Saturday, February 05, 2011

Favourite love stories

I find it very hard to pick my favourite love stories from the last few years so I'm going to keep this list fairly old-school and will rely on you lovely readers to contribute more recent titles. Sound fair to you?

Someone asked me recently what my favourite love story of all time is. And I couldn't answer her. I couldn't even come up with a shortlist, so this list was actually really, really difficult for me. I think part of my thoughts on each book is also distorted by the movies/mini-series that I've watched. But my problem is that I love so many love stories that I know as soon as this is posted, I shall remember more and more of my favourites. This list just seems slightly obvious to me!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I love Pride and Prejudice. In fact, I adore Jane Austen in general. And this is the story of hers that I most re-read, especially when I'm down. What can I say? I'm a huge sap and everything about this one just appeals to my romantic side. I love Jane Austen's sense of humour and the tension and misunderstandings between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy just as I love it when it's done in contemporary YA. Often more than I'll pick up the book, I'll put in the BBC mini-series. I've watched it again and again and never get tired of it. (Colin Firth!)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I always go back and forth a bit about whether or not I actually like Rochester. Is he a bit of a jerk? He might be, depending on which day you ask me, but today, I'm deciding that I like him. Or at least I like this love story. I love the jealousy and the emotion in it. I like that Jane has the strength to leave and find her own place in the world.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - I had to include this one because as a teenager, I was absolutely obsessed by Romeo and Juliet. It was the first Shakespeare play to really capture my attention and I was able to appreciate the language finally. I did go on to read other Shakespeare plays that I loved more than this, but this was the first. And I read it back in high school without really looking below the surface and analyzing different aspects of it. I just went with my first reaction which was *sigh* and over the years, I've kept to that. Because I like that reponse better.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I adore Gone With the Wind. I love the movie too, and when I think of Gone With the Wind, I probably think of the movie first. But the book really blew me away when I read it. The detail and the depth of the book make it such a fun read. And Scarlett and Rhett are just two incredible characters. They had to have ended up together, right? Don't you think so?

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - This is the only recent-ish selection for my list. There was something so tragic and sad about Henry and Clare's relationship. But I fully got swept away with it. This book was an utter surprise to me when I read it and I wish I could read it again as though it were my first time. I'm a fan. (Though not so much a fan of the movie!)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - Does the Grandson ask if this is a kissing book in the book as well as the movie? This is one of those stories where I can't distinguish between the book and the movie. It's just so wonderful. So many wonderful fantastic characters, situations and quotes. The Princess Bride is ENDLESSLY quoteable and I love Westley and Buttercup together.

Runners-up: Persuasion by Jane Austen for all of the longing. And I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, for sheer awesomeness. The Anne of Green Gables series for the sweet, drawn-out relationship of Anne and Gilbert.

Which love stories would make your list?! Would you agree or disagree with the stories I've chosen?


  1. I've not read many love stories, and none of the classics you've show (I am so bad), apart from The Time Travellers Wife.

  2. I wondered whether to go away and have a long think but decided to just go with the first 5 that sprang to mind. So, in no particular order: The Time Traveller's Wife; Cold Mountain by Charles Frazer; The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje; Persuasion by Jane Austen; Possession by AS Byatt. I can feel a blog post of my own coming on - lol!

  3. I love Jane Eyre the best of all of these. If I had to pick just one, I'd say Jane Eyre was my very favorite love story of all time. I like The Princess Bride movie better than the book. I know! Shameful! :p

  4. Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourite works ever committed to paper. Going to see the Complete Works of Shakespeare tonight ;)

  5. Has to be The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. I just love the story of Noah and Ally.. Of course I love all Nicloas Sparks books, but the Notebook by far is my favorite..

  6. TSB - Really? :) You're in for a treat then, there are some incredible stories there.

    Maryom - Those are all excellent choices! I loved Cold Mountain! And The English Patient. Persuasion is almost on my list, and funny, I'll be talking about Possession soon enough!

    Jenny - I don't think it's shameful, I'm almost at the point where I love the movie more as well, though that might change if I ever got a chance to reread the book.

    mariel - Is that with the Reduced Shakespeare Company? If so, I ADORE them.

    Becca - Hmm. Nicholas Sparks seems like a bit of a douche though!

  7. You know, I've not read any of these. My favourite love stories are probably more movies than books, because I tend not to read romance as a genre - unless it's by Freya North. I suck, sorry!

  8. Really Jo? You haven't read any of them? There's still LOADS of YA romance-y books out there, though? I've never read anything by Freya North, is she good?

  9. Okay, well I can kinda agree.. At this point all his books are becoming the same, but The Notebook was his first and will always be my favorit love story.

  10. I really love the Nicholas Sparks movies that I've seen, but there are certain themes that start emerging..

  11. I've read and love, love, love all of the books you listed... including the runners up. Wonderful list!

  12. Avid Reader - Awesome, you have EXCELLENT taste in books :) Any you care to add?

  13. Emma - Aww! I kind of feel like rereading it. Or at least watching another adaptation of it. Very good stuff.


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