When in love, you can't always weave happy stories. It can be brutal, unforgiving, confusing and guilt-ridden. Balancing all sorts of stories when Valentine's Day is just a week away, the IANS bookshelf has something interesting to offer this weekend. Take a look. IANS | 11 months ago

1. Book: An Atlas of Love; Author: Multiple writers; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 188; Price: Rs. 195

This anthology of romantic stories explores the many guises of romance from its purest form to its darkest depths. "Phoenix Mills" takes you through a young man's anguished quest for love; "Post-Coital Cigarette" makes you flinch at a married man's interpretation of love; and "Jilted" shows you that love can also be dangerous.

This selection is a heart-warming collection of stories that will urge you to believe that love is eternal and forever.

2. Book: Let It Snow; Writer: Multiple writers; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 354; Rs. 350

It's Christmas eve and Gracetown has been buried under snow. But the weather is more than just an inconvenience. When one girl unexpectedly steps off a stranded train, she sets off a series of life-changing events.

Soon, 14 pumped-up cheerleaders will descend on the local Waffle House, the Duke's DVD night will be rudely interrupted for a twister mission and a lovesick barista will determine the fate of a single teacup.

As the three stories collide, strangers cross paths and romance blossoms with heart-warming consequences.

3. Book: Lovers Like You and I; Author: Minakshi Thakur; Publisher: Harper Collins; Pages: 210; Price: Rs. 275

Set in Delhi in the 1990s, this novel explores the experience of love and its many faces through the life of young Nayan. As she makes the journey from girl to woman, Nayan meets men and women from different backgrounds, generations and places - film-makers, doctors, scribes, students and painters - who have experienced love in their lives, felt it differently, expressed it variously and either won it or lost it in the end. At the heart of the story lies her own unsettling relationship with Salil, a drifter who flits between poetry and backpacking.

This is an unusual novel that evokes a lost era - a time when people wrote letters and cherished the ones they received. With its effortless bilingualism and its seamless use of prose and verse, it challenges our notions of conventional storytelling to take us into a world where emotion rules and where time and leisure take on new dimensions.

4.Book: Advantage Love; Author: Madhuri Banerjee; Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 192; Price: Rs.195

When Trisha Mathur leaves Lucknow for Delhi with stars in her eyes, little does she realise how drastically her life is about to transform.

In the din and drama of college student politics, she meets debonair politician-in-the-making Vedant Kirloskar, who sweeps her off her feet with his poetry and rakish charm. When irreconcilable differences drive them apart, a broken-heated Trisha becomes wary of love and men. That is until the dashing tennis star, Abhimanyu, comes along and fills her life with love and laughter. All at once she finds herself in the midst of the glamorous tennis circuit which is in stark contrast to her small-town moorings.

Even as Trisha embarks on a path of love and self-discovery, fate brings Vedant back into her life, asking that they rekindle their old romance. Will Trisha dare take a second chance with Vedant or move on to play match point with Abhimanyu?

A compelling and passionate contemporary take on Indian romance that explores the complexities of love, friendship and career in a woman's life.

(Posted on 07-02-2014)

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