Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Did you know the holiday we now associate with chocolate, greeting cards, and candy probably originated from the violent, raunchy feast of Lupercalia in Ancient Rome? The festival would last for two days, from February 13 to 15, and was filled with…less than romantic behavior, including a matchmaking lottery, the sacrifice of a goat and a dog, and…animal hides. That’s all I’m going to say. (It’s pretty dark.) The day may also get its name from Emperor Claudius II, who executed two men — both, incidentally, named Valentine — on different February 14ths in the 3rd century A.D. One of these Valentines was a Roman priest who encouraged young couples to marry. This, apparently, infuriated the Emperor, who believed soldiers should be loyal, first and foremost, to him. The Catholic Church later martyred both men and honored their memories with St. Valentine’s Day. Continue reading “Link of the Week | Paper Valentines”
Just a few quotes about love from contemporary authors for a late Valentine’s Day treat. All of these books also happened to have been turned into movies—apparently we can’t get enough of love in all media forms!
Whether you adore Valentine’s Day, or can’t stand to see another flying baby yielding arrows for the rest of your life, the pink-and-red-choco-holic holiday is upon us. As book lovers, what better way to spend the day than by reading other people’s romantic escapades. Though the task of choosing a book may be a little more difficult. There are so many that you can choose! This is not even including the wonderful array of novels from the romance genre itself which has grown to over $1.4 billion in revenue. Why do romance novels sell? Check out this podcast from The Take Away to get an interesting spin on the industry from Jesse Barron, assistant editor at Harpers magazine, and Angela Knight, the best-selling romance author.
If you want a great list of romance novels from another best-selling romance author, check it out here on Publisher’s Weekly. On the list, author Bella Andre includes titles like Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise, the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy by Nora Roberts, and The Duchess by Jude Deveraux. Andre comments about her love of romance in the article: “I have been a huge romance fan my entire life, reading a book a day when I can squeeze it into my busy writing schedule. There’s nothing I enjoy more than reading about two people falling in love and the best romances are the ones that make me laugh, cry and stop to tell my husband, ‘This book is so good!’ at least half a dozen times while I’m reading.”
What are your favorite lovey-dovey books? I’ll leave a few more here just in case some more inspiration is needed.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay Rubin
“Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.”
The Time Traveler’s Wifeby Audrey Niffenegger
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.”