Love, books and other comedies

Heart box

Heart image courtesy of mconnors, Morguefile.

St. Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Even if I dared to forget, my local stores keep reminding me of its approach with relentless cheery displays of hearts, cards, flowers and chocolate. And hey, you just can’t beat chocolate and flowers, right?

Maybe that’s why I’m reading a lot of books lately that combine the themes of comedy and romance. I’m working my way through Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and am up to number seven (or I will be when it arrives at my library, at least). I love this character. She’s a hilarious walking disaster area of a bounty hunter and has three semi-relationships with handsome men such as police officer Joe Morelli, mercenary/bounty hunter Ranger and we’re-not-quite-sure-what-he-is Diesel. (Diesel appears to be a bounty hunter, but he goes after beings with supernatural powers and has supernatural abilities of his own at times.) All three are protective of Stephanie, but I think Morelli is the real relationship. So far, anyway.

My classic writer for comedy and romance, though, is Nora Roberts. Her comedy comes from her characters’ dialogue and inner thoughts, rather than the comic plot devices that Evanovich uses. Some of the Roberts characters are sassy and cynical (Eve Dallas), others are neurotic (Tia Marsh of the Three Fates trilogy and Jude Murray of the Irish trilogy) and still others use a cocky humor (Gull Curry of Chasing Fire).

I’ve also just read the book He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. I’ve been seeing clips of the movie on YouTube, so I got curious about the book that they used as the movie’s base and decided to read it. It’s good. Basically, the book’s message is that everyone deserves to be with the right person for them and if someone doesn’t treat you right, then move on.

I often think love has much comic potential. We spend so much time analyzing ourselves and our romantic interests, but the reality is simple: If someone cares about you, they do something about it and show it. Period. That’s it. You don’t have to wonder, get stressed and make interpretations of every little thing your romantic interest does or says. But it’s only human if you do, I guess. (And if we stopped doing that, Hollywood and the fashion magazines would go bust, poor people.)

Sometimes I ask married couples how they met and fell in love, and the answers I receive are fascinating. One woman saw a guy on the other side of the room at an event and thought, “That’s him. That’s the man I’m going to marry.” He felt the same way about her and now they’ve been married for years and have four kids. And then there’s the classic story of my family friends Mr. H and Mrs. H, who met during World War II when he was in prison camp in Scotland.

Maybe there’s a book in that, too — the comic or touching ways married couples initially meet each other. Hmmmmm.




Filed under Writing

12 responses to “Love, books and other comedies

  1. You are right about love – but we all learn the hard way

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich. I see their books everywhere, though, so I’m bound to read one eventually. I really do want to read “He’s Just Not That Into You.” It sounds fun.

  3. Hmmmmmm…sounds like a book to me!

  4. So true. Loved your post and the different ways people met at the end was intriguing. The couple who just saw each other and knew is cool.

  5. I would love to read a book about the funny or sweet stories of how married people met. That would be awesome.

  6. The proximity of Valentine’s Day to the Westminster KC dog show is its biggest recommendation. I admit that I have never celebrated this … or entirely understood the dementia over it. Maybe I’m just not a romantic, but I’m happy to celebrate lots of other holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and all the rest. Just this one is too Hallmark for me.

    I’ve been following Stephanie Plum and the gang for years. Haven’t read number 19 yet. Waiting for the Kindle price to drop a bit … but even the not so great books in the series are predictably amusing. Good light-hearted fun and then … there’s Danger Ranger … I have read various Nora Roberts’ books, some good, some not so good. She’s prolific and a bit uneven. The others I have not read, but will now put them on my list.

  7. Impybat

    I would also love a book on how married people met, since whenever I meet new people, I like to ask for their story. I met my husband while I was waitressing. I tell people it was kind of like the Blondie song “Dreaming”–
    “When I met you in the restaurant
    You could tell I was no debutante.” 😉

  8. That does sound like a good book. Truth, at least I’ve found, is way more interesting than fiction. Why? because it actually happened!


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