6 Good Books to Read When You're In Love
If you've got a special someone and want to read more about love, pick of one of these good books to read.
You're with someone new, it's going well, and you're looking for a good books to read on love. You have a relationship to navigate and complex feelings to express. The right read can help you put your passion into words, and when it comes to relationship problems, help you find examples of what to do—or what not to do.
Love stories aren’t limited to the traditional romance novel fare (though those can indeed be good books to read when you’re in love). Since medieval times, romantic love has played an integral role in some of the most important stories in literature. In Shakespeare’s plays, passion drives the heroes and heroines to fight battles, don disguises, and face death.
By the time of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, romantic love still held the imagination of readers despite the stricture of their society’s morals and manners. Sometimes romance was shared in a subtle glance or correspondence in letters.
Into the 20th century, our obsession with tragic love affairs continued, bringing books like The Great Gatsby to wide audiences. Today, readers continue to devour books about love, especially ones that end in tragedy. Take the popularity of The Fault in Our Stars, for example. As readers, we will never get enough of love and heartache.
When it comes to love stories, there is something for everyone. Whether you want to read a sweet romance with an adorable meet cute or a historical love affair that ends in tragedy, there are dozens of good books to read out there to satisfy your passion.
Another classic love story, but this time, from an era closer to ours, Love in the Time of Cholera tells the story of Florentino and Fermina. Fermina breaks Florentino’s heart when she chooses to marry another man, but Florentino never stops pining for her. Fifty years and many affairs later, Florentino is still in love with Fermina, and he decides to tell her once again. This novel’s heartbreak and unrequited love will make you thankful your sweetheart is in the next room.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
A novel of fantastical magic realism, Kafka on the Shore has a vivid, dreamy plot. Even more accomplished is the novel’s turn of phrase, like this quote: “Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who’s in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It’s like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven’t seen in a long time.” With hundreds of lines like that one, Kafka on the Shore will have you going back again and again to find more gorgeous words to describe your own ardor.
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
Pride and Prejudice is the classic love story. First published in 1813, the novel’s subtleties and lessons about people and emotions still hold true, making it easily one of the most popular novels ever published in English. Seemingly proud Mr. Darcy clashes with the heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, who is far from perfect herself. A series of misunderstandings keeps them apart, but not for long. The depth of human emotion Austen brings to the table is enough to keep this book in the literary canon and on your shelf.
To buy: $8, amazon.com.
This lighthearted anthology may technically be YA, but it has the perfect adorable romance for every passion. With stories from multiple bestselling authors, you can relive the time you first met your main squeeze in the adorable “meet cutes” of each character. Stories range from small-town romances to break-up-make-ups. Indulge in the warmer, sweeter side of love with this collection.
To buy: $13, amazon.com.
Set in war-torn Greece, Corelli’s Mandolin tells the love affair between the Captain Corelli, the leader of the Italian garrison that has invaded Cephalonia, and Pelagia, a young woman who lives on the island. Corelli’s Mandolin, a striking novel about the complexities of love, produced this beautiful quotation that has worked its way into many wedding vows:
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
To buy: $11, amazon.com.
Knowing you’re in love is one thing, but knowing how to be a caring, expressive partner is a completely different story. The 5 Love Languages describes the different ways we can show and receive love. You and your partner might express and perceive affection in entirely different ways. You might be a gift-giver, for example, but your partner relies on touch to show their affection. Reading this book, which millions of couples swear by, can help you and your partner decode the actions that make you feel most loved and valued.
To buy: $19, amazon.com.