Just Kids by Patti Smith
The days leading up to and surrounding Valentine’s Day are the perfect time to snuggle up with your special someone and a good book or two. Just Kids by the trailblazing rocker Patti Smith, is a perfect Valentine’s Day read, according to Elizabeth Lane, founder of Quarterlane, a seasonal delivery box of literary and artistic finds. “In this lyrical memoir, Patti Smith recounts her youthful romance with Robert Mapplethorpe and their lives as young artists in 1960s downtown New York,” Lane says. “The book serves as a beautiful love letter to not only a person, but to a distinct time and place,” she says. Smith is known for her seminal album, Horses, with its cutting-edge lyrics; Just Kids is her first work of prose. (Get our free Valentine’s Day guide packed with dozens of quick tips and sweet ideas for an amazing V-Day celebration.)
Delta of Venus: Erotica by Anais Nin
This compendium of erotic short stories, written by a master storyteller, is highly imaginative and intelligently written. Each story weaves an intricate tale of complex characters told in unblushing style. Set against the backdrop of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, each story transports the reader back in time, spinning sensual tales, while slowly setting the stage for a world on the brink of catastrophe. Written decades ago, Delta of Venus remains one of the best erotic novels ever penned, and is seductive prose at its best.