I've noticed it's become cool to hate Valentine's Day.
Otherwise known as Singles Awareness Day...or "hmmph," as my husband likes to call this holiday.
So in honor of people who don't really care for Valentine's Day, I pulled a few books from my bookshelf that I think you should read. No matter what kind of attitude you have about this holiday, I've got a book for you.
Just choose one of the sentiments below, and you'll see which book corresponds with how you might be feeling today.
1. "I'm sick of all this romantic crap. Show me the science."
Book: The Male Brain, by Louann Brizendine, M.D. or its counterpart, The Female Brain.
I read both of these books, but enjoyed The Male Brain more. After reading The Female Brain, I felt sorry for anyone out there who is still trying to figure out why women are the way they are. The secret is, we don't even know ourselves.
Here's an excerpt from The Male Brain where the author tries to explain why a woman might say that her male partner doesn't understand how she feels.
"His male brain isn't designed to wallow in anguish, so once it identifies an emotion, it quickly taps into the TPJ (temporal-parietal junction system) to complete the cognitive emotional processing. The male brain is like an express train: It doesn't stop until it reaches its final destination."
And later, in the same chapter: "Because men use their TPJ more, they can't fathom why women want to spend so much time talking about their emotions and often getting more and more upset." (Brizendine, The Male Brain, 2010)
2. I forgot to get something for my significant other, and I have no idea what they might want!
Book: The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman.
We all express love in different ways, and that's what this book tries to address. The basic point is that while you might love flowers, your significant other might actually appreciate it if you washed the dishes after dinner instead. It's all about figuring out how the other person feels loved and doing those things, instead of assuming that your partner wants what you want.
This is a book often recommended in, like, marriage conferences and stuff, but it's a good read even if you are not married or even dating. At its core, it's just a look at how all people are different.
3. I want to feel emotional, but my copy of The Notebook is too tear-stained to be legible.
Book: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle.
This was my favorite book as a kid, and I still re-read it about once a year. It's a story about a little geeky girl who ultimately saves her family from something evil by figuring out that love is one of the most powerful forces in the world. At first, she tries to fight evil with anger and hate, but she later realizes that won't work.
"'Mrs. Whatsit hates you,' Charles Wallace said.
And that was where IT made ITs fatal mistake, for as Meg said, automatically, 'Mrs. Whatsit loves me; that's what she told me, that she loves me,' suddenly she knew.
Love. That is what she had that IT did not have. She had Mrs. Whatsit's love, and her father's, and her mother's, and the real Charles Wallace's love, and the twins', and Aunt Beast's.
'I love you!' she cried. 'I love you, Charles! I love you!'" (L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time, 1962)
4. I really love my dog/cat/goldfish.
Book: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.
This book is written from a dog's perspective. Enzo believes that he will be reincarnated as a human, so he tries to learn as much as being human as he can from his owner, race car driver Denny Swift.
It's a beautiful story with a pretty intense plot, and it will make you appreciate your pet more.
5. I want to read something that's not about romantic love.
Book: Book of John, by John
No list of books about love could be complete without some mention of the Bible, in my opinion. Plenty of books in the Bible talk about love, but I like John. One of my favorite biblical stories is in this book.
Here's an excerpt:
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?'
They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'
'No one, sir,' she said.
'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'" (John 8:3-11, NIV)
What books about love do you recommend?
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