Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Romance

There was a time (middle school) when I read romance novels....really predictable ones. There were usually two boys the main character had to choose between: one who was exciting but Mr. Wrong, and another who seemed dull (but only on the surface!) but was really the main character's soul mate.

Then I grew up a little, and graduated to Emma and Mr. Knightly, and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Still later I delved into disillusionment with Madame Bovary, The Wings of the Dove, and House of Mirth. It seemed I would never read a romance novel again with the same kind of wishful belief. But in honor of Valentine's Day, courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish, here is my list of top ten romantic reads:

1. 100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda. Lush and sensual love poems by the Chilean poet.
2. Sonnets of William Shakespeare. Copy out a love sonnet and give it to your beloved. I love Sonnet 116 in an unabashedly sentimental way.
3. My Dream of You by Nuala O'Faolain. O'Faolain died much too young. I think her writing is under-recognized; this novel is one of my favorite books of all time, about a journalist who investigates a divorce case from the 1850s in Ireland. Lyrical, honest, gorgeous.
4. Possession by A.S. Byatt. Another book that spans centuries; I found this novel and My Dream of You to be similar.
5. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. A lesbian coming of age story set in Victorian England.
6. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. A cleverly plotted tale of love and deceit.
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's all an illusion and a dream, but what a beautiful dream.
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
9. Persuasion by Jane Austen.
10. A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer.

Do you have a favorite romance?


bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any of those. :/

Andi said...

So many great books here! I have both of the Waters titles on my stacks, and I know I had a copy of My Dream of You at some point. I really want to find it now!