Top Ten Tuesday: Books with ‘Heart’ in the title

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is a “Love/Valentine’s Day Freebie”.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day I have listed ten books I’ve read with the word ‘heart’ in the title. However, they are not all love stories – in fact, most of them aren’t!


1. Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde – A moving novel exploring the theory of cellular memory – the idea that a transplanted organ retains the memories and characteristics of its previous owner.

2. The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott – This classic novel is set in Edinburgh during the 1736 Porteous Riots. It’s not my favourite of the few novels I’ve read by Scott, but I did like the heroine, Jeanie Deans, who walks all the way to London to try to save her sister’s life.

3. The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya Basil – The story of a Sikh man and a Muslim woman who fall in love as students, this is the only real ‘romance’ on my list, but it’s also so much more than that, touching on politics, poverty, gun crime and the work of the UN.

4. The Metal Heart by Caroline Lea – In this book set during World War II, Caroline Lea weaves the story of two twin sisters around the building of a chapel in the Orkney Islands by Italian prisoners of war. An interesting blend of fact and fiction.

5. Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor – This standalone historical mystery is set in 1930s London. It’s both an entertaining novel and a fascinating portrayal of the rise of Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists.

6. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – The story of Ireland from the 1940s to the modern day as seen through the eyes of Cyril Avery, a gay man trying to come to terms with his sexuality, and written with John Boyne’s usual wit and humour.

7. With All My Heart by Margaret Campbell Barnes – A fictional account of the life of Catherine of Braganza, the Portuguese princess who marries King Charles II. First published in 1951, it does feel dated now but is interesting as Catherine is not a popular subject for historical fiction.

8. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon – The eighth book in Gabaldon’s Outlander series sees Claire and Jamie in America in the middle of the Revolutionary War. It’s not a favourite of mine – I loved the first four in the series, but have been gradually losing interest with each book after that.

9. The Oaken Heart by Margery Allingham – Better known for her Albert Campion detective novels, this is Allingham’s memoir of life in her small English village during the Second World War. Originally published in 1941, while the war was still taking place.

10. The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements – Set in the 17th century, this novel is inspired by the real life highwaywoman, Katherine Ferrers, also known as ‘the Wicked Lady’. Not much is known about the historical woman, but Clements brings her story to life while also portraying England in the aftermath of Civil War.


Have you read any of these books? Which other books with ‘heart’ in the title can you think of?

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books with ‘Heart’ in the title

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    The only book that jumped immediately into my head (despite the fact that I haven’t read it!) is ‘The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter’ by Carson McCullers.

  2. Shellie says:

    Great list! Of course I’ve read Written in My Own Heart’s Blood twice…it’s not my favorite of the series either but always gotta read Outlander! I am especially interested in With All My Heart. You are right, she is not a very common topic for novels. Jean Plaidy wrote one about her that has been sitting in my Kindle for a long time, The Merry Monarch’s Wife. I need to read it. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Helen says:

      Jean Plaidy wrote such a lot of books, I’m not surprised to hear there’s one about Catherine of Braganza! Margaret Campbell Barnes is a similar kind of author – I’ve read three or four of her books and enjoyed them. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!

  3. Fran Laniado- Author says:

    I love this list, what a great idea! The only one I read on here was Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. I actually really liked it. I thought some of the more recent books in the series weren’t the best, but I considered that one a return to the form of the first four. I haven’t read the most recent one. Different strokes, I suppose!

    Here’s my list:

    • Helen says:

      Thanks! I preferred the earlier Outlander books because they were more focused on Claire and Jamie – I’m less interested in Lord John and his family and the other new characters who have started to dominate the more recent books. I’m still looking forward to the next one, though!

      • Fran Laniado- Author says:

        Generally I agree. I prefer reading about Jamie and Claire to some of the other characters. But I was more interested in some of the other character’s plotlines in WIMOHB. More so than I’ve been in a few other books.

  4. Julé Cunningham says:

    I very much like your varied selection of heart books and two that cause my heart to beat a little faster are The Oaken Heart and The Metal Heart, which will go on my wishlist! (Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart.)

    • Helen says:

      Yes, The Tell-Tale Heart is a good one! The Oaken Heart and The Metal Heart are both fascinating books, in very different ways – I hope you’re able to read them.

  5. whatmeread says:

    I think I’ve read The Heart of Mid-Lothian, but I’m actually not sure. I haven’t read any others on your list. I’ve read The Spinning Heart by Donald Ryan, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, Any Human Heart by William Boyd, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood, and that’s about all I can think of. I’m amazed you could come up with ten that you’ve read! Oh, yes, someone mentioned Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen, which I’m pretty sure I read years ago.

Please leave a comment. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.