Love it or hate it, it's just over a week until Valentine's Day; that mushy, gushy day of holding hands and/ or throwing popcorn at people holding hands during movies/ picnics/ skydiving lessons etc.
I've had my ups and downs with Valentine's over the years. There was: Palentine's Day of 2009 (i think it was 2009) in which I saw the Wolfman with a bunch of other Singletons, the Valentine's Day I got dumped a few days before and had to call in depressed to work, and most memorably, last year, the Valentine's Day on which History Boy ordered a picnic off of the internet and took me to the foreshore to sit on blankets amid a sea of thirty-somethings who had the same idea. (It sounds like I am poking fun... I'm not.) This year it was my turn to plan Valentine's, and not to be outdone, I've planned TWO. But more about that after the fact.
Whether you're loved up and feel like mooning on the couch, or single and needing a little Mr Darcy in your life, this list is for you. Some reads to get you that lovin' feeling that you've lost this February the 14th, as selected by moi.
Most Romantic Reads...
1. The Shifting Fog by Kate Morton (That's The House at Riverton to some of you)
Poets, Sisters in love with the same man, English country houses. It's like I dreamed this book into existence.
2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Okay, okay, so this doesn't have the happiest of endings, but tell me that the hero and heroine don't have some Georgette Heyer scale passion with some Jane Austen style intelligence...
3. Remember Me by Liz Byrski
Some of the best stories are close to home. Rooted in my real world, this story is raw, and honest, and leaves you feeling like it's been told to you by a best friend.
4. The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory
Or the Constant Princess. Or the Lady of the Rivers. Some of Phillipa Gregory's novels are full of a burning love, others are full of a consuming ambition. Some real perspective into the strong and influential ladies of England's History.
5. The Novel in the Viola by Natasha Solomons
If you loved The Shifting Fog, or Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, you'll love this. This talented writer can make even the culturally taboo seem oh so sigh worthy.
6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
You may have already seen the film; the book is better.
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Get lost on the moors with Heathcliff this Valentines, and enjoy the world's most celebrated abusive relationship...
8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
You didn't think I was going to leave this off, did you???
9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Cloaks and daggers on the streets of post WW2 Barcelona. A book like no other.
10. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
For the crime novel reader; for the romantic; for the lover of classics. This book is for everyone.
What will you be reading this Valentine's Day? Have you read any of these books yourself? What did you think?