1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The book that inspired so many films, books, the best TV series ever and whose first line is undoubtedly one of the most famous in English literature is both undeniably romantic and sharply funny. Any slushy romance is brilliantly balanced by Lizzie Bennet’s cutting tongue and some of the best literary characters ever written: dastardly Wickham, drippy Mr Collins and the mortifying Mrs Bennet.
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
The final instalment of the adventures of Harry and his pals answers all our big questions: “Will good triumph over evil?” “Is Snape really a baddie?” and “Will Harry and Ginny finally get it on?” Yes they will, for at least the next nineteen years.
3. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Lucy Honeychurch finds not only love in this fabulously witty novel but also a way to open her mind and see that the world is much bigger and more interesting than her seemingly idyllic Surrey village. The classic film adaptation, with its beautiful Italian scenery and excellent one-liners, is always well worth a watch.
4. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The titular story of this collection is an astounding but harrowing account of descent into madness. Other stories in the collection, notably ‘Three Thanksgivings’ and ‘Making a Change’ are perfect for those of you sick of love hearts and smug couples, as they show two women creating their own happy endings.
5. You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane
This is a real rom-com of a book that is genuinely funny and has a believable ‘will-they-won’t-they’ plot. It is a lovely, cheery tale set in our very own Manchester, which gives our rain-washed streets a romantic, moonlit hue.