Time again for hand selling online, when book mastermind Billie Bloebaum from Powells books (stop by and say hi when you’re next at the Portland airport!) matches enquiring minds with required reading.
Raney writes: I recently finished an epic jag of reading exclusively graphic novels and trade paperbacks (basically trying to catch up on that entire, wonderful genre that I apparently missed when hitting the library growing up.) I was lucky enough to come across The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman. I’ve always been a fan of zombie movies, but this was my first venture into another zombie medium (oh, except for the amazing World War Z). I now think that I am drawn more to the post-apocalyptic setting than the zombies themselves. I find the idea of hearty survivors banding together against hostile forces and broken infrastructure to be quite appealing. Even the MacGyver-ing of life-sustaining necessities (running water, food storage, etc.) is interesting to me.
A post-apocalyptic romance would be wonderful – if such a thing exists – but I’m open to any genre pairing (including more zombie fiction, if need be). I also enjoy Urban Fantasy, so if that needed to be worked in I wouldn’t be opposed. I’d love any help the Bookmatcher can offer me – thanks, Smart Bitches!
Billie says: Zombies! I love Zombies! ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ is an excellent (YA) zombie novel with some romance. Mark Henry has a highly entertaining urban fantasy series (starting with ‘Happy Hour of the Damned’) whose protagonist is a fashion-obsessed female zombie. David Wellington’s ‘Monster Island’ is the first (and, in my opinion, best) in a trilogy about the worldwide zombie apocalypse.
Stephen King’s Under the Dome is neither strictly post-apocalyptic nor a romance, but there is a great love story between two of the central characters and the setting—a small town confined under an invisible dome—does quickly degenerate into a post-apocalyptic-style nightmare.
Richelle Mead’s ‘Thorn Queen’, the second book in her Urban Shaman series, is set largely in a bleak and quickly dying landscape. So, though it’s not really post-apocalyptic, the landscape and the inhabitants’ struggles to survive give it some of that same feel.
And, if you haven’t read it already, the graphic novel series ‘Y: The Last Man’ about a world where every mammal with a Y chromosome is killed except for Yorick and his monkey, Ampersand (where monkey is not a euphemism, but a primate) is an excellent piece of post-apocalyptic graphic storytelling.
I’m at a loss for anything that would be shelved in Romance that takes place in a post-apocalyptic landscape (or has zombies), but I’m sure it’s out there and that some member of the Bitchery has read it. (And, if so, I wanna know what it is so I can read it myself.)
SB Sarah adds: I haven’t read, but I know the new Joss Ware books are set in a post-apocalyptic world.
Billie adds: I completely forgot one of my favoritest p-a novels: ‘Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse’ by Victor Gischler. “What little civilization remains revolves around Joey Armageddon’s Sassy A-Go-Go strip clubs, where the beer is cold, the lap dancers are hot, and the bouncers are armed with M16s.”
Brandy writes: I am a huge fan of historical romance, mainly 19th century, and I don’t have a huge preference of Regency over Victorian or vice versa. What I do mind is that every other person in every other book is a lord or lady or some other member of the British peerage. I’m not looking for a Western, just some city-people who are industrialists or railroad builders or shop owners. As far as 19th century historical romance is concerned, it seems that two people can;t be in love unless one of them owns a manor or a castle.
I’ve read all the Lisa Kleypas and she does drift somewhat into non-peer heroes which is nice (especially her newest ‘Times of Day’ series [Hathaways]). I just read a fantastic short-story in ‘The Hearts of Christmas’ collection by Courtney Milan called ‘This Wicked Gift’. She’s a shop assistant and he’s an accountant. It was amazing and really made me realize how sick I am of reading about Lord Hottentotten and the latest house party.
Billie says: The first two Sally Lockhart mysteries by Philip Pullman, The Ruby in the Smoke and ‘The Shadow in the North’. Neither are strictly romances and they were marketed to the YA audience, but the love story is very important to the plots, as are the careers of both the hero and heroine.
Nicola Cornick’s Desperate Duchesses trilogy—Again, with a rural setting and an occasional title does make an appearance, but ‘Confessions of a Duchess featured a non-titled (though employed by the Home Office) hero and a heroine who had been unhappily married to a Duke and came away from the marriage with nothing but the title of dowager Duchess. What I especially liked about this book was that neither character was wealthy and they both worried over how to support themselves (and the daughter from their brief affair several years earlier) if they were to marry.
‘The Leopard Prince’ by Elizabeth Hoyt—Harry Pye is Lady Georgiana Maitland’s land steward. ‘To Taste Temptation’ also by Elizabeth Hoyt—Samuel Hartley is a wealthy businessman from Boston intent on launching his younger sister into society.
‘Delicious’ by Sherry Thomas—He’s a barrister, she’s a cook to die for.
SB Sarah adds: Proof by Seduction, by Courtney Milan, continues in the cross-class-lines romance in London started with the short story “This Wicked Gift.”