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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.

                                          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 January 16, 2020

                                          12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

                                          12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

                                          The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

                                          However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

                                          “Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

                                          Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

                                          1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

                                          When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

                                          Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

                                          2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

                                          That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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                                          Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

                                          3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

                                          If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

                                          For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

                                          People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

                                          This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

                                          4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

                                          Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

                                          Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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                                          Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

                                          Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

                                          “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

                                          5. Crack a smile.

                                          If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

                                          Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

                                          6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

                                          Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

                                          And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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                                          7. Groom yourself.

                                          This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

                                          A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

                                          8. Dress nicely.

                                          Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

                                          While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

                                          9. Do activities you enjoy.

                                          Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

                                          You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

                                          10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

                                          Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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                                          Why?

                                          Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

                                          Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

                                          Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

                                          11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

                                          Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

                                          Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

                                          12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

                                          Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

                                          The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

                                          Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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