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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 September 18, 2020

                      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                      “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                      Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                      You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                      Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                      1. Take a step back and evaluate

                      When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                      1. What is the problem?
                      2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                      3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                      4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                      5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                      Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                      2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                      If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                      At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                      Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                      3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                      Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                      4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                      Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                      1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                      2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                      3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                      4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                      5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                      Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                      By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                      Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                      6. Give yourself a break

                      If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                      7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                      A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                      Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                      After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                      8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                      As Helen Keller once said,

                      “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                      Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                      9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                      In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                      1. What’s the situation?
                      2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                      3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                      4. Take action on your next steps!

                      After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                      10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                      A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                      Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                      For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                      11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                      No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                      12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                      No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                      13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                      There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                      After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                      Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                      Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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