There’s nothing like settling down with a good book and going through the pages, watching as the story slowly unfolds in front of you. I’ve combed through both my digital and physical book collections to bring you a list of titles that anyone who’s in a long distance relationship must read.
This list is comprised of a mix of different types of books and there’s pretty much something for everyone here. You’ll find memoirs, novels, self-help books, and other non-fiction titles on the list. Although not every book that made it to the list touches on long distance relationships, most of them do.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, not only will you benefit from reading any of the books on the list, but getting your partner to read them will help enhance your relationship even more. It will provide great material for you to talk about on your long conversations with each other and help you get to know your partner better.
Reading the same book and discussing it on a regular book club video date could be something new for both you and your beloved to try. It’s easy to implement and doesn’t cost a lot of money so you’ve got nothing to lose by at least giving it a go just once. Even if you’re not a book enthusiast, trying something new with your other half will help you grow closer. Just choose a title that interests both of you and start reading, you might even discover some new ideas to help maintain your long distance relationship!
Before I start getting into the nitty-gritty of the list of books, here’s a simple guide for people who don’t have a clue about how to even choose a book to read:
- Americanah or The Far Pavilions – These books will widen your horizons culturally.
- Illuminae or Station Eleven – These are novels that men will definitely enjoy reading.
- Tiny Beautiful Things – If you want to gain a richer and more profound perspective on life, then read this book.
- Love At The Speed Of Email – This is an inspiring story that will pull at your heartstrings where despite all odds against it, the long distance relationship triumphed.
- The 5 Love Languages – Read this book if you’re looking for ways to improve communication in your relationship.
- Bringing Up Bébé – This is a great book that will change your perspective on how you think about parenting and cross-cultural relationships.
- Big Magic or Stumbling On Happiness – These books will help you become more positive, creative, and live a happier life.
Best long distance relationship books
BOOKS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Perhaps the most-mentioned book when I asked my readers which book had helped them the most in improving their relationship was “The Five Love Languages.” The author, Dr. Chapman, holds a master’s degree in anthropology and a doctorate in philosophy. He believes that love is expressed and received through five languages and the book will help you achieve better communication plus enhance intimacy in your relationship. Read the book to find out what the five love languages are!
The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman & Nan Silver
One of the best things about this book is that it has questionnaires and exercises that you can apply immediately to improve your relationship. The book aims to help its readers achieve long-lasting and balanced relationships by using seven principles. Dr. Gottman is a professor of psychology and is known for analyzing relationships by utilizing a scientific approach.
The Long Distance Relationship Survival Guide by Chris Bell & Kate Brauer-Bell
Although the book was published more than a decade ago and some of the examples used might be outdated, it still provides great insight into long distance relationships. Readers will be able to gain the eight fundamental skills to build a successful long distance relationship with this book. There are sample letters, case studies, and great advice on good communication strategies to use when you’re far away from your partner.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
While the author is more well-known for her other book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” I personally prefer this book more. The book is beautifully written and brutally honest yet witty at the same time. The powerful messages within set a great background for some hearty and lengthy discussions with your partner.
Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
I’m sure you’ve heard of “Eat, Pray, Love” Gilbert’s award-winning memoir that’s famous all over the world since the story hit the screens. “Committed” is a sequel to “Eat, Pray, Love” and talks about how the author’s life was after meeting her Mr. Right, Felipe. The book tells a story of how the couple was forced to temporarily settle down in Southeast Asia because U.S. Homeland Security denied Felipe entry. They had to be married for him to ever legally enter the United States and had to wait out the process outside of the country. In the book, Gilbert mentioned her fears about marriage along with her history, practice, and the meaning of two people being joined in holy matrimony.
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
This is a fantastic book to read if you want to get a dose of cross-cultural anecdotes written in a charming yet wise way. While it’s a book that’s mainly about parenting, there are great lessons on relationships to be learned here. The American author had a baby in France and discovered how French parenting was very different from bringing up kids in the United States. At just a couple months old, French babies slept through the night. There were no issues with making kids eat their vegetables and parents could sip coffee in peace while their children play on their own. Yet French children are playful with curious and creative minds. This is a must-read book for any couple who plans to have kids and also for people who are in a cross-cultural relationship.
Love At The Speed Of Email by Lisa McKay
The book tells a heartwarming tale of how McKay met her husband, Mike, through email when they were half a globe away from each other. She was a stress-management trainer in the United States while he was a humanitarian worker in Papua New Guinea. They waded through many funny misadventures together and beat the odds to achieve their happily-ever-after. A profoundly inspiring book, “Love At The Speed of Email” will tell you the author’s view of the true meaning of commitment.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Set in the war-plunged year of 1946 on the island of Guernsey, the book reveals a long distance love story that is a combination of charm, humor, and romance. This award-winning historical novel is made up of a series of letters between the protagonist Juliet Ashton, her friends, and other residents of Guernsey. The best-selling book has topped the New York Times Best Seller List for paperback trade fiction in 2009 and has an upcoming film adaptation in 2018.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Whether you’re male or female, this book will definitely be a fantastic read. The novel is made up of a series of tales that are interconnected. After a civilization was wiped out by a pandemic, a small group of Shakespearean actors roam the land, looking for more meaning to life than just survival. The book will keep you engrossed and is beautifully-written with an engaging plot.
The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m sure this title is no stranger to you. The book tells an epic story filled with heroic quests, arduous journeys, and star-crossed lovers. The love tale of Aragorn and Arwen will inspire anyone involved in a long distance relationship. A word of warning though, only read this if you’re an avid reader. There are more than 1,000 pages to the book!
Americanah by Chimamanda Agozi Adichie
A tragic love story between two teenagers from Nigeria, Americanah is an inspiring and powerful novel. The protagonists are Ifemelu and Obinze who fell in love while they went to the same school in Lagos. However, Ifemelu was forced to flee to the US due to violence in her homeland. Obinze tried to follow her but ended up being blocked by immigration and had to live an undocumented life in London.
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
I’m not usually a fan of books by Sparks, but the long distance relationship plot intrigued me. I just started reading this book and it has managed to keep my interest so far. The story is about John and Savannah who were just about to make a serious commitment to each other when the events of September 11th happened. After that, John decided to re-enlist into the army leaving Savannah behind. The relationship then crumbled… or did it?
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
Set in 19th-century India where an English boy who was brought up Hindu becomes a British soldier, “The Far Pavilions” is a mesmerizing tale of love and war where the boy’s desirous love for an Indian princess is both passionate and dangerous. Dubbed as “The Gone With The Wind of the North-West Frontier” by The Times, this book is for anyone who’s into nuanced historical fiction.
YOUNG ADULT FICTION
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
This harrowing tale is set in the future, in the year of 2575 where two rivaling corporations are at war over a tiny planet at the edge of the universe. However, the inhabitants of the planet were not warned about the war and suddenly find their planet invaded. This is a fast-paced novel of interrupted lives and the courageous acts of everyday heroes.
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
“Flat-Out Love” tells a story that revolves around Julie, a college freshman who unexpectedly ended up staying with an old family friend, Erin Watkins. Something seemed off about Watkins and Julie was determined to get to the bottom of it, unknowingly threatening to tear the family apart. Not only that, the eldest son who was traveling around the world and only communicated with Julie online was stirring up certain romantic emotions in her, creating even more confusion. This is a dramatic and witty novel that will touch you deeply.
The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer Smith
The moment Lucy and Owen met during a blackout, a profound connection was immediately established. This chance meeting had changed both their lives forever. However, when the lights are back on, they end up half a world apart. Learn how despite all odds being against them, the power of their love triumphed over the vast distance between them.
Stumbling On Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
Daniel Gilbert is a psychologist at Harvard and writes about the neuroscience behind why we make certain decisions that we regret later. It would seem like human beings are incredibly bad at knowing what will truly make us happy in life like binge eating, spending too much money, or even over-drinking just to name a few. Gilbert sheds some light on this issue in a funny yet intelligent style of writing.
Outliers: The Story Of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell is a journalist, author, and speaker who was appointed to the Order of Canada, the second highest honor for merit in the country. In “Outliers,” he shares his point of view that superstars receive extraordinary advantages and opportunities that normal people don’t. Furthermore, their cultural legacies put them in a situation to work and see the world in a way that others can’t. This book takes a closer look at the backgrounds that created famous profiles like iconic soccer players, rock stars, and software billionaires.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Another must-read book by the author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” “Big Magic” aims to debunk the myth of the tormented artist and to tackle unrealistic expectations of the concept of making a living in a creative way. A playful and light-hearted read, Gilbert uses humor and a direct approach to offer advice on how to keep fear in perspective.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
This is a captivating true story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were unknowingly taken from her and became one of the most crucial tools in medical history. With the name HeLa, Lack’s cells have been sold at a tremendous amount of money and played a major role in various medical fields like developing vaccines, gene mapping, and cloning. Yet, her story is almost unknown to the world and her surviving family members don’t have the financial means to even afford health insurance. This award-winning book uses science writing and touches on the issues of race, ethics, and social class. Beware! This is an extremely fascinating book and will be very hard to put down.
So if you’re still searching for the next good read, look no further! Any of the books in this list will surely offer something for you.