Love Is In the Air and These 13 Books Are On Our Minds
Love is in the air and books are on our minds this Valentine’s Day. Chocolates are nice, but these books about digital love, love lost, and love triangles have our hearts today. Here are some of our favorite book recommendations for literary romances.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fall under the highly infectious spell of the onerous and brutally sarcastic Will Traynor. From his peculiar choice of greeting when meeting Louisa Clark to his scowls at anything remotely enjoyable she suggested—I couldn’t help it, I fell madly in love with the guy. And honestly, I think that’s the feeling Jojo Moyes’s ME BEFORE YOU was meant to evoke. But after a love like Will, what next?
2The Man of My Dreams
The title THE MAN OF MY DREAMS may come off as another cute, chick-lit imagining of a young woman’s fantasies of adult companionship, but rather, it’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to Hannah’s deepest desire and fear: to know and feel what it would be like to love and be loved.
Aziz Ansari blew my mind with his fresh meditation on dating, so accurate and affirming of all my trials and tribulations navigating the harrowing dating scene in New York City that it brought me to tears. Well, maybe not real tears, but my eyes were definitely watering as I attempted to hold back audible snorts of laughter while reading it on the subway.
Lynn Cullen had me from the first paragraph.
“When given bad news, most women of my station can afford to slump onto their divans, their china cups slipping from their fingers to the carpet, their hair falling prettily from its pins, their 14 starched petticoats compacting with a plush crunch. I am not one of them.”
5On Chesil Beach
It’s short, barely 200 pages, but every word in this lovingly rendered portrait is as meticulously placed as paint on a porcelain miniature. The story follows Edward and Florence, a young English couple on their wedding night during the pre–Sexual Revolution 1960s. While a plot about the events leading up to the consummation of a marriage might sound limited in scope or even ludicrous, in McEwan’s masterful hands, it’s riveting.
6A Moveable Feast
A MOVEABLE FEAST is a love letter to La Ville Lumière and a testament to Hemingway’s boundless artistic ambition. Permeating every page is the heartbreaking story of love gained and lost.
Evelyn Waugh’s delicious coming-of-age tale of star-crossed lovers and sexually ambiguous pretty boys drinking their way through guilt trips over religion and lost love provided an admittedly romantic backdrop to my own rocky adolescent journey to adulthood.
8The Rosie Project
The protagonist of Graeme Simsion’s romantic comedy THE ROSIE PROJECT is the most refreshingly unique, honest, and hilarious character I have read in a long time. I don’t generally read romantic comedies, but this one stole my heart right from the first paragraph.
The engine that propels this juicy, smart novel is desire—sexual and intellectual, essential and existential.
The relationship that blossoms from friendship to love between Claire and Jamie is, well, pretty swoon-worthy. Claire is confident with a lot of spunk and Jamie is hotheaded with a lot of heart. The combination of these two could be a recipe for disaster, but they—usually—are in harmony.
Read Kara O’Rourke’s review here.
Read Kara O’Rourke’s review here.
11Our Souls at Night
Seventy-year-old widow Addie Moore makes a surprising proposal to her neighbor, Louis Waters, a 70-year-old widower. She asks him to spend nights with her in bed, just talking, since they are both alone. Louis agrees with some trepidation—and excitement. What follows is the engaging story of two isolated people finding solace in each other’s company, falling in love, sharing memories, and reflecting on their lives—their joys, regrets, fears.
12Eight Hundred Grapes
EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES is escapist reading at its best because not only are there sun-dappled fields to picture, a dashing neighbor vying for Georgia’s attention, and behind-the-scenes winemaking (author Laura Dave took her wine research seriously!), there is also real heart.
13Rules of Civility
With nods to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton, and a breathtaking Jamesian twist that blows up like a stick of dynamite, RULES OF CIVILITY is not only a thumping good story, it is also a perfect rendering of prewar New York City—a valentine to a glittering polished-steel-and-glass jewel that is long gone.