AAR Mini-Polls

Top Ten Hanky Reads

December 7, 2009

When looking at the results for the Top Ten Hanky reads there are a few things of interest to note.

First, there are readers who are clearly comfortable with stories that make them cry and then there are the others, who seem to be more than happy to leave these stories well enough alone. Ballots sent in were either empty (but filled in for comfort or holiday reads), had one or two titles listed or were completely filled in with ten titles – there was no in-between.

Of the three pollsters, Cindy sees the word “tearjerker” in a review and she walks away, while Lee is more than comfortable with reading a story that can make her cry. LinnieGayl’s response was interesting: “I avoid tear-jerkers like the plague, both in books and movies. I’ve only read three of the books on this list, and will probably never read any of the others, even though they’re much beloved by many readers, and have had great reviews. The three I’ve read – Dream a Little Dream, One Perfect Rose, and When He Was Wicked – I read because they were part of series that I had already read and liked. That being said, I periodically go back and read parts – but just parts – of DALD and OPR, because they’re really great books.”

Also notable is that none of these titles made it onto AAR reader’s comfort reads which we polled for at the same time. We wonder if romance stories that make readers cry are re-read as often as other romances that readers treasure or if these books are kept for certain moods or to be read again years later.

We last polled for your Top Ten Hanky reads in 2006 and Cry No More by Linda Howard ran away with first place. Three years later the playing field has evened out and Cry No More tied with Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath for first place.

Six books from 2006 remained on the list and the top 4 titles remained the same. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn is the first newcomer in fifth place, One Perfect Rose by Mary Jo Putney landed in seventh place, Seize The Fire by Laura Kinsale placed ninth and is the earliest published story from 1985 to make the top ten and Virgin River by Robin Carr snagged the final slot and was the more recently published story from 2007.

We invite you to consider these questions and post about these poll results:

  • Do you have to be in the right mood to read a two-hanky read, or do you read them at any time?
  • Do you agree with the results? Are there any titles that you’re surprised to see that didn’t make the top ten? Are there any authors you expected to see in the top ten that didn’t make the cut?
  • How often do you like to read bittersweet or emotionally intense romances? Are they your preference, or do you like a mix of light and dark reads?

Lee Brewer, LinnieGayl, and Cindy Smith

Post to the Romance Potpourri Forum Compare these results to the 2006 Mini-Poll for Top Ten Hanky Reads