Our friend Cinthya Salinas, aka Eloquent Gal, has prepared a very thoughtful list of books about love. For all of you that love someone, or would like to love someone, or would like to be loved by someone, or would prefer to not to love someone, or… Well, you get the idea.
Here is a cheat sheet for those not yet victims of having someone tug at their hearts and reeling them in, for those falling in love or losing love. Below are the top 5 books or stories you should read, highlight and underline this February 14th even if Valentine’s is not your cup of tea:
5. That is How You Lose Her (2013)
Junot Diaz comically yet accurately depicts what happens when someone wants to gain back what they let go of and once took for granted. This book cleverly explains what we are all aware of, it is Murphy’s Law: you break up with someone because you get tired of them or want something new, only months later you realize that you did in fact love that person and want them back. Unfortunately this book has no happy ending, they do not reunite but it teaches readers a valuable lesson of love, cheating and moving on.
4. Love in the Night (1925)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
If you are looking to let out your feelings and shed a few tears for the sake of letting yourself have emotions (the Super Bowl’s puppy commercial is not enough for the year), then Love in the Night is the classic short story you must read. Fitzgerald is able to teleport you to the channels of Paris where a couple finds love in the most unwarranted of circumstances. It is a quick and sudden reminder of how fast love can present itself and the ineffable emotions it triggers onto two complete strangers.
3. The Dog Stars (2012)
It is not often that you can find a book that will combine apocalyptic circumstances and love into the same mix. Peter Heller narrates a chaotic time in the world where Hig is the survivor of a rare flu that has wiped out most people he once called friends or family. This is a tale of hope, a series of fortunate events that led him to risk everything he knew at this point, all by following the voice on the radio transmission.
2. Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)
Gabriel García Márquez
Need I say more? Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s life-long journey of two lovers reassures the romantics at heart that love does exist even if it is decades into the making. What started as teen angst and unrequited love turned into a life-long tale of love that survived politics, social hierarchy, illnesses and death. Marquez narrates through the timid mind and words of Florentino amidst all the lovers he encounters through his life only to arrive back at her true love’s door fifty years, nine months and four days after the first time he professed love to her.
1. Twenty Love Poems And a Song of Dispair (1924)
This bilingual edition of the Chilean poet’s most loved and recognized love poems will deliver lines of desire, despair and longing. Pablo Neruda encapsulates a couple’s journey of love through nature, change and deciding to stay together through the harsh waves after a storm. It is eighty-nine pages of love references and as small as your phone.
Photography: Matilde Urrutia and Pablo Neruda