Valentine's Day is long over but love is never out of date. Try these books from off the beaten path
About Alice by Calvin Trillin
This slim non-fiction book by Calvin Trillin, a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, is a love letter to Alice, his wife of over 40 years who died in 2001 of a weakened heart. Trillin, with his usual wit and panache, waxes poetic and comedic in a series of vignettes about his life with the woman who was both his companion and his muse. A good primer for readers unfamiliar with Calvin Trillinâ€™s work and for those with a wobbly faith in abiding love.
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
Since childhood, Misty Marie Kleinman has been inexplicably drawn to the affluent town of Waytansea Island long before she knew such a place existed. Eventually, her dream becomes reality when she marries Peter Wilmot, a Waytansea resident. When Peter descends into a coma after a failed suicide, Misty begins a diary to chronicle a fairytale life gone sour on an island town populated by people with a sinister method of preserving their way of life. A tale from the dark side of love, not for the weak of heart.
Liseyâ€™s Story by Stephen King
Lisey Langdon, widow of the famous and famously troubled novelist, Scott Langdon, is forced to confront her grief two years after her husbandâ€™s death. The cast of characters include a catatonic sister, a psychotic number-one fan, and the hounding memory of Scott Langdon and his past. At its core, this 528-page tome is a story of death-defying love, in which Stephen King experiments with language and the narrative form without abandoning his expert knack for horror. Voted by the New York Times Book Review as one of The 100 Most Notable Books of 2006, read this romance novel ala King and see if you agree.
Natural Flights of the Human Mind by Clare Morrall
Peter Straker has holed himself up in a decommissioned lighthouse after killing 78 people. Imogen Doody, a miserable, mouthy divorcee, inherits a fixer-upper in the neighboring town. When their paths collide, an unlikely love story develops between these two outcasts who have nearly written themselves out of life. Beautiful prose, quirky characters and unhurried pacing make this novel worth curling up with. Read with a cup of tea.
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
In this batty buffet of bicker and spite, love rears its many heads within a dysfunctional family. Married love speeds fast to nowhere. New love gets a bad case of cold feet. Love that dares not speak its nameâ€¦speaks its name out loud. From the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime comes this madcap romp through the funhouse hallways of that finicky beast called Love. Read this and weep â€¦ and laugh.