Monday, April 15, 2024

What I Read #7 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 too): Bridgerton!


This is pure book candy and just what I needed in my life right now -- some fun escapism that is engaging, but doesn't leave me pondering deep philosophical questions. 

When I was in my teens and twenties, I was a big (but sort of secret) fan of historical romance novels. The more "literary" books might have pride of place on my living room bookshelf, but the top shelf in my closet was filled with paperbacks from Bertrice Small, Virginia Henley, Amanda Quick, and Valerie Sherwood. 

My love of romance novels started early. When I was 12, we visited my aunt in DC. Having already gone through the stack of books I brought with me to read in the car, I was going through Aunt Charlene's bookshelf when my eyes were drawn to a flowery pink cover with a couple galloping on horseback. And thus, I discovered Danielle Steel. 

Oh wow, Nancy Drew and Ned never did THAT!

And, well, my Mom didn't really monitor what I was reading...  So I may have been a shy bookworm who didn't put what I read into practice, but by the time everyone in the ninth grade was passing around copies of Shirley Conran's Lace with some particular pages marked (80s girls, IYKYK), I was pretty blasé about it. 

In our 20s, my bestie worked part-time at Barnes and Noble. Customers would often ask for romance novel recommendations, and since she is not a fan, I created "Stephanie's Guide to Smut," which ended up posted on the wall of the employee break room. 

I don't remember everything from my guide to historical fiction authors, but I do remember describing Amanda Quick as a Regency novel that was a bit less sexually graphic than some of the others -- basically, it's Jane Austen Gets Naked -- with some humor thrown in. 

Of course, I've watched (and loved) the Netflix series, so I decided to jump in and read the series, and Julia Quinn's Bridgeton novels were a pure retro delight that reminded me of the Amanda Quick books I loved back then.

Oh, and I can't wait for the third season of the show, which starts in a few weeks. Romancing Mister Bridgerton was my favorite, and it's nice to know my cynical, 50-something self can still get lost in swoony silliness. 

I think we should all hold onto a little bit of that. And who wouldn't sigh when Colin tells Penelope:

“I love you with everything I am, everything I've been, and everything I hope to be. I love you with my past, and I love you for my future. I love you for the children we'll have and for the years we'll have together. I love you for every one of my smiles and even more, for every one of your smiles.”


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