Good Minds Suggest—Anna Quindlen's Favorite Love Stories

Posted by Goodreads on January 6, 2014
How do you know when you've hit your peak? Anna Quindlen ponders life and love after age 60 in her latest novel, Still Life with Bread Crumbs. Her character Rebecca Winter, a once-notable Manhattan photographer, believes the best is not yet to come. With her marriage in shambles, a career in decline, and bills piling up, she ditches New York City at age 60 for a low-rent backwoods cabin, where she hunts for fresh artistic inspiration and meets a resourceful local named Jim—who's half her age. Quindlen is the author of seven novels, including Black and Blue and One True Thing, and eight works of nonfiction, including the 2012 memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, who established herself as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist for The New York Times and Newsweek. In honor of her May-December couple Quindlen shares her favorite love stories, because we never grow too old for a little romance.

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
"Galsworthy's three-book masterwork doesn't get the attention it deserves for its rich portrayal of family life and its complex view of love: young love, obsessive love, late-in-life love. The central love object of the novels is Irene, who has married for security and is paying the price, but the affairs of many members of the extended Forsyte family worm their way into your heart and stick there."

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
"A multilayered story of a lost manuscript and a lost love, Krauss's book takes place in many places, on many levels. There is the old man who entrusted his beloved Alma with a book he'd written when both were young, the teenager who is named Alma after that woman, and a series of events and accidents that leads all their lives to intersect. Running through the book is an indelible message: love survives, endures, and changes everything, for everyone it touches."

Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object by Laurie Colwin
"Almost all of Colwin's wonderful novels are in some sense about love, usually among those with prosperous, perfectly ordered lives that, beneath the surface of the porcelain and the paintings, are anything but. This one is my favorite because it limns love at both ends of the continuum in the life of Olly Bax, a young widow who is trying to rethink her own existence from the bottom of the well of grief. It is smart, and funny, and deeply affecting."

Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland (Goodreads Author)
"Gulland, too, has written a trilogy, this one about Josephine, who became Napoleon's wife and empress. This second book begins when the couple is married and living in Paris, and while it encompasses the political machinations and the battlefield encounters that made the Emperor famous, Josephine is always at the story's center, utterly devoted to a man who loves her passionately but will eventually prove to love power more."

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
"I'm a sucker for a good English mystery novel, and none more so than the books Sayers wrote about the urbane titled sleuth Peter Wimsey. A large part of their charm is Harriet Vane, the brainy mystery writer Wimsey meets and falls for when she stands trial for poisoning her lover. It takes three wonderful novels to get there—Strong Poison and Have His Carcase come first—but at the end of this one Harriet realizes, as the reader did long ago, how irresistible Wimsey truly is."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best Love Stories

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Jude (new)

Jude Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

message 2: by Jude (new)

Jude love Laurie Colwin

message 3: by Jane (new)

Jane Walker Three of these five are on my all time favorites list, as are many by Anna Quindlen; I always knew she was ever so clever. 'Happy All the Time' by Laurie Colwin, who we lost way too soon, is perhaps my top choice ever, closely followed by 'The Forsyte Saga' which I reread every decade.

message 4: by Sandra (new)

Sandra 1) I am totally, totally THRILLED that TALES OF PASSION, TALES OF WOE is on this list, Anna,
and …
2) I have to agree that HAPPY ALL THE TIME is one of my all-time favs.

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