Thirteen books about love

07 February 2014

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Get in the mood for Valentine's Day... Sarah Butler, author of Ten Things I've Learnt About Love, picks the thirteen books about love that have most inspired her writing. The stunning photo is courtesy of Yngve Thoresen.

Paula by Isabel Allende

Almost too painful to read, this is an extraordinary account of a mother’s love for her dying daughter.

King Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare 

He conjures the passion and torment of love, both family and romantic, so exquisitely.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

A beautiful, rich, heartbreaking book about forbidden love.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

A brave and compassionate book about following your heart and learning to love.

'The Mirrored Twins' by Jackie Kay, from her short story collection Wish I Was Here

A beautiful story about love in later life and the fear and possibility of losing the one you love.

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

She is just so brilliant at capturing the complexities of relationships.

Grain by John Glenday

I love this poetry collection, especially 'Etching of a line of trees' about his love for and the loss of his father, and 'A Fairy Tale', a brilliant reversal of Beauty and the Beast.

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

An unusual love story between two really quite odd characters—I adored it!

So Many Ways to Begin by Jon McGregor

A beautiful novel about a difficult marriage.

The Bone People by Keri Hulme

One of my favourite books, an astonishing and sometimes shocking novel about love and brutality.

Keep the list going and tell us your favourite books about love in the comments below.

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