My All-Time Favourite Romances

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Well, now that Valentine’s Day is over, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about my absolute favourite romances. Of course, I love all didn’t genres, so they’ll be a sprinkling of plenty of different types of books- enjoy!

wuthering heights book

Wuthering Heights- starting off with one that people tend to love out hate, I completely understand that this is a dysfunctional romance between terrible people… But I don’t care. Not even a little. I simply adore how utterly atmospheric and emotional this book is!

jane eyre

Jane Eyre– I can’t mention one Bronte sister and not another- especially when I’d be forcing myself to choose between two masterpieces. Again, this isn’t necessarily the healthiest  relationship- though it’s better than Cathy/Heathcliff (which isn’t saying much)- but it still moves me, no matter how many times I read it or how many adaptations I’ve seen.

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– now if those first two were a little out-there, this will be more your cup of tea. The ultimate friends-to-lovers story, I don’t know anyone in literature more right for each other than Mr Knightley and Emma!

persuasion

Persuasion– ah I couldn’t make this list with just one Austen! And what better choice than beautiful story of love standing the test of time. Described as Austen’s answer to the question “but will they still love each other when the story’s done?” this resonates with the most romantic part of my heart that wants to believe love is eternal.

memoirs of a geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha– another story of constancy, this novel touched me with its poignant promise that love will find a way in the end.

a thousand splendid suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns– I couldn’t make a list like this without thinking the moving and redemptive love story wrapped up in these pages. Hosseini has a magical way with words that will transport you across time, space and emotion.

tess of the d'urbervilles

Tess of the D’Urbervilles– be warned: this one is a heartbreaker. Doomed from the outset, Hardy’ s evocative writing takes you on a journey across the near-mythical land of Wessex and to all the places of heartbreak along the way.

noughts-and-crosses

Noughts and Crosses– a modern star-crossed lover story, with a twist. This powerful, heart-wrenching story will always be favourite. That ending gets me every time.

Trudi_Canavan_The_High_Lord_cover

The High Lord– there aren’t many high fantasy books for me where the romance is the star of the show. This is my exception to that rule. The reason I ended falling for this series was the beautiful (and devastating) romance at its heart.

daughter of smoke and bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone– more of a romantic fantasy, Taylor is the expert at getting you invested in characters and finding the beauty in there love. Karou and Akiva’ spirited connection transcends anything of this world… And beyond.

strange the dreamer

Strange the Dreamer– I said Taylor was the expert, didn’t I? So there’s no need to be surprised that two of her series ended up on this list! If I had thought there was no way she could top the romance in her last series, Lazlo and Sarai proved me wrong.

midsummer night's dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream– I had to include Shakespeare, doesn’t I? I mean, he was only the finest writer in the English language 😉 Naturally his contributions to romance stand the test of time- none more so than this romantic comedy, filled with mistaken identity, misunderstandings and more than a few moving speeches.

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– it’s no secret that this is one of my favourite contemporaries- and that’s cos of the love story!! I’m a massive sucker for discovering love that was waiting in the wings all along and this definitely delivered the *feels* in that department. It is just. so. cute.

carry on

Carry On– what is there to say this book that I haven’t already? You guys know I adore Baz and Simon; you know I think it’s the perfect Harry Potter parody. All that’s left to be said about it is there’s soon to be a sequel and I AM LIVING FOR IT.

That was a fun one to do! Naturally my question today is, what are your favourite romances? Let me know the comments!

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My Pratchett Journey- So Far… A Love Story

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I’m absolutely giddy for today’s post! Because today, on the day of love, I’m going to tell you the story of how I fell head over heels with Pratchett books. Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the giant orange monkey you see now. In fact, once upon a time when I was a wee uni student, two of my closest friends (hi if you’re reading!) were astounded to find that I was a barely familiar with the Discworld. Sure, I’d heard of Pratchett (who hasn’t?)- I even had vague but pleasant memories of The Wee Free Men from when I was younger- yet I’d never launched fully immersed myself in the wackiness of Pratchett’s universe. That, of course, was a mistake 😉

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it”

mort nice editionBecause I knew, the second I started reading Mort that I was reading something special. And, incidentally, so did the rest of my train carriage, where I sat for four hours, smothering laughter through my hand. I instantly fell in love with the humour. I mean, even years on, I still find myself randomly cracking up over the Great A’Tuin- a giant turtle hurtling through space with four elephants resting on its back which support the Discworld… Seriously, I just finished that sentence and I’m laughing again!  Really the jokes and wit *never* gets old.

“Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”

“Apes had it worked out. No ape would philosophize, “The mountain is, and is not.” They would think, “The banana is. I will eat the banana. There is no banana. I want another banana.”

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods. They have not forgotten this”

hogfatherSoon I’d leapt into the rest of the series- in fact the Death series ran away with me- I couldn’t stop with that one. I absolutely loved the quirks and eccentricities of the entire world- not least of the characters! I still chuckle over the fact that Death enjoys a good curry- that is so quintessentially English and I love it!! (chicken tikka masala is the national dish after all). Plus, oh my goodness, the stories are so unconventional! If you’re looking for a different Christmas story, you won’t get anything better than the Hogfather.

“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom”

witches abroadAnd actually that leads me onto the pure genius of the ideas. Not only is Hogfather a lovingly satirical take on the way we all act around Christmas, but it also gets right into the heart of the love of stories. Actually, this is a running theme with Pratchett- and is especially noticeable in the witch’s plots, such as the play with fairy tales in Witches Abroad and the *double double toil and trouble* Shakespearean mischief of Lords and Ladies. It’s this complexity and depth which makes the series *so awesome*.

“HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.”

going postalAs you know, I absolutely *love* satire, and this is such witty and intelligent fare. And on such varied topics as well! Sometimes it’s simply about some good fantasy tropes like dragons in Guards, Guards. Sometimes it’s on a much larger scale, like questions around war, in Jingo. And sometimes books like Going Postal are just about that weird British obsession with the post office dammit- incidentally this is one of my favourites and the only one I’ve reviewed.

“What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.” 

guards-guardsAnd yet there’s more to it than all that. Over the years, I’ve fallen in love time and again with so many bonkers, wacky and fun characters from the series! If they were simply flat archetypes for satirical fodder, they wouldn’t be half as endearing as they are. But no! They are so much deeper than that. Death, the anthropomorphic personification of death, doesn’t just exist as a vehicle for the plot- NO!– he actually comes to learn about and sympathise with humanity. Vimes, the slightly world weary copper, who manages to upstage everyone with his unbending sense of right and wrong. Granny “I can’t be having with that kind of thing” Weatherwax, who takes common sense to a whole new level. Vetinari is the kind of despotic politician I can admire (thank you Sir P for giving me the opportunity to utter such odd sentences). Then there’s other favourites like the Death of Rats, Susan and Moist. And lastly, but certainly not least…

“Ook.”

unseen academicalsThe Librarian- who inspired me to create this blog! For those of you who don’t know, the Librarian is one of my favourite Discworld characters. My monkey owes its existence to the great big monkey in the sky… or something (*ahem* that sounded more poetic in my head…) Say hello to my little friend!

“If you try to to take my bananas from me, I will reclaim them from your cold dead hands.”

shepherd's crownAnd so we’re coming to the end of my journey so far… And the fact that I can say “so far” is something else that I’m happy about. Because, as I mentioned a couple of weeks back, I’m not done yet- and that only makes me more excited!! I have heard so many wonderful things about books I haven’t got to- not least the Shepherd’s Crown– and I’ve got to say I can’t wait!

So have you read Pratchett? Are you inspired to pick any up now? Let me know in the comments!