Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Words: Books I Love About Love

Yesterday was election day in America, which means that today the country has mixed feelings. I understand, but I say let us unite around the fact that all the awful political ads and phone calls are finally over! Let's think about good things! Let's talk about love!

I originally intended for this post to be on five books I love about love, but I can't limit myself to so few. I'm a hopeless romantic who lives vicariously through characters. And so, I instead offer up the five categories that books I love about love tend to fall in to.

1. Jane Austen
Jane's heroines and heroes are all flawed, and it's for this reason that her books and stories hold such a special place in my heart. All of her characters have to work for it, love never comes easy, and it's why I believe that even after the story ends, they could make ever after happen. Her stories are still relatable and have stood the test of time. My personal favorites? Pride and Prejudice, in my opinion the greatest love story of all time, and Persuasion because Anne Elliot and I are kindred spirits.
2. Inspired by Jane
And then there are the books inspired by Jane's books! According to Jane by Marilyn Brant is almost tearily close to my life - a girl from the Chicago suburbs who loves P&P, went to school three hours south of the city to become a librarian and then became one at her old high school library - and so brilliantly written. Austenland by Shannon Hale is so completely fun and blends the old and the new in a totally adorable and slightly sassy way.
3. Shakespeare
I have an English degree, so this one is hardly a surprise. Reading Shakespeare can be challenging, but watching it is magical to me, especially the comedies. I did my high school senior thesis on Much Ado About Nothing and have studied The Taming of the Shrew on multiple occasions - the original romantic comedies that so many of today's stories 'borrow' from =)
4. Contemporary YA - Part 1*
So much love here!! First and foremost, there's the brilliant mind of Stephanie Perkins - Anna and the French Kiss makes me feel butterflies every single time because I see so much of myself in Anna. And the story, I mean, come on! Paris and accents and it's just magical!. At the same time, Lola and the Boy Next Door is delightfully eccentric. If Cricket were the boy next door to me, I'd be in love too.
5. Contemporary YA - Part 2*
Then there's Sarah Dessen - where do I even start? Along for the Ride is one of my favorite YA books and the first one of hers I ever read. Her books make me want to take a roadtrip to Lakeview and Colby and never shy away from real life, and the boys she writes are the guys I wish had gone to my high school or college. Heck, I'd love it if I could find them out there in the world now!
* - I've been lucky enough to meet both of these ladies and hope the opportunity to do so again will come my way - they're both incredibly nice and genuine and fantastic! When I write, these women are my role models. To say they inspire me doesn't even come close.

And there you have it! So spread some love, comments welcome, and as always, happy reading!

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