Fiction for the romantic holiday

Love Poems and Sonnets of William Shakespeare
Shakespeare gave his beloved fair warning: Poetry outlasts beauty. Of the gift books designed for Valentine’s Day, this edition of the sonnets is by far the classiest. A

Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know Tomima Edmark
Advice to the inept: ”If you’re caught with gum in your mouth, you have two choices: discreetly remove it, or swallow it.” B

Kisses Edited by Lena Tabori
Cinematic smooching of every sort: James Dunn and Shirley Temple, Lucy and Desi, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner and John Garfield. Affectionate kisses, sassy kisses, threatening kisses, even sloppy kisses. Plus bits of intimate dialogue. For instance, Lauren Bacall to Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not: ”It’s even better when you help.” B+

With Love From Hell Matt Groening
This postcard book of oddball valentines by Simpsons creator Groening is second only to Shakespeare in the Valentine’s Day sweepstakes. A

Forget-Me-Nots: A Victorian Book of Love Cynthia Hart, John Grossman, and Tracy Gill
The Victorians excelled at elaborate moral codes, rigorous work habits, and mush. Here is a sublime example of the latter. B+

Tokens of Love Roberta B. Etter
A fascinating history of Valentine customs and trinkets. Beautifully illustrated and blessedly free of treacle. B+