So you've crossed over from the wacky tales of being single to finding the soulmate of your dreams, eh? But still you know how complicated love can be. The ups, the downs, the magic, the confusion. It never really goes away. I've compiled a list of 17 books that will guide you through the dazzling journey of love.
From dark and haunting stories to the most epic love stories of all time, this list will make you fall in love all over again. Be sure to keep a tissue nearby, as we promise you'll shed a few tears. And spoiler alert: You will most likely squeeze the one you love tightly after these heart-soaring books of gratitude, passion, and triumph.
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‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger
There’s always something to stand in the way of love, especially timing. When it’s not right, it seems there’s no way around it. But in The Time Traveler’s Wife, Henry and Claire find out that there might be a way around bad timing. Henry’s genetic clock resets and he can move around in time — making this love story all about finding the one at the right time.
‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’ by Raymond Carver
Love is hard, confusing, and magical. Yes, of course it’s possible to feel all those things at once. That’s exactly how you’ll after you read the iconic stories in Raymond Carver’s collect, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. This is the most haunting and lovely reflection on love and companionship.
‘The Department of Speculation’ by Jenny Offill
If you’re human, you know how incredible and difficult love can be. Marriage, and the deep longing to stay together forever, isn’t always easy either. Duh. Jenny Offill dives deep into a crumbling marriage and what it takes to make it work. It’s hauntingly beautiful and powerful, and worth the read if you’ve ever considered marriage. Twenty bucks says you’ll read this entire book in one sitting.
‘Like Water for Chocolate’ by Laura Esquivel
Listen, love has taught us that you can’t always get what you want. In the story of Tita and her childhood love, Pedro, that’s just the case. Because of family circumstances, Pedro must marry Tita’s sister. Tita’s story of passion, love, and cooking is a classic and magical tale that will remind you that love takes courage.
‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell
Remember drooling over your crush on the school bus? Or watching how they perfectly wore their backpack on one shoulder? Or finding out that you love the same song? Yeah, we have a hard time forgetting about that stuff too! Rainbow Rowell describes teenagers, Eleanor and Park as quirky and an unlikely duo that bond over music and comic books. It’s a tale of finding out what falling in love is all about. This book will send your heart to a happy place and remind you of your own glory days of love.
‘Cold Mountain’ by Charles Frazier
How long would you wait for your one, true love? Is forever too long? Well, not according to this love story of longing and waiting in the mysterious Blue Ridge Mountains. A Confederate soldier does whatever he can to make it back the woman he loves — not without extreme hardships for both. Warning: Read this book alone, as you may shed a few hundred tears.
‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Wasn’t an easy road to get together with your soul mate? Well then, this is the book for you. It’s the ultimate book about a love story that spans of the course of an entire lifetime. A guy waits for the one until the very end of his life. This one will remind you that love is always worth the wait.
‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer
Oh, you think you are not a Twilight fan? Well, we all thought that at one point or another. But who can resist a tale of a love off limits?
This deep love story has it all: Mystery, desire, love, fantasy, and more. Oh,
and there are hot vampires. And you know, all those steamy movies that follow.
So get reading!
‘The Lover’ by Marguerite Duras
Sure, a forbidden passionate love affair is always a good
read. But The Lover is set in exotic prewar Indochina and follows a French
girl and her older, Chinese lover. It’s based on the true story of Marguerite
Duras’s love affair, and it’s so sentimental, that she published it 55 years
later. It’s an intense love story of a coming-of-age girl, who most certainly
everyone can relate to.
‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Extravagant New York City in the Roaring Twenties?
Overflowing glasses of perfectly pink champagne? And seriously, the greatest
love story of our time? Yes, please! If you haven’t read The Great Gatsby, you
are most certainly missing a piece of your heart. This timeless, tragic, and
emotional roller coaster of a book will leave your heart heavy and full.
Warning: You may be compelled to rent a tiny room in an oversized mansion on
the shores of Hamptons for a weekend.
‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell
Remember when we thought searching for the perfect guy on
Tinder was a pain? The countless blind dates, online dates, and work happy
hours were so tiring. And then suddenly the human of dreams appeared and all of
that seemed not so bad. Imagine looking for love during the Civil War, when
you’ve lost almost everything, and love isn’t what you expected. Gone with the
Wind is a famous love story passion and strength that will make you realize
your road to love was a lot easier than you thought.
‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ by Helen Fielding
OK, so finding love isn’t easy, am I right? But once you’ve
found it, you hold tight, just like wacky heroine, Bridget Jones. She seems
doomed to find love, but this feel-good novel proves that love is for
everybody. And, as an added bonus, we promise that you will laugh out loud and
remember the glory days of singlehood.
‘Doctor Zhivago’ by Boris Pasternak
Yes, we know it’s hard to make up your mind when it comes to
the one. Sometimes we are torn
between two lovers — and have to make the ultimate decision to decide our
fate. In the classic tale of (ahem, Noble
Prize-winning) Doctor Zhivago, a man is married to Tonya, but
falls in love with nurse Lara. This is a classic heartbreak tale that will make
you want to wriggle free of your current love triangle.
‘Love Story’ by Erich Segal
You know when you’re mom talks about her favorite love
story? We bet she actually means Love Story. Obviously your mom has great
taste, because this epic book is the most dramatic love tale of all time. Once
you dive in, you will be glad you did. A wealthy jock falls in love with a
witty working-class dame. Seriously, what’s not to love?
‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott
There are sisters, and then there are the sisters that stick
with you forever, the ones you call your besties. You know, like the
Kardashians. Perhaps Louisa May Alcott had something like them in mind when she completed the
classic and sweet novel, Little Women. A tale of sisters and their road to
longing, love, and marriage, it’s the ultimate breathe of fresh air. Your spirit
will float after you crush this famed book, and you just might find yourself
telling the one you love how much you truly love them.
‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen
You may be in love now, but
remember the dreadful days of dating a thousand Mr. Wrongs? In this classic
19th century British novel, Elizabeth Bennet must deal with morality, manners,
and most importantly, love. A tale of five unmarried Bennet sisters, Elizabeth
finds love in what seems to be all the wrong places. But, (spoiler alert), some
of those Mr. Wrongs might actually be the perfect Mr. Right. There’s a reason
this book makes every list, always. It’s a whirlwind of romance that you won’t
‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ by Sophie Kinsella
So you like shopping, and happy endings, and you’ve got a quirky sense of humor? Oh, good. Then you should be friends with Becky Bloomwood, the leading lady in Confessions of a Shopaholic. She’s trying to escape her boring journalism job to do something that matters, and meet someone that matters more. It’s not easy, but Becky will make you laugh and squeeze the one you love.