Top Ten Tuesday: 10 of My Favorite Fictional Couples From Literature and Film


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you are feeling the love today. Valentine’s Day has never been a really big deal to me. My fiance and I tend to do little things. He usually picks up flowers for me, usually some colorful daisies or pretty mums–something cheery–several days early so that I can enjoy them for a while. We like to go pick out chocolates at one of the places around town. Here in Boise our favorite spot to do that is Chocolat Bar, which makes the most amazing truffles. We also cook dinner together. It’s very mellow. Let me know if you have special plans for today in the comments!

Today’s topic is all about romance. So I thought I would share some of my favorite couples with you from literature and film. Here they are:

Literary Couples

  • Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley from Jane Austen’s Emma” I cannot make speeches, Emma. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.”

Why they’re great: Knightley calls Emma out when she’s behaving selfishly and forces her to acknowledge what she’s doing. He’s also quick to praise when he approves, and he’s always acting on behalf of others. Emma meanwhile never just accepts Knightley’s opinions at face value and challenges him. This is a couple that will challenge each other to do good for other people. They have good communication established, and their relationship is founded on friendship and mutual respect.

  • Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter:  “Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!”

Why they’re great: What makes Ron and Hermione good people is what helps to make them a good couple. Ron is loyal, brave, and true, while Hermione is strong, idealistic, and clever. Together they challenge each other. Ron tries to get Hermione to think outside the box and she helps bring him down to earth again. Even though they argue, their relationship is ultimately based on years of friendship that have been strengthened through the trials they’ve gone through together.

  • Arthur and Molly Weasley from Harry Potter“What do you like me to call you when we’re alone together?…Mollywobbles.”

Why they’re great: Arthur and Molly may not have much money, but that hasn’t interfered all that much with their relationship. Each is always concerned with the other’s welfare and takes their thoughts and feelings to heart. They don’t always agree or always understand each other’s position, but they are a united team.

  • Benedict and Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing“I do love nothing in the world so well as you- is not that strange?”

Why they’re great: It takes them a while to figure out they’re the perfect couple, but it’s obvious to everyone else. No one can keep up with their wit and intelligence; they’re the best sparring partners. They keep each other on their toes. And in the end, Benedict is able to go beyond talking about his feelings and proves his love, challenging his dearest friend to a duel.

  • Cyrano de Bergerac and Roxanne from Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac“And what is a kiss, specifically? A pledge properly sealed, a promise seasoned to taste, a vow stamped with the immediacy of a lip, a rosy circle drawn around the verb ‘to love.’ A kiss is a message too intimate for the ear, infinity captured in the bee’s brief visit to a flower, secular communication with an aftertaste of heaven, the pulse rising from the heart to utter its name on a lover’s lip: ‘Forever.’”

Why they’re great: Roxanne longs to hear beautiful words and Cyrano longs to tell her them. Though I have to admit the fact that they’re cousins kind of weirds me out, their devotion and intelligence carries them through. The ending is tragic, but it’s so poignant.

Film Couples

  • Lucky Garnett and Penny Carroll in Swing Time“Listen. No one could teach you to dance in a million years. Take my advice and save your money!”

Why they’re great: They’re sometimes at cross purposes, but you know they’re going to get together, which means plenty of dancing and singing. I don’t know of a more wonderful couple than Fred and Ginger in whatever movie they did together. Astaire is full of grace and Rogers is full of fun and together they are amazing.

*I do think that as much as I really like this film I find the “bojangles” scene really racist and disturbing, and I think that’s really important to acknowledge. Even though it was the 1930s, and times were “different,” the caricature is prejudiced and unnecessary.*

  • Wesley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride“This is true love–you think this happens every day?”

Why they’re great: True love. Love deep enough and true enough to never be stopped by anything–not death, not distance, not time, not kings and queens and princes. Nothing.

  • Hubert Hawkins and Jean in The Court Jester: “The real king is on the throne, Jean is my very own, and life couldn’t possibly better be.”

Why they’re great: They’re relationship turns traditional gender roles on their head. Hawkins minds the child, the future King of England, and the Captain is off rallying new recruits, training, and leading them. She’s sharp and warm, he’s eager and funny. Together they show huge amounts of bravery and devotion, both to each other and their cause.

  • Don Lockwood and Cathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain: “You were meant for me/ and I was meant for you/ nature patterned you/ and when she was done/ you were all the sweet things/ rolled up in one”

Why they’re great: It may have started off in desperation (Lockwood fleeing from his over-eager fans), but it ends in love. Cathy’s talent, beauty, charisma, and good nature can’t help but win Don over and I think the same qualities are what let her put down her walls and fall for him.

  • Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars“I love you. I know.”

Why they’re great: Both of them are strong characters in their own right, and together they make a pretty impressive pair. These rebels are meant to be together.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Love Quotes from Fantasy Books


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.

It was not easy to pick a topic for this post. I had several ideas, but they all led me to dead ends. When I finally decided I wanted to do quotes, I wasn’t sure what to pick. Shakespeare? Classic lit? Awkward lines from romance novels? But then I thought, love is fantastical, fantastic, and some (though definitely not me) consider it to be a fantasy altogether. So what better genre could there be for picking quotes about love? And it’s just nerdy enough to make me really, really happy… so add these quotes to your Valentine’s day card, send them in a text to people you care about, read lines from these books out loud to your pets–celebrate however you choose, but don’t forget that you don’t have to invent words of love. Writers have been reinventing it for years, and are doing it as we speak.

  1. “Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically–to those who hardly think about us in return.”–T.H. White, The Once and Future King–because the best love is freely given.
  2. “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire–because love is about hope.
  3. “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.”–William Goldman, The Princess Bride–because a good metaphor is always appreciated.
  4. “And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.”–J.R.R. Tolkien–because sometimes a little PDA doesn’t go amiss.
  5. “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” –George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords–because he doesn’t, really.
  6. “…But when I see the way that mankind loves…you could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable, and strangely easy to mistake for loathing.” –Neil Gaiman, Stardust–because love is hard to define and easy to mistake.
  7. “Take me with you. For laughs, for luck, for the unknown. Take me with you.” Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn–because love is about being there.
  8. “As he kisses her, the bonfire glows brighter. The acrobats catch the light perfectly as they spin. The entire circus sparkles, dazzling every patron.” –Erin Morgentern, The Night Circus–because a kiss can be magical.
  9. “I’ll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they wont’ just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…” –Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials–because your connection is on the atomic level.
  10. “Always.” –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–because simple wins.


Have a favorite love quote from literature? Be sure to leave it in the comments!



Baking for Bookworms: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes from Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry


Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Today’s post makes a great breakfast (or dinner) for the one you love. There’s something about pancakes that speaks to home and care.

(You can scroll down for my earlier post about this book) There’s not a lot of food mentioned in the novel. Pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches are the most noteworthy food besides the food supplied by Costco, which is regularly mentioned. Food is most associated with the idea of caring for others. When A.J. is alone, he barely feeds himself, only occasionally eating frozen Indian dinners, but when he introduces new love and light into his life, the food becomes nourishing, though never fancy.

This particular dish is mentioned in a scene without the protagonist where the town’s cop has his first morning with A.J.’s sister-in-law:

“He can smell the pancakes from where he sits. He can imagine her downstairs making them. She is probably wearing a white apron and a silky nightgown. Or maybe she is wearing just the apron and nothing else. That would be exciting.” (210)

There’s also mention of fresh-squeezed orange juice, but I could just not summon up the energy to do that this morning. We bought orange juice instead. There’s not a lot of detail associated with these pancakes, so I took them to be “normal” and added my own twist.

This recipe is freely adapted from Mark Bittman’s. These pancakes are basically healthy because there’s fruit, whole wheat, eggs, and calcium! That’s what I try to convince myself anyway. Ours were super dense (we are not fluffy pancake people) but you can make yours lighter by using cake flour, actually using the two teaspoons of baking powder (I eyeballed mine and almost definitely only used one teaspoon), whisking the batter at the end, and thinning the batter out more (I ran out of milk). You can also feel free to use your favorite mix and just add banana and cinnamon and vanilla.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • up to 1 tbs sugar (optional)
  • 2 medium bananas, on the riper side (if you have giant bananas like I did, just use 1 1/2, and it’s okay if they’re not that ripe, they’re just harder to mash)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


Measure the flour and dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk with a fork. Mash the banana in a separate bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Beat in eggs and milk. Mix thoroughly and add more milk as needed. Add vanilla and cinnamon.

As you can see, my pancakes are not what one would call “pretty,” but they get the job done.

You can butter, spray, put a little oil in the pan, or just cook them in the drippings from the bacon your boyfriend made, like I did, and turn to medium heat. You can come up with a more elegant method for dispensing batter, but I typically just tip the bowl over and let a pancake worth of batter out at a time. Then cook until the edges start to look cooked and the bubbles start to pop. Flip and cook until done (about 30 seconds).

Serve with desired accoutrements. Paul is partial to peanut butter and I’m a big fan of butter and real maple syrup.


What food do you turn to in the morning for comfort? Banana pancakes always remind me of home.

My Literature Blind Date from the Library


I think it goes without saying that I love books and any place with books, or talks about books, or sells books… All leading me to say that I love my library. Libraries of all kinds are amazing wonderful creatures that deserve to be preserved. In Corvallis, we’re lucky to have an awesome library. The building itself is very nice and fairly new, they have lots of nice well-lit places to read, the librarians are helpful and well-informed, and they have lots of great library programs and little things they do.

Yesterday when I walked through the library, Paul pointed out a small display of books to me. These books, labeled Blind Dates with Literature, were covered in butcher paper and had a small “dating profile” on top. The idea was you could choose one as a blind date for Valentine’s Day. Maybe it would be love and maybe it wouldn’t be.

I absolutely fell in love with this idea (and talk about a great gift idea for a Valentine’s exchange–especially for a girl’s night or a hopeless romantic). Of course, I had to get one. The problem was, I knew I wouldn’t be able to read the book if it wasn’t written by a woman. I don’t really think you could tell from the blurb if something was written by either sex, and I just chose one that I wanted to cuddle up with. I figured if nothing else, I’d have a book to add to my to-read list for next year.


But as you can see, I lucked out. This book wasn’t written by one female author, it was written by two. I’m very excited to read my book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Shaffer is Barrows’ aunt). I love books with long titles (and poems and movies…just about anything really).

You’ll see it on an upcoming post very soon, well two, I peeked inside and already I know it’ll be featured on Baking for Bookworms!

Ever had a blind date with literature (you know–your friends set you up and dove in no questions asked)? How did it turn out?

My Shop was Featured on the Etsy Blog!

I am so excited and honored and thrilled and all those lovely things to have been included as one of the featured artists on Etsy blog. All of these artists make truly special, beautiful, romantic gifts and I’m proud to be included among them.

Please go to my Etsy site, Aliza’s Inklings for more information about my Valentine’s day offerings, especially my custom love letters.