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Top 10 classic books for Valentine's Day gifts

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For literary minded lovers, here is a list of books to make your sweetie swoon on Valentine’s Day.

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Shakespeare’s “Sonnets”: Who can resist the Bard and his immortal ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ (Sonnet 18). Check out Sonnets 25, 56, 91 and 106 for additional swoon-inspiring rhymes.

“Persuasion” by Jane Austen: Will Anne Elliot get a second chance at love with naval officer Frederick Wentworth? Austen’s last completed novel is a gem.

“Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen: An obvious choice, some might say, but Elizabeth and Darcy on the page are so much more than the watered down movie and TV versions would lead you to believe. Though admittedly the film adaptations are delightful, too.

Feeling extra generous? Splurge on the complete set of Jane Austen’s novels. Sadly, there are only seven, but all worth reading. While “Emma” is a bit nerve-wracking, “Sense & Sensibility”, “Northanger Abbey” and “Mansfield Park” are lovely.

“North & South” by Elizabeth Gaskell: The socially conscious will enjoy this tale of love amid the Industrial Revolution in the North of England. Transplanted north from her idyllic home in the south of England, Margaret Hale meets industrialist John Thornton. Their views clash, some serious misunderstandings ensue, the workers go on strike, poverty and death take their toll, but love conquers all, doesn’t it?

“Far From the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy: Gabriel Oak is the long-suffering protagonist of the novel and Bathsheba Everdene the love of his life. So many obstacles get in their way, among them a joke Valentine that is no joke to its recipient, financial ups and downs, and her marrying a cad, the reader might wonder if these two will ever get together. Don’t fret, dear reader, Thomas Hardy won’t leave you hanging, this time.

Also, a new film version of “Far From the Madding Crowd” is scheduled for release this year.

“The Complete Poetical Works of Byron”: The Romantic movement reached its apotheosis in one man, Lord Byron. Revel in all the love and death in his longer works, while “She Walks in Beauty” melts your heart.

All books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers.

The Strand Bookstore, on the corner of 12th Street and Broadway in New York City, has wonderful selections on their Valentine's Day gift suggestions table.

Next time: Check back for more Valentine’s Day gift ideas.

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