Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Are Readers Reading? by DL Larson

In the December issue of Romance Writers Report, a list of the top ten romance tropes for readers was listed. This survey was culminated by the 2014 Nielsen Romance Buyer for RWA.
Here's the list:
1. Friends to lovers
2. Soul mate/fate
3. Second chance at love
4. Secret romance
5. First love
6. Strong hero/heroine
7. Reunited lovers
8. Love triangle
9. Sexy billionaire/millionaire
10. Sassy heroine

I was a bit surprised at the rankings. I would not have suspected #1 to be friends to lovers. Nor would I have thought sassy heroines would come in last.

After studying this list, I dug a little deeper, searching for best sellers in 2014. Here's December's top 5 on the New York Best Sellers List for combined e-book and print: (their synopsis of each book, not mine!)

1. Gray Mountain, John Grisham
       (A lawyer joins a legal clinic in a small Virginia town, and becomes involved in litigation against the coal mining industry.)
2. The Escape, David Balacci
       (John Puller, a special agent with the Army, hunts for his brother, who was convicted of treason and has escaped from prison.)
3. Tom Clancy: Full Force and Effect, Mark Greaney
     (A discovery of mineral deposits has changed North Korea's fortunes and made the country even more of a threat for President Jack Ryan.)
4. Hope to Die, James Patterson
     (Detective Alex Cross's family is kidnapped by a madman who wants to turn Cross into a perfect killer.)
5. The Burning Room, Michael Connelly
     (The Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch and his new partner investigate two long-unsolved cases.)

The lists continued with several other categories, none of which was ROMANCE. If I searched for Romance on, I was given several options: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Literature and Fiction, Contemporary Women Fiction, Historical, Religious Romance, Family Saga, and Christian Romance. Not so with the New York Times.

The NYT Best Sellers Lists did include mass-market paperbacks. The top 5 for December are listed below:
1. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
   (A woman disappears from her Missouri home on her 5th anniversary; is her bitter, oddly evasive husband a killer?)
2. Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
   (A historical novel about orphans swept off the streets of NYC and sent to the Midwest in the 1920s.)
3. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
     (In this fable, a Spanish shepherd boy ventures to Egypt in search of treasure and his destiny.)
4. The Martian, Andy Weir
     (After a dust storm forces his crew to abandon him, an astronaut embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive on Mars.)
5. Captivated by You, Sylvia Day
    (Eva and Gideon's vows have opened old wounds exposed insecurities and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows; a Crossfire novel.)

I wonder how accurate the NYT Best Seller list is. As a librarian, I know the top five listed in the NYT list are circulated frequently, but so are many romance writers books.

Seems if a book is not a spy/crime/intrigue/murder mystery it doesn't find a prestigious place on the NYT Best Seller Lists. Or is it just my imagination?

Right now I'm reading two books: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (YA) by Laini Taylor; and The Scottish Prisoner, by Diana Gabaldon (one of my favorite authors!)

Are you reading one of the top 5?  If not, share with us ~ what are you reading?

Til next time ~

DL Larson

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  1. Good thing I've got a few books out with that friends to lovers theme!

  2. Wonderful!! You hit the target just right!