By Shawna Serig Kelsch

Like computations were to turing, so words are to me, constantly swirling around my mind like snowflakes drifting through a snowy winterscape. Here’s a list of some of the books that i love because they have caused me to think differently about love, while simultaneously shifting my worldview.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole 

This book is one of the hands-down, all-time, funniest books I have ever read (spit-coffee-out-loud, laugh-until-your-ribs-hurt funny). But, the story of how his mother got the book published after the young author committed suicide (and how it was so widely adored, it scored the only posthumous Pulitzer to date) is the love part of this story. It’s in the forward. Go get it. 

Paula by Isabel Allende 

Heavy. Heavy. And Mettle. A love story from another mother. After her beloved daughter falls into a coma, the author begins this poignant memoir chronicling the history of Allende’s extended family. Ringing the bell on both heartache and wonder, Allende brings us deeply into her grief and exasperated anger over not being empowered to help her daughter, all the while hoping against hope that Paula will awaken and know she was part of something bigger than herself. Mother’s love, unrequited.

A Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

Soul searching in the sand, Lindbergh ruminates on life, love, relationships, youth and age. A tiny and tidy read that makes you go “hmmmm….”

The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock 

In this set of engrossing, interactive books (Griffin & Sabine; Sabine’s Notebook; and The Golden Mean), Bantock – a gifted illustrator and imaginative wordsmith – ties together three novelettes with an idea to grab hold of: a love story between two seeming strangers that spans continents, told with letters and postcards that you open and read, and delightful and colorful illustrations that are totally SFW. 

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
by Sarah Hepola

If you’ve ever taken one (drink) over the line — and who hasn’t? —this book may resonate. It’s a touching and wrenching walk through the mind of someone who decided to call drinking quits to save herself and her soul. A serious sacrifice for love of self.