Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Ten Books That Would Make Great Valentine's Day Reads

Happy Top Ten Tuesday over at the Broke and the Bookish!

So, usually I'm more of the anti-V day type, but I'm going to be more authentic this year. Mostly.

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

3. Romeo and Juliet by Some Guy: A Handbook on What NOT To Do

4. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

6. Sonnet 116-Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds/Admit Impediments

7. Sonnet 130-My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun

8. "A Valentine for Laura" short story from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II

9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

...I'm tapped out.

There are very few love stories that blow me away. As much as I can admire the satire of Romeo and Juliet, as much as I can empathize with the protagonists of Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, these are not, to me, great love stories. The romance that has touched me the most in recent years is between Katniss and Peeta. In the past, I've wished for a Calvin O'Keefe or a Mac Campbell. Mr. Darcy,  I despise. Ditto Mr. Rochester. Captain Wentworth is okay; so is Edward Ferrars, though they both have their flaws. Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram are well matched. I do love Beatrice and Benedick, but the fact that they have to be tricked into marrying each other gives me pause. I think it comes down to this: the best love stories do not (often) make the best stories. We enjoy reading most about those endless vagaries of unhappy lives, while the happy lives get lived, not written.

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