Book Nook: Literature With Love

By Maria Elena Margarella

Love takes many forms. Sometimes, it’s a story. From classics to poetry to recent bestsellers, here are some love stories to enamor your heart and mind.

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks: The bestselling romance novelist is at it again with his twentieth publication. This novel follows Russell Green, a 32-year-old advertising exec who has it all—except it’s all on the surface. When his marriage and job are no longer part of his perfect life, he finds himself a struggling single parent to his six-year-old daughter. Russell is forced to make sense of this puzzling reality and begin a new journey—one that will test him beyond his imagination. If you’re looking for a story of unconditional love, this is it.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed: From the author of the groundbreaking bestseller Wild, this book is that one friend you go to for advice—on anything. It’s a collection of The Rumpus’s Dear Sugar advice columns along with never-before-published articles. No matter what you’re going through in life, it’s got something to offer. With humor to keep you smiling, Strayed reaches out a compassionate, cuttingly honest hand to her devoted readers.

95 Poems by E.E. Cummings: One of the most influential avant-garde poets in literary history,
E.E. Cummings writes about love and life in ways that help readers gain a new understanding of existence. First published in 1958, this collection is the last book of new poems released in the poet’s lifetime. His stark awareness and appreciation of human nature keep his poetry intriguing and timeless. This edition draws from his other volumes as well, so you’re bound to fall in love with E.E. all over again.

Beloved by Toni Morrison: Because a classic is a classic for a reason. This Nobel Prize-winning piece of work marries the depth and beauty of poetry with the enchanting skill of storytelling. Sethe, the protagonist, escapes slavery only to be haunted by the ghost of her unnamed baby—whose gravestone reads merely the single word “Beloved.”  Freedom isn’t free after all, and a mother’s love drives the emotional intensity of the most intimate scenes. A book of this literary merit makes American history readable and endures as a pillar of poetic rhetoric.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Published in 1847, this novel stood out with its independent, strong-willed female protagonist, Jane. She starts low—orphaned and oppressed—but remains unbroken. But it’s more than just a coming-of-age story. It’s a story of endurance, strength and love. The chemistry between Jane and Mr. Rochester is dynamic, and so is the couple’s storyline. This book has stood as a brilliant combo of suspense, mystery and romance for over a century now. It’s a must-read.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Not only have its loyal readers declared this work as The Great American Novel, but it’s also considered by the same group to be the greatest love story ever written. Against the intense backdrop of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, it tells the story of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who manipulates for survival and success. The passionate, chaotic love between her and Rhett Butler remains one of the most studied relationships in literary history. First published in 1936, this Pulitzer Prize-winning work stands the test of time. If you haven’t read it, read it.