Reading list

7 books exploring love in all its guises

If you’re in need of a romantic read, you’ll fall head over heels for these books about relationships, marriage and family.



1. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

This is a poignant and startlingly original novel from Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places. Libby Strout was once dubbed American’s Fattest Teen, and is struggling with the loss of her mother. Jack Masselin is popular, charming and funny, but he has a secret – he can’t recognise faces, not even his own. When the two of them are thrown together after a cruel high school joke, both of them start to really see the other for who they are. It’s a breath-taking read for fans of The Fault in our Stars.  

2. We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

Stella is a nurse who spends her night shifts writing letters for her patients, whilst her ex-soldier husband stays at home, unable to sleep due to his post-traumatic stress disorder. But one night she’s asked to write a letter that could change someone’s life forever…and she’s determined to deliver it. A beautifully written and thoughtful book about redemption and saying goodbye.

3. Precocious by Joanna Barnard

Fiona Palmer idolises her English teacher, Henry Morgan, and a line is crossed. Some years later, she bumps into him once more and their connection is still obvious. Does age really matter? Can a pupil and teacher relationship ever be innocent? The author answers these questions with this story of obsession, trust, betrayal and honesty. 

4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

A heartbreaker of a book, if ever there was one. Lou loses her job and becomes a carer for Will, who is quadriplegic after being injured in a motorcycle accident. Neither of them knows they are exactly what the other needs; she bursts into his life in a whirl of colour, and he opens her eyes to a world beyond the walls of her small, English hometown. It’s a moving and unexpected love story filled with hope and heartbreak. Read with a box of tissues by your side.

5. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes

Rachel is 27 years old and enjoying the high life in New York, partying her days away…until a night spent in the emergency room gets her shipped back home to Ireland. Her loving family sends her to a clinic, and from then on, things start to change. It’s a terrifically funny and heart-warming story of addiction, self-discovery and the love of those around you.

6. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Clare meets Henry – the love of her life – when she is 6 and he is 36, and they get married when she is 22 and he is 30. Henry has a rare genetic disorder which means he spontaneously disappears, so his life with Clare can never be linear or, indeed, forever. A tender and complex love story that traverses time zones, it’s a book you’ll never forget.

7. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

A story of unlikely love, life and lobster every Tuesday, this book sees a man who has never been on a second date searching for the perfect partner. Enter Rosie: the woman who is most certainly not from his dreams, and who throws his once ordered life into disarray. Wonderfully funny and addictive, it’s a book that’ll have you laughing out loud and rooting for Don Tillman from the start.   

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