Booking Through Thursday: Different Kind of Romance

Ted asks:

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? Who and what about them did you love?

Well the short answer is, yes. Multiple times. Here is a glance at a few characters that really stand out to me in particular.

Captain George Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen

I think Captain Wentworth is impossible not to love. He is everything masculinity should be. Strong, but not rigid. Proud, but not to a fault. Also, he speaks to the heart of every single person who has ever lost a love over a misunderstanding, or circumstance, or happenstance. He is the promise of love conquering over all even when time and everything else imaginable has intervened in the worst way possible.

Edward Fairfax Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Rochester is all about charisma. He has one of the strongest charismas of any character that I have ever encountered, and charisma is inherently attractive to me. I’ve always thought of Rochester as Anne Shirley’s “someone who could be wicked but wouldn’t.” Of course, Rochester was a little wicked, but he changed his ways for Jane. He was tempted to go on in his wicked ways, but Jane wouldn’t allow it, and eventually was able to marry her rightfully.

Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I know, I know. A lot of people don’t care for Ron. A lot of people write him off as the jealous one of the HP trio who simply can’t grow up. This is not how I see Ron. I see Ron as someone who, despite having less natural ability or inclination towards greatness, wanted nothing more than to be great. As someone on my tumblr list pointed out, we see this in the very first book. In the Mirror of Erised, Ron sees himself as having made great accomplishments. His greatest desire was to be Extraordinary. And that’s really something we can all relate to, isn’t it? This isn’t even going into his unquestionable loyalty—maybe it was overridden by jealousy once in a while, but whenever it counted, Ron never hesitated.

Finn in the Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale

This one is a little more obscure, but one of the dearest characters to my heart. Finn is the epitome of the slow burn. His love for Enna is calm and quiet, but fierce and strong. Finn probably says less than 150 words in all four of the Books of Bayern, but his action and presence are tremendous in their quiet steadiness. He was also willing to change himself—make himself stronger and better for Enna. He’s like what Westley from The Princess Bride would have been, had he never become the Dread Pirate Roberts. (Speaking. Of. I love Westley. I guess for the same reasons.)

Booking Through Thursday: Only Five

Before we get started, two things:

1) Today is my first post at the Dojo! Go read about my love of the Pomodoro Technique!

2) This is my 100th post on this blog! Woohoo!

And now, back to today’s originally scheduled BTT question:

If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?’

I’m not going to mention my LDS quad in this, because that’s a given and the reasons therefore should also be fairly obvious, though if I really were given only five books, this would of course be one of them, as I try to read a little every day. On to the more objectionable stuff… I’m going to make two seperate lists here:

Cheater List

1) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Because I want brilliance, and I want a lot of it.

2) The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson – Because no other poet has satisfied me as much, as consistently.

3) The Complete Works of Jane Austin – (See reason for #1)

4) The Complete Works of Ray Bradbury – I’m not totally married to this, but I’ve really loved a lot of Bradbury shorts, and I think I’d need something short and diverse.

5) The Complete Harry Potter – Okay, I know this isn’t a volume yet… but you know it will be someday.

Non-Cheater List

1) Jane Eyre. I don’t know that I could ever get tired of this book. For some people it’s Pride & Prejudice, but for me it’s Jane Eyre.
2) Little Women. I start reading this almost every Christmas. I have to admit, I don’t usually read the whole thing through, but I’ve read it enough that it’s one of my oldest and sweetest friends. Even though a very big part of me still wants Jo to marry Laurie.
3) Anne of the Island. Why this one? Because this is the book where Anne rejects Gilbert and then realizes that she loves him. Ah, the tortuous angst. I love it. I am all over it.
4) Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. Again, it’s all about the long-withheld requitement of love in this one. Plus Enna is awesome. Which I like. I don’t think I’d get tired of it.
5) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenburg. This book has saved my sanity more than once. If I were say, on a desert island or something, I think I’d need literature like that. For those moments I’m not trying to feel all the fall-in-love pangs that I’m so addicted to.
If you’re stopping by for BTT, be sure to check out my Books are for Lovers post. Buy a book on Valentine’s to show your local bookstore some love!

Booking Through Thursday – Replay

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Have you ever finished a book and loved it so much you went right back and started re-reading it again?

I can’t say that I’ve ever done this. There certainly are a few times when I’ve wanted to, but I’ve always had so many books in my TBR pile that I can’t justify it to myself. Here are a few books that almost got me to do it, though.

Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater

Hoo-boy did I love this book. Lyrical, lovely, with faeries that I loved and that terrified me at the same time. I didn’t reread it because there was a companion-book/sequel, so I chose to start that instead. And I ended up loving the sequel more.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

My absolute favorite Austen book. I could probably read it end to end to end if I didn’t restrain myself. This last time I read it I was particularly inclined to start it over again, but I was moving and getting rid of books, so I passed it on to a friend. Of course now I miss it like mad.

The Life Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty is a master of the epistolary novel—and she’s a master at tricking you, too. Every single one of her books has had me shocked at the twists she employs at the end of her books, usually making you see a character in a totally different light than you had throughout the rest of the book, and Bindy is her best, I think. All her books are interconnected, too, which makes for a LOT of fun.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I really love this book. I don’t know what it is about it, exactly. It’s not that I over-sympathize with Raskalnikov—he’s a murderer with a Napoleon complex—but Dostoevsky so deftly navigates the depths of the human experience in this book, and every small character has such a beautiful part to play, that I really just love reading the novel. I’ve read it three times, and each time I’ve wanted to turn it over again and start from the beginning.

There’s also the obligatory nod to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, my absolute favorite novel, that one I just from beginning to end—yes, I even love childhood Jane and blind Rochester. But that I’ve talked about at length before, so I’ll just let it go at that.

So, that’s me. What about you?