Several weeks ago, going through a box that’s been sitting unpacked in my closet since I moved more than two years ago, I came across a tiny book entitled Test Your Literature IQ. It has 200 questions divided into three sections: one for Dabblers, one for Smarter-Than-Mosts and one for Geniuses. The first section, as one would expect, asks easy questions such as “Who wrote The Color Purple?” and “What is the pen name of Samuel Clemens?” Section 2 is a bit more challenging, asking the test-taker to identify quotations such as “I saw the best minds of my generation, starving hysterical naked” and “There are no second acts in American life.” (I knew the first—Allen Ginsberg, Howl--but missed the second—F. Scott Fitzgerald in notes for his unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon). The Genius section is a rather strange mix of fun challenges and tests of esoteric knowledge. I enjoyed matching the imaginary places (Utopia, Erewhon, Wessex, Shangri-La, Serendip) with their creators (Sir Thomas More, Samuel Butler, Thomas Hardy, James Hilton, Horace Walpole), but, except for Plath, I was at a loss when asked which of five authors (Susanna Kaysen, Eugene O’Neill, Norman Mailler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath) did not spend time in a psychiatric facility. (Fitzgerald did not.) My 172 correct answers qualify me as a “James Joyce Scholar,” a misnomer, I assure you. I never even finished Finnegans Wake.
Since I am a lover of such tests and a lover of romance fiction, it was a logical move from the rediscovered book to thinking what fun a Romancelandia edition of the test would be. Tuesday afternoon I couldn’t summon the energy to (1) clean house, which I must do before a Grands birthday party this weekend; (2) rewrite a section of TLWH, a task mandated by a late-stage epiphany; (3) read in order to reduce the size of my TBR mountain. But I did have a great time creating an abbreviated version (20 questions rather than 200) of Test Your Literature IQ especially for readers of romance.
Are you a Dabbler? A Smarter-Than-Most? A Genius? Read on and find out.
Questions for Dabblers
1. Who is the author of Lord of Scoundrels?
2. During what period is Bet Me set?
3. Who is Phoebe Somerville?
4. What is the name of the kidnapper turned hero in Devil in Winter?
5. For which work did Julia Quinn win her first Rita in 2007?
a. The Duke and I
c. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
d. The Lost Duke of Wyndham
e. On the Way to the Wedding
6. Who is Kit Butler’s love interest in Mary Balogh’s A Summer to Remember?
7. Which of these is not a book by Connie Brockway?
a. As You Desire
b. The Bridal Season
c. The Charmer
d. Skinny Dipping
e. My Dearest Enemy
Questions for the Smarter-than-Mosts
1. Which author doesn’t belong in the list?
a. Nora Roberts
b. Christina Dodd
c. J. R. Ward
d. Julie James
e. Sherrilyn Kenyon
2. Who wrote this line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”?
3. What is the pseudonym of Mary Bly, Shakespeare professor and daughter of a renowned poet?
4. Who wrote a lengthy Georgian-set series featuring an aristocratic family with Medieval names and a head of family known as l'eminence noire?
5. Match these famous heroes with their creators:
b. Derek Craven
c. Mr. Rochester
d. Reginald Davenport
e. Matthew Farrell
Mary Jo Putney
6. How many books have been published in Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series as of July 2010?
7. Which of the following authors has never published a category romance?
a. Nora Roberts
b. Rachel Gibson
c. Jayne Ann Krentz
d. Judith McNaught
e. Linda Howard
Questions for Geniuses
1. Who is the most prolific romance writer of all time?
2. Match the romance author with the blog:
a. Teresa Medeiros
b. Jayne Ann Krentz
c. Anne Gracie
d. Debra Dixon
e. Anna Campbell
f. Julia London
The Goddess Blogs
Riding with the Top Down
Running with Quills
3. Who is Harold Lowry?
4. In 1999, a group of Southern writers, most of whom had published romance fiction, started their own small press with an emphasis on the work of Southern storytellers. What is the name of the press?
5. Name any five of the thirteen members of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.
6. Sherry Thomas is to Meredith Duran as Tessa Dare is to
a. Sara Lindsey
b. Kris Kennedy
c. Jennifer Haymore
d. Courtney Milan
e. Maggie Robinson
How did you do? Comment please. Pose your own questions, query mine, or question the sanity of such quizzes. Tell us how many you think you know. But please do NOT post your answers to the quiz. Next Wednesday (July 21), I’ll post the answers and a Romance Fiction IQ decoder, and the Randomizer will select one poster to win a free book.
1. Loretta Chase
2. 21st century/contemporary
3. The heroine of SEP’s first Chicago Stars book, It Had to Be You
4. Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent
5. On the Way to the Wedding
6. Lauren Edgeworth
7. The Charmer (by Madeline Hunter)
1. Julie James (who has never published a paranormal romance)
2. Jane Austen (the justifiably famous first line of Pride and Prejudice)
3. Eloisa James
4. Jo Beverley (the Mallorens and Rothgar)
a. Roarke—Nora Roberts, In Death series
b. Derek Craven—Lisa Kleypas, Dreaming of You
c. Mr. Rochester—Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
d. Reginald Davenport—Mary Jo Putney, The Rake and the Reformer & The Rake
e. Matthew Farrell—Judith McNaught, Paradise
6. 10 novels plus 2 novellas
7. Rachel Gibson
1. Barbara Cartland
2. Romance Blogs
a. Teresa Medeiros--Squawk Radio
b. Jayne Ann Krentz--Running with Quills
c. Anne Gracie—Word Wenches
d. Debra Dixon—Riding with the Top Down
e. Anna Campbell—Romance Bandits
f. Julia London—The Goddess Blogs
3. Leigh Greenwood, author of 40+ romance novels, mostly Westerns
4. Belle Books
5. RWA Hall of Famers: Justine Dare, Jennifer Greene, Francine Rivers, Cheryl Zach, Nora Roberts (three times), Kathleen Korbel (Eileen Dreyer), Jo Beverley, LaVyrle Spencer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jodi Thomas, Kathleen Crighton
6. Courtney Milan (CPs—critique partners)
The winner of the free book is Vi. Please send me your contact info at JangaRho at gmail dot com, and I'll send you your book ASAP.