10 Novels On The Theme Of Love

I fell out of the habit of doing the Top Ten Tuesday posts but let’s see if this week’s topic re-ignites my enthusiasm.

In a week that includes St Valentine’s Day, it’s appropriate that the topic is is: a Love Freebie. I’ve chosen books with the word love in the title. or a word associated with that emotion. The first group are books I’ve read (links are to my reviews) and the rest are ones that are on my shelves waiting to be read.

Nina Bawden, A Little Love, a Little Learning 

By far the best of the three books I’ve read by Nina Bawden. It’s about a family whose unremarkable life is disturbed by the arrival of an old friend with an insatiable appetite for gossip.

William Boyd, Love is Blind

Not one of Boyd’s best unfortunately. It’s a tale of the obsessive love of a Scottish piano tuner for a Russian singer. But it moves at a very slow pace and it quite repetitive. It was hard to get enthused about whether the piano tuner gets his girl in the end.

Nancy Mitford, Love in a Cold Climate

This is meant to be a very witty novel about the daughter of a wealthy family who wants to marry a very unsuitable man. Her mother wants her to marry someone wealthy. I’d say its more slightly amusing than sparkling with wit.

Since I have only three books that strictly speaking contain the word love, I’m going to exercise some creativity with my next two choices.

Andrew  Taylor, Bleeding Heart Square

The heart is meant to be the organ of love isn’t it? This isn’t really a hearts and roses kind of tale however, it’s set in a grubby corner of London where Oswald Mosely blackshirts roam the streets.

Brian MooreThe Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

A terrific novel about a lonely down at heel spinster in Ireland who desperately wants to find love and a husband. Her lets her imagination run away with her with a desperately sad consequence.

Let’s see what I have on my TBR that fits the brief.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

I know this is highly regarded. I know Marquez is a Nobel prize winning author. But I have tried three times to read this book and have failed every time. I’m going to give it one more go but if the experience is repeated, it’s going in the bag of donations to a charity second hand bookshop.

Nadeem Aslam, Maps for Lost lovers

I can’t even remember buying this book let alone recall anything about it. Goodreads came to my rescue and told me that ostensibly it’s about the murder of a pair of lovers. But in fact its a dissection of working-class Pakistani immigrant communities that have settled in the north of England over the last 40 years. Anyone read this? If so, is it worth reading?

Toni Morrison, Beloved

One that it seems ‘everyone’ has read. I’ll get to it – sometime…..

Thorne Moore, Mother Love

The second novel by this Welsh author. I bought it after enjoying her debut A Time For Silence. It’s a psychological thriller involving three women. One horrified to be pregnant again, one who is desperate to adopt and the third who is terrified her baby will be taken from her.

Hanne Ørstavik, Love

This is the shortest book I have on my shelves. It was chosen as part of my subscription to the Asymptote Book Club. I have high hopes for this based on my experience of another of Ørstavik’s books – The Blue Room – which was also a Asymptote Book Club choice. According to The Guardian, Love, is “an eerie, devastating little book about a mother and son in the far north of Norway.” Maybe not the kind of book associated with romance but then love doesn’t always turn out happily does it?

Love in fiction

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. To join in, just visit her blog.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

13 thoughts on “10 Novels On The Theme Of Love

    • February 15, 2020 at 11:28 am

      My list of books to read just keeps getting longer and longer

  • February 13, 2020 at 7:30 am

    I’ve read Love in the time of Cholera, and it’s strictly meh. Just don’t understand the love for that book. Beloved is good, but also very disturbing.

    • February 17, 2020 at 8:38 pm

      I might give Love in the Time of one more go but if it doesn’t sing to me after about 60 pages, I’ll ditch it for good

  • February 13, 2020 at 6:48 am

    I’m disappointed to see that you think Love is Blind is not one of Boyd’s best. I haven’t read any of this books and picked this up in a book shop thinking it looked interesting – oh, well! I’ve started Love in the Time of Cholera a few times and put it back on the shelves each time – oh, dear. The only one of these books I have read is Beloved, which I did love – hope you do too.

    I like your montages – so eye-catching!

  • February 13, 2020 at 12:51 am

    Hehehe I just went through this exact same process, creating a Valentine’s Day-themed display for work using books that had “love” in the title. Love In The Time Of Cholera and Love In A Cold Climate were the obvious picks, but I also picked up Alain de Botton’s Essays In Love and that self-help book The Five Love Languages, which worked 😉 It’s tougher than it sounds!

  • February 12, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Welcome back to TTT!

    Beloved was such a good book.

    My TTT .

  • February 12, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Really good choice of books. I really liked z, Love in the Time of Cholera but Márquez is not to everyone’s taste.

  • February 12, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    I also have Love in the Time of Cholera on my TBR. Maybe one day we can do a readalong.
    What did you use to do your montage? so cute!

  • February 12, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    An interesting selection, none of which I’ve read! In fact, the only author I’ve read from these is Bawden, and I wasn’t that impressed… ;D

  • February 12, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Maps for Lost Lovers is superb but it’s a harrowing read. I’d recommend it but not for Valentine’s Day.


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