I was recently turned on to Five Books, where they put together a list of the essential five books on… anything. Seriously. Happiness (and evil), how to end poverty (and how to write poetry), and volcanoes.
The only rational reaction is, of course, to make a list of my own, because if the internet was invented for one thing, it was for arbitrary and relatively useless lists on whatever flies into your head.
Without further ado, here’s my list of the authoritative texts that will teach you everything you need to know about how to be a great lover:
As the name might imply, this is a book about Love (capital L). Many, many forms of love, but it includes the sort of passionate, life-long devotion that only exists in Hollywood and black and white photos from eighty years ago. If you can learn a single thing from this book, it’s that all you need is love. And maybe a Neruda-like affinity for words.
Really, with this book in the list all the others are redundant. Jeffrey Eugenides (who is the Superman-Batman combo to my internal literary comic book world) takes on the herculean challenge of collecting the best short stories about romantic love. He succeeds, then probably swings away on his Spidey-web to do battle with another literary theme.
Um. I think I would be hung, drawn, and quartered by the Interwebs if I didn’t include this bad boy. If ever you doubted that Mandy Patinkin was your hero, or that ROUS’s were to be avoided, you should re-read this. NOW.
It’s been made into a billion movies (give or take) for a reason. It takes love on as an almost religious obsession, as a lens through which we can understand everything else. Please note that even if I did make a deal with God I would never give you up for the Catholic Church.
Physical love, childhood love, old age love, there’s something for everyone in this one! A surprisingly small amount of cholera, though.