This post is embarrassingly late. My family and I were sidelined by a long, drawn out case of the flu. But we made it, and who wants to read about hearts on Valentine’s Day anyway! The following five books are ones that I would heartily recommend if you have not had the pleasure of reading them yet.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies // John Boyne. “If there is one thing I’ve learned in more than seven decades of life, it’s that the world is a completely fucked-up place. You never know what’s around the corner and it’s often something unpleasant.”
Heartbreaker // Claudia Dey. “The women sat on the padded leatherette chairs in our kitchen. The chairs were beige and brown with a rose patter sewn onto the backs. We had bought them together at Furniture City. I tried to direct you toward more sophisticated options, but you wanted to fit in, go unnoticed. You knew you were being talked about, and you hated being talked about. You knew that it took 170 milliseconds to identify whether another person was in their group. You knew that when ants gathered, they did two things: first, they formed a colony, and then they formed a graveyard.”
The Lonely Hearts Hotel // Heather O’Neill. “Being a woman was a trap. Something would bring you down before you turned twenty-three. The only time the world shows you any favor, or cuts you any slack, is during that very brief period of courtship where the world is trying to fuck you for the first time.”
Barbed Wire Heart // Tess Sharpe. “There’s nothing stronger than a woman who’s risen from the ashes of some fire a man set.”
The Hearts of Men // Nickolas Butler. “I’ve known cowards and I’ve known heroes,” he says. “The heroes were always ruled by their hearts; the cowards by their brains. Don’t forget that. Heroes don’t calculate or calibrate. They do what is right.”
Clearly, just because a book has “heart” in the title doesn’t mean it’s a love story (the Heartbreaker quote is my favorite, for what it’s worth). A late, but sincere Happy Valentine’s to you.