Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Little Romance...

I picked up a shopping cart full of classic books last summer at Half Price Books. Or was it last spring? It's all a gigantic reading blur. I hope too many books doesn't spoil the broth. Or something like that. And yet, even after my big book stew, I feel like I've only turned the first page. It will take a lifetime. I started with To Kill a Mockingbird. It sucked. I'm kidding! At one point, I was reading around four books at once. Gone with the Wind, Anne of Green Gables, Bleakhouse and Midnight Bayou. Wait a minute. Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts? That's not exactly a classic. But, I keep picking up books at the little lending libraries as well. And besides, I'm an old romantic at heart.

That's why I have so much catching up to do. I blame my Mom. Back in the day, my Mom hated all the trash on T.V.  A.K.A. sexual situations. Basically, all the good stuff. The stuff I was dying to see. But she had a secret. At heart, she loved a good bodice ripper. Suddenly, all those sexual situations were O.K., if they were packaged right. She got me hooked on Kathleen E. Woodiwiss as a teenager. And maybe some hot blooded books by Barbara Cartland as well. Basically, if the cover had a dashing duke holding a poor, raven haired, busty servant girl in an ardent embrace, then we read it. Later on, when I was in my 20's and working as a flight attendant, I started reading contemporary romance. If I was on a layover, I was reading Danielle Steele. That's kind of embarrassing to admit now. Boy, if you've read one, you've read them all. I loved LaVyrle Spencer back then too. I think I'd still love LaVyrle Spencer.

If only my Mom would have hooked me on Jane Austin or Charlotte Bronte back in the day. It took Masterpiece theater to introduce me to that future obsession. For awhile, I think my husband thought I had been reincarnated from a period woman wearing an ungodly tight, cleavage bursting, flowing satin gown. I can only hope I had a lady's maid to help me with my coiffure. She could powder my cleavage. If I had any. I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation, so let's just say my husband felt that at the very least, I'd happily live in that world if I could. In reality, like I said, I have no cleavage and I can't stand anything tight. I remember him asking me curiously what I liked so much about those movies and books. Until Downton Abby came along. Now, we watch that classically inspired soap opera together. How romantic! 

When my cousin Jane sold her house, she had an estate sale. After all was said and done, there were a ton of books left. I got to go and take my pick. And wouldn't you know it, she had a trilogy of LaVyrle Spencer. All in one big book. I've read Separate Beds and Hummingbird. But The Hellion, that will be one of the books on my reading list this Valentine's Day.

My mother would approve.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Pamela Combs said...

Love this commentary! My mom had me reading gothic mysteries and a few gothic romances. I am now a mystery lover. I read a lot of the classics in high school and a few I have reread. In my twenties, my sister got me hooked on Anne of Green Gables and I read the whole series a couple of times. Oh, and of course, I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books as a child. I always wanted to be Laura until I had to use an outhouse for real. That changed my mind about living Laura's life.

DJan said...

I'm probably not going to run out and get any books by LaVyrle Spencer. But I'm glad they got you through, Sharon. Happy Valentine's Day! :-)

Linda Hensley said...

I moved all my keepers into one location, and now I'm trying to read the leftovers one at a time instead of four at a time. Glad I'm not the only one who finds that difficult :)

Marie C said...

I decided to try to catch up with your Crows posts and stared with this one. Oh my! :-) First I am SOOOO disappointed you didn't love To Kill a Mockingbird! Secondly, I too went the romance novel route for a while. Kathleen Woodiwiss was a favorite. I had a friend who was a romance novelist...actually two friends. Wendy ran our writer's group and she not only wrote romance (as Wendy Garrett) she also wrote detective genre and vampire genre as Wendy Haley. She actually wanted to write mainstream fiction but once she was successful with the other genres, she couldn't stop. Her publisher expected her to crank them out. If you never read any of her books, check her out. The other writer was Christina Cordaire who wrote Jane Austen period romances. Wendy is no longer with us...my memories of her is the focus of a post I plan to do at some point for the Book Club blog, and if you want to repost it here, I'd be honored. But I've been overwhelmed of late with the upcoming move....don't know when I'll sit down to do it. This was a good post!