5 Best Books on a given topic is the weekly meme hosted by Cassandra at her blog, INDIE READER HOUSTON. Each week, a different topic.This week it's Love that gets the nod.
To narrow the field down to 5 books on any given topic is difficult, to say the least. To narrow it down with Love as the topic is almost impossible. I'm willing to give it a try but choosing only from books I've actually read. And as usual, my lists are always of the moment, as likely to change as not.
1) ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare
It's a play, but I think it qualifies anyway.Thwarted love, idealized love, romantic love - Shakespeare gives us three in one. Of course, the ending is silly - but it's the sort of thing that makes for enduring myth. Lovers dying an overwrought death has been used over and over again since time began. Dying for love is the eternal grand gesture. But maybe not so much when you're fifteen or so. But still Shakespeare wrote some of the most beautiful words of love ever created.
2) PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
Not a book about grand romantic love, but a book about love just the same. The practicalities of love have never been written about more charmingly or more astutely. For what is Miss Elizabeth Bennett but a very practical young lady?
3) BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
This time it's the love for a house - a remarkable palatial estate in the English countryside that is loved in varying degrees by the characters in this book set in the 1930's and early 40's. The scene in which Charles Ryder, now a soldier weary of life, first sees the house again after several years, is thrilling. Just the view of the house, the memories that instantly spring to mind, bring him back to life in as rich a piece of writing as you'll ever read.
4) THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The folly of love. The love of a man for a woman who exists only as an idealized image. The Daisy Buchanan that Gatsby loves is unattainable, a chimera. In reality she is a woman unworthy of the love that Gatsby has attached to her - incapable of returning or even feeling the kind of love that inspires him. But he is too blinded to see.
5) ONE GOOD DOG by Susan Wilson
The story of a man who needed a second chance and the dog who gave it to him. The story of a dog who needed a second chance and the man who gave it to him. Well, you know there had to be a book about a dog in here. Who knows more about love than a dog?