Published: February 01. 2013 2:00AM
Written by: Barbara Robertson
“I’ve been in love three hundred times in my life, and all but five were with books.” — Lee Glickstein
It’s February, and we see hearts, cupids, and roses suddenly abound. Lovers of books, of course, can always be found. In keeping with the theme of love, each of the three books I’ve profiled this month demonstrate and celebrate love.
One is a modern tale of “Romeo and Juliet.” Another is written by one of the very first authors to introduce love into a novel. The third is a compelling story of love for a people and promises to keep. Anyone who loves books knows that the best stories begin in words and end in our hearts and imaginations.
“Juliet” — By Anne Fortier
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet are arguably the two most famous literary star-crossed lovers. “Juliet” is set in modern times, but takes the reader back to 14th century Siena, Italy, where the author contends the real-life inspirations for the characters once lived. The book is filled with legacy, love and intrigue. There is romance, but it is laced with history and substance.
“Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time” — By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
In 1993, Mortenson attempted to climb K2, the second highest mountain in the world located in Pakistan. He failed. Near death, he was taken in by local mountain villagers and nursed back to health. Mortenson swore that he would return and build them a school. His arduous journey to fulfill his promise is truly inspiring. Sometimes failure can breed success. One man’s passion and love can make a real difference in the world. This book will win your heart.
Sense and Sensibility — By Jane Austen
Most of us have read “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.” “Sense and Sensibility,” Austen’s first published novel, stands out for many reasons. It was the first novel of its kind. The book is about two sisters who are completely opposite in every way except they both have been jilted by the young men they intended to marry. Austen’s astute perception of people and satirical wit give true insight into 18th century English society. Her descriptions and story lines transcend time.
Jane Austen: Written “By a Lady”
Many historians proclaim Jane Austen the most renowned romance novelist of all time. It is ironic that this great commenter on love and relationships never married.
Nevertheless, Austen possessed incredible insight into human nature. Her novels were revolutionary for her time. Never before were common-day thoughts and events deemed worthy to write about. While Austen lived to see four of her books published, she was only given credit upon her death when the last two were released.
The title page of the epic “Pride and Prejudice” stated it was written “By a Lady.” Many of us first read this book while in high school — not because we wanted to, but because it was required. Pick it up again. It gets better with each read.
You probably remember the first line: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Austen herself and all of her characters refused to marry simply for monetary gain or improved social standing.
She believed in love.