Open Thread: Books for your Valentine

  1. I asked people on Twitter: “which book would you give your Valentine as a token of your affection?” Here’s what they said:
  2. @David_Heb I’m giving my missus a book of poems about divorce.
  3. (“People should be able to guess the book,” Martin tells me. Much as it pains me to admit, I’m not.)
  4. @David_Heb I once gave my current partner Kawabata’s Snow County.
  5. @David_Heb love in the time of cholera gabriel Garcia Marquez love that is on whole unfulfilled but lasts a lifetime
  6. @David_Heb All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman.
  7. @David_Heb The Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman. I did, in fact, and it worked a treat.
  8. Mr Kaufman would seem to be a popular choice!
  9. @David_Heb When younger and even less sensible than I am now, I gave a few love interests The Catcher in the Rye… mainly cos I liked it
  10. Not everyone was so specific:
  11. @david_heb Whichever book he most recently happens to have expressed interest in come the day.#obviousreally #wevegotpastromanceroundhere
  12. And, as some people pointed out, this is not necessarily a straightforward question:
  13. @David_Heb I’ve been thinking about this since yesterday and almost anything I could think of would end up as a test. :/
  14. .@David_Heb Depends wholly on the person I was giving it to: any good give at least 75% about the recipient, only 25% about the giver.
  15. That last point is well made, but I’d still be interested to know what other people would choose – so please let me know in the comments.
    (And me? I’d choose Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical by Robert Shearman – depending on the person, that is…)


  1. I can tell you what I gave Paul now: Merivel, A Man of His Time, by Rose Tremain. He gave me Return of a King by William Dalrymple. Neither ‘romantic’ but both appreciated, I think.

  2. Tricky – maybe Persuasion, but Captain Wentworth would be a very hard act to live up to!

  3. The book is Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds which won the TS Elliot Award earlier in the year. Not exactly romantic in subject matter but it is about love and it does have a personal connection for us which are my criteria for a Valentine book.

  4. I have to agree with the people who didn’t find it an easy question to give a straightforward answer too, I think about it too much and what the book I give might ‘mean’ etc! Some great suggestions though.

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