Saturday, 14 February 2015

10 Books for Every Valentine's Scenario

No matter if you are single or taken, engaged or emotionally unavailable, if you have a boyfriend or a cat, if you are in a serious (although quite unsustainable) relationship with a fictional character…Whatever your situation is, here are ten books that are going to get you through Valentine’s Day. Love it or loathe it, it is just one day of the year, and it is another excuse to spoil yourself or your loved ones with chocolates, sweets and presents. Here are ten books that are going to be perfect for your situation, whatever it is.

1.     If you are in love: Pride and Prejudice

Romantic books and especially period pieces make a perfect read if you are already happily and blissfully in love. Anything by Jane Austen might usually feel too optimistic (and to some people that means not realistic enough), but it is Valentine’s Day and you are in a happy relationship, so reading about other happy people being in love should be the ultimate romantic experience. I would go for a book that has your favourite romantic hero in it, as a girl with a major crush on Mr Darcy, I definitely recommend Pride and Prejudice (however, if we go out of the Austen domain, I would choose Mr Thornton, naturally).

2.     If you are single: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle De Jour

Being single on Valentine’s should not be something to bring you down. This is a day for love in general. So, get out of your moody behaviour, stop making fun of the couples in love you see on your news feed, don’t start binge watching some soap that’s going to make you cry, and pick up one of Belle De Jour’s books instead. The original one, The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, is the best one – Belle is funny, refreshingly honest and quite informative even. Not only is her book going to take your thoughts away from Valentine’s, but it is also going to entertain you so much, you will forget why you were moody at the first place.

3.     You have just gone through a divorce? The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

A divorce, or a nasty break-up, is never great, but it is even worse if you are presented with your first Valentine’s as a newly divorcee. Staying in with a book and a glass of wine might be more enjoyable than you thought, especially if you do it with The Paris Wife. The story about Hemingway’s first marriage is told from the perspective of his first wife, Hadley. Beautifully written and mesmerizing, this is a story about love that was not to be. However, a disastrous first marriage, does not mean that Hadley’s life did not get better after Earnest.   

4.     You are feeling lonely and a little bit lost, basically you begin to believe you will be forever alone: Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

The star of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the charming Holly Golightly embraces her freedom as the independent woman she truly is. Forget about the film for a second and reach for the book as the plot is quite different to what you have seen on the screen. The movie is a masterpiece in its own terms, but if you are feeling rather lonely, the novel is your better option. Holly is a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease, an inspiration. Because Holly Golightly does what she wants.

5.     If you just got engaged: Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

If you are happily engaged, there is one book I would definitely recommend and that is Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris. A delicious love story about American girl (Bard) who falls in love with a gorgeous Frenchman (Gwendal), moves in with him in Paris – “a heavy mix of blood sausages, pains aux chocolats and irregular verbs.” You not only get to read a real, and very romantic, love story, but you also get a few recipes along the way (there are three at the end of each chapter), making this one of the best recipe books, too!

6.     You just had your heart broken: Starter for Ten by David Nicholls

 A broken heart does not need dramatic tear-jerkers that are going to have you stuffing your face with Ben & Jerry’s and drowning your sorrow in cheap red wine. Say no to that cliché now, please, for your own good. Instead, pick up something funny and interesting enough to keep your mind away from that nasty heart-breaker. Enter Starter for Ten – a well-written book, full of humour that is bound to at least bring a smile to your face. Situated in 1985, the story is about Brian who has just started his first term at university and is looking forward to fulfilling one of his biggest dreams – appearing on quiz show University Challenge. Do yourself a favour and opt for this one – it will make you laugh and that is all you need right now.

7.     You hate men: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

It could happen to anyone – you are just at this phase in your life when you, quite frankly, hate men. No judging here, each to their own. You probably cannot be bothered with Valentine’s anyway, so why don’t you spend it at home with a novel as humongous as The Count of Monte Cristo? You get bonus points for choosing a classic here. As you might already know, it is about Edmond Dantès, who is wrongly imprisoned for a crime he has not committed. Determined to escape and to bring the three men who plotted against him to destruction, Edmond is the ultimate romantic hero. Now, in this one, you get to see a lot of men getting what they deserved for all the wrongdoings in their life – you, being the ultimate man-hater, should love it. Who knows, you might even completely disagree with the Count’s ways, and hate him as a bonus, too?!  

8.     You suffer from unrequited love: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Another classic on this list, The Age of Innocence is not about unrequited love, though I do recommend reading it if you are in this situation. The beautiful, blooming love between Newland Archer and Countess Ellen Olenska is deemed impossible from the beginning as Newland is set to marry her cousin May. On the border between surrendering to their passions and keeping their duties, these two are living in the unforgiving society of Old New York, where scandal is the biggest crime. It is a great novel that is going to take your mind off the object of your affections. However, it will also show you, that even if two people are in love with each other, that does not mean that everything will be cream and peaches.

9.     Happily married: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

You do not need an excuse to read this book but being happily married, you might enjoy it even more. “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” A tragic love story, a brilliant novel, a spot on study of human nature, Anna Karenina has everything you will ever need to know about life. Anna Karenina is life. You will not be able to put it down or to let it go, its characters are going to haunt you as you slowly grow attached to them. Ultimately, you are going to care about each and every one of them. Why to read it now? Because why not.

10.  Playing the field, no strings attached: Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

There is certainly nothing wrong with playing the field, especially not in this day and age. However, you might not be in the mood for dating on Valentine’s Day of all days, so staying in with a book as hot and scandalous as Lady Chatterley’s Lover should be able to compensate for your staying in. What’s the big deal with the novel famous for scandalizing people with its explicit sex scenes and daring language? Read it and find out for yourself. 


  1. This is such a great list! It's seriously the perfect Valentine's Day book suggestion list. All your bases are covered and the books are fabulous. Quite a few on the list that I really want to read. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I am so glad you liked it! Thank you, lovely :) xx