MY MISTRESS'S SPARROW IS DEADGreat Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro
Edited by Jeffrey Eugenides
Philandering husbands, reclusive spinsters and moony sweethearts come together in this eclectic collection of classical and contemporary short love stories. Collected by celebrated novelist Jeffrey Eugenides, this is a treat to dip in and out of. The many varied faces of love - erotic, romantic, complicated, doomed, blissful - are explored in pieces by literary heavyweights including Alice Munro, William Faulkner, Miranda July, Lorrie Moore, Vladimir Nabokov, George Saunders and the master of the short story, Raymond Carver, whose What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a perfectly polished slice of life.
by Pablo Neruda
If you're looking for a classic book of love poetry to give as a gift, look no further than this slim and compact beautiful pink volume with gold lettering. These poems from Chilean prizewinning novelist Neruda evoke the sensual seascapes of Capri where he and his wife Matilde Urrutia resided. Hailed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as "the greatest poet of the 20th century - in any language," Neruda's poems drip with lushness and a red-hot fiery sexuality. English translations of each intensely romantic poem sit alongside the Spanish version.
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LOVE LETTERS OF GREAT MEN AND WOMEN
Edited by Ursula Doyle
Happily, I've not watched one episode of Sex in the City but apparently viewers were sparked to get their hands on a copy of this book after Carrie Bradshaw was spotted reading it on the television show. But while the letters she was reading definitely existed, the collection itself was fictitious. That inspired the publication of this actual book, a heady anthology of some of the most romantic letters ever written by kings, queens, composers, writers, poets and politicians. It includes missives from the past 2000 years from Queen Victoria, Katherine Mansfield, Anne Boleyn, Beethoven, Mark Twain, Jane Austen and Edith Wharton, which might even inspire you to pen your own hot note.
IMPORTANT ARTIFACTS AND PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LENORE DOOLAN AND HAROLD MORRIS INCLUDING BOOKS, STREET FASHION AND JEWELRY
by Leanne Shapton
Yes, the title is impossibly long but this remains one of my favourite books ever. And it's most likely you've never seen anything quite like it before. Is it a novel? Is it an art book? Is it a graphic novel? Is it a photography project? Is it an auction catalogue? Well, it's sort of all of the above. Artist and writer Leanne Shapton noticed that the description cards for objects in estate catalogues reflected the lives and told mini-narratives about the people who owned the objects. So she made up an imaginary couple, 40-something photographer Harold Morris and cake columnist for the New York Times Lenore Doolan (the characters appear in photos posed by two of Shapton's friends). Charting the highs, lows and eventual demise of their relationship through their objects, Shapton has cleverly trussed this book up in the form of an auction catalogue (with the auction date ironically being held on Valentine's Day) giving us a fascinating, voyeuristic glimpse into these characters lives. We get to know and invest in the couple intimately, just through their objects and accompanying clipped object descriptions. It's beautiful, romantic, offbeat, wildly inventive and a little bit heart-breaking.
ESSAYS IN LOVE
by Alain de Botton
"We are not wholly alive until we are loved." Fancy a bit of a philosophical edge to your romance? Best known for his writings on popular psychology and philosophy, Alain de Botton's Essays in Love is a unique and thoughtful novel, which meanders through the landscape of a contemporary romance in all of its stages as it unfolds. Artfully weaving through history, religion, and the philosophy of Aristotle and Wittgenstein, this illuminating novel explores the lay of the romance land, from exhilaration, anxiety and heartbreak.