This article was originally published in May.
Ah, with spring in full bloom, it’s not surprising that love is in the air! If you want to impress your spring fling, forget the flowers and chocolates; they’re so cliché! Read a good book together. Here are my top five books that are guaranteed to woo even the most cynical of hearts. Give them a try and don’t forget that to always read between the lines when it comes to love.
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
This collection of 44 love sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning between 1845 and 1846 for her, then, future husband Robert Browning, should be a poetry staple on your book lover’s shelf. Nevermind that that this collection contains some of the most famous love poems of the Victorian Age. Over time, it has proven that the changing nature of relationships, in all of its beauty and ugliness, has never been so eloquent.
64 pgs, Dover Publications, 1992 edition.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Who hasn’t read this gripping Gabriel García Márquez story about the enduring power of true love and not wept or vomited? For all the bleeding hearts out there, this devastatingly beautiful tale of unrequited love (Florentino for Fermina) really proves that lovesickness can literally be an illness.
368 pgs, Vintage, 2007 edition.
The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro
If you’ve ever wondered what people would do for love, this collection of eight stories by Canada’s beloved Alice Munro is an essential read. Passion, in all of its crimes and secrets, propels Munro’s fascinating characters and those around them, to take some pretty risky and unexpected routes of discovery.
416 pgs, Penguin, 1999 edition.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This book, the touching tale about a young boy and a tree, speaks volumes of the ultimate act of self-sacrifice and can be enjoyed over and over by all of the loves in your life. Life’s greatest lessons are always this beautiful and this simple.
64 pgs, Programs and Genres, 2012 edition
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
There’s nothing like a bit of scandal and “a madwoman in the attic” to rock the foundation of true love. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, the story of a young, plain governess who falls in love with her Bryonic employer, unaware that he has a mad wife incarcerated in the attic, continues to scandalise readers even today.
576 pgs, Michael O’Mara, 2011 edition.