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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Valentine’s Day Reads

By Ana Cecilia Matute, Megan Cradock, Konstantopoulou, Zalak Shah and Caroline Dowse

Whether you prefer to spend the day with a special someone, share a milkshake with a childhood friend or visit your favourite library to fall in love with a new book, celebrate Valentine’s Day your own way this year! Let this day remind you of people, stories and books that bring the world together. Love is the common thread that binds everyone. Read on to find the perfect books for Valentine’s, Galentine’s and Library Lovers Day below.

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury by Marc Levy 

Falling in love is filled with fun moments and emotions, especially when getting close to someone you do not know in that way. Alice Pendelbury embarks on new adventures after receiving a fortune-telling that suggests she has just crossed paths with her true love. However, to find him, she must start a new life outside her routine while discovering more about herself.

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury will transport you to Istanbul, as Marc Levy creates unique descriptions, full of details, of the city. During this incredible journey, Alice discovers that to find her true love, she needs to know more about herself and the love she already has around her.

Gwen and Art are not in Love by Lex Croucher

Gwen and Art are certainly not in love in this funny, beautiful romance by Lex Croucher. Despite having been betrothed since they were children, there’s no love lost between Gwen and Arthur. Yet, when Gwen sees Arthur kissing a boy, and Arthur reads entries in Gwen’s diary about a certain knight, Bridget Leclair, they realise that maybe they can help each other.

As Gwen struggles with her place in court and coming to terms with her feelings for Bridget, Arthur crushes on Gwen’s brother, Gabriel, and battles the heavy weight of his father’s expectations. It’s easy to root for such bright and vibrant characters and their relationships. Gwen and Arthur’s flourishing friendship and witty conversation is an added bonus.

Throw in some hidden secrets, an unpredictable tournament and a huge battle, there is definitely more at stake than just love in this queer medieval romcom.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

This vivid, oddly humoristic debut takes one by surprise as it manages to combine the phenomenon of falling in and out of love with others, and with life itself. Resonating with its readership, Rooney manages to take a stand against the norms entailing human relationships, without blinking as she sheds twinkling lights upon the complexities that characterise friendship, reminding us that it is often those complexities that beautify them. The first-person narration performed by the protagonist, Frances, whirls around the edges of being in your twenties, with absentee fathers, university deadlines, getting heartbroken and the condition of endometriosis fighting against the gift of friendship, the given talent of a natural writer and pure maternal love.

With a plot that keeps changing scenery, faces and events with lightning speed, and a protagonist with a unique character who is living proof of the wonder of being socially awkward and weird among still thriving friendships, the pages do not stop turning, with the desire of finding what happens next never-ending and burning. This Galentine’s, let debut author Sally Rooney take the lead and relive Frances’ experience of being the friend everyone needs. 

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Love comes in all forms, and one of the most endearing portrayals of neighbourly love and community is A Man Called Ove. Fredrik Backman spins a beautiful story of a grumpy old man Ove, who has given up on life after his wife Sonja passed away. However, when he encounters his new neighbours – Patrick, Parvaneh and their two kids, his tough exterior breaks down to reveal a man of strong principles and a golden heart. A Man Called Ove emphasises the importance of community, friendship and the family that we choose for ourselves. Pick up this book to feel a kind of warmth inside of you that tells you there’s still some goodness and love in the world.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

14 February is Library Lovers Day, the perfect occasion to celebrate a love of books. And what better way than by reading a book set in a library? The Midnight Library by Matt Haig tells the story of Nora Seed, whose life has fallen apart - her cat has died and she has lost her job, so she decides to commit suicide. However, she ends up in the Midnight Library, a place situated between life and death, which is full of books that contain different versions of her life. Miss Elm, the librarian, allows her to try out these lives to find one that suits her. Eventually, Nora chooses one as a married philosophy major. But will it bring her the happiness she craves? The Midnight Library questions the choices people make, and the regrets those decisions can cause. Laced with Haig’s trademark dry humour, it highlights the importance of appreciating the life you have.


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