!

  18. @ Jan -- Thank you so much. I cannot express how happy this has made me.

    @ Anne -- I'm looking forward to doing some reading. I really am.

    Y'know, when I'm writing hard I can almost not read at all. Any author with a strong 'voice' messes up my head.

    I read Dunnett and Nora Roberts. For some reason they don't disturb the fine-tuned mechanism of my little squidgy grey cells.

    @ Meri -- Thank you most kindly. I have made up the list of the past three year's winners, in part, so that when I finally poke my nose above ground I will know what I want to run out and buy at once.

  19. Omigosh, Jo! How very cool!


  20. Hi Carrie --

    I am pleased. It's one thing to win (or lose) a contest you've entered. It's another to discover you've 'won' something you hadn't imagined at all.