“You and I, it's as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.” —Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
It’s Valentines Day, so naturally I’m listening to Marvin Gaye while I’m holed up in my office. Prince is next. I’m bringin’ it…in remembrance of Saint Valentine, a martyr for love. Well one of them anyway. So let’s go crazy: here are a few reads to keep you in the spirit of true wuv on national affection day.
I’m wholly ashamed to admit that I haven’t read one of the greatest novels of all time: Anna Karenina by my favorite Russian, Leo Tolstoy. What do you say we read it together this summer? Something tells me we’ll be much better for it. Tolstoy would likely agree that love is far more complicated, deep, and tall than we imagine. After all, these are the words he put in Anna’s mouth: “Love. The reason I dislike that word, is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand.”
Will someone get me Amor Towles phone number? Stat. What an author. What a man. If you’re looking for love in all the right places, check out his novel The Rules of Civility. This love story takes place in New York City in the 1930s. When best friends Katey and Eve meet a blue-eyed banker named Tinker Grey at a jazz club in the village, calling dibs is no longer binding. “The Rules of Civility is one of those rare, precious novels that is as intelligent and sophisticated as it is juicy and entertaining.”
I’ll finish my heart-thumping recommendations with yet another classic. A timeless read written by a Nobel Prize-winning Russian author. If you’re interested in a story of boy meets girl meets girl, pick up a copy of Doctor Zhivago. Yuri Zhivago is a medical doctor and poet during the Russian Revolution. This undying love story thawed hearts during the Cold War—can’t imagine it won’t melt yours and mine now.