So, maybe you have that special someone and maybe you don't. In either case, when Valentine's Day is this close to happening, you should probably have a book at the ready. Let me break down some love categories that you might want to consider:
Sad Love Stories:
Patience by Daniel Clowes is the kind of graphic novel that somehow melds the realism of the heartbreak of loss with the bizarre fantasy of time travel. Brightly and beautifully illustrated, this is also a book that delivers a devastating emotional wallop. This is the kind of book that I thought of long after closing. I kept reopening it to different pages and allowing myself to read and reread the pages that most arrested me. Beautiful and strange.
Diaz is a fast-paced and inventive voice that articulates the ways in which our loves come apart--sometimes through our own negligence and bad behavior. A quick read, but a meaningful one.
Kind of Messed Up Love Stories:
Homesick For Another World is a short story collection by one of my new favorite voices in fiction, Ottessa Moshfegh. These are the kind of stories where people long to connect, but don't always understand how to relate to one another. For instance, one story features a man who watches a woman that he decides he loves. However, he begins to subtly pick her apart in his mind. He reaches out and pulls away, uncertain of his own feelings.
Folks, it is a classic for a reason. Catherine, Heathcliff, and their respective children are not great people. Their bad behavior will make you wince; their occasional tenderness will make you weep.
People falling in love with the wrong people. People misbehaving. This one is fun, slightly gossipy, and has a just touch of mystery. Travel through a hundred years of lives in a house.
Happy(ish) Love Stories:
Okay, this might fall into the category of happy-ish crush stories. This adorable tween/teen graphic novel deals with so many crushes, both straight and gay. I love that Raina Telgemier does such a sweet job of showing all of them as equal, innocent and anxiety-producing!
Despite the title, Love May Fail is a cute story of what happens when Portia Kane's divorce leads to a new and better life (and love). This is one of those "going back to yourself and relearning how to be the person you always were" kinds of stories, complete with lots of quirky charm.
If you like some seriously romantic ruminations, check out Neruda's amazing poetry. While he does include some sadness, his work is also joyous, tender, and um...sexy. So, if you want the top-shelf chocolates of the romance world, here it is in book form.
Classic and spiritual. Gibran writes about many topics in The Prophet, but there is a reason he is so widely quoted on love.
Love is Gross, Stay Back:
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Enough said?
These are just a few options for you to try, but feel free to come in and find your own torrid affair! There is plenty of the sweet and plenty of the scandalous. I'll let you take your pick.