A mix of classic and contemporary love stories if you'd rather stay home for Valentine's Day
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Jones’ novel was just selected for Oprah’s Book Club — and it’s as human and timely a story as you’d expect. “I love this title because the novel redefines the traditional American love story,” Winfrey said. “It’s really a love triangle and places us inside a world that a lot of people don’t know about, but impacts all of us in really big ways — you’ll see what I mean. And I think you’ll come away with greater empathy and understanding. Even if you don’t, it’s just a great read.”
Buy It! An American Marriage, $26.95; amazon.com
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A 205-year-old book that’s been included in every “Best Love Stories” list since the internet was born … because it’s a study of intrinsically human traits. Elizabeth Bennet is poor but smart, and she despises wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy from their very first meeting. Future encounters lead to more misunderstandings, resulting in a classic mix of farce and tragedy … and, eventually, marriage.
Buy It! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, $9.99; amazon.com
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
As great an epic as anything written by Tolkien, this series tracks the story of Claire Randall, a married WWII combat nurse who is sent back in time 200 years, where she finds love and adventure with Highlander Jamie Fraser. Fans loved their story so much the books were adapted into the hit Starz series of the same name.
Buy It! Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, $25.37; amazon.com
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
“A teen boy’s erotic awakening—with the young man who’s his father’s research assistant—propels this sensuous, bittersweet novel, now a film with Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet.” — the PEOPLE review
Buy It! Call Me By Your Name, $17; amazon.com
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The term “star-crossed” lovers was coined in this iconic play written by the legendary playwright. Two young lovers, Romeo and Juliet, embark on a romance, despite being from divided houses. The result is catastrophy and death and a pang in our collective heart that has never fully gone away.
Buy It! Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, $6.99; amazon.com
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
What if a relationship suffered from problems of the supernatural kind? This is the case for Henry DeTamble, a time-traveling librarian, and his love Clare Abshire, an artist leading a normal life. While their irregular encounters are more magical because they seem pre-destined, Henry can’t control when he’ll disappear — or if he’ll come back to his wife.
Buy It! The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, $9.52; amazon.com
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Nowhere will you find a love more tortured than that of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, the girl he’s loved since childhood. She rejects him so she can marry her social equal, but, like an angry ghost, Heathcliff’s need for vengeance is so great that it may plague the family forever.
Buy It! Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, $7.65; amazon.com
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
A classic combination of love and war, this epic novel will forever be part of the greatest American love stories. Set in Georgia during the Civil War, the story follows Scarlett O’Hara’s transformation from a sheltered plantation owner’s daughter to a fiery woman of the South. As struggle weaves in and out of her life, her complicated love for rogue blockade runner Rhett Butler becomes the one constant.
Buy It! Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, $8.99; amazon.com
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Author Nicholas Sparks has built a romance novel dynasty, and this one reigns supreme. Working-class boy Noah and heiress Allie are brought together for one summer and torn apart by her family at its close. Years later, they meet again and truths that were hidden finally come into the light. A story that refreshes the “star-crossed” theme and has the potential to bring the reader to tears more than once.
Buy It! The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, $5.99; amazon.com