I love to read, so putting together a list of the best books for long distance relationships is my idea of fun!
I’ve had a great time looking through my physical and digital bookshelves.
There is something for everyone. Including relationship self-help books, memoirs, novels, young adult, and non-fiction titles.
Most of these books are about long distance relationships. But ALL long distance couples will get something out of each one. Especially if you both read and talk about them together!
Ready to start your virtual date night book club? Let’s find the first edition!
Self-help Books for Long Distance Relationships
LDRs THAT WORK (Lolo & Nate)
Learn how to solve the biggest problems causing long distance relationships to fail so you can create a strong, loving and fulfilling relationship from afar that leads to achieving the ultimate goal of closing the distance and living ‘happily ever after’.
It doesn’t matter what stage or type of long distance relationship you’re in…
- Whether you’re about to become one, just starting or have been apart for some time.
- Whether you’re in an international or domestic long distance relationship.
LDRs THAT WORK has been specifically designed to cater to every situation. You’ll learn…
- How to strike the perfect balance between a fulfilling LDR and busy personal life.
- The formula to building a deep and meaningful connection when you have limited time.
- How to get through painful periods when missing each other becomes too much.
- How to create an intimate connection that even ‘regular’ couples will be jealous of.
- The secrets to managing anxiety, caused by uncertainty, from spiralling out of control.
- How to stop fights and arguments in their tracks through effective communication.
- Money hacks that lead to more (or longer) visits and closing the distance sooner.
- The best way to manage negative people around you and prove them all wrong.
Plus much, much more!
The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman)
When I asked my friends and regular readers which relationship book had impacted them most, this best-seller was the book most people mentioned.
Dr. Gary Chapman outlines 5 love languages (ways of showing and receiving love) that will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner.
If you want to delve more deeply into the topic of love languages, this is the book for you.
Memoirs & Books About Long Distance Relationships
Tiny Beautiful Things (Cheryl Strayed)
Cheryl Strayed is better known for her bestselling memoir, Wild, but this is my favorite book of hers. It is a collection of Dear Sugar advice columns covering birth, sex, death, and everything in between.
It is honest, incisive, funny, beautifully written, and very powerful. You’ll find lots of things to discuss in this collection!
Love At The Speed Of Email (Lisa McKay)
This award-winning memoir is the story of how I met my husband, Mike, via email while he was a humanitarian worker living in a remote town in Papua New Guinea and I was a jet-setting stress management trainer living in Los Angeles.
Underneath the many humorous misadventures and the happily-ever-after, this book is my quest to get a handle on the meaning of “home” and what it really means to commit to a place and a person.
Committed (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Committed is the follow up to Gilbert’s best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It continues Gilbert’s journey after meeting Mr. Right (Felipe) overseas.
After U.S. Homeland Security denies Felipe entry to the country, the two realize they must marry or Felipe will never be allowed to enter the U.S. again.
While wading through red tape, Elizabeth and Felipe base themselves in Southeast Asia to wait out the process, and Gilbert tries to tame her fears by delving into the history, practice, and meaning of marriage.
When American journalist Pamela Druckerman had a baby in Paris, she didn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” But she noticed that French children slept through the night by two or three months old.
They ate braised leeks. They played by themselves while their parents sipped coffee. And yet French kids were still boisterous, curious, and creative.
This is a fascinating, funny, and worthwhile read for anyone in a cross cultural long distance relationship, especially for couples who have (or are intending to have) kids.
You’re unlikely to walk away without having at least one of your assumptions about how parenting “should” be done deeply challenged.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows)
Another award-winner, this best-selling novel is set in 1946 and comprised of a series of letters between writer Juliet Ashton and the inhabitants of the island of Guernsey about their experiences during the German occupation.
It is a long distance love tale about the importance of finding connection in the most surprising ways. I was particularly impressed that a story set during this era managed to pull off being funny, charming, and romantic.
Dear John (Nicholas Sparks)
I’m not normally a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, but I picked up this book because of the LDR plot.
It revolves around a couple–John and Savannah–who are in a long distance relationship and on the verge of a serious commitment in September 2001.
After September 11, John re-enlists for another tour of duty in the army. The relationship falls apart while John is away… or does it?
Flat-Out Love (Jessica Park)
Boston transplant and college freshman, Julie, finds herself temporarily homeless and living with old family friends. Julie wasn’t supposed to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she’s never quite met. But what does that really matter?
Finn gets her like no one ever has before. They have a connection.
She expected it to be a bit awkward, but she she doesn’t expect her growing attraction to both brothers, especially the one she’s never met. Somehow, the fact she and Finn have only ever connected online doesn’t seem to matter… until it matters a whole lot.
The Geography Of You And Me (Jennifer Smith)
This sweet young-adult novel tells the tale of a chance meeting that changes two lives forever. When Lucy and Owen meet during a blackout, they immediately feel a connection.
Once the lights turn back on, however, reality sets in and the two find themselves on opposite sides of the world. A hopeful book about the power of love to triumph over distance.
Young Adult Books For Long Distance Couples to Read
Illuminae (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)
In the morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. In the afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe.
Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it.
This is a fast-paced, harrowing, and clever novel about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Warcross (Marie Lu)
When a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths…
This sci-fi, teen-gaming, rags-to-riches novel is a fast, smart, fun read about virtual words, virtual trust, and real-time love.
Ember In The Ashes (Sabaa Tahir)
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Public Radio International said of this book:
It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.
Saaba Tahir is such a talented writer. You find a lot of strong stories with strong characters in this genre. You don’t find as many written with such artistry. Looking forward to the next one!
The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
Speaking of The Hunger Games, if you haven’t read it yet, you should. There is a reason that this book was a runaway best-seller and a global phenomenon.
It is incredibly gripping, guaranteed to keep you up late, and even has a long distance relationship in it–of sorts, anyway.
Non-LDR Related Books For Long Distance Couples to Read Together
I Am Watching You (Teresa Driscoll)
Part psychological thriller, part mystery, I Am Watching You puts one woman in a situation most of us have been in–a moment when you wonder whether you should do or say something, and you choose not to. It will keep you guessing until the end.
Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)
“A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.”
Another World War II novel, this intricately plotted tale of true friendship, grit, and courage is gripping and moving.
Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel)
Multiple, connected tales unfold in this beautifully-written, suspenseful, stick-with-you novel. Days before civilization is wiped out by a flu pandemic, a famous Hollywood actor collapses and dies onstage. Years afterwards, a small Shakespeare troupe roams the land, striving for more than mere survival.
The Lord Of The Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)
An epic story about adventure, darkness and love, this classic novel features heroic quests, long journeys, and lovers torn apart.
Everyone in a long distance relationship will find something to identify with in the story of Aragorn and Arwen.
(Heads up, this is over 1000 pages long!)
Americanah (Chimamanda Agozi Adichie)
This best-selling novel features two Nigerian teenagers (Ifemelu and Obinze) who fall in love in school in Lagos, only to be separated when Ifemelu flees her increasingly violent homeland and goes to the US to study.
Obinze hopes to follow her but—blocked by immigration regulations—finds himself forced to live an undocumented life in London. Powerful, poignant, and inspiring.
The Far Pavilions (M.M. Kaye)
This sweeping epic of love and war is set in 19th-century India follows a English boy brought up as a Hindu, the British soldier he becomes, and of his passionate and dangerous love for Juli, an Indian princess.
Hailed by reviewers as a Gone With The Wind of the North-West Frontier, this doorstop of a novel (960 pages) is for anyone who loves nuanced historical fiction or immersing themselves completely in a very different world.
Non-Fiction Books For Long Distance Couples
Stumbling On Happiness (Daniel Gilbert)
At times we all make certain choices that we regret later, whether that’s to overeat, over drink or over spend. And in certain we seem remarkably bad at predicting what will actually make us happy in life.
In this smart, fascinating, and funny book, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert looks into the neuroscience behind this.
Outliers: The Story Of Success (Malcolm Gladwell)
In this fascinating and entertaining book, Gladwell argues that superstars are:
The beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.
Along the way he explores sorts of backgrounds that spawn software billionaires, star soccer players, and great rock bands.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) turns her self-deprecating humour and own authentic incisiveness to debunking the myth of the tormented artist.
She deftly tackles the unrealistic expectations and unnecessary melodrama often attached the concept of making a living creatively, and offers some straight-talking advice on how to keep fear in proper perspective.
This book is light, playful, funny, and encouraging. A great read for anyone creative (which Gilbert would argue is all of us).
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
Henrietta Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine.
Henrietta’s cells were named HeLa.
They have been sold by the billions and proved vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta’s story, however, remains virtually unknown, and her surviving family can’t afford health insurance.
This New York Times bestseller tells a riveting true story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. Fascinating and surprisingly hard to put down.
What Long Distance Relations Books Will You Read?
Still unsure on which book to pick up next? Here’s a quick guide for those who have no idea where to start:
- A book that will help you grow closer, stronger and help you close the distance faster… choose LDRs THAT WORK.
- A novel the guys should genuinely enjoy… choose Illuminae, The Hunger Games, or Station Eleven.
- Something well-written, engrossing, and fast-paced for fans of young adult lit… choose Warcross, Ember In The Ashes, The Hunger Games, or Code Name Verity.
- A book to help you understand each other better and improve your relationship… choose The 5 Love Languages.
- A true story about an against-the-odds long distance relationship that worked… choose Love At The Speed Of Email.
- A book that will help give you a deeper, richer, perspective on life… choose Tiny Beautiful Things.
- A novel that will stretch you (literally and culturally)… choose Americanah or The Far Pavilions.
- A psychological thriller… choose I Am Watching You, or Code Name Verity.
- Something to help you think differently about parenting and/or cross-cultural relationships… choose Bringing Up Bebe.
- A book that will help inspire you to live more creatively, passionately, or happily… choose Big Magic or Stumbling On Happiness.