Romance by the Book: For Saps and Cynics

    Who needs candles and confections when you’ve got a great novel?

    Renée Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd in Jerry Maguire was on to something when she said her past three lovers all ran a distant second to a good book and a warm bath. Single, married, dating, whatever your relationship status may be, forget about candlelit dinners and surprise bouquets of red roses—and do romance by the book.

    We’ve selected a few titles based on different romantic preferences. Find yours and you’ve found your date. No “you had me at hello” necessary.

    For the Hopeless Romantic

    Buy Eleanor & Park at Amazon

    Eleanor & Park

    Put down that snot-covered, tear-stained copy of Nicolas Sparks’s The Notebook and pick up Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, a New York Times Bestseller about a couple of outcasts who take on the world together, one bus ride at a time. Sure, it’s shelved in the YA section, but don’t let its genre and cutesy cover fool you: This one’s full of themes anyone who fell in love in high school can relate to.

    Eleanor & Park

    By Rainbow Rowell

    For the Star-Crossed Lover

    Buy Americanah at Amazon


    You’re an intimacy junkie, and nothing will keep you from your one true love. Same goes for this Nigerian couple in this multi-award-winning novel. With an ocean between them—Ifemelu in America navigating the turbulence of a post 9/11 landscape and Obinze unwelcome in London—it takes 15 years for the two to reunite and explore what they started all those years ago.


    By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Dreaming of more romance? No need to pine! Sign up for our free newsletter and get swoon-worthy tales delivered straight to your inbox.

    For the Old-Fashioned Lover

    Buy Atonement at Amazon


    You’ve probably seen Joe Wright’s Oscar-winning film starring Keira Knightley in that ridic green satin gown mounted on a wall of books by her suitor played by James McAvoy, but have your read the novel on which it’s based? Then do so. Spanning several decades, Robbie and Cecelia’s historical romance is one for the ages.


    By Ian McEwan

    For the Pessimistic Dater

    Buy How to Be Single at Amazon

    How to Be Single

    He just dumped you for a yoga buff whose motivation to sweat through Bikram has nothing to do with the soul and everything to do with getting a hot bod? Yeah, Georgia feels your pain. She too was just dumped, which is why her BFFs are showing her the positives of single-lady life. From the cowriter of He’s Just Not That Into to You, Liz Tuccillo’s book will help you get over all your woes.

    How to Be Single

    By Liz Tuccillo

    For the Man-Eater

    Buy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at Amazon

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    “Over it.” Your words. And rather than squeeze into a body-con contraption, you’d rather eat. Something—anything. Which is why Seth Grahame-Smith’s parody mash-up of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and the zombie lore we continue to gorge on is just the read for you. The plot? It’s all there in the title.

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Seth Grahame-Smith

    For those Cynical of Hookup Apps

    Buy Modern Romance at Amazon

    Modern Romance

    Let’s face it: These days relationships are spawned out of a techno screen. Love at first sight now means love at first right swipe. It sucks. And actor/comedian Aziz Ansari agrees. So he wrote a highly scientific yet totally hilarious book about it. Read it and you’ll forget all about that last Tinder bender.

    Modern Romance

    By Aziz Ansari

    It's a love story for the ages... Download your FREE copy of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd when you sign up for A Love So True's newsletter!

    This story was first published on Early Bird Books.

    This post is promoted by Open Road Media. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for A Love So True to celebrate the romance you love.

    Featured still from "Jerry Maguire" via TriStar Pictures

    scroll up