Tag Archives: romance

Judgement Day at the Bookstore

I probably would not buy this book. It sounds unbearably sad.

 

Daily Prompt:  If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?

GAH!  It’s that stupid favourite word again!  By the way, I learned to spell it with a ‘u’ and I see no reason to stop doing so.  But I still hate it.  It is maybe my favourite word to hate.   Because picking favourites seems to be beyond my scope of abilities.

There is no single book I prefer above all others.  I would have a huge problem choosing a dozen books I love because how do you stop at some finite number?  I would keep adding to the pile until it fell over and killed me, putting both of us out of our misery.romance cover

Other than that nit-picking little point, I can see the beauty of this prompt.  Book cover art is no doubt a big hook in getting people to pick up a book and look at it more closely.   Sometimes the genre is easily identifiable by taking a quick glance at the cover.  For instance, if there’s a bare breasted woman with her head flung back and her eyes closed being ravished by an unbelievably handsome chisel featured body builder, you can be fairly certain it’s not a cook book or a travel guide.  Although if it’s in the self-help section, who knows.

I like bright colours and pretty pictures and great art work as much as the next guy, and recognizing an author’s name is always a big plus.  But mostly it’s the brilliance or the weirdness of a book’s title that gets me every time.  The Cheese Monkeys (Chip Kidd), Ella Minnow Pea (Mark Dunn), When God Was a Rabbit (Sarah Winman) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Mark Haddon) come to mind.

And did you know there’s a prize for thinking up weird book titles?  You can read about it here.  And then you just might find yourself wanting to do some further research on Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop among other things.

So I guess my advice to all you book writers out there is to think long and hard about your book title because even if your book is complete crap, a catchy and crazy title will be enough to get someone like me to buy it.  Although I might draw the line at Bombproof Your Horse (Rick Pelicano and Lauren Tjaden) simply because I don’t own a horse.

Otherwise, it sounds pretty good.

Teleported by Accident

The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman might be the strangest book I’ve ever read.  “LONGLISTED FOR THE 2012 MAN BOOKER PRIZE” is the phrase that impressed me I guess.  Truthfully, I don’t remember how it turned up on my kindle.  Or why.  Maybe it was one of those muddle-headed middle of the night minor mishaps, where I push some buttons on my e-reader with my eyes closed.

I read a few pages and thought, oh my God, what have I gotten myself into now?  Several chapters in I lost count of the times I’d  back-tracked and re-read passages and even whole pages trying to get it all to make a bit of sense.  Eventually I had one of those ah-hah moments.  Once I realized it’s simply an insane story that’s all over the place, that’s when I started to love it.

This partial quote from the Amazon  site sums it up well:

…..a historical novel that doesn’t know what year it is; a noir novel that turns
all the lights on; a romance novel that arrives drunk to dinner; a science
fiction novel that can’t remember what ‘isotope’ means; a stunningly inventive,
exceptionally funny, dangerously unsteady and (largely) coherent novel about
sex, violence, space, time, and how the best way to deal with history is to
ignore it.

If you can wrap your brain around thousands of brilliantly crazy metaphors and similes and want to read a book with four different endings, this could be just what you’ve been waiting for.  There are some difficult  parts and bits of bizarre cleverness that I’m sure went right over my head, but there are also hilarious scenes that had me laughing out loud.  For me it was a sort of roller-coaster read – I had to make myself sit back and enjoy the ride – so that when it was over, I found I couldn’t remember a whole lot about it except for the fun.

H is for Horoscope Haiku

Horoscope readings can be enigmatic, bewildering and about as clear as mud.  I know they’re generously peppered with words like possibly, likely, might and may, so that no matter how insane the prediction sounds as a whole, there’s always some little obscure bit of it that is close enough to the truth to make you wonder.  Or at the very least laugh and roll your eyes.

Whiteboard: A l33t haiku and somthing else.
Whiteboard: A l33t haiku and somthing else. (Photo credit: blue_j)

Haiku is a little like that too.  Although originally it wasn’t supposed to be funny. The poems were songs, prayers, and incantations to the gods, meant to celebrate an awareness of the moment, holding all things in reverence.  A haiku is a sort of meditation, conveying an image or a feeling.  Of course if you’re not Japanese you’ll have a harder time getting it right.  But you can still be happy with your “English Haiku” efforts simply by saying what you think and adhering to the 5-7-5 syllable pattern.   Never mind all that stuff about season words, two-part juxtapositional structure, and objective sensory imagery.  Really.  I did some research and ended up with a headache.

But not a severe enough one to stop me from mixing horoscope with haiku and coming up with some incredible poetry.  That’s what I’m calling it.  You may want to describe it some other way.

Cranky love partner,

it’s time to pick a path and

try to heal the rift.

***

When you are patient

on the upside or the down,

gaps become smaller.

***

Make him a sandwich.

Love will bloom if you never

let him get hungry.

***

Don’t just go along

ignoring your best talents.

Get off your fat ass.

***

Try to get along,

accept all the differences,

nobody’s perfect.

***

A blast of romance

will broaden your horizons

with far-reaching change.

***

Happiness backdrop

if you travel far away,

persevere my dear.

***

My horoscope didn’t use the exact words get off your fat ass.  I improvised on that phrase and a few others.  Think haiku horoscope will catch on?  Personally I’m kind of hoping this is a one time thing and we never see it again.

What’s to Read?

If you are what you read, I’m probably in big trouble.  This little list should speak for itself.  Although what exactly it’s saying is beyond me.

             

                        

                     

All of these books could be called romantic medical fantasy murder mysteries.  Or romantic suspense action thriller fantasies. Or some variation of some or all of those things.  With a bit of paranormal psychic stuff thrown in here and there to keep you on your toes.  As if real life isn’t strange enough.

I don’t pretend to do book reviews anymore, in case you’re wondering.  I just like people to see how I spend my leisure time and hope it helps to explain my mental state and lack of focus.  I’m not crazy, I just read too much.

Romance

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but looking outward in the same direction. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

How do I define romance? Romance is a novel and a movie genre. They tell stories about people and events that make us believe we would like to have similar things happen to us in real life. But they probably won’t. These are stories of heart racing excitement and deep emotional desires and mystery and idealistic love affairs. The tales are intense and adventurous and crazy and usually end blissfully and happily with two perfect soul mates together forever at last. (Insert deep wistful sigh here.)

The idea of romance either genuinely appeals to people because they believe it can happen to them, or it makes people uncomfortable and pessimistic and skeptical because they are sure that only air heads take the notion seriously.

I married a man who really does not have much of a sense of romance. He doesn’t buy me roses or ride around on a white steed saving me from lonely towers, or sweep me off my feet with grand gestures and candle lit dinners and weekends in Paris. He’s never thrown pebbles at my window and proclaimed his undying love for me on bended knee for all the world to hear and see. I’m pretty sure he knows something like that would probably crack me up.

What we do have is an intimacy based on communication, deep friendship, respect for each other, sharing, and a more subdued kind of love that is long-lasting. Romance is a good thing at the beginning of a relationship, but in the long haul if you keep it up it’s going to wear you right out.

So yes, I’m one of those air heads that likes the romantic stories, the boy meets girl, soul mates bond forever fairy tales. The happy endings are so satisfying and lovely when all the characters finally get things sorted out and accept their fates of being hopelessly devoted to each other for life.

If you over-estimate the importance of romance in a relationship you will be disillusioned eventually. You don’t have to give up on it entirely, but it is best to be realistic and realize it takes some effort and maturity to make things work. Still, a lot of candle-lit dinners can’t hurt.

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” (Bruce Lee)

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Romantic Things

Ronny Cammareri: I love you.

Loretta Castorini: [slaps him twice] Snap out of it!

(Moonstruck)

I dated some romantic men, guys who put a lot of thought and effort into sweeping me off my feet, but I sure as hell didn’t marry one of them.

The flowers and gifts, soppy poetry and grand gestures were lost on me. I always thought there must be some ulterior motive lurking under all that fuss and bother and for the most part I didn’t really trust any of it.

That kind of attention is nice, but it also makes me nervous. What made you do this? What do you want in return? If you did something or gave me something that I don’t really like or appreciate, how hard do you want me to pretend that it’s lovely?

Give me sweet honesty instead and someone who knows how to do all the little things that add up to prove his commitment. A guy who wouldn’t recognize a romantic act if it bit him in the ass. There are thousands of ways to tell me I am captivating and that you absolutely adore me.

Take out the garbage. Cook something. Change the oil in my car. Pick up Chinese food. Say thank you. Put up the Christmas lights all by yourself. Empty the dishwasher. Work in the yard. Hand over the damn remote once in a while.

Share your day with me. And when I share mine with you, please know that I don’t expect you to solve my problems for me; all you have to do is sit there and listen. And not nod off.

Be sympathetic when I’m sad. Laugh with me when things are funny. Ask me what I think and consider my advice. Share stuff with me. Let me help.

I can’t remember the last time W. actually said the words “I love you”. But there’s another three little words he says to me all the time with a charming and amorous smile.

“Whatever you want.”

Equally beautiful, straight from the heart, and it means the exact same thing.

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