Everyone knows that the way to win the heart of your valentine is to woo them with literature. A novel is a viable option but you don’t want them to run away and read instead of spending time with you so we’ve got the perfect solution: buy them a book of short stories! That way you can trap their minds and hearts in short little bursts of literary fiction. Here’s our favourite (topical) suggestions…

The Drunk Confession: 

I Love you When I’m Drunk  by Empar Moliner

I Love You When I'm Drunk

Fast, precise, hilariously timed and mercilessly honest, the stories of Empar Moliner lay bare every pretension ever to have offered comfort to the middle class psyche.

Published 2008

‘Deft and ingenious’Times Literary Supplement



The Brief Encounter: 

Points of Origin By Diao Dou

Points of origin_COVER_final_PRINT.inddThis collection of short stories by the Chinese author, Diao Dou includes the story ‘Going to Zhangji’ about a man and a women who meet at an airport then form a unique relationship. Heartfelt and funny, this story is an enchanting version of the brief encounter love story.

Translated by Brendan O’Kane, published 2015
Featured in The Guardian’s BEST BOOKS OF 2015

The Fiery One: 

The Well of Trapped Words by Sema Kaygusuz

well of trapped cover sans spineThe characters in Sema Kaygusuz’s stories often burn with a conviction only they possess. These stories are a wonderful blend of mysticism and modernity, demonstrating why Kaygusuz is regarded as one of the most promising writers in Turkey today.

Translated by Maureen Freely, published in 2015

‘I loved every page.’Irish Times.

The Geeky One:

Beta-Life by selected authors & scientists

Beta Life coverWhat will dating be like in the year 2070? This collection of short stories and scientific afterwords is based around a futuristic world of bactogarden heute cuisine, growing sky-scrapers, and humans as ‘robjects’.

Featuring Stuart Evers, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Martyn Bedford,Adam Marek, Margaret Wilkinson, Robin Yassin-Kassab, Adam Roberts, Sarah Schofield, Toby Litt, Sean O’Brien, Zoe Lambert,K.J. Orr, Julian Gough, Dinesh Allirajah, Annie Kirby, Lucy Caldwell, Claire Dean, Andy Hedgecock & Joanna Quinn + their matching scientists!

Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book

The Forgotten Love:

In Another Country By David Constantine

In Another Country high resFor anyone who’s seen the film 45 Years about the slow breakdown of a marriage after a heart-wrenching revelation from the past, you will understand the powerful story-telling of Constantine’s ‘In Another Country’ (which the film is based on). Beautifully told through the delicate traces of love, regret, and commitment, this is a must read for all romantics who love a good cry.

Published 2015

‘…the chambers of life and death profoundly intertwined’ – Financial Times



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