Read It And Weep

'Tis the season of Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. Or it isn’t. Alexis Hurley, agent at Inkwell Management, shares some of her all-time favorite books about love, lust and loss. 

1. BEHIND THE BEDROOM DOOR Edited by Paula Derrow -

Whether we admit it or not, but we’re all curious about what goes on in other people’s bedrooms. By sharing their stories, authors like Susan Cheever, Julie Powell, Hope Edelman and Cheryl Strayed bravely open a window on the passions, predilections and problems that we encounter between the sheets. And there are all sorts. Yes please.

2. NOTES TO BOYS by Pamela Ribon

Ribon spent countless hours of her high school years writing letters to her (often unrequited) crushes. Haven’t we all. This memoir is too mortifying and reminiscent of awkward early love to put down.

3. CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR by Jean M. Auel 

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love in prehistoric times. Doing like they do on the Discovery Channel. A girl remembers her first introduction to sex in literature. And it didn’t disappoint.

4. LOVE POEMS by Pablo Neruda

Charged with sensuality and passion, Pablo Neruda's love poems are the most celebrated of the Nobel Prize winner's oeuvre – a classic read for anyone with a beating heart.

5. SILK by Alessandro Baricco 

Hervé Joncour is a French silkworm merchant who makes his way all the way to Japan in search of quality silk. There he meets a woman, having already left one behind. His heart splits in two and so will yours. Get out your silk handkerchief. I love this novel.

6. SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL by Helen Gurley Brown

An all-time cult classic from the Queen, herself. A must read for women ready to own their sexuality, and revel in it.


7. CAN LOVE LAST? by Stephen Mitchell 

This Psychoanalyst examines a long enduring question and proclaims that yes, love can last, but we have to be aware of the self-destructive behaviors we take to preserve it, which lead to the unraveling of its fragile state. It makes you mindful, hopeful, and aware of how to handle with care.

8. WRITTEN ON THE BODY by Jeanette Winterson 

Jeanette Winterson knows how to seduce, and this novel, The Passion or Sexing the Cherry… really anything she writes… will bring you into this gifted author’s world of literary desire. The New York Times Book Review calls it this consuming love affair between narrator and married lover"at once a love story and a philosophical meditation.”

9. I LIKE YOU, I LOVE YOU by Carissa Potter 

Sometimes love is too hard to pin point in anything other than art. This charming gift book will speak right to your soft spots. Potter illustrates the moments between meeting that special someone ("I like you"), falling for them ("I like-like you"), and finding the comfort of devotion ("I love you"). You’re bound to recognize yourself somewhere in these pages.

10. AMERICAN HOOKUP by Lisa Wade 

Apparently sex isn’t just for lovers any more. It’s also for your chemisty partner, and that really cute guy you see walking past you in the quad on the way to Envi-Sci Tuesday mornings