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10 Books About Love Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life

10 Books About Love Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life

What books trigger the lover in you? The best love stories are the classics. They offer a logical and lucid angle on the topic, offering you not just the thrill, but also a better understanding of love.

1. On Love by Stendhal

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    “Happiness never stays the same, except in its origin; every day brings forth a new blossom.”

    Stendhal uses a confessional and witty tone to detail the insightful process of falling in love. Stendhal provides the reader a mixture of anecdotes, philosophy, and social observation from his personal experience and tries to make them universally applicable.

    2. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

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      Martians “go to their caves” while Venusians “go to the well.”

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      John Gray helps the reader to understand and accept the differences between a man and a woman. This book explains how such knowledge can create happier relationships.

      3. The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

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        “Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision?”

        This book shows how love is harder to achieve in the modern world. It helps the reader to understand how love can conquer loneliness and make one a more magnanimous person.

        4. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

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          “Love remains. I don’t know why we should suffer so much. Perhaps I shall find out.”

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          Regarded as Henry James’ finest work, Isabel Archer’s marriage to Osmond Gilbert leads to her suffering from a cruel and oppressive husband. This book portrays to the reader what it means to be a radiantly good person who falls in love with a terrible person.

          5. Roman Elegies by Goethe

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            “I’m fairly fond of boys, but my preference is for girls; When I have enough of a girl, she serves me still as a boy.”

            This is a cycle of twenty-four poems by Goethe. Through his Italian Journey, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe celebrates the sensuality and vigor of romance and love. If you are looking for intelligent erotica, this is a book to read.

            6. Le Grand Meaulnes by Alaine- Fournier

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              “I thought too that our youth was over and we had failed to find happiness.”

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              If you are looking for a novel or a book that paints the nostalgic tale of lost adolescent love, then you should read this. A clear narrative by a fifteen year old, Francois Seurel, of his friendship with Augustine Meaulnes, who falls in love with a mysterious woman, Yvonne, only to find her years later, the book is magical and takes on a search for lost love.

              7. The Sonnets of Shakespeare

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                “For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds.”

                Sonnets offer the reader the most touching expressions of love. They also offer melancholic and lovely reflections by the author.

                8. First Letter to the Corinthians by St Paul

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                  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

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                  The book offers a vivid detail of love linking it to kindness, modesty, and forgiveness. It also provides the reader with some thoughtful and influential assertions about the nature of love.

                  9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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                    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

                    This book offers a logical and evocative picture on every stage of love. With complete naturalness, the author does well to hold the story together and offer the reader an intelligent and deep perception of love.

                    10. Essays in Love by Alain de Botton

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                      “We are all more intelligent than we are capable, and awareness of the insanity of love has never saved anyone from the disease.”

                      Although the book tries to offer a comical appeal of how serious the subject of love can be, the author offers an analysis of the various stages of a relationship, from first sight to separation.

                      Featured photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com via mrg.bz

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                      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                      Example 1

                      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                      Example 2

                      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                      Example 3

                      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                      Example 4

                      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                      • Understand your own communication style
                      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                      • Communicate with precision and care
                      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                      1. Understand Your Communication Style

                      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                      3. Exercise Precision and Care

                      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                      The Bottom Line

                      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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