Top Ten Tuesday: Five Excellent Romantic Books

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, was a Valentine’s Day freebie.  I’m not a reader of traditional romance. I’m not opposed to the genre; I just feel that I haven’t found the writer or series that will hook me in as of yet.  But there are a few novels that came to mind when I think of truly romantic stories.5826

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  This dazzling novel is about SO much – racial constructs in America, the immigrant experience, contemporary Nigeria – but at its heart there’s a gripping love story, centered on young lovers Ifemelu and Obinze.  Will they find their way back to one another?  I was captivated.
  2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.   I think this is one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read.  Beautiful and heartbreaking.  It soars.
  3. Landline by Rainbow Rowell.  This was my first Rowell novel, and it resonated with me so much that I photocopied paragraphs and pasted them into my journal.  It’s a fun, quirky book, but it also contains some very real truths about marriage, especially marriage after kids.
  4. Every Day by David Levithan.  A YA book that totally sucked me in and had me crying.  A is a genderless being who wakes up in  a different body everyday.  A has learned to cope with this strange, rootless existence, until one day A falls in love with Rhiannon.  There’s a sequel recently out called Another Day.  I can’t wait to read it after the TBR Triple Dog Dare is over. 51i318LHixL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  5. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.  There are many thread to this novel about humans and the nature they interact with in the Southern Appalachians, but I chose it for this list because parts of it are really very lusty – in a good way.  I’ve read it twice and I’d read it again in a heartbeat.

I could have chosen Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – because isn’t this really the ultimate love story?  But I thought it was too obvious.  I also could have picked Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.  But I haven’t read it since 2003, and I don’t trust my judgment on that one.  I’d just come out of a devastating breakup.  I just remember sobbing my eyes out.  I’m happy with the five books I’ve chosen – they’re all very different but they all speak to the universal truth of humans seeking connection.  I’d love to hear your picks for romantic books – suggestions, please!




16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Five Excellent Romantic Books

  1. I haven’t read most of these. Time Traveler’s Wife and Pride and Prejudice are all time favorites. Bel Canto has been on my shelf waiting to be read forever! So has Every Day (I actually have the original ARC still) (horrible I know) But good to have the recommendations. I’ve been a little disappointed with romances lately. I think that’s why I went with quotes. Lol.

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  2. Bel Canto is such an excellent choice. I read it such a long time ago, I keep forgetting about it–and I shouldn’t! I’ve had Americanah on my TBR wishlist since it was published. I may have to put that on hold at the library soon…

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    1. Priscilla, I’ll be glad to hear your thoughts on Americanah when you get around to it. It’s one I bought after I read it, because I knew I’d want to reread it sometime. I keep meaning to read her other novels and just haven’t gotten to them yet!

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  3. I love this list. ‘Americanah’ was my first Adichie book, and it’s one of the very few romance books I loved. I am still in the process of developing a palate for romance, so I am curious to try the other titles you have recommended. Your descriptions are so beautiful, and I am adding all of it to my TBR.

    I have read Rowell’s ‘Carry On’, and loved her writing. So many friends have raved about ‘Landline’. I should really read it this year. And, Elizabeth Gilbert has written a lot about Ann Patchett in her book ‘The Big Magic’. It’s a shame that I haven’t read any of Patchett’s. I am glad now, for I know where to start. Thanks to you. 🙂

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    1. Thanks! I’ve not yet read all of Patchett’s books, Deepika, but of the ones I’ve read (Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant, Patron Saint of Liars, and Truth and Beauty) Bel Canto is my favorite. I hope you enjoy it when you find a chance to read it.

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  4. One of my favorite “romances” is Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. It’s about a retired English colonel, and his Pakistani neighbour and how the two go from distrusting one another to becoming friends and I realize I read it such a long while ago now that I can’t really say anything more meaningful than that! Time for a re-read!

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  5. I had to laugh when I read what you said about The Time Traveler’s Wife — I’m in a similar boat! The last time I read it was 2006/2007, and I was just coming up on a break-up that was inevitable but I didn’t want it to be? And I, too, sobbed my eyes out, and haven’t reread it since. Soon!

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    1. How funny, Jenny. I just remember thinking that it was so romantic and I would share that book with my future beloved – and now, when I think of reading it with my now husband, oh how that thought makes me laugh!


  6. I read TTTW when my now husband and I had just started dating and I was visiting him.

    I sobbed and sobbed at the end and then looked up at the clock to realize that my boyfriend should have been back from work a while back. Panicked, I called his friends who said he’d left a long time ago. The sobbing that ensued, and also the anger that was unleashed at him when he finally made an appearance left him quite nonplussed.

    A few days later after he was done reading the book, he asked me, highly amused, if I’d been reading TTTW that memorable evening. Yes, I replied!

    Liked by 1 person

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