Romantic Getaway

by Louise Erdrich

Yes, the intimate and eclectric, intellectually challenging, emotionally limitless small independent bookstore is the new and favorite romantic getaway! We also provide a sort of single's club service -- compatible strangers easily meet when contemplating the same book. Conversation starts so naturally. And what is more pleasurable than browsing through books with a beloved friend or partner, opening the book, pointing out a passage, comparing favorites? Each to his or her own, I say, regarding electronic reading devices, but two people reading real books together is romantic. Two people gazing at their devices together, unable to lick the pages, is just sad.

I just read Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald -- romantic. Dune and Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert -- romantic for the old school geek. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami -- romantic for any sort of geek. A Farewell to Arms, Wuthering Heights, Portrait of a Lady -- romantically filled with deception and loss. My friend Keith's top ten romantic novels are: Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. The Lover by Marguerite Duras.

Calling for more romantic (literary) nominations -- especially in the contemporary and Native books category -- I am hoping that some of you will respond --

Free chocolates at Birchbark Books during Valentine's Day week, and a table of romantic books to share.