On My Bookshelf: February

to be read books february

I originally went back and forth between making this monthly series reflect what I’m actually reading this month, and books that are on my excited-to-read-(eventually) radar. Some months it’s more one than the other, and though I’ve just finished reading 3 different books in the past week, I love that I can share both what I am and would like to be reading.

February is the month to pay homage to love, so I’ve rounded up four of my very favorite “romances” ranging from the quirky to the classic.

to be read books february

Some of these works can be downloaded as free e-books, so I urge you to check the store of your e-reader of choice (which is generally a good idea anyway!). For those that aren’t free, I’ve provided Amazon (affiliate) links where you can always add the books to your collection!

Dangerous Angels – I can’t help but love this quirky, YA (perhaps?) story from Francesca Lia Block. Not your traditional love story, Weetzie Bat is such a unique individual and all of her relationships resonate love. It’s been a while (read: early high school) since I’ve read this, but nostalgia aside, the prose conjures up the fluttering butterflies of first romances all over again.

Price & Prejudice – Jane Austen’s classic can’t be left out when thinking of the most romantic of the romance novels. Mr. Darcy is the standard to which all literary leading men are measured (even all men, period) and Austen writes such smart prose that hides more layers in the story than just misunderstood love. Wit, social commentary, and humorous banter are aplenty.

If you’ve read this classic before, spice it up this time around and give one of its many adaptations a go, watch Bridget Jones’ Diary, read the Marvel classics graphic novel version, or pick up a shiny Penguin classics clothbound hardback.

A Farewell to Arms – Hemingway does heartbreaking tremendously well (Hemingway does a lot of things tremendously well). Why torture yourself this February with a depressing love story, you ask? Answer: because it’s Hemingway. No one captures emotion so simply and beautifully, and even though love may be tragic, it’s beautifully and truthfully so.

Much Ado About Nothing – When it comes to love, no one has anything on William Shakespeare. Sure, classics like Romeo & Juliet always seem to make readers gush, but honestly, I find nothing romantic about playboy Romeo brushing off what’s-her-name in his first three lines of the play, only to turn his sights to Juliet after seeing her at a party. And Juliet, seriously? He’s whiny. You can do better.

But, ahem, enough about R&J; for real romance, turn to Much Ado About Nothing. Quick-witted Beatrice and Benedict battle through sharp words, misunderstandings, and – it’s not a Shakespearean comedy without tons of weddings by the play’s end! These two might be one of my favorite fictional couples ever. (Also see: Joss Whedon’s recent film, shot with a bunch of his friends on like, a weekend whim. Why wasn’t I invited, Joss!?)

If you’re in need of more romance to sweep you off your feet this month, check out my favorite fictional couples or frantically scribble the name of your literary crush on your notebook with me!