Best Book Boyfriends of 2012

December 30, 2012 at 12:32 am (The Whim) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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I avidly read The Lit Bitch and a recent post included a top 12 book boyfriends list: http://thelitbitch.com/2012/12/29/top-12-in-2012-book-boyfriends/.

Cute concept, fun blog idea, but as I scrolled through my 74 books of the year, I realized that I didn’t read a lot of books in which there were boyfriends to pick from.

I started out with How to Buy a Love of Reading, and I think Hunter set me into a mood that I just couldn’t get past.  There are other boyfriends I read through the year, but I barely remember them.

I don’t recall the characters in The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.  Regardless of what I thought of the book when I read it, no one in it made a lasting impact on me.  I actually had to refer to my own review to remember Seldon’s name.

The Great Gatsby is a fantastic novel, one of my favorites, but Jay Gatsby is not someone I’d put on my list of literary love interests.

jace_wayland_by_sallysalander-d4wi4bgI did read The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series and there are plenty of boyfriends to be had in those books, and they are lovely, and romantic, and intense; but none of them lived up to Hunter.

I did read Inhale, the first of a series called Just Breathe, which is an urban fantasy erotica piece, but the characters there are what the genre calls for: super sexy, the end.  Don’t get me wrong, sexy is nice, I think my husband is one of the sexiest, but I need more out of a character I’d want to put on a boyfriend of the year list.

RoryRory Williams, for instance, the man who waited, the Roman centurion, one-half of a couple known as The Ponds on Doctor Who… he could go on a boyfriend of the year list.  He’s just heavenly, and wonderful.  But this is about books, not TV shows.

I read a lot of Agatha Christie this year, and she’s all mystery and not a whole lot of romance.  Although a love story emerges here and there, it’s rarely more than a motive or plot device, therefore how can anyone in her books make the list?

On the other hand, I read cozy mysteries too.  I like Cleo Coyle and her coffeehouse series.  Cozy mysteries almost always have a boyfriend, but with there always being a boyfriend, I don’t often get the chance to delight in any of them.  They are there to make the protagonist feel good or bad, have a romantic scene of some sort, and then on to the next guy.  In real life, I’m morally opposed to most of the relationships that pop up in cozy mysteries.  But, I figure it comes with the territory when reading about murderers and investigators.

Scrolling down my list of books read this year, I come to Karleen Koen’s Through a Glass Darkly.  Sorry girls, I can’t recommend Montgeoffrey to anyone.  He is the basis of all Babara’s pain… a ladies man, a cheater, and ultimately also gay.  How many strikes can you add to a relationship before I’m just really tired of the guy?  It makes the heroine incredibly interesting, but I can’t let Montgeoffrey anywhere near my book-boyfriend list.

So it comes down to the fellows in A.S. Byatt’s Possession, the cutie-patootie Sam in Michael Grant’s Gone, and Hunter of HTBALOR.

Byatt’s romances in Possession are powerful and intriguing, Sam Temple in Gone is a cute kid with the potential to be an incredible man when he’s all grown up, but I have to hand it to Hunter – he captured my heart.

Hunter is intelligent, sweet, broody, keeps a journal, and sadly is also an addict.  Reading the conclusions of my own blog post, I find myself in disbelief… what does this say about my taste in men that I want to pick the suicidal one as book-boyfriend of the year?  And that Marius of Les Miserables didn’t even make the short list of final contestants?

Who is on your list?

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The Still Great Gatsby

January 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Publisher: Collins Classics/ HarperPress

Genre: Fiction

Length: 140 pages

“I hate The Great Gatsby, it’s so boring,” my husband exclaimed when he saw me re-reading Fitzgerald’s novel.

“Boring!? How can you say that? Something happens in every sentence!”

Since I first read The Great Gatsby in my high school English class, I was enamored by Fitzgerald and the magical world of symbolism he weaves. I dreamed of writing something that had as much depth, as many layers. As a 16 year old, I was blinded by that symbolism, all I saw was the green light, the yellow car, the envy, the American Dream. I was caught up in the use of the names Daisy and Myrtle. I was dazzled by the colors and the literary devices.

As an adult with a husband, daughter, and home, for the first time I see the simplicity of the story. I see the story no one talks about, the one beyond the green light and the yellow car. This time I see the beauty of a narrator who is sucked into a world and is omniscient in that world, but is never quite a part of it – like William Miller in Almost Famous. This time I see the epic, but typical, sadness in a story about greed, love, and regret.

If you’re in your late twenties or early thirties and haven’t read The Great Gatsby since high school, I recommend that you do. It looks so different, but still great, from here.

*About this edition: The Collins Classics edition is a dandy little pocket paperback, and actually would serve well for students. There are definitions of words and phrases that are used differently than what is typical. I’d recommend it to teachers who require their kid’s to all have the same edition.

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