A short list of books with heart for this Valentine’s Day (TSS)

The Sunday Yesterday, I finished Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. First, without a doubt, even though it’s only February, I already know this will be the best book I read this year. Second, being as Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, it made me think about other books that I’ve read that have “heart,” and I don’t mean romance. I mean that they have a quality about them that either is heart-breaking, heart-wrenching or they are books full of heart or full of life, and when you read them, you often cry, sometimes laugh and just are amazed at this thing we call life.

Immaculée Ilibagiza

This one definitely tops my list of books with heart. In 2008, I read three books that would make that list:

Within the last two years (2009 and 2010), the only book(s) that I might include on a list of books with heart in the last two years would be Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman, and maybe Persepolis I and II by Marjane Satrapi.  I might also include Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese that I read last year and was written the previous year, but that would be about it. Not surprisingly, all of the books mentioned were among my favorite books over the last few years.

So what books that you’ve read would you put on a list of “books with heart”?

For some reason, I thought of this clip about the Southpaw pitcher Kirby Kyle from the Woody Allen movie Radio Days, when I was thinking of “heart.” My mind works in weird ways.

For a quote from Hillenbrand’s book, see my post from yesterday.

23 responses to “A short list of books with heart for this Valentine’s Day (TSS)

  1. Pingback: Going to Guernsey and killing Pluto this Sunday (TSS) | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  2. Pingback: A short list of books with little or no heart for after Valentine’s Day | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  3. I’d say Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close but I’m afraid now I’ve overmentioned it and oversold it. It’s terrible…you’ll hate it. 😉

    How could I forget Maus as a freezer book?! Makes me kind of want to edit my Sunday post to include it. And glad you felt that way about Cutting for Stone. It’s on my desk…but who knows when I’ll actually get to it.

  4. Pingback: Favorite Reads – Band of Brothers – Have You Read It? « Beltwayliterature

  5. I agree about the Sherman Alexie book. I would add Beloved by Toni Morrison to the list along with a picture book I read recently called Jukeyard Wonders. Almost cried like a baby reading it to my kids! 😉 Happy V-day.

  6. That’s an interesting take on a Valentine’s Day list. I like it!

  7. Good topic. i will have to think on that, though I am sure I have read many books that I think have “heart”. I have heard such wonderful things about Unbroken, I hope to read it soon

  8. Now this is a Valentine gift I can appreciate! After all, isn’t Valentine’s Day about making people feel full of life?

  9. Glad to see you also liked “Unbroken”, Bryan, and from my perspective, it certainly is a book that has lots of HEART – particularly when you realize that this amazing man is still alive and kicking at 93-years-old out in California, tending his beautiful flower gardens!
    See that it’s #1 on NY Times best-seller this week also; maybe was last week, too, but didn’t happen to check it …

  10. I loved Unbroken, too, (which may surprise you as our tastes in good books can be quite divergent). And I’m off to add Left to Tell to my wish list.

  11. I have been thinking about Unbroken for awhile now. I cannot think of anything I’ve read recently that I would categorize as a book with “heart,” although there have been some memorable ones. I’ll be paying attention from now on!

    Here’s my SUNDAY SALON

  12. Good list of books. I’ll definitely add Unbroken to my list to read. I do agree with Carrie, Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose is a great book with lots of heart. Definitely one of the better books I’ve read about WWII.

  13. I really want to read Unbroken. My books with heart choices would be Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Hope you and your wife have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

  14. MY FATHER’S PARADISE is a wonderful “book with heart,” a memoir and biography of the author’s father, a renowned scholar of the Aramaic language and immigrant from Iraq via Israel. It’s an incredible story, told with warmth and love and a great deal of heart.

  15. Great idea and nice list of books.