10 Books to get you through Valentine’s Day

Valentine's day background with open book and heart-shaped pages
Valentine's day background with open book and heart-shaped pages

10 Books to get you through Valentine’s Day

by Tamala Malerk
Stripes Okinawa

Valentine’s Day can be a contentious holiday. Some people revel in the flowers, chocolate and air of romance. My angsty teen self referred to it as “Singles Awareness Day,” and now my spouse just bugs me every year about not wanting to do anything special. So, whether you’re a huge romantic who wants to be wined and dined on this special day, or prefer to put on your comfy pants and watch the “Galantine’s Day” episode of “Parks and Rec, we’ve got something for you.


Love Poems for Married People” by John Kenney (2018)

With cute and zany poems such as “When are you Planning to Turn Off your Kindle,” “While Failing to Assemble an IKEA Cabinet, I Consider my Manhood” and “Is this the Right Time for That,” Kenney shines a funny, relatable and poetic light on married life.


Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman (2007)

I must admit that it was not the book that first caught my attention, but the fact that Timothée Chalamet is in the movie adaptation. Elio and Oliver share a first-love summer romance in the 1980s Italian Riviera. Read the book that helped catapult Chalamet into superstardom.


Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing” by Erika Lopez (1997)

Jolene "Tomato" Rodriguez decides to go on a cross-country motorcycle ride in search of love, the meaning of life and “the perfect post office.” This adventure is a combination of illustrations, text and rubber stamp art.


The Taste of a Man” by Slavenka Drakulić, Christina P. Zoric (Translator) (1995)

Forbidden love, multiple countries and cannibalism all come together in this novel about Polish graduate student Tereza and married Brazilian anthropologist Jose. How do these two find love without a shared language in the New York Public Library and how does their love survive?


Living With Mochi” by Gemma Gene (2021)

When Gemma adopted Mochi the pug, it was love at first cuddle: A love that superseded the feelings Gemma had for her partner and child (okay maybe not, but close). Pet enthusiasts will adore reading Mochi’s comic adventures as they navigate life with naps, new dogs, going potty in the rain, a human sibling and more. For a daily dose of Mochi, you can follow him on Instagram.


Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” by Helen Fielding (1999)

If Bridget brought you into the new year thanks to last month’s list, it only makes sense to follow her awkward journey. She continues on her quest for love, weight loss, self-help books and wondering if the Chipotle calorie counter is correct. This is book two in the Bridget Jones series. Click here to learn about other books in the series.


Letters of Note: Love” compiled by Shaun Usher (2020)

Usher has compiled a list of 30 love letters that have survived across centuries. From Napoleon Bonaparte professing his undying love for Josephine amidst conquering the world to Mildred Loving challenging the racist and unfair marriage laws of the Jim Crow South, there is something in this collection to warm even the coldest heart.


My Husband's Wife” by Jane Corry (2016)

For the mystery readers out there, we’ve got a marriage-related murder mystery for you to solve. When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she thinks she is on a path for a fresh start. However, thanks to her first murder case, she encounters convicted murderer Joe and finds herself unexpectedly drawn to him. Over the course of fifteen years, relationships change and grow and it’s up to the reader to figure out the secrets everyone is hiding.


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by Ann Brashares (2001)

This is a young adult staple that teens and adults alike can enjoy. Join four 15-year-old friends as they have to spend their first summer apart and their unlikely connection to a pair of pants that magically fits all four of them. Make it a complete Galantine’s Day with a book discussion and watching the film with your favorite girls.


Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (2011)

Due to the content nature of this series, all I can really say is, if you know… you know. What started as “Twilight” fan fiction blew up into what many people consider their guilty pleasure. Yes, fans of this series know that it is not well-written. Yes, fans know that if Christian was ugly and lived in a studio apartment, it would be an episode of “Criminal Minds.” Fans don’t care.

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