To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the staff picked their favorite movie or book.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
by Rachel Cohen
Most stories of romance don’t start out this way, but Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist is not a typical romance. Set against one night in New York City, Nick and Norah find themselves heartbroken and on a quest to find the secret show of a legendary band. The story is told in alternating chapters from both characters’ points of view. The story is filled with music and pop culture references for everyone to enjoy. The side characters that appear throughout the book are both funny and endearing. Throughout the course of the evening Nick and Norah run into many stumbles: Norah’s drunken best friend that needs a ride, heading to a strip club to watch nuns gyrate, and Nick’s ex Tris that shows up at the wrong time and place. At first their taste in music is the only thing that binds them together, but by the end of the story Nick and Norah may end up deciding they want to spend more than just one night together in New York City.
Poldark Seasons 1 and 2 (DVD)
After hearing a lot of talk about this program from patrons I decided that I needed to check it out. After the first episode of Season 1, I was hooked. This is a story of Ross Poldark who has returned from the American Revolution to find his father dead, his intended (Elizabeth) engaged to his cousin (Francis), his home in despair and his father’s copper mine abandoned. The story takes place and is filmed in Cornwall, England. The scenery is breathtaking. Sound track is beautiful. You’ll fall in love with some characters and hate others. Ross marries and falls in love with a very unlikely character (I won’t mention her name). This is a family drama with many conflicts and trials and lots of action. After watching Season 1 and 2 on DVD I can’t wait for Season 3 to come out on PBS. I also am now planning to read the books written by Winston Graham. We have Season 1 and 2 on DVD at our library. The books are available in paper format in PrairieCat and in digital format in Overdrive.
The Lymond Chronicles series
by Dorothy Dunnett
While not a love story in the traditional sense, the six books in this historical series by Dorothy Dunnett is at heart several love stories wrapped up in intrigue, drama, and action. The first book in the series, Game of Kings, starts out as anything but an exercise in love, but as you follow the hero Francis Crawford of Lymond (some might say anti-hero) through his trials and tribulations, we recognize two of the most basic kinds of love and loyalty: the love between a mother and son, and the love of a man for his country. It is in this first book that we are also introduced to the real love of Lymond’s life, Philippa, a plucky ten-year-old who grows into a brave and complicated woman. The story, and their love, grows in fits and starts as the novels take you across mid-16th century Europe, Russia, Scotland, and England as they first fight to save the life of the young Mary Queen of Scots and then battle the evil Sir Graham Reid Malet, whose machinations threaten to destroy Lymond even after Malet’s death. The six titles are Game of Kings, Queen’s Play, The Disorderly Knights, Pawn in Frankincense, The Ringed Castle, and Checkmate.
by Nicholas Sparks
My favorite love story is The Notebook because, despite the odds of coming from two different worls, Noah and Allie’s love endures the test of time. It is a testament to a deep and moving “portrait of love.” The story revolves around a well-worn notebook that holds the key to the past and a future promise of miraculous connections to memories lost but regained for ever so brief and tender moments. It is a heartwarming and sometimes heart wrenching story that keeps you on the edge of your seat while reading the novel or watch the movie. A story that reaches young adults to the young at heart! A true love story for the ages.
An Affair to Remember (DVD)
I love a good story (in book or film) and “An Affair to Remember” is one of my favorite film love stories. It’s the story of Nicky, a well-known playboy, and Terry, a night club singer, who have a romance while on a cruise. The problem is that they are both engaged to other people. When the ship docks in New York, they agree to meet on the top of the Empire State Building in six months if they are free. When Terry has an accident she is unable to make their appointment. When she doesn’t show up, Nicky assumes that she has married or is no longer interested in him. Both are unhappy because they truly love each other but Terry doesn’t want to burden Nicky with her disability and Nicky thinks Terry doesn’t love him. When and how they get together again is truly charming. This film has stood the test of time and is still a touching story 60 years after it was first released. This story has humor, sorrow, mystery, and of course romance.
Turner and Hooch (DVD)
Happy St. Valentine’s Day! I’m a big softy, so I chose a real tear-jerker in honor of the holiday of love. Turner and Hooch (1989) starring a very young Tom Hanks is a classic. Hanks may not have won one of his Oscars for this film, but the dog that played Hooch deserved at least a nomination. There is a cute romance between Hank’s character and Mare Winningham as a veterinarian, but the real chemistry is between Hanks and his Mastiff sidekick, Hooch. This buddy movie teams Turner and Hooch together to find the murderer of Hooch’s former owner. The story shows that even a neatnik like Hank’s Scott Turner is no match for the love of a good dog, despite that dog’s smelly, sloppy and destructive tendencies. The Princeton Public Library does have a copy of this movie on DVD and it would be a perfect way to spend St. Valentine’s Day with loved ones by your side.
Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery
One of my favorite love stories is the “Anne of Green Gables” series by L.M. Montgomery. The books show and demonstrate many varieties of love and affection. You can read about the love among family members (especially Marilla, Matthew, and Anne), love between genuine friends, love for one’s community, and (of course!) romantic love. The slow and steady growth of love between Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe is wonderful. Anne and Gilbert’s love is built on friendship, respect, joy, and caring. Both of them work hard to achieve their goals, they are proud of each other’s accomplishments, and they believe in each other. It’s a beautiful love story, and it never fails to make me smile. The library owns the book series in its entirety, and I’d especially recommend “Anne of Green Gables,” “Anne of Avonlea,” and “Anne of the Island.” Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie star in an excellent film trilogy based on the books, and the library owns these films as well.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
One of the most beautiful and tragic romances I’ve read–a book that made me cry at the end, THE TIME-TRAVELER’S WIFE plays with the idea of discontinuous narrative. “The device of time travel allowed me to tell the story of a good marriage in a way that made ordinary things worthy of special attention,” says Niffenager in the book’s foreword. Librarian Henry is pulled in and out of time, reappearing at odd intervals in paper artist Clare’s life until they manage to meet and intersect in real time and form a relationship whose ending is hinted at and foreshadowed, but still manages to catch the reader by surprise. Though this was made into a decent movie with Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, the book is infinitely better!
One Plus One
by Jojo Moyes
Jess, our heroine is trying to keep her life together along with a vanished ex-husband, bullied stepson Nicky , and math whiz daughter Tanzie. Jess works as a house cleaner and part time bartender in England. When Tanzie is offered a chance to compete in a Math Olympiad and potentially win tuition at a school for the gifted, Jess, Nicky and Tanzie, along with their large, gassy dog, pile into a car that Jess’s ex-husband left behind; they plan to drive from a small town south of London to the competition in Scotland. There’s just one problem: Jess can’t legally drive. Two problems, actually: She doesn’t have car insurance. Luckily, Ed (the knight in shining armour) does. He also has an immaculate Audi — and his own reasons for wanting to escape.
In the opening pages of the book, Ed, a tech company founder, has just learned that he’s under suspicion for insider trading. Her knight in shining armor (tongue in cheek here) Ed, rescues the family and predictably becomes the love interest. Each character has their own story, which kept me through the whole piece. The book had for me shades of Bridget Jones Diary. Maybe it was the English setting but I saw Renee Zellweger in the main role. Escapist fiction, timely, and not too steamy. But this gave me a new author to devour.