The Soho Book Club: Shon Faye’s reads on love and relationships

The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House

If you’re in the market for excellent books on matters of the heart, few people are in a better position to guide you than the author and Soho House member

Sunday 20 November 2022 By Soho House

Each month, we’re asking brilliantly bookish people from within the Soho House community to select the reads they’re devouring right now. For November, London-based writer, editor and presenter Shon Faye reveals her favourite books about love. Faye is an advice columnist at US Vogue and is the author of the award-winning Sunday Times bestseller, The Transgender Issue. She is currently working on her second book titled Love In Exile about modern love and relationships.

Amazon basket at the ready, people.

The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House

1. All About Love by bell hooks
‘Everyone wants to know more about love’, the Black feminist scholar bell hooks writes in the introduction to this powerful and memorable treatise, which was originally published more than 20 years ago, but has far more recently become a mainstream non-fiction classic. It is beautifully and perceptively written; a foundational text for anyone who wants to seriously engage with the topic of love. For hooks, love is not a feeing but an action, not a noun but a verb – she argues that many of us are in pain because we have not been taught either how to love or be loved properly beyond immature ideas of romance. 

2. Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel
There’s rarely a conversation with my female friends about our dating lives and relationships where Perel’s name is not involved. Often that’s due to her podcast Where Should We Begin?, but this book is the volume that brought her to international recognition as a public thinker. At its core, it’s an exploration of the central tension in long-term relationships: how the emotional security requires deep familiarity, but sexual desire requires spontaneity and surprise.

The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House
The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House

3. Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds
A heavily annotated copy of this 2012 poetry collection was given to me by my friend (and the author of hit break-up memoir Notes On Heartbreak), Annie Lord, when we worked together recently. It’s a stunning collection by Olds about the final year of her marriage (her ex-husband left her for another woman). ‘Now I come to look at love in a new way, now that I know I’m not standing in its light’, she writes. It is, at times, deeply arresting work.

4. Conversations On Love by Natasha Lunn
Notable for the fact it includes the reflections of multiple writers on what love means to them, this book is at its best when it considers the forms love takes beyond romantic couples. Writer Candice Carty-Williams’ contributions on the romance she brings to her friendships is a standout moment in this sea of intelligent voices. 


The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House

5. Dear Dolly by Dolly Alderton
I read Dolly Alderton’s agony aunt advice column in The Sunday Times Style every Sunday morning before I get out of bed, come rain or shine. Her wisdom is witty and warm, and the advice is genuinely good (surprisingly rare in advice columns), so this collection of her favourite answers over the years is a must.

The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House
The Soho Book Club: Shone Faye's reads on love and relationships | Soho House
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