Tag: romance

Top Ten Books For A Valentine’s Day Reading Binge

Genres: Adult, Young Adult

TopTenTuesday5 Border

Need a new book to fall in love with in preparation for Valentine’s Day? Or do you need a good Valentine’s Day read? Whether you are reading alone or reading with a friend, I think you’ll find something to fall in love with on this Top Ten List! (it’s a Freebie this week!)


Obviously anytime is a good time to fall in love with a good story, but this week, in anticipation of the upcoming holiday—Valentine’s Day—(I started making my cards today!) I decided to share ten books that celebrate love in some form, and that I think are especially perfect to fall in love with.

I have a mixture of new and old books—some are for adult readers and some are for younger readers. There’s a mixture of genres and even a book of poetry—celebrating the love of the beauty of the natural world.

As usual, this weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Be sure to link up each week so we can visit your Top Ten.


toptenRow 1A

The Blythes are Quoted by L.M. Montgomery

This is one of the newest published collections of stories by L.M. Montgomery, and it’s fabulous because between stories, taking place in that wonderful town of Avonlea, are poems by Anne and dialogue between Anne and Gilbert and their family. If you’re a die-hard Anne fan, this is a must-buy for your collection.

Taken from the GoodReads description: “Intended by L.M. Montgomery to be the ninth volume in her bestselling series featuring her beloved heroine Anne — and delivered to her publisher on the very day she died — it has never been published in its entirety.”

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and WWII is one of my favorite periods to read about. So you can expect that I loved this book filled with fabulous locations like Paris and Budapest, romance, history, and intrigue. And yes, there are some tragic parts, but it’s worth it.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

All lovers of the written word, take note of this title and read it! If you love reading, writing, and a good story, Dodie Smith’s classic is a fantastic choice for Valentine’s Day. There’s romance, love between sisters, family, and to top it all off, a castle! This one takes place in England, too.

The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis

This is a newer adult read that is technically historical fiction, but spans a large space of time, so it’s contemporary too. This is an epic story—it celebrates friendships, romantic love, and even spiritual love. It’s an ideal choice as a book to get lost in just in time for V-Day.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

This book brings in the time-slip device so you have a contemporary book that shifts into historical fiction. There’s romance, mystery, and I love Kearsley’s prose—it’s fantastic! A thrilling read that you can pick up, and slip into a world you don’t want to leave.

toptenRow 1b

Possession by A.S. Byatt

If you haven’t read Possession yet, forget all the other books on this list, and grab it! It’s a literary mystery with a bit of romance, adventure, and intrigue. It’s brilliant. And after you read the book, you can watch the film, so it’s a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

The Emperor of Paris by A.S. Richardson

If you’re in Paris for Valentine’s Day, then you have to pick this one to read. I was lucky to be in Paris part of the time I was reading this about a year ago, and it’s a charming little book. It may be a different kind of story than what you’re used to, but it’s lovely. Especially if you want a story set in Paris—it’s historical fiction, and you’ll want to be eating a baguette or a croissant while you’re reading.

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

Wow—I loved this story. I was avidly awaiting its release and when it came out, I snatched it up because I was intrigued by the idea that these two people kept finding each other in different lives. Definitely a perfect Valentine’s Day read.

The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins

This is another story in the vein of My Name is Memory—obviously this is a 19th century work by one of my favorite British authors—Wilkie Collins. He wrote The Woman in White and The Moonstone—two other excellent reading choices. This one has a bit of the supernatural, a lot of romance, and some twists and turns!

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

If you haven’t read any of Mary Oliver’s poetry, you’re in for a treat. This collection celebrates the love of the beauty of the natural world, and it’s gorgeous. A wonderful read aloud, and something you can stash in your bag for a quiet reading moment in the midst of your day.

A little segment from Oliver’s collection:

“The resurrection of the morning.
The mystery of the night.
The hummingbird’s wings.
The excitement of thunder.
The rainbow in the waterfall.
Wild mustard, that rough blaze of the fields.”

Tell me, have you read any of these?

Which books would you recommend in anticipation of Valentine’s Day?

This list is in anticipation of a special holiday feature coming up on my blog in early February—Falling in Love with Books. Stay tunes for some fabulous guest posts from other bloggers, sharing some of the books they’ve fallen head over heels for!


What Katie Read

Review: The Tragedy Paper (2013) by Elizabeth Laban

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban (2013)

Suggested age range: 13 and up

(Borzoi, 312 pages)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Realism, School Story

Source: Library


“I had no clue at that moment, of course, what I had set in motion.”

The Book: Tim Macbeth transfers to Irving High School as a seventeen year old senior, and he is different than the other students. He is an albino. Before he arrives at school, he meets Vanessa, who happens to be dating one of the most popular boys at school, Patrick. Vanessa and Tim hit it off, however, and they maintain a significant connection even in the midst of their attempting to keep their relationship hidden from general knowledge. Tim is frequently teased by Patrick, Vanessa’s chauvinistic boyfriend, who recruits Tim to help him with the senior’s “secret outing.”

The story alternates between Tim’s viewpoint and that of Duncan’s, a senior who arrives at the school the year after Tim. Duncan listens to CDs made by Tim about what happened the previous year. The reader knows Duncan was involved somehow, but we aren’t sure exactly what happened. Duncan is told by Tim at the beginning of the recording, that he is giving him the content for his senior project, his “tragedy paper.”

What is the tragedy that took place at Irving High School and what role did Tim Macbeth play in that?  As Tim’s story unfolds, readers may have a difficult time putting the book down.

Spirituality in The Tragedy Paper: Tim’s character offers a spiritual dimension to this contemporary school story. How should we treat and interact with those whom look different from us or represent a vastly different background? In other words, should we treat our brother as ourselves? Thinking about Vanessa’s issues in the book: how important is social status and how do we avoid valuing superficial appearances over valuing authentic relationships and being kind to others? There are many discussion worthy passages from the book that highlight the challenges and struggles related to relationships in high school.

Who Should Read This Book: Readers who enjoy a good school story, but want something profound and thought-provoking should pick up Laban’s novel. Tim’s character reflects many of the insecurities and concerns that adolescents may face today, and his identity as an albino adds a significant dimension to the book. Readers may walk away from this book having a little bit more understanding of what it is like to be someone who stands out to everyone else, and can’t do anything about it.

The Final Word: Giving this book my highest rating, I could not put it down and loved it. It was my second book for Bout of Books 9.0 and I raced through it. The school culture at Irving fascinated me, and the relationships between the students and the teachers/administration is another discussion-worthy aspect of the story. The design of the book is beautiful—the endpapers represent a map of the school and provide readers with something to examine. I was drawn to discover the tragedy of what happened when Tim Macbeth arrived at Irving High School. Expect to be drawn into Laban’s novel once you read the first chapter.

What Katie Read
%d bloggers like this: