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20 Insanely Romantic Books You Should Read Together With Your Partner

20 Insanely Romantic Books You Should Read Together With Your Partner

Isn’t winter that perfect time of the year when you can cuddle with your partner all day long under a ton of blankets and indulge in reading while sipping warm cocoa from a huge mug? These 20 romantic books will make you inspired by the astonishing power of love, true happiness and the perfect ever after endings. Nothing cheesy, but strong raw emotions and empowering stories to make you cherish one another even more!

1. Guillaume Musso – “Girl on Paper

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    How would you react if one of your fiction characters turned up in your house one evening? Tom Boyd – a multi-million-dollar selling author, alcoholic and absolute wreck thought he had gone absolutely insane when his young, beautiful heroine, Billie, stood in his living room, demanding that he write another novel, so she could return back to her fictional world. No matter how crazy her story sounds, Tom eventually believes in the girl’s story and here, the real adventures begin.

    You should read it together if you feel like you ever made up the person you love, and then actually met them.

    2. Haruki Murakami – “Norwegian Wood

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      A beautiful melancholic story told by 37-year-old Toru Watanabe who suddenly heard a few accords of the Beatles’ song “Norwegian Wood” in Hamburg Airport. That simple tune made him reminiscent of his college years when a few crucial turns had happened in his life. The story constantly shifts from misty, calm episodes at a remote rehab center in the mountainss where Watanabe – a former girlfriend of his best friend, who committed suicide at his 17th birthday – visits Naoko, to the times of civil unrest and student revolution in the Tokyo University where Watanabe meets Midori – a girl being an absolute opposite to Naoko.

      You should read it together if you have doubts whether you have made the right love choices.

      3. Boris Vian – “Froth on the Daydream

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        A surreal love story where a young rich boy, Colin, meets beautiful young Chloé, and falls desperately in love with her and marries her in an insane grand wedding, all in just few days. Their love is more than their hearts can endure, yet after a fabulous honeymoon Chloé gets a terrible disease – a water lily has grown in her lung. To save her, Colin spends all of his money on doctors and treatments, yet the only thing that can make Chloé better is to constantly surround her with flowers and care.

        You should read it together as the story is so beautifully painful that you’ll both need a good hug at the end.

        4. Mario Vargas Llosa – “The Bad Girl

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          In colorful language, Llosa tells a beguiling romantic story of how a man spends his whole life chasing one woman. Ricardo meets his femme fatale who calls herself “Lily” when he is still a poor boy from Lima. After a hot summer fling, she disappears from his life for 10 years. Their paths suddenly cross again in Paris, where Lily is now called Mrs. Richardson and married to a wealthy Englishman, yet still purposely toys with Ricardo’s heart. In a few  short years, he has found his bad girl again in Tokyo where she’s now a mistress to a Japanese businessman. The more she tosses his heart in the mud, the more the hero falls for her.

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          You should read it together if you love twisted mind games and powerfully raw emotions.

          5. Bernhard Schlink – “The Reader

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            A mesmerizing story set at the backdrop of gloomy postwar landscapes in Germany. 15-year-old Michael is saved from dying by Hanna – a common woman twice his age. Michael carries his gratitude for years until he finally gets a chance to thank Hanna by defending her on a trial. The charges pressed are severe, yet seem absolutely unbelievable to Michael. Does Hanna have a secret she’d rather die for than give away?

            You should read it together if you believe that you should not be judged for who you love.

            6. Gabriel García Márquez – “Love in the Time of Cholera

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              An epic saga about the incredible lives of two lovers, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza, who have lived their lives next to each other, yet separated as Fermina was forced to marry a prospering doctor, instead of her true sweetheart. Deeply heartbroken for over 50 years, Florentino still never gives up hope of being together and proposes to Fermina on the day her husband dies – 50 years, nine months, and four days after he first said, “I love you”.

              You should read it together if you believe that true love will wait as long as needed.

              7. Jenny Downham – “Before I Die

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                I have serious doubts that you can find more romantic book than this! “Before I Die” is somewhat sad, yet inspiring and life-asserting. Tessa knows she has only five months left to live, yet instead of drowning in the void of her despair, the girl decides to spend the time left living, laughing and loving as much as she can.

                You should read it to cherish each and every minute you spend together.

                8. Anna Gavalda – “I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere

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                  If you are looking for a light, yet profound read, Anna Gavalda seems to be a perfect choice. This book is a charming collection of short simple stories, conveying deep, twisted mixes of love, longing and a tiny bit of loneliness.

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                  You should read if you seek a simple tale for the evening that will leave you wanting to get lost in fiction.

                  9. Cecelia Ahern – “Where Rainbows End

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                    The story does not sound new – a boy and girl grew up next door, became close friends and never dared to cross this fragile line between love and friendship. How many letters, broken relationships and years does it take to admit to yourself that you have always been in love with your best friend?

                    You should read if you used to be friends for years before dating (and just crave an old-fashioned romantic and amusing story to unwind).

                    10. Colleen McCullough – “The Thorn Birds

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                      A classic love story set in the wild fields of recently settled Australia, where a girl falls in love with a beautiful young priest who torn between his duty and eternal temptation for love. The story is simple, yet absolutely enchanting, making you flip through over 600 pages in no time.

                      You should read it together if you are ready to stay up late laughing, crying and worrying about the  twists and turns of the heroes.

                      11. Luanne Rice – “Follow the Stars Home

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                        Compelling, beautiful story of tough choices and all the difficulties you face after making a few wrong turns in life. Dianne is absolutely miserable in her marriage and thinks it’s too late for her to truly have a taste of life and follow her heart. We all know that best love stories tend to have a happy ending, yet the book keeps you hooked until the very last page!

                        You should read it together if you know what it’s like to make bad love choices and fight for your happiness.

                        12. F. Scott Fitzgerald – “The Great Gatsby

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                          Obviously, no list would be complete without this brilliant novel soaked with the roaring twenties, jazz and pure decadence. Jay Gatsby literary grows from rags to riches within a few years, only to make the charming Daisy fall in love with him. Even if you have seen the movie with the unsurpassed DiCaprio, I would still recommend reading the book for even more incredible details and story lines that were left out.

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                          You should read it together to remember what toxic relationships look like.

                          13. Pierre Choderlos De Laclos – “Dangerous Liaisons

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                            Two ex-lovers Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont – bored French aristocrats – decide to play a wicked game of seduction with a simple convent girl, a virtuous married woman and one another along the way. Quoting “the guardian“, the book is “foppish, French, and ferocious.”

                            You should read it together if you’d like to add a bit of spice and devilish seduction into your everyday life.

                            14. Leo Tolstoy – “Anna Karenina

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                              The best of the Russian classics, this novel is still one of the most powerful, yet catastrophic love stories of all time and is often referred to as “the greatest novel ever written.” A sophisticated tale of forbidden love and adultery, Tolstoy perfectly portraits the deepest fears, doubts and heart-break of his heroine Anna – a married aristocrat, falling in love with Count Vronsky while visiting her brother in Moscow (and struggling to help him with his broken marriage). Don’t be tempted to watch the movie. The story isn’t nearly as brilliant as the written words.

                              You should read it together at least once in your life.

                              15. Raymond Carver – “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

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                                Dazzling, spellbinding and absolutely compelling stories of simple people who talk of one thing they know the most and nothing about – love.

                                You should read it if you know what love is in all of its forms.

                                16. Françoise Sagan – “Bonjour Tristesse

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                                  This light, coming of age novel made Sagan famous overnight when she was only 18 years old! The young heroine, Cecile, spends her summer watching the endless swirl of young women going in and out of her father’s life and bed. She finds this lifestyle perfectly acceptable and even tries to set up a casual love affair of her own, but fails miserably. It all changes suddenly, when Anne – an old friend of her mother – arrives. She’s nothing like the young, fun and careless mistress whom Cecile adores. It’s hard to call the story is a typical love triangle though, as Cecile fights with Anna for her father’s attention, while setting him up with his mistress Elsa again and making numerous cruel plots to get back the libertine life they used to have.

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                                  You should read it if you love unexpected plot twists and can have the tissues ready for the ending.

                                  17. John Keats – “Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

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                                    The best love stories are the actual love stories, right? These are actual love letters and poems that the fabulous John Keats dedicated to his sweetheart Fanny Brawne, containing one of the most heart-melting and romantic lines I have ever read in my life. What would you give to receive a letter with the lines like, “My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you”?

                                    You should read it together and practice writing love letters afterwards, but that’s just one of the super romantic things you can do!

                                    18. Kazuo Ishiguro – “The Remains of the Day

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                                      This is a perfect book for those who hate cliched romance books. Ishiguro tells his amazingly romantic story with the least of romantic phrases ever used. Instead, he creates a magical atmosphere of half-shades and cues, earning the author a Man Booker Prize in 1989 for this incredibly beautiful story of a man reconsidering all of his life values during one long drive to a woman he thinks he may be in love with.

                                      You should read it together if you feel like you are tired of typical love stories.

                                      19. John Brandon – “Citrus County

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                                        Now, how far will you go for love? Do you think it’s acceptable to kidnap your love’s sister and hide her away in the woods, just so you could get closer to her? Somehow, Toby thinks this may be the  way to bond with his high school mate Shelby.

                                        You should read it to remember how complicated teenage love can be (but not that complicated of course!).

                                        20. Marguerite Duras – “The Lover

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                                          A beautiful story set in the French Colonial Vietnam where an adolescent french girl from a poverty-stricken family meets an older Chinese businessman, only to gradually fall deeply in love with him. Don’t get tricked by this simple story plot though, as the novel is way smarter and intriguing than you may think! A bit sassy, plenty vivid and absolutely romantic, this autobiographical novel was sold with over 1 million copies from the first print.

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                                          You should read it together if you would like to be swooned by the mystical Indochina.

                                          Featured photo credit: A young couple is reading and relaxing on a park bench in autumn via shutterstock.com

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                                          Elena Prokopets

                                          Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                          Warming up

                                          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                          Stay hydrated

                                          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                          Meditate

                                          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                          2. Focus on your goal

                                          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                          3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                          4. Understand your content

                                          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                          5. Practice makes perfect

                                          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                          6. Be authentic

                                          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                          7. Post speech evaluation

                                          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                          Improve your next speech

                                          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                          • How did I do?
                                          • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                          • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                          • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                          • How was the flow of the speech?

                                          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                          Reference

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