On a lighthearted note: How to woo women with mangoes and magical realism. This guide was written by my friend Emily Horn (not to be confused with Emily Paddon) and seems quite useful for the contemporary suitor.
On the matter of novels, Marquez and Murakami would definitely not be my top choices (not least because I don’t particularly enjoy either). I would go with something comic but also substantial, or something that seems particularly well married to the person in question. While the suggestions given are unlikely to possess universal validity, they may prove empowering to those seeking to woo those who are similar to Emily – quirky, literary, honest, and not presumptuous.
Comparing the object of your affection to a prairie vole may or may not be a good plan.
[Update: 30 September 2007] Emily’s relationship advice has a new entry: Chicken Soup for the Breaker-Upper Soul. It makes for interesting reading.