Some of our favorite love stories to read, watch and listen to on Valentine’s Day

Some of our favorite love stories to read, watch and listen to on Valentine's Day

Some of our favorite love stories to read, watch and listen to on Valentine’s Day


The past two years have caused so much confusion and frustration in our lives, at work, and in love. As we look forward to spring (probably, hopefully) bringing us closer to normality, Valentine’s Day gives us a chance to relearn and redefine what it means to love and be loved. What better way to take this journey than with books, songs and movies about passion, dedication and relationships?

Here are some favorites from the NPR Culture Desk team—whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner, family, or just dedicating the holiday to yourself.

what to see

truly Madly Deeply

In this 1990 film, Nina (Juliet Stevenson) mourns her boyfriend Jamie (Alan Rickman). She loved him and after his death she couldn’t go on with another relationship.

Then Nina’s devotion paid off, when Jamie miraculously returned as a fully-substantiated ghost, returning to the semblance of their lives. So far, Valentine’s Day. But then, while she rejoices in his tenderness and humor, she also encounters his faults and forgets in her grief. Nina discovers that she can keep her love for Jamie and open up to a new soulmate. Valentine’s Day is for those we love and those we will love.

–Barbara Campbell, editor

Evan Bates and Madison Jock

I don’t usually like this kind of stuff, but after I saw Bates and Chock doing their amazing space age ice dance at the Beijing Olympics (she’s an alien! He’s an astronaut) I looked it up online and got Knowing that the American skaters are a pair in real life — not surprising given their chemistry on the ice.

Come see some of their performances!

–Bridget Benz, producer

Ted Russo

Valentine’s Day is a very inconsistent holiday. No one is safe. Some years are romantic, some are cruel, and some are really boring. On a day when you can’t vouch for someone’s feelings about love, I recommend a show that will make you feel loved all about it: Ted Lasso.

Ted Lasso is as good as everyone says. Actually, this is better. Although it’s the premise of the movement, it’s really a show about love: what a strange, funny, difficult, unexpected love. how small. how big. I watched Ted Lasso with my partner. I watched Ted Russo with my dad. If it weren’t for Roy’s signature swearing, I would have watched it with a class of kindergarteners. I’ve seen Ted Lasso laugh and cry when I really don’t want to do anything. What’s more Valentine’s than this?

— Catherine Whelan, Morning Edition Editor/Producer

What to read

Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians

I spent Valentine’s Day thinking about all the kinds of love I’ve been fortunate enough to experience: romantic partnerships, close friendships, family love, and a sense of community. Having this feeling of love in my life is inseparable from my origins as a lesbian many years ago and it has given me the freedom to be myself with the people I love.

So I cry every time I see old pictures of lesbians – especially those of JEB (Joan E. Biren), a Washington, D.C. photographer who has been documenting gays in photos and films since 1971 life.her book Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians Full of photos of lesbians of all ages, races, classes and abilities. It’s incredibly moving to see pictures of these lesbians as openly gay in a time of violent homophobia, making it possible for my partner and I to live openly as well. That doesn’t say much about how *beautiful* these photos are – beautifully composed black and white photos, artistic mementos of life.

— Natalie Escobar, Associate Editor

little Prince

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little Prince Many different things to many different people. Young readers may see a fantasy adventure, while some adults see it as an allegory about growing old and losing childlike creativity.for me little Prince It’s a meditation on love and friendship, and how what’s inside feels so wonderful but also hurts like crazy.

As a bonus, check out this article on the adaptation of The Little Prince.

– Elizabeth Blair, Senior Producer

Love in the Time of Cholera

A sprawling work of fiction that spans decades – it illuminates the discovery, loss, reward and delay of love. When you suffer inwardly, its intensity burns because love is like a disease, a virus, a disease that infects all the senses and the soul. Poor Florentino Ariza is relieved by his infectious disease Fermina Daza. First published in Spanish, it found Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez in all his power. An unforgettable story.

–Nicholas Charles, Editor-in-Chief


To explain why this book by Andrew Sean Greer is suitable for a vacation devoted to love, drop the game. So instead, I’ll just say that this funny, sad, and disturbingly profound novel is about a middle-aged gay writer who goes on an international book tour to avoid attending his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. The book’s narrator knew him so well that the final image came like a thunderbolt—so surprising and satisfying that it made the shell of my black, cold, dry heart grow three damn sizes.

I mean it’s still a shell. Just, you know, a bigger one.

— Glenn Weldon, journalist and critic

what to listen to

“They Say I’m Different” by Bette Davis

Bette Davis’ lovers include Jazz superstar Miles Davis (who is his second wife), Hugh Masekela, Eric Clapton and Robert Palmer. But in a more progressive age, she would be known on her own merits. Davis was ahead of her time. She recorded a few albums in the 1970s before disappearing. Her unabashedly horny performances of her funky love songs are on a par with Mick Jagger, which has certainly kept her away from mainstream success. In 1974, “They Said I’m Different” was released to rave reviews New York Times Noting, “Like Bessie Smith and all the other dirty blues singers of 40 years ago, Miss Davis tries to tell us something real and fundamental about our irrational needs; whereas Western civilization values ​​consistency and Reason, rarely admit Bessies or Bettys until they leave.” Bette Davis died on February 9.

— Neda Urabi, Correspondent

El Día Que Me Quieras by Carlos Gardel

Whenever I call my mother and sing “El Dia Que Me Quieras” for her – she’s 88 and I’m calling her every day during the pandemic – she’ll pass out and it makes me Thinking of what she and my dad do every New Year’s Eve. They were both born in Argentina, Carlos Gardel’s lunatics, and they would play “El Dia” and his other hits on the turntable in our suburban American living room and dance tango all night. The song tells of all the amazing things that happen in the world when the singer’s love is rewarded: “Life will be full of flowers… jealous stars will see us pass by.” The song was written in 1935 Written for the film of the same name, another Argentine composer, Gustavo Santaolalla, called it “one of the most beautiful melodies of all time” in an interview with NPR.

–Jerome Sokolovsky, editor

“Quiero Besarte” for Tequila

Why not embrace frivolity this Valentine’s Day? Amid all the unnecessary stress of the holidays, tequila’s cheerful tune takes on a lighter outlook on love—perfect for those of us who are really only interested in being kissed. Because the risk of choosing a life partner can be high, but a little less when you consider that you want Timothée Chalamet to be your level.

— Fi O’Reilly, Intern

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