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David Nicholls: My favorite love stories

In honor of the theatrical release of ”One Day” — starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess — we thought we’d ask the author to name his favorite books about the L-word

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”Of these five, only one of them at all is bright and uplifting,” says Nicholls. ”But they’re all wonderful, wonderful stories about love. Maybe the best ones don’t have to have happy endings.”

Tender Is the Night
F. Scott Fitzgerald
”This is my favorite novel. I think The Great Gatsby is more ‘perfect,’ but Tender Is the Night is the one that I find more moving and gripping. It’s a brilliant romantic epic about a perfect love that falls to bits.”

Goodbye, Columbus
Philip Roth
”It’s amazing to think this was Roth’s debut and he’s still around writing great work. It’s not a romantic book in the sense of hearts and flowers, but it’s a book about young men in love and the mistakes they make.”

Far from the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy
”What’s fascinating about it is how modern the premise is. You could almost pitch it as a rom-com: Feisty, independent woman has to choose between sex, status, or companionship.”

Great Expectations
Charles Dickens
”No one thinks of Dickens as a romantic writer, in the tradition of Jane Austen or the Brontës. But I think this is a great love story. There’s a lyricism in the novel that’s incredibly romantic and touching. It breaks me up every time.”

Revolutionary Road
Richard Yates
”Another great book about disillusionment and the slow, gradual destruction of a marriage lubricated by alcohol. I bracket it in my head with Tender Is the Night as two fine books about love gone wrong.”