Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Books for loved ones on Valentine’s Day

What does your bookshelf say about you? When you work in publishing, you tend to bypass the traditional gifts of chocolate and flowers and aim an arrow straight for the heart — with books. Here are a few staff recommendations on books for the people you love.

“I would give a cook-book like Proper Pub Food by Tom Kerridge to a loved one, as my family and friends all love to eat and recipe books just keep giving. You get the fun half hour after opening when the proud recipient shows the room glossy pictures of delicious looking food saying things like, ‘I’m definitely trying this’, or ‘doesn’t that look like something grandma made’. It also doesn’t hurt to have friends who throw dinner parties using award winning chefs recipes either…”
Simon Turley, Marketing Assistant for Oxford Journals

“For my first anniversary (traditionally the paper anniversary), I gave my husband a signed book by Kurt Vonnegut. I still love picking up an autographed book as a special present for him. That knowledge that the author him or herself has held that copy in their hand can never be replicated on an e-reader.”
Patricia Bowers Hudson, Associate Director of Institutional Marketing

“Not only does Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson cover Questlove’s formative years — as well as the formation and evolution of the Roots — but it’s an incredibly rare insight into this corner of the music world. Although the bands that the Roots were the most influenced by — Slum Village, De La Soul, Tribe — faded away around them, they have remained an indissoluble player for decades. Many times throughout this memoir, it feels like Questlove is at the axis of it all. He refers to his life episodes as nostalgia at a short range, and I think he knows that he’s one of the few who hasn’t lost perspective. The chosen title is also kind of perfect because it encapsulates Questlove’s packrat approach to popular culture. Although he has a hilarious fear of photo collages, he finds real peace and satisfaction drawing connections between cultural output to reveal in the obvious in the obscure. Don’t get me wrong: Questlove does not re-appropriate. He is, however, relatable, thoughtful, enthusiastic, stubborn, easily embarrassed, and just downright charming.”
Cailin Deery, Associate Marketing Manager

“If you are going to give love, give it unconditionally… like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. This is not a sad or depressing story. The narrator is omniscient and if (s)he says the tree is happy, then take it to be true, real, genuine, authentic.”
Purdy, Director of Publicity

“If there is one underrated love-story that everyone should read, it’s E.M. Forster’s A Room With a View, which is high up on my best-books-of-all-time list. Forster’s story of how a passionate young woman finds herself and true love is just about perfect. Plus, it’s filled with great quotes: ‘It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.'”
Lauren Hill, Associate Events Manager 9780199535552

“With all of the epics, poems, and stories written about this thing we call love, sometimes it is the least bit of language that is able to communicate the most. Every page of Me without You by Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling contains an elementary illustration and short rhyme describing how the protagonist would feel without her significant other. As simple as it sounds, the combined effect would make any Grinch swoon and secretly hope for a visit from cupid.”
Sarah Hansen, Publicity Assistant

“Any book given with love makes the best of gifts, but for your heart-broken best friend, I recommend Persuasion by Jane Austen. As intelligent and charming as Captain Wentworth is, Anne Elliot’s internal strength goes a lot farther in mending a broken heart. ”
Alana Podolsky, Associate Publicist

The feast of Saint Valentine is observed on February 14—a day set aside by the Roman Catholic Church to honor two martyred saints: Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Termi.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.

Recent Comments

There are currently no comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *