So many books, so little time! Reading can be one of life’s sweetest luxuries. But how to quickly find the next great volume to dive into? To lend a hand, we’re sharing our Dandelion Chandelier Recommended Reads: books that we’ve personally read and loved – some brand new, and some published long ago. Selected to suit the season, we think they deserve a place on your nightstand. Or your e-reader. In your backpack. Or your carry-on bag. You get the idea. In this edition, our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum shares our picks of the best books to read for Valentine’s Day this year.
time for a great book about love and romance
Love is in the air this week, as we draw closer to every hopeless romantic’s favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking to start your celebration a little early, we recommend settling in with a great book about love and romance to get you in the spirit.
Of course, you may know the classics: Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, Price and Prejudice, but if you’re looking for something different this year, here is a list of some of our top books about love and romance, both new and old, and across genres. Enjoy your read, and we hope these books help to fill your hearts in preparation for the big day.
perfect books to read for valentine’s day this year
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. We all love a good romance novel. Especially in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, nothing feels better than a quick dip into something frothy and fun. If you’re looking for a romantic book that is sweet, entertaining and, above all, well written, then look no further. Thorne takes some of our favorite tropes (in this case, two people who hate each other, but end up – spoiler alert – falling in love) and makes them feel fresh and authentic. The romantic leads, Lucy and Josh, are so incredibly charming, they will stay with you for days after you finish reading.
All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks. No conversation about books on love would be complete without bell hooks’ All About Love, the first in her Love Trilogy. All About Love talks not only about romantic love, but all kinds of love, starting with the love one receives from one’s parents. She shows the way the love we receive early on sets a pattern for how we will operate in later relationships, and what a significant role love plays in every aspect of our lives. This is a must-read for anyone looking to delve into how love works within our society, and how every kind of love we experience connects to our romantic lives.
The Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon. What could be more romantic than poetry? There are a near-infinite number of love poems in the world, but if you have not already, this Valentine’s Day you may want to look into the work of Shinji Moon, a young Korean American poet from New York. This slim volume contains many poems where Moon addresses the person she loves directly, with lines like: “I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine, so you know there’s nothing but love when I see you.” Moon’s work will have you feeling ready for Valentine’s Day in no time.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon. A wonderful Young Adult romance, The Sun Is Also a Star tells a love story that seems as unlikely as Romeo and Juliet: two teenagers, Daniel and Natasha, meet and fall in love, all in one day. But the book is wrought with deep and genuine emotion, as the star-crossed lovers grapple with the fact that Natasha and her family are going to be deported to Jamaica, and they are unsure if their newfound romance will have a future.
And once you fall in love with these two on the page, you can start to get excited for the film version, starring Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton, which is slated for a May 2019 release.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Another YA novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe follows Aristotle and Dante from their meet-cute onward, as they become acquaintances, and then reluctant friends, and draw closer and closer through the course of the book. Without spoiling anything, the book’s slow, deliberate pace allows the reader to truly feel every emotion alongside its protagonists, so that you are right there with them when the book finally reaches the end. Sáenz’s novel is equal parts devastating and hopeful, as it touches on many of life’s hardships and the way love helps to bolster us through all of them.
Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney. Nominated for The Booker Prize, Rooney’s debut novel is the definition of a page-turner and perfectly captures the thrill of a scandalous and forbidden romance. In portraying the affair between the protagonist, Frances, and a married man and semi-famous actor, Nick, Rooney shies away from clichés. Each time you anticipate the book taking one particular turn, it goes the other way. For this reason it is a delightful, emotionally honest depiction of falling in love with the wrong person, and more uniquely, loving more than one person at the same time.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. If you’re a fan of tragic love stories, love stories that will leave you inconsolable for perhaps several hours at a time, there’s no better book than Song of Achilles. A retelling of the Trojan War, Miller paints the romance between Patroclus and Achilles as exhilarating, completely absorbing, and in the end, utterly devastating. This is a can’t-miss if you enjoy passionate, electric love stories but don’t require a happy ending.
Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swenson. Sometimes we like our romance with a side of magic. This is the first book in a completely delicious series about girl-next-door Katie Chandler, who moves from Texas to New York City and discovers a hidden world of magic as well as, of course, true love. You will not be able to keep yourself away from this warm, engaging story, and you will never want to stop reading about Owen, Katie’s shy and very attractive co-worker, for whom she develops feelings. For those who like a romance that builds slowly and organically over several books, this is the perfect read for you.
That’s it – our suggestions for a great book about love and romance, just when it’s most needed. Happy Valentine’s Day.
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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.
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