Valentines Day is almost here and everyone has love on the brain! What better time to read up about the weirdness, beauty, and history of love. Here are 5 great books from independent publishers about love and romance.
If you’d like to purchase any of these books, we’d highly recommend seeking out your local independent bookstore. Your business helps ensure the survival of these vital cultural institutions during this difficult time.
1. The Forgotten Art of Love by Armin A. Zadeh
Cardiologist and professor Armin Zadeh revisits psychologist Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving, a book that has fascinated him for decades. The Forgotten Art of Love examines love in its complex entirety — through the lenses of biology, philosophy, history, religion, sociology, and economics — to fill in critical voids in Fromm’s classic work and to provide a contemporary understanding of love. This unique and wide-ranging book looks at love’s crucial role in every aspect of human existence, exploring what love has to do with sex, spirituality, society, and the meaning of life; different kinds of love (for our children, for our neighbors); and whether love is a matter of luck or an art that can be mastered. Dr. Zadeh provides a fascinating, empowering guide to enhancing relationships and happiness — concluding with a provocative vision for firmly anchoring love in our society.
2. The Communism of Love by Richard Gilman-Opalsky
Exploring the meanings and powers of love from ancient Greece to the present day, Richard Gilman-Opalsky argues that what is called “love” by the best thinkers who have approached the subject is in fact the beating heart of communism—understood as a way of living, not as a form of government. Along the way, he reveals with clarity that the capitalist way of assigning value to things is incapable of appreciating what humans value most. Capitalism cannot value the experiences and relationships that make our lives worth living and can only destroy love by turning it into a commodity. The Communism of Love follows the struggles of love in different contexts of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and shows how the aspiration for love is as close as we may get to a universal communist aspiration.
3. The Sorrows of Love by Alain de Botton
A thoughtful and consoling perspective on the true and sometimes dark nature of love, leading to better understanding and ultimately acceptance.
Love has, quite unfairly, come to be associated with being happy. However, it is also one of the most reliable routes to misery. We tend to treat our sadness individually, as if it were unique and shameful. But, as this book explains, there are some solid reasons why love should be highly sorrowful at times. The good news is that, by understanding our romantic troubles and griefs, seeing them in their proper context and appreciating their prevalence, we will cease to feel so alone and so cursed.
This essay is not a study in despair; it is a guide to a more consoling, humane, and in its own way joyful perspective on the complexities of love.
4. The Little Book of Love
From Shakespeare’s sonnets to the rom coms of modern-day cinema, Enlightenment philosophy to the latest Nicholas Sparks novel, one could say that no other topic has inspired such beauty – in art, literature, poetry or music – than that of love.
In The Little Book of Love the words of civil rights activists sit alongside those of movie stars, world leaders and the philosophers of Ancient Greece. In its pages you will find some hard-won lovers’ wisdom, a whole host of poignant and inspiring reflections on love, as well as some of the most famous, endearing and enduring declarations of love ever spoken.