I have a job over the next days that involvement, every ladies dream I am sure (wasted on me because I'm still a tomboy) - I get to wear diamonds and gold and write about it for money. lol...that's my end of week job. I would rather be in my nighty writing than all glammed up but :-), those little paid writing jobs are good to have.

Books » Fiction & Literature » Classics
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes AND But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics S.)

By Anita Loos, Regina Barreca (Introduction by), Ralph Barton (Illustrated by)

Lorelei Lee is just a little girl from Little Rock who takes the world by storm and teaches its gentlemen that "kissing your hand may make you feel very good but a diamond and sapphire bracelet lasts forever". Anita Loos first published the diaries of the ultimate gold-digging blonde in the flapper days of 1925 and even Edith Wharton had to agree: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is "the great American novel".

Blondes follows Lorelei and her best friend Dorothy from Hollywood to Manhattan to the capitals of Europe, pursued by eager suitors all the while. ("Paris is divine", she finds, but "London is really nothing".) In "the Central of Europe", with a new diamond tiara in her handbag, she meets a traveling American millionaire who just might be the one. So she retires her diary, but not for long, because, as she writes in the opening pages of But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, "it is bright ideas that keep home fires burning, and prevent a divorce from taking all of the bloom off Romance".

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and its brunette sequel are together at last in a two-in-one volume, beautifully reset, with the original hilarious Ralph Barton illustrations restored throughout. Feminist humor maven, Regina Barreca, provides an introduction to what George Santyana once (smilingly) called, "the best philosophical work by an American".

 
 
Simon & Schuster Australia wish everyone a Happy Valentines everyone!
In honour of this big day of love, we have come up with an S&S top 10 favourite romantic books ever!:

1. A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
4. The Notebook by Nick Cassavetes
5. Worth Fighting For by Lisa Niemi Swayze
6. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
7. One Day by David Nicholls
8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
9.These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

An interesting mix! What do you think? What is your most romantic read of all time?
 
 

They look’d up to the sky, whose floating glow
Spread like a rosy ocean, vast and bright;
They gazed upon the glittering sea below,
Whence the broad moon rose circling into sight;
They heard the wave’s splash, and the wind so low,
And saw each other’s dark eyes darting light
Into each other — and, beholding this,
Their lips drew near, and clung into a kiss;

A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth, and love,
And beauty, all concentrating like rays
Into one focus, kindled from above;
Such kisses as belong to early days,
Where heart, and soul, and sense, in concert move,
And the blood’s lava, and the pulse a blaze,
Each kiss a heart-quake, — for a kiss’s strength,
I think, it much be reckon’d by its length.

By length I mean duration; theirs endured
Heaven knows how long — no doubt they never reckon’d’
And if they had, they could not have secured
The sum of their sensations to a second:
They had not spoken; but they felt allured,
As if their souls and lips each other beckon’d,
Which, being join’d, like swarming bees they clung –
Their hearts the flowers from whence the honey sprung.

Don Juan: By Lord Byron By Baron George Gordon Byron Byron

 
 
For its sheer creepiness and genius lyric discomfort — and the way we squirm in our seats whenever we read it.

Hardly had the car come to a standstill than Lolita positively flowed into my arms. Not daring, not daring let myself go — not even daring let myself realize that this (sweet wetness and trembling fire) was the beginning of the ineffable life which, ably assisted by fate, I had finally willed into being — not daring really kiss her, I touched her hot, opening lips with the utmost piety, tiny sips, nothing salacious; but she, with an impatient wriggle, pressed her mouth to mine so hard that I felt her big front teeth and shared in the peppermint taste of her saliva. I knew, of course, it was but an innocent game on her part, a bit of backfisch foolery in imitation of some simulacrum of fake romance, and since (as the psychotherapist, as well as the rapist, will tell you) the limits and rules of such girlish games are fluid, or at least too childishly subtle for the senior partner to grasp — I was dreadfully afraid I might go too far and cause her to start back in revulsion and terror.

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is a dark and daring story of obsessive love and transgression. Humbert Humbert's lust for his pubescent stepdaughter, Lolita, shocked readers when it was first published in the 1950s; yet the novel was also celebrated for its beautifully lyrical writing. Almost fifty years after its first publication, Lolita remains a powerful tale of perversion and love gone wrong.
 
 
Because those innocent childish play kisses can be life changers.

The rims of Clementine’s eyes were inflamed. She yawned. She rubbed her nose with the heel of her hand. And then she asked, “Do you want to practice kissing?”

I didn’t know what to answer. I already knew how to kiss, didn’t I? Was there something more to learn? But while these questions were going through my head, Clementine was going ahead with the lesson. She came around to face me. With a grave expression she put her arms around my neck.

The necessary special effects are not in my possession, but what I’d like for you to imagine is Clementine’s white face coming close to mine, her sleepy eyes closing, her medicine-sweet lips puckering up, and all the other sounds of the world going silent — the rustling of our dresses, her mother counting leg lifts downstairs, the airplane outside making an exclamation mark in the sky — all silent, as Clementine’s highly educated, eight-year-old lips met mine.

And then, somewhere below this, my heart reacting.

Not a thump exactly. Not even a leap. But a kind of swish, like a frog kicking off from a muddy bank. My heart, that amphibian, moving that moment between two elements: one, excitement; the other, fear. I tried to pay attention. I tried to hold up my end of things. But Clementine was way ahead of me. She swiveled her head back and forth the way actresses did in the movies. I started doing the same, but out of the corner of her mouth she scolded, “You’re the man.” So I stopped. I stood stiffly with arms at my sides. Finally Clementine broke off the kiss. She looked at me blankly a moment, and then responded, “Not bad for your first time.”



I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974 ...My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license ...records my first name simply as Cal.' So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Point, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

About the AuthorJeffrey Eugenides is the author of The Virgin Suicides. He lives in Berlin.

PrizesWinner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for FictionJeffrey Eugenides' new novel, The Marriage Plot, will be published by Fourth Estate on 13th October 2011 Selected for Oprah's Book Club 2007 165,000 copies sold (Nielsen BookScan)

 
 
Ye gods, what are my feelings. Her lips are softer than the rose’s leaf, her mouth is sweet as honey, and her kiss inflicts on me more pain than a bee’s sting. I have often kissed my kids, I have often kissed my lambs, but never have I known aught like this. My pulse is beating fast, my heart throbs, it is as if I were about to suffocate, yet, nevertheless, I want to have another kiss. Strange, never-suspected pain! Has Chloe, I wonder, drunk some poisonous draught ere she kissed me? How comes it that she herself has not died of it?

The Story of Daphnis and Chloe A Greek Pastoral by Longus (1908)

By Longus, William Douglas Lowe

 
 

Because sometimes all you you need is a kiss on the brow and a chance to let your hair do all the talking.

“Then you think that the Darkness is coming?” said Eowyn. “Darkness Unescapable?” And suddenly she drew close to him.

“No,” said Faramir, looking at her face. “It was but a picture in the mind. I do not know what is happening. The reason of my waking mind tells me that great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days. But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are light, and a hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny. Eowyn, Eowyn, White Lady of Rohan, in this hour I do not believe that any darkness will endure!” And he stooped and kissed her brow.

And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air.

The first ever illustrated paperback of part three of Tolkien's epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, featuring 15 colour paintings by Alan Lee. The Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures as the quest continues. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and took part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by orcs, escaped into Fangorn Forest and there encountered the Ents. Gandalf returned, miraculously, and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Meanwhile, Sam and Frodo progressed towards Mordor to destroy the Ring, accompanied by Smeagol -- Gollum, still obsessed by his 'preciouss'. After a battle with the giant spider, Shelob, Sam left his master for dead; but Frodo is still alive -- in the hands of the orcs. And all the time the armies of the Dark Lord are massing. JRR Tolkien's great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction.
By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail. Part of a set of three paperbacks, this classic edition is available in a smart new livery, and is illustrated by Alan Lee throughout to complement the new paperback of The Children of Hurin.

About the AuthorJ.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

 
 
“There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C. when Saul and Delilah Korn’s inadvertent discovery swept across Western civilization. (Before then couples hooked thumbs.) And the precise rating of kisses is a terribly difficult thing, often leading to great controversy, because although everyone agrees with the formula of affection times purity times intensity times duration, no one has ever been completely satisfied with how much weight each element should receive. But on any system, there are five that everyone agrees deserve full marks. Well, this one left them all behind.”



The Princess Bride S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure; The "Good Parts" Version

By William Goldman (Abridged by)

William Goldman's modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests--for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love--that's thrilling and timeless.

Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible--inconceivable, even--to equate "The Princess Bride" with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an "abridged" retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to "Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions."

 
 
Because not all the beautiful kisses are happening center stage — and because this is one of the truest descriptions of a kiss we’ve ever read.

It was like that. Almost the last thing I remember was standing with Daisy and watching the moving-picture director and his Star. They were still under the white-plum tree and their faces were touching except for a pale, thin ray of moonlight between. It occurred to me that he had been very slowly bending toward her all evening to attain this proximity, and even while I watched I saw him stoop one ultimate degree and kiss at her cheek.

HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby's house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited -- they went there'. Considered one of the all-time great American works of fiction, Fitzgerald's glorious yet ultimately tragic social satire on the Jazz Age encapsulates the exuberance, energy and decadence of an era. After the war, the mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire pursues wealth, riches and the lady he lost to another man with stoic determination. He buys a mansion across from her house and throws lavish parties to try and entice her. When Gatsby finally does reunite with Daisy Buchanan, tragic events are set in motion. Told through the eyes of his detached and omnipresent neighbour and friend, Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald's succinct and powerful prose hints at the destruction and tragedy that awaits.
 
 

“I think it’s perfectly sweet of you,” she declared, “and I’ll get up again,” and she sat with him on the side of the bed. She also said she would give him a kiss if he liked, but Peter did not know what she meant, and he held out his hand expectantly.

“Surely you know what a kiss is?” she asked, aghast.

“I shall know when you give it to me,” he replied stiffly, and not to hurt his feeling she gave him a thimble.

“Now,” said he, “shall I give you a kiss?” and she replied with a slight primness, “If you please.” She made herself rather cheap by inclining her face toward him, but he merely dropped an acorn button into her hand, so she slowly returned her face to where it had been before, and said nicely that she would wear his kiss on the chain around her neck. It was lucky that she did put it on that chain, for it was afterwards to save her life.

Children's » Fiction » Action & Adventure
Peter Pan and Wendy By James Matthew Barrie, Robert Ingpen, David Barrie