Let’s admit it. Going to the mall or your favorite coffee shop on Valentine’s Day can be awkward and discriminating. Couples are everywhere, going cheesy and sweet all over each other. Add pink, red, or purple balloons as well as squishy teddy bears and you have the perfect formula for a cringe-filled day out. Just being real here, not bitter!
If you’re one of those who would like to be excluded from the Valentine’s Day crowd (and everyone else’s love narrative), take this day as an opportunity to bask in the love for books and literature that cover all types of feels. The scent of pages of books and the words that fill them will never fail us, at least (unlike that disloyal bae of yours).
Here are seven books that will make you feel the love this February:
1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihora
This critically-acclaimed and award-winning novel is a “hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century.” It revolves around four college classmates who moved to New York in search of fame and fortune. Amidst addiction, success, and pride, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who is scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. At the core, the novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves. Friendships are for life!
2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle and Dante seem like they have nothing in common when they met at a swimming pool. Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison and Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. Both loners would soon develop a life-changing friendship after spending time together. It is through this friendship that “Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.”
3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This English literature masterpiece has probably stressed you out as a college kid because it was part of the required reading list, but it’s a classic that has become dear to so many book lovers. Filled with dark places and wild, brooding people, Wuthering Heights bear witness to the equally passionate and ill-fated love of Catherine and Heathcliff. It depicts class and money stifling human relationships leading to misery and corruption. What an adventure for the heart!
4. The Last Time I’ll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza
This collection of poetry, written by Filipino author Dawn Lanuza, features relatable poems about first love. It is the perfect companion for anyone who has loved, lost, and emerged anew. First love never dies but there’s such a thing as self-love. There’ll always be that one last time you’ll write about someone.
5. Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga
Love for music
Taliah Sahar Abdallat lives and breathes music. It has helped her cope with never having known her father, Julian. Three years after not getting any response from a letter he sent to Julian, he shows up at Taliah’s doorstep and invites her to go on a trip to meet her long-estranged family. She begins to untangle her parents’ secret past and discovers a part of herself she never recognized before. This novel is an intergenerational story of a family and legacy, and the way love informs both of those things. It’s also about secrets and the debt of silence. Above all, it’s about the power of songs as well as learning how to saying hello and letting go.
6. Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou
A mother’s love
This collection of short essays show glimpses of the tumultuous life that taught Angelou lessons of compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly yet religious mother, and grew to be an awkward six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex left her with her greatest gift, a son. This book reveals her path to living well and living life with meaning and is dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her.
7. I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart
Love for living
Kevin Hart is one of the world’s most popular comedian. His tours sell out football stadiums and films that collectively gross over $3.5 billion. However, growing up he had the odds stacked up against him as a kid. His father was a drug addict, his brother a crack dealer and a petty thief, and his mother beat him with belts and frying pans. But he didn’t let all that hardship stopped him. He worked hard, he had determination, he had talent. He saw life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself. “Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the nest chapter. So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life best?” he said.
All books are available online and from Fully Booked.
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