If books be the food of love, read on: sharing books with the people in your life
Part 1: buying a book
As the Book Bulletin online catalogue crowdfunding campaign for reading recommendations and gift suggestions comes to an end on International Book Giving Day (also known in some quarters as ‘Valentine’s Day’), Christopher Norris from the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign asked friends, fans and followers of the initiative how they would feel about exchanging books with significant others on 14 February.
Which book would you choose to give to a loved one on 14 February?
Hannah Bellamy, CEO, United Way Reading Oasis: I would give A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara because it is unforgettable. It is brutal, relentless and exhausting. But despite all of this there is a message of love, accepting the faults of a loved one and making the most of time together…
Catherine Clover, author, forthcoming multimedia Aldus Cervus series: For February 14 I would give an adult loved one a copy of Jane Eyre, the ultimate love story in my opinion, and one that heavily inspired my novel, The Templar’s Garden.
Andrew Hayward, Managing Director, Ether Books: I would give The Great War by Aleksandar Gatalica. It is an absolute classic, was runner-up in the Oxford Weidenfeld Prize and has been read by very few in the UK.
Jessica Norrie, author, The Infinity Pool: I would choose something about an elderly couple who’ve been through a lot together and still love and value each other. I’m writing such a couple into my second novel at present, but since that won’t be ready in time for this year, I’ll go for Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs.
Lesley Pollinger, author and Literary Executor and Trustee for the Estate of Frieda Lawrence Ravagli: The authorative Cambridge University Press edition of Love Among the Haystacks and Other Stories which is a beautiful collection of D H Lawrence’s early short stories, and all manner of ways in which love and loss can be expressed.
Nick Quantrill, crime writer and Hull Noir 2017 team, international crime writing festival: As a crime writer, it would have to be something from my genre. Despite all the murder and mayhem associated with it, at its best, it’s a genre of great heart and hope. I’d share a book by George Pelecanos, as he writes about families and relationships with great compassion and clarity.
Karen Sullivan, Founder and Publisher, Orenda Books: I would give a loved one three books, because I am usually over the top. They are Amanda Jennings’ In Her Wake, Su Bristow’s Sealskin and Louise Beech’s The Mountain in My Shoe, because they are ultimately about the power of love and its ability to offer redemption.
Hildur Sif Thorarensen, author, Einfari: I would either give my partner a romantic story, because it’s Valentine’s Day, or something about marketing since he’s extremely interested in that subject at this time.
Victoria Wicks, actress, granddaughter of H E Bates: If I gave a book to someone on Valentine’s Day I’d probably want to give them a second-hand first edition of a book with a great dust-jacket. If they didn’t agree with me about the content I’d be hoping they loved the look of the book. Otherwise, I have always loved my grandftaher’s book, Love for Lydia, so that would make a perfect gift.