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February 8, 2007

Largehearted Valentine's Gift Guide

Every Valentines day, I try to find a unique way to surprise my wife of eight years. This year, we gave our family a puppy, and combined with some chocolate, a romantic dinner and some wine, our Valentines Day will be a huge success.

This year, I have asked my favorite booksellers and pop culture zealots (and LHB sponsors for my 52 Books, 52 Weeks project), Benn Ray and Rachel Whang of Baltimore's Atomic Books for Valentines Day gift suggestions.

In their own words, here are the Valentines Day gift suggestions from the proprietors Atomic Books, Benn and Rachel (each other's Valentine, by the way):

As all of us who have ever been in a relationship know, giving the wrong Valentines Day gift can sentence you to a lifetime of bitter loneliness.


2gether 4ever by Dene Larson

Remember the days you used 2 use numbers 4 words? When love was the biggest deal in your life? When you had to pass notes in class cuz texting hadn't been invented yet? This book is a collection of junior high love notes.

Classic Valentines Cards

Remember in elementary school when you had to make a paper bag mailbox and give everyone in your class, even the kids you hated, Valentines Day cards? These are those cards.

Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown

Many Largehearted Boy readers may recognize Jeffrey from his Deathcab For Cutie video, but this book is his debut graphic novel of romantic dysfunctionalism. It's sweet and pathetic and creepy, just like you, my Valentine!

Date With John Waters CD by John Waters

Here, cult film director John Waters collects his favorite love songs to help you set just the right Valentines Day mood. Songs include "I'd Love To Take Orders From You," "Sometimes I Wish I Had A Gun," and "Johnny Are You Queer". 14 tracks in all, plus, our CDs come signed by John.

Love Rats

They're cute and squeaky and done up in Valentines Day colors so as to not be mistaken for the real thing and solicit screams of terror from the one you love.

Position Of The Day by Editors

Hey, it's Valentines Day, why not try something new.

Prison Killing Techniques by Ralf Omar Dean

Is your significant other doing a little work for the state? Nothing says "I'm waiting for you" better than this prison survival guide.

Striptease Kit by Jennifer Axen/Leigh Phillips/Barbara

Be careful - giving this as a Valentines Day gift may be seen as the same as giving sexy undies (a big no-no to many). But if it's well received, this could be the Valentines Day gift that keeps on giving...

When Someone You Love Is Kinky by Dossie Easton/Catherine A. Liszt

You know that secret you just haven't been able to share with your lover? The one about the thing that really gets you off? Giving this book helps send that message.

Yummy Donut Keychain by Heidi Kenney/My Paper Crane

These adorable donut keychains are mystery packaged, so you don't know exactly which one you'll get. But believe me, the surprise adds to the fun. These things are so cute that their adorability spills over onto the person who gives them as a gift. You want to be adorable, don't you?


Because those who are single during Valentines Day deserve gifts too...

Against Love: A Polemic by Laura Kipnis

A look at the meaning and cultural significance of adultery. Who here hasn't cheated at some time in their life? Didn't raise your hand? You lie.

Final Exits by Michael Largo

This illustrated encyclopedia of how people die goes well with a bottle of bourbon for that special someone you know is alone on Valentines Day.

Let Me Finish by Udo Grashoff

If you're going to end it, this collection of suicide notes will help give you insight on what to say and what not to say when composing your final words.

Party Of One: The Loner's Manifesto by Anneli Rufus

If you answer this question, "So, why are you alone on Valentines Day" with the words, "by choice," then Rufus' manifesto is just the book for you.

Redefining Our Relationships by Wendy O-Matic

Did they want to date other people? Did they utter the phrase "open relationship" and you bugged out? Wendy O-Matic's book may be just the thing for you.


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