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All You Need Is Love & Friendship: A Library Program & Books for Valentine’s Day & Beyond


All You Need Is Love & Friendship: A Library Program & Books for Valentine’s Day & Beyond

Valentine’s Day is an annual festival to celebrate romantic love, friendship, and admiration. 

Why do lovers send greeting cards, candy, and roses on February 14?

On the evening of February 13 at 7pm, come to the library in person and join author, photographer, and musician Kevin Woyce as he explores the romantic history of Valentine’s Day: from Saint Valentine, Cupid, and the first Valentine cards to some of the season’s most popular songs. 

The slideshow is illustrated with original photographs and lots of vintage Valentine’s Day cards and art, and accompanied by some live guitar music.

Though different cultures have developed their own traditions for Valentine’s Day, this is also an occasion to celebrate all beautiful human relationships. After all, as humans, the relationships we form with other people are vital to our mental and emotional well-being and even our survival.

Here are some library books that can offer you a fresh perspective on love, as well as advice on how to make friendships, strengthen relationships, and improve connections, that you can reflect on long after Valentine’s Day.

Note: Some titles were on order at the time of writing this post. All descriptions are taken from the publishers.


All For Love : The Transformative Power Of Holding Space by Matt Kahn

Kahn invites readers to see differences as opportunities to explore interconnectedness, sharing ten essential principles–including mercy, worthiness, and bravery–that help them access the highest and most loving qualities within themselves and those around them.


Be The Love : Seven Ways To Unlock Your Heart And Manifest Happiness by Sarah Prout

Emotional empowerment expert Prout shares how to Be the Love you wish to feel, and how to do it by embracing lessons such as overcoming comparison traps, finding freedom in forgiveness, and accepting that making choices is how life happens, but living with your choices is how growth happens. These lessons are illustrated by Prout’s own raw, personal stories that range from humorous to harrowing.


Black Love Matters : Real Talk On Romance, Being Seen, And Happy Ever Afters edited by Jessica P. Pryde

In this collection, revered authors and sparkling newcomers, librarians and academicians, and avid readers and reviewers consider the mirrors and windows into Black love as it is depicted in the novels, television shows, and films that have shaped their own stories. Whether personal reflection or cultural commentary, these essays delve into Black love now and in the past, including topics such as the history of Black romance, social justice and the Black community, and the meaning of desire and desirability.


Connect : Building Exceptional Relationships With Family, Friends, And Colleagues by David L. Bradford

A transformative guide to building more fulfilling relationships with colleagues, friends, partners, and family, based on the landmark Interpersonal Dynamics (“Touchy-Feely”) course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.  Through stories of people navigating tricky moments in relationships, we see the six hallmarks of an exceptional relationship in action: authenticity, vulnerability, honesty, a willingness to ask for and offer help, a shared commitment to growth, and an ability to deal productively with conflict.


Conversations On Love : Lovers, Strangers, Parents, Friends, Endings, Beginnings by Natasha Lunn

Interweaving personal essays and revealing interviews with some of the most sought-after experts on love, journalist Lunn guides us through the paradoxical heart of three key questions about love–How do we find love? How do we sustain it? And how do we survive when we lose it?


8 Rules Of Love : How To Find It, Keep It, And Let It Go by Jay Shetty

Inspired by Vedic wisdom and modern science, Shetty  ackles the entire relationship cycle, from first dates to moving in together to breaking up and starting over. He lays out specific, actionable steps to help you develop the skills to practice and nurture love better than ever before.


Good Boundaries And Goodbyes : Loving Others Without Losing The Best Of Who You Are by Lysa TerKeurst

TerKeurst helps readers stop the dysfunction of unhealthy relationships by showing them biblical ways to set boundaries–and, when necessary, say goodbye–without losing the best of who they are.


Heartbreak : A Personal And Scientific Journey by Florence Williams

Williams explores the fascinating, cutting-edge science of heartbreak while seeking creative ways to mend her own.  She travels to the frontiers of the science of “social pain” to learn why heartbreak hurts so much and why so much of the conventional wisdom about it is wrong. 


Heartsick : Three Stories About Love, Pain, And What Happens In Between by Jessie Stephens

Weaving together three true stories, Stephens captures the painful but wholeheartedly universal experience of heartbreak, and reminds us that emotional pain can make us as it breaks us, and that storytelling has the ultimate healing power.


The Lonely Hunter : How Our Search For Love Is Broken by Aimee Lutkin

Chock-full of razor-sharp observations and poignant moments of vulnerability, this is a stirring account of one woman’s experience of being alone and a revealing exposé of our culture’s deep biases against the uncoupled.


Love After 50 : How To Find It, Enjoy It, And Keep It by Francine Russo

Full of real people’s stories (including the author’s), with vivid examples of couples who have overcome their pasts to form healthy and nurturing partnerships. Russo interviewed the best experts in the field and dozens of couples to help show the way and includes plenty of practical advice.


The Love Prescription : Seven Days To More Intimacy, Connection, And Joy by John Mordechai Gottman

The authors’ decades of research have revealed that a great relationship is founded on the small stuff. The book distills the data they have gathered over the past fifty years on more than three thousand couples (everything from their body language to the way they converse to their heart rates and stress hormone levels) into a seven-day action plan to transform your relationship.


Making Great Relationships by Rick Hanson

Hanson offers the fundamental tools and skills that foster happy, lasting, and fulfilling relationships of all kinds: at home and at work, with family and friends, and with people who are challenging. Grounded in brain science and clinical psychology, and informed by contemplative wisdom, this book offers fifty-two effective practices for building healthy relationships.


More Than Words : The Science Of Deepening Love And Connection In Any Relationship by John Howard

Increase intimacy, connection, and love with this illuminating, science-based guide to creating meaningful and lasting relationships.


Plays Well With Others : The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker

Eric Barker dives into these age-old maxims drawing on science to reveal the truth beyond the conventional wisdom about human relationships. Combining his compelling storytelling and humor, Barker explains what hostage negotiation techniques and marital arguments have in common, how an expert con-man lied his way into a twenty-year professional soccer career, and why those holding views diametrically opposed to our own actually have the potential to become our closest, most trusted friends.

us getting past you and me

Us : Getting Past You & Me To Build A More Loving Relationship by Terrence Real

Therapist and counselor Real says that the way to save your relationship is not by working on yourself, but instead by working together.  Using psychology, history, and stories of actual couples who have entered his office, Real helps readers move beyond their traumas and stressors and shift from thinking in terms of me and you to a different consciousness.

— Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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