Ahhh…love is in the air. I love Valentine’s Day. I love that it can be simple, cheap, and easy but still special, all at the same time. Of course, the holiday is always more enjoyable when you’re “feeling the love”….feeling loving, soft, romantic, relaxed…you know, those feelings that seem hard to come by when you’re faced daily with mountains of laundry and dishes?So, in an effort to bring back those gooey feelings, I decided I need to read a romance book. No, not the nasty-pants kind. The sweet-story kind. I always love your suggestions, so I asked you on Facebook, “What’s your favorite love story?”
Here’s what y’all had to say:
Apparently, Nicholas Sparks is “the man”. He authored two of your favorite books…first, The Notebook. Many of you may have seen the movie, probably ALL of you…except me. He also authored “Message in a Bottle” that also became a movie. Here’s a summary of the book:
“In 1932, two North Carolina teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love. Spending one idyllic summer together in the small town of New Bern, Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson do not meet again for 14 years. Noah has returned from WWII to restore the house of his dreams, having inherited a large sum of money. Allie, programmed by family and the “caste system of the South” to marry an ambitious, prosperous man, has become engaged to powerful attorney Lon Hammond. When she reads a newspaper story about Noah’s restoration project, she shows up on his porch step, re-entering his life for two days. Will Allie leave Lon for Noah?” – Publisher’s Weekly
When you’re done with The Notebook, the sequel is The Wedding which also gets fabulous reviews.
After seeing how many fabulous reviews Jane Eyre had, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never heard of it. What a dork! It’s now on my Amazon wish list…along with the movie, Jane Eyre (Masterpiece Theatre, 2006). If you love this book, make sure you read Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, & Emma by Jane Austin. All highly recommended! Here’s the review on Jane Eyre:
On the surface a fairly conventional Gothic romance (poor orphan governess is hired by rich, brooding Byronic hero-type), Jane Eyre hardly seems the stuff from which revolutions are made. But the story is very much about the nature of human freedom and equality, and if Jane was seen as something of a renegade in nineteenth-century England, it is because her story is that of a woman who struggles for self-definition and determination in a society that too often denies her that right. But self-determination does not mean untrammeled freedom for men or women. Rochester, that thorny masculine beast whom Jane eventually falls for, is a man who sets his own laws and manipulates the lives of those around him; before he can enter into a marriage of equals with Jane he must undergo a spiritual transformation. Should the lesson sound dry, it’s not. Jane Eyre is full of drama: fires, storms, attempted murder, and a mad wife conveniently stashed away in the attic. – Chris Kellett
On the surface, Henry and Clare Detamble are a normal couple living in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Henry works at the Newberry Library and Clare creates abstract paper art, but the cruel reality is that Henry is a prisoner of time. It sweeps him back and forth at its leisure, from the present to the past, with no regard for where he is or what he is doing. It drops him naked and vulnerable into another decade, wearing an age-appropriate face. In fact, it’s not unusual for Henry to run into the other Henry and help him out of a jam. Sound unusual? Imagine Clare Detamble’s astonishment at seeing Henry dropped stark naked into her parents’ meadow when she was only six. Though, of course, until she came of age, Henry was always the perfect gentleman and gave young Clare nothing but his friendship as he dropped in and out of her life. It’s no wonder that the film rights to this hip and urban love story have been acquired. Elsa Gaztambide
Mrs. Mike is the love story of Katherine Mary, a young Irish girl from Boston, and Sergeant Mike of the Canadian Mounties, under whose supervision falls all of the great Canadian wilderness. Katherine Mary comes from a world of privilege and comfort. When she moves with her husband to the North Pole region, let’s say it took a bit of adjustment. It’s a romance, an adventure, a coming-of-age, a tragedy, and a history. – Peggy Vincent
When I first saw the suggestions of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothingand Twelfth Night…I was like, “yeah, right…who wants to struggle through a book that is practically in another language…but not?” But, then I was reading reviews, saw this one by a 14 year old girl, and immediately felt like a fool. I must have the mentality of a 13 year old. I might just need to start reading Shakespeare, I’ll probably love it!
I was assigned to read “Much Ado About Nothing” for my block class, and my initial thought was, Oh, how boring. I don’t want to read Shakespeare. I won’t even be able to understand it. Let me tell you, I was very wrong! This book was excellent- one of the best I’ve ever read. It contained romance, humor, comedy, and drama- so many diverse qualities that I rarely find in books these days! The main characters, Beatrice and Benedick, add humor and warmth to the book. They argue and insult each other, yet they are really in love. Hero and Claudio are the lovebirds, but the evil Don John tries to get in the way of this with a deceitful plan. Even though this book was written centuries ago, the main themes still apply to today, (such as the Beatrice and Benedick theme). That is why this book is a classic. Oh, and understanding it isn’t a problem, either. This was my first Shakespeare book ever (I’m only 14), and I understood the plot, characters, and the theme. -Megan
Any time I see perfect ratings and lots of them, I perk up…and have to know! What’s so fabulous about it?? Also, recommended by one of our readers, this book, Redeeming Love is one of those…also, added to my “list to read”. Do y’all have an Amazon.com wishlist?? You must. It’s a great place to save ideas of great things you want to get someday…but, not right now.
In this splendid retelling of the biblical story of Hosea, bestselling author Francine Rivers pens a heartbreaking romance between a prostitute and the upright and kind farmer who marries her; the story also functions as a reminder of God’s unconditional love for his people. Redeeming Love opens with the Gold Rush of 1850 and its rough-and-tumble atmosphere of greed and desire. Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child, has learned to distrust all men, who see her only as a way to satisfy their lust. When the virtuous and spiritual-minded Michael Hosea is told by God to marry this “soiled dove,” he obeys, despite his misgivings. As Angel learns to love him, she begins to hope again but is soon overwhelmed by fear and returns to her old life. -Cindy Crosby
Lastly, another favorite author of yours…Cecilia Ahern. She has written many favorites, including P.S. I Love You. But, even more recommended is If You Could See Me Now.
Living in her own house in a small, posh Irish town, 35-year-old Elizabeth Egan is an uptight interior designer and adoptive mother to her six-year-old nephew, Luke, whose mother, Elizabeth’s 23-year-old sister, Saoirse, prefers boozing to parenting. Saoirse’s behavior reminds Elizabeth of a painful past—the alcoholic mother who abandoned the family, leaving Elizabeth to care for her baby sister and forgo her own childhood, and the emotionally distant, controlling father still waiting for his wife’s return. Unlike the other women in her family, Elizabeth adheres to a fastidiously well-ordered existence—no mess, no complications, no love. But all that changes with the arrival of Ivan, a goofy and spontaneous man intent on infusing much-needed fun and tenderness into Elizabeth’s frigid persona. The catch is no one can see this ageless man from the land of “Ekam Eveileb” save Elizabeth and her nephew. Through Ivan, Elizabeth becomes the woman she’s always been too afraid to be. He helps her reclaim the childhood she never had and, most importantly, to forgive those who have let her down. Ahern tempers heartbreak with hope and playfulness in this uplifting, sentimental tale. (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information