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The 10 best romance novels of all time

Books in which man meets woman, man woos woman (or woman woos man), and man and woman live happily ever after are a dime a dozen. Enjoyable, for sure, but not what you'd call memorable. So, the editors at Reader's Digest Select Editions have come up with a list of 10 of the best romance novels that tell favourite, and timeless, love stories, each of which goes above and beyond basic romance.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977)
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Whether it’s glimpsing 19th-century Russia in Anna Karenina, or witnessing endless family drama on the Australian outback in The Thorn Birds, each of these fabulous books has something special.

“These are much more than love stories; they are life stories,” says US Select Editions editor-in-chief Laura Kelly.

“If you like a good love story, books are so much more satisfying than movies,” she continues.

“Books take you into the minds of all the characters, where their hopes and dreams will really fire up your own imagination.”

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1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977)
1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977)
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Set in 1915 Australia, this remarkable saga chronicles the forbidden love between a beautiful, headstrong young girl and a priest.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll stay up way too late reading this fabulous story.



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