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Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Discussion: Valentine's Day

Well, it's Valentine's Day so you know what is coming from the Monday Discussion today...we are talking about romance!

I am fairly neutral on the whole Valentine's Day thing.  I go out with my husband on dates regularly, so I am not driven to overpay for a date on February 14th every year, but I do get my kids a small gift and we all exchange cards. I did cut their cucumber slices into heart shapes today too.

But no matter how you personally feel about Valentine's Day, your patrons will be coming in looking for books about love.  Are you ready?  We have this display up with both contemporary and historical romance options.  (Keep scrolling and you will see our Black History Month display list too).

Now, not everyone likes every genre.  In fact, truth be told, I am not a big romance fan myself.  However, if I had to pick some authors I would say that I do enjoy Julia Quinn's historical romances and Susan Elizabeth Phillips' contemporary ones.  What I like about the work of both authors is the humor they add to their stories.

Just because I don't like romance though doesn't mean I don't like a little bit of love in my stories, I just tend to like getting it more from women's lives and relationship books or literary fiction.  Some books which contained a love story which I found touching were, Water for Elephants, North River, Dream When You're Feeling Blue, and The Red Tent.

So today, even of you do not like the specific genre of romance, what do you like to read when you are in the mood for love?

Also, over on RA for All: Horror, I posted a touching zombie love song.

If you want to follow past Monday Discussions, use this link.


Briana said...

Today I am reading Damsel in Disguise by Susan Gee Heino.
Romances are just so easy to read - they're like candy for the mind. You don't have to think about them, you just sit back and enjoy the ride. That's where I go when I just don't want to be anywhere. Which is often. Of course, I've recently been partial to paranormal romance, but who doesn't love a love story with bite or zing?
And Becky, they're ALL humorous. It's only that some of them actually manage it intentionally! Hahaha...

Betty said...

My all-time favorite love story is The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye. Unfortunately, the Berwyn Library doesn't own it. It's got it all -- set in India during the British Raj, star crossed lovers. Oh, my beating heart!

Cold Mountain is another one -- but the ending is so bittersweet.

Becky said...

Betty, I totally forgot about Cold Mountain. It is bittersweet, but so romantic. That is one of my all time favorite's too.

John BPL RA said...

As the builder of the display mentioned above, I feel obligated to throw in my opinion. I am more a fan of Romantic Literature than "Romance" novels and I'm glad a distinction has been made between the two in the 21st century.

My all time favorite love story, a story which is my favorite for so many different reasons, is The Phantom of The Opera. The stage version and films are wonderful but the best is still the original novel by Gaston Leroux. A romantic love story, if it is to have value, must be presented in conjunction with the flawed nature of the human condition. The meaning for the reader, if not for the characters, should be one that stains the heart with emotion so that it is remembered when both the story and the moment are over. The fact that this book, like so many epic tales of love, is a tragedy, illustrates, in a sick sort of philosophy, how love is more important than reason or any sort of concept of the future.

As I pointed out earlier today, Saint Valentine himself was removed by the church from the list of saints because there was "no conclusive proof that he was real." The same may be said of love itself.

Kathy BPL RA said...

I am not a celebrator of Valentine's Day nor am I a reader of romance. What can I say, I just am not a romantic. But I do like sexy and I do like bittersweet (or even tragic, as John pointed out). "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" by Oscar Hijuelos is all of the above. "A Very Long Engagement" by Sebastian Japrisot is an unusual love story but very powerful and tragic.
If I really want to feel the love, I just listen to Stevie Wonder.

Laurie C said...

I like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, too, for romantic comedy. When I want a longer love story that I can whip right through, I've been reading Penny Vincenzi's potboilers. The only one I've been disappointed by so far is the last one I read, Windfall, which was too predictable. For readers who want more subtlety, I recommend The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman, which has a love story threading through lots of sharp-eyed social commentary.