This Is Not a Love Story.

Okay, okay, I lied. A little. There is a bit (or a bunch) of love in each of the following novels, but most are not intended to be a “love story” and certainly not genre romance.

Not Love Valentines

They are, instead, are a mix of novels I thoroughly enjoyed with some semblance of love involved. From the make you say “aww…” true love of The Future for Curious People to the coming of age first love in Steal the North to the this is not a love story, but a hero’s quest in High Fidelity to the didn’t quite get love rightin Love Is a Canoe, there’s something for everyone, whether you celebrate Valentine’s or participate in the newer Galentine’s Day (or pretend the holiday is like any other day of the year). I shamelessly used the former as an opportunity to request this gorgeous copy of Anne of Green Gables. I do hope the day comes with pizza.

(I’m easy to please – feed me and give me a book to read. Done.)

10. The Future for Curious People // Gregory Sherl. True love and a librarian. Do you need anything else? No.
09. The Republic of Love // Carol Shields. Two normal people meet and fall in love. It’s the average person’s love story. Quite refreshing.
08. Re Jane // Patricia Park. A modern Jane Eyre.
07. Heart-Shaped Box // Joe Hill. It’s named after a Nirvana song. Perhaps that’s all you need to know…
06. Steal the North // Heather Brittain Bergstrom. A coming of age love story and tale of family woe.
05. Charlotte Street // Danny Wallace. When boy stalks girl.
04. High Fidelity // Nick Hornby. It’s not so much whether the guy gets the girl, but more does the guy finally grow up.
03. The Rathbones // Janice Clark. If David Lynch crafted a gothic whaling family history…
02. Love Is a Canoe // Ben Schrank. Sometimes love doesn’t work, and that’s alright too.
01. Bag of Bones // Stephen King. A haunted love story.

What will you be reading this Valentine’s Day? For more lists, go here.

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  • Chrissi Reads

    I adore the way you’ve taken on the list this week! A unique take. I love when love is included in a more subtle way and it doesn’t take over the plot.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me too. True romance books can get a bit predictable.

  • Lianne @

    Great list & topic! I’ve been meaning to check out The Future for Curious People, it sounds interesting. And Re Jane…and all of Nick Hornby’s books, really xD

    My TTT

    • Rory O’Connor

      Yes to Nick Hornby!

  • Jess Henry

    I love the topic and the selection. They all look so intriguing. 🙂

    • Rory O’Connor


  • Bedazzled By Books

    Interesting take on TTT. Some of these sound quite interesting. TBR list is getting longer as I write lol

  • Naomi

    How have I never heard of Love Is A Canoe? Good title.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Among those I know who read it, it seems polarizing! I loved it, personally.

  • Joann Downie
  • Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    Now this might be the kind of romance I could actually handle in books! I’m currently pretty allergic to anything that heads too far in the romance direction…

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me too! I like it as a nice sub-plot and it doesn’t have to be a happily ever after sort of thing, just a world isn’t terribly bleak thing.

  • Andi

    LOVE THIS! Heart Shaped Box ALL THE WAY!

    • Rory O’Connor


  • mariahelena

    Love this!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Marisa @The Daily Dosage

    An awesome “romance” list I can get behind. And actually read off of.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Yes! You definitely should.

  • Kathy

    These are new to me, except for Heart-Shaped Box, and I wouldn’t have dreamed that they would have a love interest or romance embedded in the pages. I like romance but have to take it in spurts; I actually prefer just a smidge of romance with my story instead of all out romance from beginning to end but have found some full blown romance enjoyable. I get tired of it sometimes because it can become very cliché.

    • Rory O’Connor

      Me too! I don’t mind there being romance, but generally it can’t be the focus.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay’s Library

    “The Future for Curious People” had me at “librarian”! I’m also totally intrigued by the awesome cover of “The Rathbones.” I always find new-to-me books when I visit your blog! 🙂 My list didn’t include typical romance books either — I was pretty stumped, so I went with books about the love between humans and dogs!

    • Rory O’Connor

      The relationships between humans and dogs (or cats, I’m a cat lover personally) is incredibly important. My mom just lost her dog and it’s devastating.

  • MeezCarrie

    The Future for Curious People & Re Jane look like books i need to check out! My TTT

    • Rory O’Connor

      Re Jane is a definite must, especially if you love Jane Eyre!

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