I am going with definition two and not definition one, because if reading books made me faint I think I would have to cultivate another hobby.
So books or characters that have made me giddy with delight ...
1. Michael from Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews is pretty swoon worthy. He is nice, helpful, understanding, intelligent and apparently drop dead gorgeous as well, but those first four are what really do it for me. He is less perfect in the later books in the series, which is actually a good thing, because total perfection would get pretty wearing over time, but in the first book he is totally worth getting giddy over.
2. Ned Henry in To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, in his addled, time-lagged state is worth a few deep sighs. I love a character with a sense of humor who can make me laugh. In fact, I now realize that I was probably laughing myself giddy rather than really swooning per se but I still think it counts. Besides, he manages to pull himself together and be heroic as well.
3. One of my earliest swoons was for Howl in Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. This was also an early lesson in realizing that someone who could be swoon-worthy could also be intensely annoying and that they would be hard to put up with on a daily basis. I adored Howl, but I was also very glad that Sophie had to put up with him and not me. Still this is one of my favorite books and I reread it frequently when I am feeling down.
I will admit right here that neither Rochester norHeathcliff ever did it for me. I would run far, far away from them. Darcy doesn't make me swoon either really. Master of the world's worst marriage proposal ? Nope - I know he gets better, and I like him significantly more than the other two, but honestly I would probably have ended up wanting to hurl something at him.
4. Right - so a really cool nonfiction book that is full of cool chemistry trivia is really exciting to me and, well, the author's voice of The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean, makes me swoon. He mixes all sorts of cool ideas from history and science and philosophy together. Yes, I know that I am weird, but I really appreciate his sense of humor and I admit that just from reading this book, I have a developed a little bit of a crush on him.
5. Keeping with my weird theme, how about a description of a place that makes you swoon. A fantasy world that sounds so beautiful or exotic that you want immediately want to visit? From Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart ...
"As we moved down the low dark tunnel the slap of our sandals was joined by the sound of water lapping against rocks far below us and to the left side. Then the water rose high enough and we knew that the monk had not lied. This was the music of Heaven. A stone bell chimed. Just as the echo was fading away it was answered by a second bell that was soft and sweet and slightly blurred, as though the sound were sifted through honey. Another bell answered, higher and clearer and perfectly in harmony, and then bell after bell chimed in: big bells, small bells, loud bells, soft bells, clear bells, cloudy bells, and we walked along in enchantment while our torches cast immense shadows upon the stone walls. I cannot describe the beauty of the stone bell song. Then the water reached the soft rocks and began to rush through tiny holes, and the bells were joined by the sound of a thousand silver lutes being stroked by a million murmuring bees."
[Apparently all three books are available electronically as The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox by Hughart, Barry. Subterranean Press. Kindle Edition. Cool!]
6. And now I realize that my cold is making me really cranky, because I am having a really hard time coming up with other swoons. I know they must exist, but I am getting stuck. I am not interested in lords who go around taming people or rakes in need of reform really. Nothing against that, it just doesn't make me swoon. I really enjoy several Georgette Heyer books, but in general you can keep the heroes. I think I am better off with mystery novels ... hummm ...
Yes - from Sharon McCrumb's Elizabeth MacPherson books - I really liked Cameron Dawson. He was introduced in Highland Laddie Gone. (And if you read these books, I would just like to say ARGH!!! about what happens). Her cousin Geoffry has potential as well in some of the books.
7. Along similar lines ... Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss novels have Sir John Smythe (really ? John Tregarth) or whatever his name really ended up being. Intelligent, handsome, smooth, heroic, and an art thief with the morals of a weasel. He could definitely make you swoon when he wasn't making you want to throttle him.
8. Okay - the cold wins ... but I know something surefire to make book lovers swoon ...
The "Strand Book Store, New York City's legendary home of 18 Miles of new, used and rare books. Since 1927. ... over 2.5 million used, new and rare books." That is enough to make any book lover giddy with delight! Look in the windows ! I haven't been here though.
9. The Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver - I had been inside of their old Cherry Creek location and I swooned every time, but I find that they have a new location called the "Theater of Ideas" that is located inside an old theater.
10. And I just found out about the El Ateneo Bookstore in Buenos Aires - Wow ! Someone misidentified this picture as being The Tattered Cover, but I could tell is wasn't, so I poked around and found out it was a place in Buenos Aires instead. Here you go - another theater transformed into a breathtaking bookstore...