Five Books for Valentine’s Day
As the university library on one of the most romantic college campuses in the world, the Falvey Memorial Library has found it judicious to bring some Valentine’s Day literature recommendations to our constituents. Whether you’re single and looking, single and happy, or taken, these books are the perfect companions to spend the day with.
1. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
This recommendation comes from First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian Rob Leblanc. A contemplation of beauty and love in the midst of the destruction and horror of The Second World War, “The Book Thief” offers the perfect chance to embark on the journey of a boy who uses literature to overcome terror. Whether you’re cuddled up with your significant other, enjoying the heat of the fireplace over a couple of novels or if other obligations have prevented you from seeing your other half, this story will engross you in a world where love truly conquers all.
2. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
English & Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo recommends this book for romantics of all kinds. Also set in WWII, this Pulitzer Prize winner recounts the journey of a blind French girl and a German boy as they come of age during WWII. Their paths eventually cross during the American landing at Normandy on D-Day. Following their exchange, one’s path to safety is ensured, while the other remains dangerously trapped on the battlefields of Europe. For anyone thinking about the very nature of romance and love, this story provides an interesting peak at the very drives at the heart of our nature.
3. “The Pastoral Symphony, or, La Symphonie Pastorale” by André Gide
Recommended by Nursing/Life Sciences & Instructional Services Librarian Barbara Quintiliano, this novella is available in our collection in both English and its original French. Also incorporating the device of blindness, this one recounts the relationship that develops between a pastor’s son and a blind girl named Gertrude. As the pastor himself attempts to shield Gertrude from sin, his son falls deeply in love with her and proposes marriage. From there, the story takes an interesting turn that forces the reader to consider lessons of the bible, honesty, and responsibility in love.
4. “Love’s Labour’s Lost” by William Shakespeare
Interested in what happens when four secular men take the oath not to give in to female temptations? Theology / Humanities Librarian Darren Poley recommends this Shakespeare piece. Featuring sovereign decrees, secret romances, and a king in disguise, this comedy features the claim that man’s highest study ought to be love.
5. “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks
Information Services Specialist Gerald Dierkes recommends kicking back on the recliner and reading this lovely story from romantic tale expert Nicholas Sparks. “It’s not specifically about Valentine’s Day,” Dierkes says, “but it is a good love story.” For those of you interested in how emotions of the heart may conquer ailments of the body, this book is especially for you.
(Photos courtesy of the Falvey Memorial Library Collection and Google Books)
Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.
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