Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Husbands and Books

I think I am qualified, after 16 years of marriage, to comment about husbands. Or at least mine. I know what a husband is and what he is not.
Anything you see in a romance novel...he is probably not. I fell into the trap, early in my marriage, of always being lost in a romance novel. And when I'd come out of it, into the real world, I was always disappointed in my husband.
He wasn't like those characters. Planning romantic dates, saying just the right thing at the right time, debonair, running his fingers through my hair. Whisking me off to romantic places, showering me with gifts and flowers.
But, after a lot of time wanting him to be like those men and being discontent with him, I realized that those characters are made up! By women! That they are a woman's fantasy of what a man is. 
My husband can no more be one of those men than I could be a woman that gets her fame from posing for Playboy. Those women are simply real women but turned into a man's fantasy using all kinds of tricks-photoshopping, airbrushing, posing, hours of hair styling, etc! They aren't real. Just like in romance novels...they aren't real! And just like women complain that they could never live up to those fantasy women in Playboy and other pornographic magazines...men could never live up to a fictional "perfect" man.
I'm not saying that I don't still love an occasional romance novel. I'm a reader. I love to read. It's in my bones. And I'm a romantic. But, I've expanded.
I still read a lot of romance, but I try to stick to mostly Christian romance. There are so many good authors in that genre. They may not be what the world would judge as literary greatness, but I enjoy reading them, they make me feel, and I miss the characters when the story is over.

::Karen Kingsbury. If you haven't read her, you are missing out. Her stories touch your heart. The characters are "real" people with flaws and all! I am torn when reading her books (she writes stand-alone novels as well as series) because I want to keep reading til it's over, but at the same time...then it will be over.

::Janette Oke. I don't read her too much anymore because I read everything already. But, Lindsay is now starting to read her stuff. It's that wholesome. This picky mama lets her 10 year old read her stuff. There is some romance involved, but not silly "crushy" "hooking-up" romance. More along the lines of real, love-for-a-lifetime romance. They are super easy reads-simple.

::Francine Rivers. Try Redeeming Love or The Scarlet Thread or Leota's Garden. All great novels. And as I looked for titles to tell you, I found a  million more of her books I need to check out!

::Tracie Peterson. Treasures of the North, Ashes and Ice and Rivers of Gold are all titles in the Yukon Quest series. And tons of others you would probably love-and again, I'm behind!

Add to these the Frontier/Pioneer type books. They are usually mail order bride kind of things...fluff. But enjoyable fluff if you don't need your literary senses titillated at every turn. (I've wanted to use that word-titillated-for a while now!)

Got a penchant for intrigue?
::Terri Blackstock. Last Light, Night Light, True Light and Dawn's Light are all part of a series that is part intrigue and part "what if". I LOVED that one! Private Justice, Shadow of Doubt, Word of Honor, Trial by Fire and Line of Duty are all part of the Newpointe 911 series. Great series! Another of her series of books is Cape Refuge. Cape Refuge, Southern Storm, River's Edge and Breaker's Reef. I have also discovered I'm way behind on Terri Blackstock's books. Wow. I have a lot of reading to catch up on. If I become MIA you'll know I'm stuck with my nose in a book every spare minute.

There are also a lot of books on parenting, cooking, homeschooling, homemaking, etc. that can encourage you in a positive way and not make your husband seem less than right for you.

Oh, and don't forget The Book that has sold more copies than any other book. EVER. According to one article, in the last 10 years alone 250 million copies of it have been sold. And that doesn't include the number of Bibles printed and given away! Wikipedia didn't even list it on their best sellers because they said there's no way of having an accurate count when so many are given free.

Believe it or not, your library will probably have some of these books. And I request them (either for purchase or interlibrary loan) when they don't!

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