Love, Books, and Superlatives!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

(And for all of you 30 Rock fans, happy Anna Howard Shaw Day!)

Since Justin is in the lovely land of Afghanistan this fine V-Day, I sent him the following e-card to show him just how much I love him:

Ah, yes, my love runs deep! I'm such a nice wife, aren't I? That's simply expected out of my vows---if or when you become a zombie, please devour your spouse last. 

Anyway, in honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd offer some love-related superlatives to books that I've read and adored. Without further adieu...

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Ah, this book! I adore this book! It has everything a girl like me could want: a year in Paris, a shop full of macarons, and a very handsome English-accented boy with a French name. I sighed and giggled and blushed through this novel, and just looking at the cover makes me smile. Simply swoon-worthy! 

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

There are a lot of steamy kisses in books. There are a bunch of sweet kisses too. It's hard, however, to find a golden combination of the two: steamy and sweet and well-written to boot. But Jessica, my friend and fellow cupcake devourer, has accomplished such the thing in Born Wicked! That first kiss between Cate and Finn? Pure magic! And even better: feathers. I hope I'm not giving too much away with that one word---it is in the book trailer, after all!---but yeah. Feathers. Awesomeness.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Look, I love The Great Gatsby. It's one of my favorite books---and it happens to be set in the 1920s, my favorite historical era---and I really think it could be The Great American Novel, if such a thing exists. But. I. Hate. Daisy. Yeah, yeah, she's a product of her culture and blue-blooded upbringing but I still want to strangle her. And I might as well strangle Jay Gatsby too for falling for her in the first place! 

I mean, why, dude? Daisy is married for one thing---to a complete douche-bag, I might add---and she's mega superficial for another. (The girl cries over dress shirts, for heaven's sake!) Come on, Gatsby. You're rich now. Find someone who appreciates you! 

Possession by A.S. Byatt

*Sigh* This is one of the best books I've read, which is ironic because I almost didn't finish it. 

See, back in 2003, I was assigned to read Possession for my Contemporary British Literature class and I just couldn't get into it. I was bored, frankly. But I had to read the book for class---and my friend Alexis told me that the pace picked up around page 100---so I kept on trucking...and I fell hard for this novel. 

At the heart of the book, there lies not one but two romances. The first romance is between two Victorian poets, who fall in love through poems and stolen kisses and who end up having a passionate-yet-clandestine love affair. The second romance is between two modern-day scholars, who unravel the secrets of the aforementioned Victorian lovers through old letters and long-lost diaries. It's simply a stunning and heartbreaking and heart-singing read. Even today, eight years after my class, I still marvel at the plot detail that A.S. Byatt conceived and delivered.  

Happy Valentine's Day! What are your favorite couples and romances in literature? And what are your plans for tonight? As for me, I'm going shopping to buy this Valentine-appropriate sweater, sipping hot cocoa, and watching a rom com. How 'bout you?