Gift Ideas from a Valentine's-Day Doubter

The book selections include titles from fiction, memoir, self-help/advice, cookbooks, travel guides, and poetry...

Jesse Kornbluth ’68 doesn't want you to buy a gift this Valentine's Day. On his website, headbutler.com, Kornbluth writes that he views the holiday as something "ginned up by merchants to get Americans to spend any discretionary dollars they haven't blown at Christmas." But if buy a gift you must, Kornbluth offers his picks for books, films, and music in his typical sassy, smart style.

Be warned: Even if you share Kornbluth's Grinch-like attitude toward the holiday, you may find yourself contemplating a purchase from this thoughtful, wide-ranging list. The book selections include titles from fiction, memoir, self-help/advice, cookbooks, travel guides, and poetry. In music, Kornbluth recommends set-the-mood standbys such as Al Green and Etta James alongside names less commonly associated with turning the lights down low.

View the list here; read more about Kornbluth and Head Butler in the Harvard Magazine archives here.

You might also like

Facebook’s Failures

Author and tech journalist Jeff Horwitz speaks at Harvard

Kevin Young Named 2024 Harvard Arts Medalist

Museum director and poet to be honored April 24

How Air Pollution Affects Our Brains

An expert Harvard panel discusses the links between air pollution and dementia, learning, mental health, and mood.

Most popular

Let the Sonnets Be Unbroken

Neil Rudenstine guides readers through Shakespeare’s lyric masterpiece.

Martha Tedeschi to Lead Harvard Art Museums

Hailing from the Art Institute of Chicago, Tedeschi will assume the role next July. 

Klarman Hall Breaks Ground

Harvard Business School’s expansion proceeds, amid debate about capitalism.

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults