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Love Stories: Non-Fiction

Updated: December 10, 2020

Biographies about couples with long-lasting relationships, not necessarily perfect or without complications.

About Alice
Trillin, Calvin.
Call Number: 810.92 T8286-2

Calvin and Alice Trillin's marriage was a love story for the ages. And in his moving tribute to her, it's easy to see why.

An affair to remember : the remarkable love story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
Andersen, Christopher P.
Call Number: 812.092 H529An-1
Spencer Tracy—Best Actor, 1938 (Captains Courageous) and 1939 (Boys Town)
Katharine Hepburn-- Best Actress, 1934 (Morning Glory), 1968 (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner), 1969 (The Lion in Winter) and 1982 (On Golden Pond)

The best day the worst day : life with Jane Kenyon
Hall, Donald, 1928-
Call Number: 811 K374Ha
Acclaimed poet Donald Hall writes about his 23-year marriage to the writer Jane Kenyon.

Clementine : the life of Mrs. Winston Churchill
Purnell, Sonia,
Call Number: 92 C5615Pu

Clementine Churchill was the woman behind the man, Winston Churchill. Each of them suffered from being slighted in their youth. Her family members were poor aristocrats, and he was overshadowed and ignored by his mother, the beautiful Lady Randolph Churchill (Jennie Jerome). Clemmie and Winston formed a loving bond that was often shaken by differences but never broken.

Crush : writers reflect on love, longing and the power of their first celebrity crush
Call Number: 157.3 C9575-1

In essay format, a number of writers share the story of their first celebrity crush.  Contributing writers include Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Roxane Gay, Emily Gould, and others.  The book is full of tales of the awkward moments of late childhood and early adolescence, and is sure to send you back to that period in your own life. 


Dear Scott, dearest Zelda : the love letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940.
Call Number: 813 F553F-12

Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald's love for each other had more challenges than others. She suffered from mental illness and he from alcoholism. This collection of their love letters reveals their devoted attachment.

A dual autobiography
Durant, Will, 1885-1981.
Call Number: 92 D9515

Will and Ariel Durant, a husband and wife writing team, who researched and wrote, The story of civilization (11 volumes).  He was a Jesuit educated Canadian, who had prepared for the priesthood, and taught at the Ferrer School in New York City. Ariel was his student, born in Russia to Jewish parents who emigrated to the United States. He was 28-years-old and she was 15-years-old. They eventually moved to Los Angeles and the Will & Ariel Durant Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is named in their honor.

Elegy for Iris
Bayley, John, 1925-
Call Number: 823 M974Bay

The 2001 film Iris was based on John Bayley's memoir of his marriage to Iris Murdoch, novelist and philosopher, and of her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Fanny Stevenson : a romance of destiny
Lapierre, Alexandra.
Call Number: 824 S848La

Robert Louis Stevenson was a struggling writer when he met the woman who was to be his soul and help mate, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. Eleven years his senior, she had a mind of her own, and recognized Stevenson's potential and genius. LAPL's Robert Louis Steven Branch is named in his honor.


Furious love : Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the marriage of the century
Kashner, Sam.
Call Number: 812.092 T2393Ka

They broke all the rules when there were rules to be broken, and at a time when it was truly outrageous to be bad. Their tempestuous, extravagant relationship made sizzling headline news.

Elizabeth Taylor—Best Actress, 1960 (Butterfield 8) and 1966 (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Richard Burton—BAFTA Award, 1965 (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold) and 1966 (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)


Hellman and Hammett : the legendary passion of Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett
Mellen, Joan.
Call Number: 812 H477Me

Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett and playwright Lillian Hellman had a tempestuous, unconventional relationship, accompanied by frequent power shifts and dependencies.

The lovers : Afghanistan's Romeo & Juliet : the true story of how they defied their families and escaped an honor killing
Nordland, Rod,
Call Number: 958 N832

Love will find a way. Zakia and Ali grew up in neighboring tribes in the far reaches of Afghanistan, and fell in love. This modern day equivalent of Romeo and Juliet, presents the feud between two families, with a somewhat happier ending in real life. The two lovers escaped and went into hiding.

Must you go? : my life with Harold Pinter
Fraser, Antonia
Call Number: 822 P659Fr

Lady Antonia Fraser's memoir of her life and marriage to playwright Harold Pinter. Their relationship and marriage lasted 33 years. 

One hundred names for love : a stroke, a marriage, and the language of healing
Ackerman, Diane, 1948-
Call Number: 616.81 A182
Diane Ackerman and her husband, Paul West, are both writers which means that the ability to express thoughts and feelings through lanugage are important. When he suffers a debilitating stroke that leaves him almost speechless, and prescribed therapy does not work, Ackerman devises her own healing methods. This is a story of love, devotion, determination,and a new methodology for dealing with stroke induced aphasia.

Paul and Joanne : a biography of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
Morella, Joe.
Call Number: 812.092 N554Mo
Paul Newman—Best Actor, 1986  (The Color of Money)
Joanne Woodward—Best Actress, 1958 (The Three Faces of Eve)

The Taj Mahal
Weatherly, Myra.
Call Number: 726.8 W362

The Taj Mahal is a world renowned building, built in Agra, India in the 17th century, and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.  It is included on this book list because it is a monumental structure built in loving memory of one woman, Mumtaz Mahal.

Tete-a-tete : Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre
Rowley, Hazel.
Call Number: 843 B386Ro

The biography of two major French writers is about their 50 year partnership. There was nothing sweet about their union, and it was definitely an open relationship. They always were there for each other--no matter what.

Things to say to a dead man : poems at the end of a marriage and after
Yolen, Jane.
Call Number: 811 Y545-1
Jane Yolen, prolific writer of books for children, young adults and adults, grieves for the loss of her husband of forty-four years through a series of poems.

Yours always [symbol of a kiss] : letters of longing
Call Number: 808.68 Y819

Love letters are not necessarily all sweetness and light. In this collection many well known people reveal their heartfelt feelings to the object of their affection.