Treasure Box Wednesday: Romantic Reads for Winter Weather

The flurries are in the air, the roads are slick, and the last of the pine needles have been swept away like Old Man 2008. So what's a vintage gal at heart to do when the winds blow and there are drifts instead of thrifts?

Why curl up with a good book, a blanket and a nice toasty beverage!

I've spent a share of the last week myself revisiting some old leather-bound friends. And you know, the funniest thing happened...

When I opened up the Treasure Box for this Wednesday's post-- what did I find inside? But a list of some of favorite romantic novels to share with you today!

Now, I suppose I should explain-- I use the term "romantic" here more in the spirit of the classic Georgian and Victorian novel-- and less like something with a 100% probability of a painting of Fabio on the cover. (Yes, I'm sure Fabio's a super-nice guy; he just didn't have a cameo in any Dickens or anything. I mean Hard Times was not about him being unable to believe it's not butter.)

And while what we read educates us and even reflects how we feel about life.... It can also influence our moods, transport us to new worlds... and even make us long to bring back just pocketful of it all into our real lives.

Those are the sorts of books I've been thinking about... The ones that linger.

My favorite of all time is still Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. At the time I first read it, I was doing a lot of traveling for work, feeling a bit existential and powerless in my everyday life, and Jane-- Jane was my heroine! Jane seemed to have all the Gothic romance bells and whistles-- orphanages and cruel teachers, sickness and friendships, mystery and suspense, desolate landscapes, plucky heroines, deep secrets, intriguing anti-heroes, mysticism and magic... I read it, and for the first time in my lengthy reading life, I recalled thinking, "Hey, there might just be something to this classic novel stuff!"

I went on to read Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte-- one I think well-worth a read, though disturbing in its lack of obvious moral compass. I mean, if anyone is in need of serious anger management counseling, it's the story's lead, Heathcliff. And why, Catherine, too, could be in therapy for months with her codependent behavior.

But talk about windswept moors, and mansions, hauntings and craggy hills! Fans of melodrama and the macabre would do well to open its cover.

On a lighter note, what about a different Jane-- Jane Austen? With loves won and lost, confusion and conniving, politics and polite society, (from Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Predjudice to Northganger Abbey), any of the Austen novels make a light, pleasant read for a winter day.

And you know, sometimes with that cocoa in hand, it's east to feel a bit like a kid again. So the romantic reader might also find the fun in the tales of Frances Hodgeson Burnett-- like The Secret Garden, or The Little Princess (in earlier editions called: Sara Crew or What Happened at Miss Minchin's).

Another writer worth a read is T.H. White. Whether it's his Sword in the Stone series about the humorous exploits of young King Arthur, or whether it's Mistress Masham's Repose (White's continuing story of Johnathan Swift's Liliputians!), these reads are a pleasant way to spend the day.

I hope now that 2009 has stepped onto the stage, and it's back to the daily routine again in spite of sleet and snow, you're able to find some things you enjoy, a warm place to enjoy them and possibly... quite possibly... an old friend to enjoy them with.

Even one of the papery kind.

Otherwise, I hope to see you this coming Sunday!


lovelylissie said...

I love reading your book posts. Jane Eyre is a long time fave of mine! Great choice for a cozy winter read!

lovelylissie said...

I love reading your book posts. Jane Eyre is a long time fave of mine! Great choice for a cozy winter read!

The Victorian Parlor said...

Last year my resolution was to read only classics which I did and I am continuing this year beause there are still so many I want to read. I love Jane Eyre-I think it the most romantic story ever. I am a huge Jane Austen fan and Dickens is my favorite. I enjoy curling up with a good book and a cup of tea:) I really enjoyed your post about the classics and I look forward to visiting your blogspot again!

chyna said...

I think that I may just try your suggestions. Would sure beat those vampyre romances my mom keeps sending up to my house. Oh mom a free book is not necessarily a good book. giggle ;)

Thrift Shop Romantic said...

Lissie- Ah, glad to know of another Eyre fan!

Victorian Parlor- Excellent authors you've mentioned! Nothing like a book and a nice hot beverage.

Chyna- I haven't yet read Twilight, and I'm almost starting to feel like I don't want to simply because everyone else loves it so much. Can it really be THIS good? I understand your mom and her free book thing, though. One of my friends' moms does the same thing. "OH wasn't that just so good?" Er, well, not so much. Gotta admire her enthusiasm, though.

Cassandra said...

these are great novels! i spent one summer in high school reading some of these. really great books that will warm your heart in this cold weather.

Mitzi said...

It's funny, I've been reading a lot of fiction the last few months too... I worked my way through about 12 L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott paperbacks I thrifted last summer, then I read three of the Mists of Avalon books that have been sitting on my shelf for a few years! Maybe next I will tackle the Jane Austen books next...