By Leah Ching, Staff Writer
For the Lovers on Valentine’s Day:
Love Poems: By Pablo Neruda ($11.69 at Chapters)
A pocket sized paperback charged with passion and sensuality, Neruda’s poems never fail to capture the full gamut of the emotions that accompany love. An all-engulfing experience demonstrated by the author through otherworldly imagery and metaphor, Neruda’s skill in making your heart light up thinking about that special someone is unparalleled. There is good reason that author is celebrated as one of the world’s most widely renowned and celebrated writers. Neruda’s Nobel Prize winning poems will engulf you in the seascapes and ocean shores he so beautifully describes. For a surefire way to get your blood flowing and your heart racing this Valentine’s Day, check out this classic in romantic literature.
“And when you appear
all the rivers sound
in my body, bells
shake the sky,
and a hymn fills the world. “
For the Social Justice Activists and Poli-Sci Majors
Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America: Jill Leovy (18.69 at Chapters)
Bursting ono the scene in late 2015, Leovy’s novel is already a critically acclaimed bestseller and award winner. This masterfully written literary work covers the story of a senseless murder of a young black man in South LA, shot and killed on a public sidewalk. The story turns to the work of a relentless detective and, while written as a work of storytelling, draws attention to the crisis in humanity that homicide and racism in America appears to be peaking towards. Drawing the reader closer to the reality of “ghettoside” murder in the United States, Leovy tackles this “plague of murders” in a captivating narrative that demonstrates the complexity the subject deserves.
“The system’s failure to catch killers effectively made black lives cheap.”
For the Peacemakers
The Name of God is Mercy: Conversation with Andrew Tornielli: By Pope Francis ($20.40 at Chapters)
On first glance, readers may be weary of picking up a book that, appears more like something their grandmother would have handy on her nightstand. In reality, in Pope Francis’ first book published as Pope, he presents an incredibly insightful and philosophical review of humanity and goodness. The book centers around mercy, the cornerstone of the religious leader’s teachings, and takes us on a journey of love and redemption through practicing mercy toward our fellow man. The Pope’s book will delight readers in how profound and straightforward it is written. It’s ability to reach out to readers on a personal level and provide simple yet incredulously deep ways to achieve peace, reconciliation, and better relationships with those around us. For the religious and non-religious alike, even those who have never picked up a bible in their lives will find the Pope’s book void of religious dogma and doctrine, and filled with conversationally written moral sincerity, common-sense logic, and profound philosophical insight.
“There are no situations we cannot get out of, we are not condemned to sink into quicksand.”
For the Heartbreakers and Heartthrobs
This is How You Lose Her: By Junot Diaz (12.99 at Chapters)
You may have heard of Junot Diaz as the Pulitzer Prize Winner and writer of the modern classic “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” For good reason, Diaz is a critically acclaimed and award winning author, and “This is How You Lose Her” is a fantastic read for anyone that’s ever been in love, fallen out of love, had their heart broken, or broken the heart of a lover. Diaz is remarkably talented and writes with both the brutal honesty of a journalist and the prose of a poet. His book overflows with honesty and haunting depictions of his experiences in and out of love. The Dominican Republican will draw you closer to his culture and language and have you craving to be swaying your hips on a beach in the moonlight to the sounds of a flamenco guitar. Taking us back through the sometimes painful and heartbreaking, sometimes passionate and consuming loves of his lifetime, Junot exposes the weaknesses and strengths of the human heart. A brutally honest memoir of young love, unrequited love, fading love and painful love, this book will tear at your heartstrings and leave you laughing, in tears, and overflowing with emotion.
“And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.”
“Our relationship wasn’t the sun, the moon, the stars, but it wasn’t bullshit, either.”
For the Brooding Philosophy Majors
Tinkers: By Paul Harding ($17.99 at Chapters)
You may have given this one a go when it was first released in 2009, but this spring when the frost is thawing and your mind is waking up from a long winter may be the time to give it another shot. Get ready to muster up some will power and dive into the equally challenging and rewarding literary world of Paul Harding. Filled with superbly constructed prose and memorable passages of ethereal, otherworldly imagery, Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize Winning novel will consume you and delve you into themes profound enough that the taste of Tinkers will remain on your tongue for months to come. Take a journey with the book’s main character George Washington Crosby as he drifts in and out of consciousness, closer and closer to death, he re-visits the wonder and pain of his childhood. Intertwining stories of a clock repairer, his father, and grandfather, his book is definitely a challenging read at times, but will leave you with pondering the beauty and pain of life, love, family, death, and loss.
“And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough.”