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Classic Romance?

I'll tell you now: I am not a “classics” fan, and I am not a romance fan. All those books we were supposed to read in school? I hated them. I even skipped or didn't finish several, and I was not the type of student who skipped assignments. I tried revisiting a few when I was older, hoping maybe I would 'get' them better, but...nope. Not my bag. I am a happy genre gal, fully okay with reveling in spec fic. Science fiction, fantasy, AU, dystopian – those are my worlds. Now, I like me some erotica, especially of the BDSM variety, but the romance formulas tend to bug me. I like it spicy, and I like the FMC to be strong and fully empowered.

So I've been leery about the 'classic romance' item on the 50 Book Challenge. I've recently started Chivalry, by James Branch Cabell, but I don't think that counts. As for the ones Google lists, I've snagged a few free ebooks. Which do you think I might actually enjoy? I might be able to find others through the library ebook loan, if you think there's one that's right up my alley. I'm purposefully avoiding Princess Bride, even though I've never read the book, but I want something 100% new for me.


Pride & Prejudice

Wuthering Heights

Persuasion

Little Women

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
calico_pye
Jun. 30th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
As part of my degree, I have to read the classics too - I have to get through several Virginia Woolf's, James Joyce and other 'meaty' books.

Good luck with yours :-)
ahavah
Jun. 30th, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with them.
kiwiria
Jun. 30th, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC)
Stay far away from Wuthering Heights unless you enjoy reading about incredibly emo and dysfunctional people :-P

Other recommendations though... I rather like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and together with Elizabeth Bennet of P&P, they're two of the more enpowered FMC in classic literature.

Love "The Rosary" by Florence Barclay (free on gutenberg), and like that the FMC is a strong, single older woman.

Would "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery count as a classic? Lots of romance in the third book - "Anne of the Island", which also just happens to be my favourite :)

You could always go with "These Happy Golden Years" by Laura Ingalls Wilder - my favourite of the Little House books, and a quick read.

And finally, one of my all-time favourite books, "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery offers a very different romance, as the FMC proposes to the man. Strong and empowered FMC? Oh yeah! At least after the first few chapters.
ahavah
Jun. 30th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for all the recs! I tend to dislike emo & overly dysfunctional people in my fiction (I go there to escape that!), so I appreciate the heads up. lol Pride & Prejudice is mildly in the lead because I do one day plan to read Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies or whatever that is.

I've never read the last few Laura Ingalls Wilder books! We looked for them when we read the whole series together, and our library system didn't have them. That was back in NC. I wonder if I could find them now. I almost feel like I'd have to start rereading the series again from the beginning, it's been so long.
kiwiria
Jul. 1st, 2015 06:28 am (UTC)
I have all the ones I mentioned as ebooks, and could happily email you some of them, if you're interested?
ahavah
Jul. 1st, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
I'll take any you send my way! I think I'll do P&P for the romance, but I have loads of books to try to read this year (I'm so behind!), so I'll take all of them I can get. Thank you! I've been collecting ebooks since I got my tablet back, but I don't know how to share them. :/ I'm still new to them!
kiwiria
Jul. 2nd, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
Not all ebooks can be shared - it depends on where you get them from and which tablet you have. Most of these are from Project Gutenberg, so they're in the public domain anyway, and easily shared :)

Which format would you prefer? I can do PDF, epub (nook, iBooks) or Mobi (kindle)
ahavah
Jul. 2nd, 2015 08:25 pm (UTC)
Kindle's probably best. Thanks so much! I get most of mine from Amazon, so I use the kindle app to read.
kiwiria
Jul. 3rd, 2015 09:25 am (UTC)
Email sent :)
theafaye
Jun. 30th, 2015 07:20 pm (UTC)
Personally, I adore Wuthering Heights and detest Jane Eyre, so it's horses for courses.

If you're going the Jane Austen route, I actually think that Sense and Sensibility is a better bet. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is another good one (another Bronte sister wrote that one).

Little Women is fab, but I don't know that I'd count it as a romance myself. It's a very tenuous connection IMVHO. On the other hand, if it counts, Dodie Smith "I Capture the Castle" is one of the most beautifully written books of all time. It's a young girl coming of age story and about her falling in love for the first time, but it's chock full of quirky characters, like a writer father, suffering from writer's block, married to a former model who loves to run around naked in the ruins of the castle where they live. I've never read another book like it and it's wonderful.

"Tuck Everlasting" is also another possibility. First love with a twist of immortality.
ahavah
Jun. 30th, 2015 09:30 pm (UTC)
"I Capture the Castle" sounds a lot like my house! I'll have to see if I can get that through the library. Sounds interesting. Thanks!

Eden really likes Little Women, and she wants me to read it at some point, but if it's not a romance, I don't know. I read the first couple chapters of her book and wondered if it had been dumbed down for kids. I wasn't particularly interested.
theafaye
Jul. 1st, 2015 11:50 am (UTC)
It's a kid's book, so it wouldn't have been dumbed down. I love it, but it's more of a historical book than a romance, although there are relationships in it. I mean, if Little Women is a romance, then so's What Katy Did...
ahavah
Jul. 1st, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
Okay, I didn't realize it was a kid's book to start with. I may finish it at some point since I already started it, but not as my romance book.
felisdemens
Jun. 30th, 2015 08:17 pm (UTC)
I love Pride and Prejudice. Wuthering Heights gives me hate hives. :)
ahavah
Jun. 30th, 2015 09:32 pm (UTC)
Lots of folks seconding (and fifthing) P&P. I may go with that one. I'm sure most of the others fall into similar categories, like 'book you should have read in school but didn't'. I like some of the new recs I'm hearing about, too.

Thanks!
rosegardenfae
Jul. 2nd, 2015 01:35 am (UTC)
I love "Wuthering Heights" or probably should say loved, as it's been years since I read it. I am not overly fond of classics and will admit to never being able to get through any of the Jane Austin books.
ahavah
Jul. 2nd, 2015 02:25 am (UTC)
People seem to either love or hate that one. I feel like I need to read most of these just because everyone has, not necessarily because I'll like them. lol
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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