I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Discussion: Valentine's Week Two-fer

As promised, today I am going to ask for people's favorite love stories.  The love story is a classic standard of the human storytelling tradition.  I know many of you out there want to share your most memorable tales of love.

But, I also know that there are plenty of people out there who are not feeling the love this week, people who are just hoping to get past the mushiness of Valentine's Day in one piece.

Me, I am somewhere in the middle of it all.  As a happily married woman, who regularly goes out with her husband and enjoys his company, I can see the comfort in a nice love story. But on the other hand, since I am happy in my love relationship, reading about others finding happiness is not an escape for me.  However, love gone terribly wrong, that is something I find quite intriguing.

Also, since the year that just finished saw the triumph of the toxic relationship with the supremacy of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, I would be remiss to not also ask about love gone wrong.

So let's get this Monday Discussion started...

First, the good.

In terms of modern love stories, even though I am not a romance fan, I have to admit that Nora Roberts knows what she is doing.  She writes compelling stories with an interesting frame (to hook even the non-romance fan) and then completes it with a satisfying, while not overly stereotypical,  happy ending.

But my favorite recent love story by far is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  Click here for more from me on it.  Ironically, while it is a moving testament to the power of true love against many obstacles, it does have a touch of the macabre.

In terms of love gone horribly wrong, I like some classics here.  Macbeth tells the tale of a marriage spiraling out of control due to a lust for power, while The Iliad is a story about a war sparked by the love of Helen of Troy (that didn't go too well for just about everyone involved). Interestingly, I also love the aforementioned Niffenegger's story of love gone terribly wrong, Her Fearful Symmetry, and boy does it have one doozy of an evil twist ending.

But my all time favorite creepy love story is the poem, Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe (click here for poem and analysis).  I had to memorize the poem in 10th grade and can still do most of it by memory. That plus my term paper that year on The Turn of the Screw might explain what happened to me.

What about you? Feel free to give a nod to a story in either or both categories.

There will be no Monday Discussion next week due to the President's Day holiday.  But you can follow past Monday discussions here.


John, Librarian At Dawn said...

I'm tempted to write a love/hate poem about your blog! I tried in vain to submit my favorite love poem only to be told that it exceeded the character limit. Even though it was not in my character (pardon the pun) to do so, I hacked and butchered it down to submit it in excerpts only to have it rejected AGAIN!

Oh well. I guess you'll have to take my word for it that it ranked with Edgar Allan Poe etc...

Happy Valentine's Day.

The poem was The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes.

Anonymous said...

Marlise at SCPL said...
On a related note, 2 years ago we put up a display of "Love Gone Wrong" books during Feb. We were a bit apprehensive about how it would be received, but we could barely keep it stocked! So I think there are patrons who appreciate displays that unexpectedly acknowledge the "flip side" of a popular holiday, etc..

List is here if interested http://www.stcharleslibrary.org/arl/booklists/honeymoon.htm