Tales of Love…

So it’s Valentines Day and love is in the air. I am hoping that with all this love my other NTTVBG co-hosts will be forgiving as I said I would do a review of our first choice ‘Brodeck’s Report’ today… and I won’t be. Last week was really a little too manic (deadline weeks always are – never helped by man flu and a cough) and I haven’t had any free time or really seen The Converted One this week as have been locked away working 16 hour days, seven of them in fact. And so today, apart from briefly writing this, the computer is off and books are unopened, the things we do for love eh?

Love is the subject of today’s brief post in honour of St Valentines I thought we could share favourite love stories, and for that I think we need some hearts of sorts…

I had trouble thinking about my favourite love story, I haven’t read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which I imagine is half the worlds favourite and so I really had to wrack my brains and realised I, Simon Savidge, do not really read fiction about love. I think if I had to pick one book that was really the greatest love story that I have ever read then I would go for ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger. Okay, its not a typical love story but that is quite possibly why its one that I have read and not wanted a sick bucket for. I don’t like over sentimentality and I don’t like slush, not in books about love at any rate.

As I have been typing I have actually just realised that oddly this does actually link it to the next NTTVBG choice ‘The Girl With The Glass Feet’ by Ali Shaw which itself sounds like a rather unusual love story, so an ideal read at this time of year… Iif you are allowed to read today that is!! We will see next week when I host everything NTTVBG orientated here on Savidge Reads.

So maybe you can help by sharing your very favourite love story? It might throw me in the right direction. What is your favourite love story of all time? I will await your thoughts which you know I love. Hope you have a lovely day lined up too?

(I don’t think I have ever written a post with the word love in it so much, am feeling a bit off kilter.)


Filed under Book Thoughts

54 responses to “Tales of Love…

  1. gaskella

    I think the best love stories are those where the couple are kept apart – so both those you mention are wonderful examples, as is Romeo & Juliet. Just having finished LOTR Book 1, you can’t help noticing the love between Aragorn and Arwen, (especially since the film brought it to our attention) and they see each other so rarely… As for P&P, I love it, but it wasn’t until Lizzie saw Darcy’s stately pile that she was totally won over!

    • Hahaha that comment about the stately pile has really made me laugh, lets be honest though Pemberley would make anyone think twice (I am going on the TV show of course). I too am often fond of books where star crssed lovers never quite make it, though now I think about that I find it a bit melancholy.

  2. Haha, it’s all about the stately pile. P&P is a well-worn favourite though.

    But now I’m stuck trying to think of other examples that I actually enjoyed…

  3. farmlanebooks

    The Time Traveller’s Wife is the most romantic book I’ve ever read too.

    I’m planning to read Pride and Prejudice in the next few weeks, so I’ll let you know if it gets close to TTW on the romance front! Enjoy the rest of valentines day!

  4. The English Patient is one of my favorite love stories.

    And The Time Traveller’s Wife is definitely up there at the top!

  5. I’m much better at naming romantic movies than books. I generally need a sick bucket as well! I did like P&P, and I guess Gone With the Wind would qualify, even though it is alot more narcissism than love.

    We’ve got church today, my son’s last football game (after seven months of it!) THEN I am cooking a feast for my parents and family. Complete with Chocolate Lava Cake!

    • Well thats two fo us with sick buckets at the ready. I think love is actually probably incredibly difficult to write, it can easily become soppy or over sentimental and maybe thats why writing about love wobbles between those two states in the main?

      Chocolate Lava Cake sounds amazing!

  6. P&P is one of my favourite love stories but as Annabel points out, it isn’t love-at-first-sight (unless it is applied to Pemberley) and unconditional love. Doctor Zhivago is also beautiful and Giovanni’s Room; I love tender and poignant love stories.

    Have a love-filled Valentine’s Day!

    • I did actually have a lovely, lovely Valentines. I am normally not a fan and the idea of no books or internet was a weird one but it was delightful, might have to do it more often, hope yours was lovely?

      I have never fancied reading Zhivago, not sure why not. Giovanni’s Room a love story… did you think so? I wasn’t a fan of that book so maybe that tarnished the love aspect for me.

      • I found Giovanni’s Room a devastating love story but I can see why you wouldn’t love it.

        Persuasion was my last Austen (read last year and Michelle’s rec at book group had a lot to do with it!) and it is more mature than Austen’s other love stories; I adored it but P&P has had a place in my heart for too long ever to be usurped.

      • Hmm I think I need to go on an Austen Adventure (and may indeed trade mark that alliteration) later in the year and see what happens.

  7. I’m with you – The Time Traveler’s Wife is probably in the top spot for me. I’d have to put The Bridges of Madison County on the list, too, though. (It made my Reader’s Table, after all.) Again – it’s not great literature, but the story of a man and women meeting later in their lives, falling in love (truly, not just lust) and then the woman making the difficult choice to stay with her family just guts me. I guess Bridges speaks to one of my literary kinks – lovers who can’t be together. (thus, I am a huge fan of Tristan and Isolde, Buffy and Angel, Heloise and Abelard, Romeo and Juliet). I am total sap!

  8. Mine has to be Erich Segal’s Love Story. It’s a bit of a sad one though.. the opening line of the book gives it away.

  9. I’m going to have to be terribly cliched and go with a Jane Austen book here – not P&P but Persuasion. I find the mature love story of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth more touching and romantic than that of any of Austen’s younger heroines. It is a story of fidelity and constancy, rather than passion, which is far better suited to my own ideas of love and romance. And what woman does not melt to read Wentworth’s letter? “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” Swoon.

    • You are not the first person to tell me that ‘Persuasion’ is one of the best of Austen’s novel. My close friend Michelle is a huge, huge Austen fan and she rates Persuasion as the best, followed by Emma. Interesting! I have all of them in the TBR and will read one of hers this year, maybe even two. It does sound swoony.

  10. I echo Claire’s sentiments, she’s summed my thoughts up perfectly! Persuasion by Jane Austin. I enjoy angst more than love and this has it without feeling like you want to throw-up while clawing your own eyes out. I’m not one for love stories or slush either, and Persuasion doesn’t pile the romance on you, it’s subtle.

    • The phrase clawing your own eyes out has just made me laugh and laugh and laugh, I think we have all been there before with a book. It sounds like Persuasion is definitely one to read.

  11. Deb

    For a love story that grows over the course of several books, I’m going to have to go with L.M. Montgomery’s ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (and subsequent novels in the series). Yes, the books are marketed to young readers, but they are really quite serious books about a sad, neglected young girl (an orphan) who gradually becomes a happy woman. Also, the love story continues after the marriage. Anne and Gilbert have a number of children (losing one at birth and one in WWI) and have a long life together. Skip the movie adaptations, they don’t do justice to the books.

    • Oh I have heard lots and lots about Anne of Green Gables and have never quite fancied it. Is it not quite twee? I would give it a whirl if I had it to hand I am sure. I think this one is a ‘maybe one day’ kind of book. Lovely too see how passionate you are about it.

  12. For a stunning, if tragic, love story I would recommend Maggie O’Farrell’s “After You’d Gone”. The clue to the tragedy is the title!

    I would also recommend “Take One Young Man” by Vivien Kelly. It’s about a twenty-something young man’s search for fulfilment in life post-university, with romantic fulfilment a significant part of that. I get the impression that most, if not all, of Kelly’s subsequent books have been marketed as “chick-lit” but this debut was more substantial than that.

    For proof that men can write about matters of the heart just as well as women, see Niall Williams “Four Letters of Love”.

    • I think that is the next Maggie O’Farrell I will read as I am sure that its the one that I have on the TBR. I am looking forward to reading more O’Farrell I think she ould become an author I appreciate a lot.

      I have heard of Niall Williams and that book, I have never heard of Vivien Kelly before.

  13. JoV

    Like you I am not a romantic novel buff either. Recent read, TTTW has to be on top. “The snow falling on cedar tree” by David Gutenberg is my next one. Other more tragic ones are Anna Karenina, Atonement and Graham’ Greene’s “The end of the affair”.

    I probably seen more romantic movies than read romantic books. I’m sure Nicholas Sparks wrote some good stuff as well. many more Doctor Zhivago, Love story.. inspires me to pick up those novels again.

    I’d like to hear more about great romantic stories without going all cheesy and steamy like Mills and Boons!

    • Snow Falling on Cedars is one that my Gran bought for me a while back and I have still not read I think it might have to be one to dig out though as I know lots of people think its a wonderful, wonderful book.

      I have a friend who is a huge, huge fan of mills and boon I might have to ask their opinion on the matter of mills and boon titles we should all look out for hee hee.

  14. kiss a cloud

    My fave love story would be Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.

  15. kimberlyloomis

    My favorite love stories of all time are Jane Eyre and Gone with the Wind (I absolutely hated Time Traveler’s Wife). Strangely I can’t think of a truly modern work I would characterize as a love story that I read and liked.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Simon. Hope you’re enjoying the day away from books and the computer. 🙂

    • My day away from the books and the computer was marvellous, hope you had a lovely day too?

      You are not alone in not liking TTTW as my Gran hates it, she felt it had paedophilic themes in it!! Eek! I never saw it like that I was just won over and had been intent on not really liking it but was thoroughly won over!

  16. I love the Time Traveler’s Wife. It’s one I’d like to reread, actually, because it was so piercing. It made me smile when you said it’s one you don’t need a sick bucket for; precisely why I don’t read much ‘romance’ myself. As a genre, I tend to stay clear of it.

  17. ana

    Delighted to be reminded of some classics and to hear of some new treats ahead. Snow Falling on Cedars was a special one, read on a memorable family holiday. Have loved Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet. What a talent!

  18. Merenia

    Sorry Simon, I just have to know. Pride and Prejudice; has it simply not come to the top of your TBR pile yet???!!!

    My favourite love story would be Jane Austen’s Persuasion, followed by North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.

    • People do love Persuasion dont they? Pride and Prejudice I tried once and really didnt like the opening chapter so put it down to try again at a later date… that was three years ago. I think I know the story too well from all the adaptations sadly.

      I would like to give Gaskell a read at some point.

  19. This is such a good question! Although neither of these books are love stories, I really like the love stories found within War and Peace and Middlemarch. (There are also lots of anti-love stories in those too.)

    More modernly, I’d have to agree with you on TTW, and would also add The Remains of the Day (a sad sort of love story, but one all the same.)

    • Remains of the Day is a book that I definitely need to dig out of the TBR and give a whirl over the next month or two. I hadnt thought about particular love stories within books that arent actually romance novels… oooh I will have to go off and have a think about that!

  20. TTTW would be up there for me and I agree completely with Claire – Persuasion is not only my favourite Jane Austen novel but also by favourite love story.

  21. Dot

    Pride and Prejudice is my favourite classic love story but I think that The Time Traveler’s Wife is right up there alongside it, I only read it recently but I fell in love with the story of Henry and Claire.

  22. Pingback: Looking for Love Stories « the Writer's Pet

  23. Danica Rice

    I absolutely ADORE TTTW… It’s one of those rare books that the movie actually does it justice… But we’re talking about the book… I loved it.. Actually, one book that I felt kind of copycatted TTTW was James Patterson’s Sundays With Tiffany.. now THAT one, I felt had pedophilic inclinations, and reminded me a bit much of TTTW… so I was instantly turned off from it… It’s one of the first Patterson books I haven’t liked.

    I have read Pride & Prejudice, and it’s a cute book, also saw the movie yesterday, so it is a romantic tale… haven’t read Persuasion, but sounds like I should!

    I definitely want to reread TTTW at some point.. probably before I pick up Niffenegger’s second book, Her Fearful Symmetry.

    • Did you think the movie did the book justice? I didnt think it was a bad film it just wasnt quite the book for me.

      I used to read lots of James Patterson I dont know what it was that stopped me. In my late teens I was a big fan, maybe I should give him a whirl again one day? Though possibly not with Sundays With Tiffany.

      • Danica Rice

        If you mean TTTW… Yes, I do, but the ending utterly pissed me off. It was a delightful ending…IF you haven’t read the book. The ending of the book will always haunt me, and the movie not including that just made me not happy…Everything else, I thought was a beautiful blend, though.

        He’s definitely a “fluff” author for me.. I love his work, but it’s not nearly literary… I absolutely adore his Women’s Murder Club series though. .I read a lot of his work, but his writing style isn’t exactly the most original, but his stories are so gripping, you can’t really bring yourself to stop, even with the occasional *groan* you might get at his unoriginal description or repetition.

  24. Hi Simon
    Just wanted to say that I hope to be joining you all here on Sunday for the NTTVBG and have placed a link to you on my blog. Hope that’s okay. I’ll be picking up ‘Glass Feet’ tomorrow as it looks charming and hope to contribute. Interesting blog as usual 🙂

    • Hi Cristina, I dont mind at all. Am pleased your joining in with this book am hoping its a case of the more the merrier though heaven knows how my carpets will be if I get the visitors that Dovegreyreader did!!!

  25. Pingback: A Gmail Date with Gavin James Bower « the Writer's Pet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s