Books That Will Change the Way You Think About Love

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, love is in the air… but wait a second, what is love, anyway? For anyone who’s ever wanted a satisfying answer to that question — you know, besides, “Baby, don’t hurt me no more” — we’ve put together a list of great books that will challenge your assumptions about love, sex, and relationships. From a surprisingly short history of heterosexuality and an attack on monogamy to a classic novel of betrayal and an exploration of a different sort of love altogether, there’s something to shock, test, and perhaps even titillate you after the jump.

Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank

It might feel as old as Adam and Eve, but the concept of heterosexuality (and, for that matter, homosexuality) is only about 150 years old, invented by a German who we might now consider an early gay rights activist. In her smart and subversive new book, Straight, Hanne Blank — who offered similarly mind-blowing revelations on virginity just a few years ago —  traces the idea through history, ultimately arguing that heterosexuality is a limiting and outdated social construct.