We may refer to ourselves as Bridget Jones’, but as Elizabeth Bennett knows, romance can have a happy ending. Whether you’re curling up to Mark Darcy or cuddling a tub of Haagen Dazs this Valentine’s Day, there will always be one faithful companion whom you will love implicitly- that special book. Be it a gift for a loved one, a gift for your window cleaner, or a gift for yourself- take a look at the definitive three lovable books I have to offer…
For the unique person in your life: Born Weird by Andrew Kaufman
Weird by (sur)name and weird by nature, the five Weird children have each had to carry around a burden since their birth. Turning the “blessing in disguise” proverb on its head, the Weird’s grandmother instead provides the children with a curse in disguise which plagues their life. These special powers- which include never losing hope, never getting lost and the ability to always forgive- will be removed if Angie Weird can assemble all of her brothers and sisters in their grandmother’s hospital room before her death. Touching, witty, and with downright addictive prose, Toronto writer Andrew’s latest provides a perfect zing of magical realism, offering a refreshing and insightful look into family bonds that led me to read the entire novel in a single night.
RRP £12.99. Available from Amazon and Waterstones and all major book retailers
For the supermarket buyer: How Rude! Modern Manners Defined by Waitrose
Most of us can sniff out a Valentine’s quickie purchase from a supermarket in a heartbeat, but for those who are up for a ready slice of wit from some of the best writers in Britain, look no further. Food critic Giles Coren, The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency writer Alexander McCall and comedienne Sue Perkins are just a few of the famous pensmiths who have joined together to write about a very British trademark- the essence of good manners. Note to the purchaser: do warn your loved one beforehand that this isn’t a suggestive tip for altering their etiquette. Black eyes are not considered an en vogue Valentine’s treat.
RRP £8.99. Available from Waitrose and Amazon
For the poetic partner: By Heart: 101 Poems to Remember
For those who want to expirate Tennyson, Donne and W.H Auden at a touch, 101 Poems to Remember offers a perfect romantic gift with method. If your loved one desires to learn poetry from the best, they can take heed from the anthology’s introduction by former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, who offers unforgettable tips on trilling your favourite Shakespearean sonnets as well as a definitive collection of the best poetry to date.
RRP £7.99, available from http://www.culturelabel.com
For the die hard romantic: The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris
Molly and Ryan’s journey begins with a kiss. Thousands of kisses later and six years on, the couple’s world is torn apart, sending them on a journey with unpredictable consequences. Far from your average chick lit, former journalist Ali puts her writing prowess to the test as she tests the couple’s romantic boundaries. For a romantic novel with a difference, pick up a slice of tear-jerking, catharsis for your special someone and send them into a romantic frenzy.
RRP £6.99. Available from Waterstones and Amazon and all major book retailers