1. Books

Notable: Books of love for Valentine's Day

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Published Feb. 5, 2013


Books of love

For Valentine's Day, three books with very different views of romance.

How to Create Chemistry With Anyone: 75 Ways to Spark It Fast ... and Make It Last (Da Capo) by Leil Lowndes takes a briskly can-do scientific approach to the neurological, chemical and evolutionary forces that lead us to fall in love.

The Joy of Sexus: Lust, Love & Longing in the Ancient World (Walker) by Vicki León is an eye-opening history of sexual topics across the centuries: porn and prostitution, marriage and birth control, aphrodisiacs and sexual identity, and some naughty stuff about Sophocles.

Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them (W.W. Norton) by Betsy Prioleau is a smart, entertaining look at enduring objects of women's desire, from Casanova and Lord Byron to Mick Jagger and Ashton Kutcher. Key trait: They really adore women.

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor