SheReads: A World of Books for Celebrating Love


Combine the words “Love” + “Books” and there are simply endless avenues to take.

It’s LOVE week, my friends!

And truthfully, I’ve been humming and hawing about how to approach this SheReads post for a while; because when you combine the words Love + Books, there seems to be endless avenues to take. Do I write all philosophically about the meaning of love, or relate stories of social justice and love in action, or go the romantic love story route, or direct you to the top marriage & relationship literature, or feature lovey-dovey poetry, or put an exclamation to the books and stories we plain old love? There’s confusion in the brain …

The end result of my humming and hawing: we’re going to have a smattering of it all!

Here’s some book suggestions, well-loved by Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha and myself, that will serve as inspiration for the love we love to celebrate.

  • On the meaning of love:

Yes yes, I am human and I experience love. This love usually comes from those closest to me in my world and is often given even when it’s undeserved. But then … there is this truth: the God and Creator of all the Universe has a deep, tenacious and unending love towards me. Brennan Manning’s The Furious Longing of God unpacks this raw theme eloquently. Now that, my friends, is a Love worth celebrating.


  • On poetry:

Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha: One of the best books I have ever read about love is … a commentary! A commentary written about the Song of Solomon, the most lush and lovely and, dare I say, lust-filled book in the Bible. Marcia Falk’s The Song of Songs:  A New Translation & Interpretation unfolds the enigmatic verses of this potent book–declaring that while the Song of Solomon is many things, it is certainly and foremost erotic love poetry.  Think about that–love poems in the heart of wisdom literature in the Bible!  Written with lovely prose and beautiful etchings of flora and fauna, this is a tribute to the wisdom of love.

  • On love in action:

In the war-torn Gaza strip there is a valiant doctor who has had every possible reason to hate, yet continuously stands for peace and harmony between the Palestinians of Gaza and their neighboring Israelis. His name is Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish and his book, I Shall Not Hate, opened my eyes to a plight I was very naïve about.


  • On love stories:

I bring to you …. Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. Ah, Claire and Henry, and their love that was meant to be. There’s a unique twist to this love story. Henry is 41, and then 26, and then 35 … just make sure you pay attention! When my mother read it she was downright confused. (There’s also some sexuality in this one).


In Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love we find some vibrant characters whose lives intersect via their relationship with a book. It’s a story of long lost loves, friendships and familial love. Nicole used some different writing techniques I thoroughly enjoyed. Random side note on author bliss: Nicole Krauss is married to Jonathan Safran Foerc… now you know.


  • On marriage:

Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha: Marriage can be drenched in love … but also laced with some hardship and hurdles.  Two becoming one is the invitation of marriage, and Madeline L’Engle tells her tender tale in Two-Part Invention:  The Story of a Marriage.  She shares how she and her beloved, both creative types, collaborated and crafted a shared story of great family and great love.  This is a love story I can believe in!


  •  On stories we plain old love: 

For me, this has got to be Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone. I’m not sure if it was the delicious prose, the African setting, the multi-cultural cast, the medical insight or the gripping tale of brotherly love that had me won over. Likely, it is the combination of it all! At any rate, this book is a (thick!) winner that tops my favorites list.

And there you have it. May you continue to be inspired to Love. Happy (slightly early!) Valentines!

And now:

  • What’s your lovey-dovey book recommendation for the above love categories?


Photo credit: Dana Meyenberg via Pininterest