February 11, 2015

My Top Five Books About Love

Reading about love or heartbreak can be cathartic.

It's validating to know that a fictional character, or a real person has experienced the same pain, or uplifting joy that we feel when we open ourselves up to another person. Just ask my new favourite Instagram account, Hot Dudes Reading.

Whether it's heartache, commitment, marriage, or self-exploration, it's hard to find a novel that doesn't focus on these themes in one way or another. I constantly read about love in all of its capacities, whether I'm in a relationship, newly single, heartbroken, or playing the field. It's a constant learning game, and I find it fascinating.

I don't have many views on Valentine's Day; I can take it or leave it depending on my romantic situation. However, February seems to be the month of love, hence this post.

Below are my top five books for whatever you're feeling!

1. This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage - Author Ann Patchett's collection of essays focuses on her writing career, love for her dog, divorce, and new marriage. My favourite essay, the title of the book, has the simplest advice when it comes to relationships: "Does he make you a better person?"

2. Us: A Novel - For those who loved Nicholls' One Day, his second novel Us, introduces readers to Douglas and Connie, a middle-aged couple who's marriage is on the verge of ending. Connie wants it to end, Douglas does not. They go on a European adventure with their teenage son, Albie hoping to save it.

3. On Love - Alain de Botton's novel is written in short blurbs and describes a relationship from first glance, and idealization to skepticism and intimacy. It's a roller coaster ride, but aren't all relationships?

4. Americanah - This novel, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is my absolute favourite. While it has more important themes like racial politics, the love story between the main characters, Nigerian students Ifemelu and Obinze will break your heart in the best way possible. My favourite line, "She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself."

5. Love Poems - Pablo Neruda's mini book of poems, will have you seduced. Apparently he wrote them on the island of Capri for his lover Matilde. I carry this with me when I fly.

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