Love is a beautiful thing. It can make you giddy and lighthearted, but it can also make you feel conflicted and confused. If you’ve never been in love before or if the love of your life just walked away from you, then it might be hard to find something that will cheer up your spirits and help get your mind off of them.
Until now! You probably have a lot of different opinions on what constitutes the best love story out there, but we’ve compiled 37 romantic novels that everyone should read at least once in their lives – these books will have you laughing and crying all at the same time.
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
If you read this book, then you probably have been a Bernadette fan for years now and are anxiously awaiting the release of the movie adaptation. Bernadette is your typical run-of-the-mill IT girl gone crazy in Seattle and her life just gets crazier and crazier as she tries to solve the case of her missing husband. It’s a quick read and you’ll be hooked once you’re done with it.
- Song of Solomon: A Novel by Toni Morrison
If you haven’t read any of Toni Morrison’s novels before, then this is a great book to start with. This novel follows the lives of two different men and the secrets they uncover as they go through their own personal journey towards redemption. You’ll have differing opinions on what constitutes “love” in this book, but it’s a surefire way to get you hooked.
- The Vow by Jenna Black
This book will entertain you on your commute to work or sitting on the couch all day once you finish it up. It’s about a woman who is on the verge of divorce, who meets a man at work who promises her marriage would be everything she’s ever wanted. The novel delves into the realities of marriage and what it truly means.
- A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold
This book is telling the story of one mother’s journey through the trial of her son and how she came to find herself at its core. In a tragic and shocking way, this book explores familial relationships and the essence of human connection in general. It will easily get you hooked as you’ll become entranced with this woman’s search for answers.
- The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
This is a story about love, revenge, and acceptance between a girl who is suffering an illness that eventually robs her of her sight and the man who wants to save her. The novel explores the idea of whether or not we are doomed by our genes and how forgiveness plays a major role in human relationships.
- The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
If you’re looking for an insight on Ernest Hemingway’s life through his wife’s perspective, then this is the book for you. This story will make you feel all the different emotions and make you understand why Hemingway was so driven by his life.
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
This is yet another novel about a woman who has spent her life trying to become like the hero in her stories, but she ends up falling short because of her own negligence and lack of willpower. In this story, this woman will find herself at the center of a battle between good and evil in which she must choose between them. It’s a quick read that will leave you wanting to know more about Ayn Rand’s philosophy.
- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Of course, this list would be incomplete if we didn’t include the story of Allie and Noah. This book is the definition of romance as it explores the trials and tribulations of a young couple in love who cannot be together because of their differences outside of their relationship. You’ll find yourself invested in this novel from beginning to end.
- An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
This book tells the story of a woman who becomes captive after she is kidnapped while visiting her father-in-law in Haiti. Her husband and his family must work together to save her from being tortured and become entwined in a battle that could cost them everything. This is a great read that shows the meaning of love and forgiveness.
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
This book tells the story of a mother losing her children one by one as they set out to recover the body of her deceased husband; it’s a story that explores how unconditional love and family can be. You’ll learn more about what it means to be human in this book as you get to see each character struggle with their humanity.
- Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
This book is filled with dark comedy, mysticism, spirituality, and sexual humor. It’s about a young man who comes out to find himself in the small town of Sparta, Georgia where he ends up meeting a mysterious and controversial woman who will change his life for the better. This book will entertain you as it shows how the world looks when you’re light-hearted.
- The Year of Living Biblically by A J Jacobs
This is one of those books that you will be able to relate to in some way no matter what your religious beliefs are. It will teach you how to live a life that is more sustainable and how to do what’s right for yourself instead of what everyone else thinks is best. This book will teach you how to be more accepting of everyone and will inspire you with the power of religion through the life of a man who has decided to live his entire life as if it were the Bible’s.
- My Life in France by Julia Child
Julia Child was one of my childhood idols and still holds a special place in my heart. When I began learning English, I was obsessed with her cooking shows, and I constantly thought about finding out more information about her. This book is a memoir that tells her story, and you’ll find yourself feeling as if you know her after reading it.
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
This is a great book about freedom and the search for meaning. This book will remind you why traveling makes you feel alive, and how easy it is to forget your roots if you’re always moving around without a goal in mind. This book follows the story of a young man who travels across America seeking adventure with his friends as they try to find themselves in this new world. It’s an entertaining read that will leave you wanting more about these journeys.
- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
This book explores the different ways people can live in a society. It’s about two sisters who live in Peru, and you’ll learn more about human nature as it is shown through their eyes as they experience life from all sides. This book will inspire you to live your life to its fullest to find your own peace and harmony in this world.
- The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin
This is a historical novel that tells the story of a married woman who has had an affair, and she must decide if she wants her husband to forgive her or if she wants him to take her out the back door and never come back. This book’s about her journey between the two options and the consequences she must face in order to make her decision.
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
This is a true story about a family who lives with poverty in rural India, and it will inspire you to see how you can change your life for the better. This book teaches you not to judge others, and it will help you realize that people are more similar than we think. This book will give you hope for where you’re going in life, because it shows us how even if we don’t appear successful on the outside, if we strive for what is important and live our lives with compassion, greatness can come out of all situations.
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
This is a historical novel that tells the story of a young woman who lives to bring change to the world. This book will teach you that you can be whatever you want to be, and if you work hard enough, anything is possible. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I have recommended it to many people who are struggling with their life or are experiencing some kind of loss. It will inspire and empower you so in ways you won’t even realize!
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
This is another true story about an African family living in West Africa during the late 19th century. This book is a wonderful story that inspires me with the light it shines on traditional African cultures and traditions. It’s a great book to read if you want to understand how traditional African cultures have adapted over the years to survive in a changing world. I love this book!
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
This is one of Morrison’s most popular novels but for very good reason! It’s an incredible story about an African-American girl growing up in poverty in rural Ohio during World War 2. It’s also a great example of the role slavery played in forming American culture, especially during that time period. This book will get your mind thinking about race in a different way than you’ve probably thought about it before, and it will change you forever.
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This is one of my favorite books ever. It’s an amazing novel that explores the relationship between a man and woman who have been separated during time travel adventures for most of their lives. This book will explain how love can overcome the impossible, and how there is always hope for true love regardless of what happens to them in this world or the next. This book is wonderful!
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
This book is one of Chopin’s earliest pieces of work and explores the life of a young woman who has been married to an abusive man for most of her adult life. This book shows the importance of true love and how it can change someone in a way that they will never be the same again. This novel has inspired many people to read more literature, and I highly recommend it!
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This book is the story about life in a dystopian society where women are forced into sexual slavery or killed altogether. It’s an incredible novel that will make you think about the role women play in society and how the system can be so easily corrupted. This book will change your perspective on society and help you remember what it means to feel human.
- Don Quixote by Cervantes
This is one of those books that people either love or hate; as I personally, love this book very much! It’s an adventure story about a man who wants to achieve chivalry but ends up being taken advantage of by other people who have more ambitious goals in mind. This book will teach you about honesty through the eyes of Quixote, and you’ll find that it has some very moving insights for how to live your life well.
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
This book is about four Chinese women who struggle to make an identity for themselves in America. This novel explores the pain of losing someone you love and the joys of finding yourself on the other side. It will teach you lessons about life that will last you a lifetime, and it inspires you to stick with what’s important in life and take note of all the good things that come your way.
- Harry Potter by J K Rowling
This is a great adventure story about a young boy who discovers he is a wizard and goes on to fight against an evil sorcerer. This series will bring you all the emotions one could possibly feel as it truly defines childhood, friendship, and what it means to live life with hope. If you haven’t read Harry Potter before, I highly recommend you do!
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A wonderful book that will make you cry remembering your younger days but also inspire you into thinking about how others may feel during the same time of their lives. It shows the importance of each individual in society, and you’ll be touched by each character’s story. If you haven’t read this book, do! It’s phenomenal!
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This is a great story that will make you think about the pain of growing up in a place where hatred and violence are common among everyone. This novel will show you what it means to have trust in other people and how important it is to believe in yourself no matter what others say or think. This is a perfect book that will teach you how to deal with your emotions while also teaching you the value of friendship.
- Breaking Night by Liz Murray
This is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read, and it has the ability to inspire anyone who has gone through a difficult time in life. It’s an incredible story about a young woman who grew up in poverty and now as an adult, she is sharing her story with the world. This book will teach you that no matter what mistakes you make or how many times you fall off track, if you have someone to support you, anything is possible. This book is amazing!
- Liars’ Club by Mary Karr
This memoir explores the life of a young girl growing up with a drug addict for a mother and alcoholic for a father. It will show you the lessons love, loss, and hardship can teach you about yourself and what it means to be human. This is an incredibly touching book that will make you cry and root for the characters throughout.
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This is a masterful novel that shows another side of the world in which we live. This book will teach you the importance of family and how important they are no matter what kind of life you have been living or where you’ve come from. It’s about a man who is trying to find his way back home after being totally lost in this world for so long after witnessing his mother’s death. This novel is an incredible read that you’ll be glad you received!
- The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
This is a wonderfully powerful story about relationships that will really get your mind thinking about how you view the people around you and why they are important to you. This book shows us how our families are incredibly important to us even if sometimes we don’t realize it, and it will inspire you to get closer to those who matter most in your life. This is a great book that I would highly recommend reading!
- The Paper Menagerie by Kathy Acker
This is an incredible story about a man who writes a story about his family and finds the power in his writing that allows him to find the love he’s always missing at home. It’s one of Acker’s earliest pieces of work, and it will definitely inspire you to write your own story. It’s an enjoyable read that will make you think about the power you have when you put pen to paper and how it can change your life forever.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This book will show you the importance of following your heart and how you’re never too young or old to start over. It’s an inspiring story about a shepherd boy who goes on an adventure in search of his personal treasure, and it will inspire you to live your life to its fullest so that you don’t miss anything worthwhile. If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend it!
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
This is one of my all-time favorite novels ever! It’s a touching story about a girl who grows up in poverty with parents who abuse drugs and alcohol but still manages to find love in the most unlikely places. It will teach you the importance of always believing in yourself no matter what, and it will make you know that it’s okay to not be happy all the time, but to appreciate what you do have while it lasts. This is an incredible novel!
- A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
This is one of my favorite books ever because I feel that women need more support than they have right now in our society. It’s a historical book that was published in 1792 by Wollstonecraft, who lived during a time when people thought females were only worth teaching children how to cook and sew. This book will inspire you to rise up and prove that you’re capable of so much more than they say. It’s an interesting read that will make you think about your life in a different way!
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
This is one of my all-time favorite novels because it’s one of the most creative pieces of work I have ever read! It takes place in London during a weekday, and anyone can relate to it since we often wonder what we’re doing with our lives while we go outside on a Wednesday. This novel will teach you the importance of having patience and appreciate all that life has to offer. You’ll love this incredible story!
Can you think of a time when you were reading a love story and it motivated you to take action in your life, such as falling in love with someone or working towards something that would make your life better? Whatever the case may be, I hope that these books have inspired you to read more and appreciate all the beauty life has to offer.
Until next time,