Valentine’s Day is almost here, with hearts, roses, pink and red as far as the eye can see, and lots of chocolate. Many of people will probably head to the movies, or maybe just Netflix and chill. But long before love stories spilled across the silver screen, they were already in our lives, brought to live through the magic of the written word.
From Shakespeare to Jane Austen, from Gone With The Wind to Me Before You, books have brought love to our lives for thousands of years. And it’s not limited to romantic love; some of the greatest stories ever told are stories about the love between friends, between siblings, between parents and their children.
We asked a few of the Midtown Reader team members to share their favorite love stories from books. If you’re looking for a little love this Thursday, check out some of their recommendations!
Sally Bradshaw, Owner:
"Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen!"
Laurel Lathrop, Bookseller:
"Levin and Kitty's love story in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. The book is built around three couples—the Oblonskys, who are having a midlife crisis; the Karenins, who, well, you probably know how that turns out; and the young friends-and-then-maybe-couple-and-then-just-friends-and-then-finally-couple Levin and Kitty. Their courtship, with all its ups and downs, is like a breath of sweet spring air, much needed in between the turmoil and betrayals of the other two stories."
Katie Hautamaki, Events Director:
"It's an unlikely choice, but C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed is probably my favorite love story! His ruminations on love, marriage, life, and faith after the untimely death of his wife are raw, heart-wrenching, and so, so beautiful. And if I can pick an unlikely runner up: my son and I just finished Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl and it's the BEST story about an adoring relationship between a boy and his dad, "the most marvelous and exciting father any boy ever had." Highly recommend!
Hannah Ragland, Social Media Director:
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. This is the best of every kind of love story, friendship AND romantic. The love in this novel was so real and powerful that it stuck with me long after I finished reading.
Whitney Gilchrist, Bookseller:
"Sheila Heti's newest novel Motherhood dramatizes the internal, meditative struggle of a writer in her thirties who doesn't want to have kids — she thinks, sometimes. She has a partner and stability, all the obvious conditions for a baby. But in the course of the book she comes to accept that she loves her life as it is, despite the perceived social pressure to have a baby. It resonated with me and by the end I, like the narrator, came to love and relish the narrator's quiet world, so much of which is lived, joyfully, in intellectual and self-perfecting pursuits."
We LOVE being your local independent bookstore, and we can’t thank you enough for the love you have shown us over these past two years. Happy Valentine’s Day from the Midtown Reader!