We have a superb selection of interviews devoted to the best books on love, exploring this complicated phenomenon in all its aspects. Jenny Davidson, professor of English and Comparative literature at Columbia, chooses her best love stories. Skye Cleary, philosopher and author of Existentialism and Romantic Love, delves into the philosophy of love; she ponders, among other things, whether love is a choice. On a more practical level, therapist Mira Kirshenbaum chooses her best books on relationship therapy and stresses the importance of understanding a relationship’s dynamics as a system in order to overcome or avoid problems. Ella Berthoud, a bibliotherapist, discusses her practice and love and relationships; TV presenter Riz Kahn chooses his best books on enduring love.
On the subject of love's more negative aspects and complicated consequences, novelist Katie Kitamura chooses her best books on marriage and divorce in literature; historian Nancy Goldstone talks about strong (mainly royal) women in bad marriages; and the poet and novelist Evan Zimroth chooses her best books on adultery. Taking a more broadly historical view, war correspondent Janine di Giovanni looks at love, war and longing.
Beyond these interviews dedicated to love, there are many other book recommendations all over the site on the theme of love, from Sappho’s poetry of the 7th century BC to the best romance books of 2020.
The Philosophy of (Erotic) Love
by Edited by Robert C Solomon and Kathleen M Higgins
The Second Sex
by Simone de Beauvoir
Tête-à-Tête: The Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre
by Hazel Rowley
Dialogue on the Infinity of Love
by Tullia d'Aragona
All About Love: New Visions
by bell hooks
Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but what happens when the horses are spooked and the whole procession is run off the road? Katie Kitamura, whose new novel A Separation charts the disastrous—and tragic—failure of a marriage, considers some of literature’s most heartfelt accounts of relationship failure
Systems thinking is key to figuring out how relationships work, says Mira Kirshenbaum, psychotherapist and clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute. She chooses the best books to help us understand modern relationship therapy.