This comfortable WordPress plugin provides placeholders for dynamic lists of posts you can configure in the admin panel! You can define the placeholders yourself and configure the list that should replace it. The placeholders can be used in posts, pages or widgets, and will get replaced to the list of posts. Of course, it is also possible to use the lists directly in your template files.
You can decide to list posts of a specific category, author, tag, custom value, ...
You can configure how to order them or what status the posts have to have for example. Of course you can set the maximum number of posts to display.
Its highly configurable.
And besides the html output for before and for after the list, you can configure the string for each entry of the list, and set a string to display if there are no posts.
In these strings you can use placeholders for the posts name, date, link, ... and everything else you could like to display.
Plugin Website: http://www.rene-ade.de/inhalte/wordpress-plugin-postlists.html
English translation of the german Plugin Website: click here
Since version 2.0 of PostLists there are also extensions available for the Plugin itselfe, to add AJAX navigation links, or repeat a list for each tag to create a index for example...