The most recommended books about choosing a mate

Who picked these books? Meet our 23 experts.

23 authors created a book list connected to choosing a mate, and here are their favorite choosing a mate books.
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What type of choosing a mate book?


Book cover of Matched

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Author Of The Ancestors' Key

From my list on YA SFF about utopian societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an avid reader turned author. I’m a Canadian YA Speculative Fiction author who takes books along as I hike, cycle, and go to the beach. I love audiobooks! In the years leading up to writing my first novel, I must have read over three hundred books. My favorites were Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction. When I ran out of happy, positive, and wholesome books, I started writing them. I feel like I'm often called back to my favorites, and hope more authors will jump on the happy train! Now that the world has literally turned into a Dystopian Society, perhaps more authors will start writing about hope and change.

Marie-Hélène's book list on YA SFF about utopian societies

Marie-Hélène Lebeault Why did Marie-Hélène love this book?

In this society where people are matched with their jobs, but also with their future mates, arts and culture are carefully selected and limited by leadership. People take mandatory medications.

The most horrifying part, for me, is that they can no longer write without a keypad. Whatever they write on a computer is censured. Can you imagine better ways to control the population? Does it sound familiar?

By Ally Condie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Matched as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in…

Book cover of Mate Choice: The Evolution of Sexual Decision Making from Microbes to Humans

Ingo Schlupp Author Of Male Choice, Female Competition, and Female Ornaments in Sexual Selection

From my list on mate choice – in animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an evolutionary ecologist with a lifelong fascination with mating behavior in animals, particularly fishes. The core of my doctoral thesis was trying to understand why some males mate with females of a different species, a behavior that I thought could not be adaptive. This was the starting point of my work on male mate choice, but also mate choice more generally. Originally from Germany, I have lived and worked in the US for a long time. Most of my work is on neotropical fishes so moving to America made sense.

Ingo's book list on mate choice – in animals

Ingo Schlupp Why did Ingo love this book?

I loved reading this book and I have used it in teaching. This is the most comprehensive book on mate choice. It will be defining the field for a long time. Rosenthal looks at everything that has to do with mate choice and provides an authoritative view of mate choice. He looks at the complexity of mate choice in its full range. If you look for the most complete book on mate choice, this is it.

By Gil Rosenthal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mate Choice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major new look at the evolution of mating decisions in organisms from protozoans to humans The popular consensus on mate choice has long been that females select mates likely to pass good genes to offspring. In Mate Choice, Gil Rosenthal overturns much of this conventional wisdom. Providing the first synthesis of the topic in more than three decades, and drawing from a wide range of fields, including animal behavior, evolutionary biology, social psychology, neuroscience, and economics, Rosenthal argues that "good genes" play a relatively minor role in shaping mate choice decisions and demonstrates how mate choice is influenced by…

Book cover of The Vow

Darby Baham Author Of The Shoe Diaries

From my list on celebrating strong friendships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer, editor, and self-proclaimed shoe fanatic who loves finding opportunities to traipse through the streets of New York like Carrie in Sex and the City. With an undergrad degree in journalism from Howard University and a graduate degree from Georgetown University, I started a blog in 2007 about shoes, politics, and relationships that centered on my personal experiences with all three. Since then, I’ve contributed opinion articles to The Washington Post, Blavity, and more. My debut novel, The Shoe Diaries, was released in January 2022 by Harlequin Special Edition. The sequel, Bloom Where You’re Planted, will be released on May 24, 2022. 

Darby's book list on celebrating strong friendships

Darby Baham Why did Darby love this book?

After attending a New Year’s Eve wedding, three friends decide that they are going to either become engaged or get married by the same time next year. With a premise like that, you know it’s destined to include a plethora of dating and relationship shenanigans. Plus, with three main characters, it gives the reader a great and complex look into the lives of Black professional women. Throughout, the friendships kept me enthralled, and I found it to be a wonderful look into Black sisterhood. 

By Denene Millner, Angela Burt-Murray, Mitzi Miller

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Vow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this runaway hit novel, three best friends come together for their sorority sister's glitzy wedding in Atlanta and make a vow to get married within one year. As they embark on their search to find their soul mates, they navigate the full-contact sport known as being a SSBFLA (successful, single, black, female in L.A.) and negotiate the shark-infested waters of making a name for themselves professionally in Hollywood.

Can Trista, the hyper-driven celebrity agent, find the time to schedule a meaningful romance? Will Amaya, the sexy starlet, convince the married hip hop-label exec she has been seeing to leave…

Book cover of Loving Bravely: 20 Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want

Sara Nasserzadeh Author Of Love by Design: 6 Ingredients to Build a Lifetime of Love

From my list on how to move from surviving to thriving in your relationships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author, speaker, researcher, and thinking partner with a PhD in Social Psychology and specialization in the fields of human sexuality, intercultural fluency, and relationships. I have over two decades of experience working with individuals, couples, companies, and governments across 40 countries. I truly believe that we can create world peace one relationship at a time, and embrace it as my mission. My third book in English, Love By Design, is the result of two-decade-long research on the status of thriving relationships and its key ingredients. These could be applied to relationships in all spaces, from bedrooms (most intimate) to the boardrooms (most public).

Sara's book list on how to move from surviving to thriving in your relationships

Sara Nasserzadeh Why did Sara love this book?

Dr. Alexandra Solomon's compassionate and insightful exploration of love and attachment offers a roadmap for individuals seeking to deepen their connections.

What sets this book apart is Solomon's emphasis on relational self-awareness and personal growth as foundational elements of healthy relationships. Through relatable anecdotes, personal stories, and practical exercises, she guides readers on a journey of self-discovery, empowering them to break free from old patterns and embrace vulnerability in love.

Loving Bravely is a valuable resource for anyone committed to building lasting, meaningful connections in their romantic relationships.

By Alexandra H. Solomon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loving Bravely as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Many of us enter into romantic relationships full of expectation and hope, only to be sorely disappointed by the realization that the partner we've selected is a flawed human being with their own neuroses, history, and desires. Most relationships end because one or both people haven't done the internal work necessary to develop self-awareness and take responsibility for their own experiences. We've all heard "You can't love anyone unless you love yourself," but amid life's distractions and the myth of perfect, romantic love, how exactly do you do that?

In Brave, Deep, Intimate, psychologist and relationship expert Alexandra H. Solomon…

Book cover of Shades of Milk and Honey

A.J. Maguire Author Of Usurper

From my list on how relationships can shape who we want to be.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in an era when princesses were big and the idea that a woman needs a man to be saved was just beginning to be questioned. I also lived in a single-parent household when that was still something society shamed. Watching my mother, I got a front-row seat to just how loving, vulnerable, and tough-as-nails women can be, and this instilled a desire to tell stories that highlight these sorts of women. My novels have survivors who discover that relationships do not need to be the only thing that defines them, but instead that relationship shapes both parties in ways neither can expect. 

A.J.'s book list on how relationships can shape who we want to be

A.J. Maguire Why did A.J. love this book?

Being a Jane Austin fan myself, it’s hard for me not to love the Glamorist series by Kowal. I deeply enjoyed the magic system she built in the series, and the characters were like… well, like old friends. Vincent provides enough of a Mr. Darcy feel for me that I was pleased by the romance written in here and I quite liked the fact that Jane was “plain” as opposed to the stunning beauties often written in the romance genre. 

By Mary Robinette Kowal,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shades of Milk and Honey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a fantasy novel you wish Jane Austen had written. "Shades of Milk and Honey" is an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth of Dorchester, a woman ahead of her time in a version of Regency England where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. Despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester's society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody's lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men. While Jane's skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of…

Book cover of American Royals

Stacy Juba Author Of Fooling Around With Cinderella

From my list on chick lit to bring a smile to your face.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the author of the Storybook Valley chick-lit series, which includes Fooling Around With Cinderella and Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty. I love reading and writing lighthearted novels about young women finding their Prince Charming—and also themselves. Setting is also important to me as a writer. To create my Storybook Valley novels I spied on Cinderellas at amusement parks and discreetly watched employees head off into off-limits areas. I watched hours of YouTube interviews with former Disney World princesses, behind-the-scenes videos with other amusement park employees, and listened to podcast interviews with managers of theme parks. All the novels I chose had well-developed settings that were an integral part of the book.  

Stacy's book list on chick lit to bring a smile to your face

Stacy Juba Why did Stacy love this book?

I stumbled onto this book on Amazon and the hook intrigued me: What if America had a royal family instead of a president? This alternate reality story set in the present day follows Princess Beatrice and her two siblings. As Beatrice gets closer to becoming queen, she feels the intense pressure and it affects her friendships, family relationships, and her love life. I’ve also read the second book in the series, which had some surprising plot twists. While this is actually a young adult novel, adults will enjoy it also. It’s a bit soapier than the other novels on my list, but a tantalizing read.

By Katharine McGee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Royals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES * What if America had a royal family? If you can't get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha. Crazy Rich Asians meets The Crown. Perfect for fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue and The Royal We!

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown.
Two girls vying for the prince's heart.
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on…

Book cover of One True Loves

JJ Elliott Author Of There Are No Rules for This

From JJ's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Oenophile Tennis and Pickleball player Avid reader Mom to teens and bulldogs Cheese fan

JJ's 3 favorite reads in 2023

JJ Elliott Why did JJ love this book?

I love a book that puts a regular person in an impossible situation, and boy, does this one deliver.

It follows a woman who has found love again after losing her “one true love” in an accident at sea, only for him to show up again right as she is putting her life back together.

I loved these characters deeply and ached for them all as they muddled through an extraordinary set of circumstances. It’s an excellent study of love and how it can change as we grow older. 

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One True Loves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Named a Best Book of Summer by Cosmopolitan * InStyle *PopSugar * Buzzfeed * Bustle * Brit+Co * Parade

"No one does life and love better." InStyle
" will flip for this epic love story." Cosmopolitan

From the author of Maybe in Another Life comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiance who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart,…

Book cover of Secondhand Bride

Lauri Robinson Author Of An Unlikely Match for the Governess

From my list on that create great discussions for book club.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I read by flashlight under the covers and loved family vacations because long car rides meant hours of reading time (they still do!). I love belonging to book clubs because of the variety. Stories I might not have chosen, but end up loving. For years I devoured romance novels, especially historical and westerns. When my husband said, “You should write a book, you’ve read so many.” I decided to try and now have over 70 published romance novels, 50+ with Harlequin, Mills & Boon, and one young adult book that I co-wrote with two of my granddaughters. I hope my recommendations provides your book club with lively discussions!     

Lauri's book list on that create great discussions for book club

Lauri Robinson Why did Lauri love this book?

This book has so much to discuss, the old west, history, fun characters, family dynamics, and romance.

The opening scene puts the reader in the midst of cowboy country with laugh out loud action. The action and adventures that continue all the way to the end makes the reader ready to relive it by talking about it to others! 

The author does a fabulous job providing well-rounded characters with goals, ambitions, and faults, prompting discussions about who might be the favorite. Jeb, who can’t stay out of trouble, or Chloe who is not afraid to stand up to the wild cowboy.  

I’ve read this entire series, but each book, including this one, can be read as a stand-alone without having read any of the others. 

By Linda Lael Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secondhand Bride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The third installment in the New York Times bestselling McKettrick Cowboys series follows the youngest McKettrick brother as he and his estranged love cross paths after discovering he must marry in order to inherit the family ranch.

Jeb is the wild McKettrick, the one who never could stay out of trouble. And trouble is what he gets when he proposes to Chloe Wakefield. No sooner had he and the pretty schoolteacher tied the knot than Jeb discovers she’s already married. After a major dustup with Chloe in a Tombstone barroom, an irate Jeb hightails it back to the Triple M…

Book cover of Only Ever Yours

Sara Foster Author Of The Hush

From my list on dystopias to make you think about women’s experiences.

Why am I passionate about this?

I recently spent seven years studying the theme of mothers and daughters in dystopian fiction with young adult heroines for my PhD, for which I received a Vice Chancellor’s commendation. I am passionate about interrogating the subthemes and silences in fiction, particularly in women’s writing and stories about female identity and experience. I am also the author of eight published works of fiction, mostly psychological thrillers (often female-driven). My most recent publication is the near-future dystopia The Hush

Sara's book list on dystopias to make you think about women’s experiences

Sara Foster Why did Sara love this book?

In Only Ever Yours, baby girls can no longer be born naturally, and instead they are made in laboratories, and then raised communally in schools.

They are trained in the arts of pleasing men, and some will be selected by eligible bachelors, leaving the rest to become concubines (sex slaves) or chastities (teachers). We follow the story of frieda and her best friend isabel as they go through the final preparations of school and prepare to be chosen. However, when isabel disappears, all of frieda’s loyalties and perceptions of their world will be put to the test.

I have so much admiration for Louise O'Neill's unflinching depiction of the pressures on the young women in this fictional society – the constant obsessions with looks and weight, the way they are taught to be competitive with each other, the slow degradation of frieda’s sense of self.

By manipulating and extending…

By Louise O'Neill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only Ever Yours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Utterly magnificent . . . gripping, accomplished and dark' Marian Keyes

WINNER: Newcomer of the Year at the IBAs
WINNER: Bookseller YA Prize
WINNER: CBI Eilis Dillon Award
Buzzfeed's Best Books Written by Women in 2014

The bestselling novel about beauty, body image and betrayal

eves are designed, not made.
The School trains them to be pretty
The School trains them to be good.
The School trains them to Always be Willing.

All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world.
companion . . . concubine . . . or chastity
Only the…

Book cover of The Post-Birthday World

Chris Guillebeau Author Of Gonzo Capitalism: How to Make Money in an Economy That Hates You

From my list on thinking differently and live unconventionally.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a curious writer and compulsive traveler. My lifelong goal is to communicate the message “You don’t have to live your life the way others expect.” From 2002-2015 I went to every country in the world, chronicling the journey on my blog The Art of Non-Conformity. At first I thought the blog would be just about travel, but along the way I began meeting lots of people interested in living unconventionally. Ever since, I've been writing books, hosting events, and avoiding traditional employment by any means necessary. 

Chris' book list on thinking differently and live unconventionally

Chris Guillebeau Why did Chris love this book?

Such a powerful book! It's all about the danger of failing to choose, but presented in such a way that the lesson seeps in slowly. Perhaps an ultimate example of "show, don't tell."

I first read it during a difficult season in life where I too felt like I was facing two mutually exclusive options. Each of them foretold a loss and made me sad to contemplate the absence of the other. I then went back to the book a few years later for a second reading and found it just as powerful but less sad—perhaps because I'd improved in my ability to make clear choices.

By Lionel Shriver,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Post-Birthday World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Orange Prize winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, this is the novel Lionel Shriver wrote directly afterwards. The Post-Birthday World is an unflinching account of the choices that unfold before us and what our decisions really mean.

Irina McGovern's destiny hinges on a single kiss. Whether she gives into its temptation will determine whether she stays with her reliable partner Lawrence, or runs off with Ramsey, a hard-living snooker player.

Employing a parallel universe structure, Shriver spins Irina's competing futures with two drastically different men. An intellectual and fellow American, Lawrence is clever and supportive,…