Posted June 3, 2013 by in Book Lists

How to Impress a Girl at a Cocktail Party: a Suggested Reading List


The literary approach to making conversation is to connect what you have read to something the person might be interested in. Steer away from obscure or overly academic works, favoring popular culture references. Indicating that you are a well-read individual can be very intriguing and often allows you to segue into more intimate conversation about yourselves.

Step 1: Get her a DrinkCasino Royale

A good first step to any conversation is making sure the object of your attention has her current needs attended to. Make sure she has a drink in her hand, and whether its an alcoholic drink or not, this is a good time to mention Casino Royale. If anyone is an expert on how to impress a girl, it would be the literary character of James Bond. The famous James Bond story has been made into several movies, but the book by Ian Fleming is the only reliable source to get the recipe of the signature cocktail.

Bond names his famous “shaken not stirred” martini after the love interest in the book, Vesper. While you’re mixing up a delightful concoction that requires the use of a lemon peel garnish instead of an olive, be sure to mention that Bond prefers his vodka to be made with grain and not potatoes. Casino Royale turns out to be quite a romantic novel, focusing mainly on Bond’s love interest, but the romance turns sour in the end, the last line of the book infamously declaring, “The bitch is dead.” This iconic novel is short, entertaining, and surprisingly easy to read despite the fact that it was written in 1952. Ian Fleming, the author of all the original Bond novels, also wrote the children’s story, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang which illustrates Fleming’s accessibility.

Step 2: Smile and Laugh Often


Humor can be an incredible aphrodisiac, but be aware that it can be a delicate balancing act. Having a good sense of humor is one of the first things many women list off when describing their perfect man. At the same time, a guy who never takes himself seriously can be exhausting and makes it almost impossible for a girl to get close enough to know him. The novel Catch-22 has a interesting balance between its serious subject matter, and the humor that makes the title so iconic and memorable.

The concept of a no-win situation or a “catch-22″ coins the perfect title for this entertaining military-culture novel that takes place during World War II. While offering ridiculous situations that employ some memorable dialogue, the novel’s core takes itself very seriously. Joseph Heller’s novel became a cult classic during its time, speaking out against the war by revealing the intentions of those in charge and the tragic deaths of those who were lost. Add Catch 22 by Joseph Heller to your reading list to get a grasp on the kind of humor that doesn’t diminish your intelligence. You get extra points for correctly pointing out a catch 22 in conversation and then connecting this to the novel.

Step 3: Exercise Your Sultry Vocabulary


When it comes to sexy talk, forget the recent bestseller 50 Shades of Grey. It’s important not to be tongue tied when the conversation turns steamy, but some restraint is definitely a necessity. Anaïs Nin wrote collections of erotica that were published along with several of her personal journals. Little Birds is an erotic collection written in the 1940s, making it one of the rarest, earliest works in this genre written by a woman. For that reason, the works are not entirely appropriate for modern consumption, containing some odd or inappropriate content. That being said, Anaïs Nin is nakedly honest and explicit with her readers about what is sexually arousing to her. Thirteen separate stories introduce the characters from Nin’s imagination, compromised in various situations that create quite the steamy bedtime story. One vignette features a guitar-playing gypsy, another focuses on a French painter, and the settings range from New Orleans to New York to Normandy.  Of all Nin’s works, Little Birds is considered the least offensive by modern audiences, and has a lesson or two about the appetites of women concealed within its pages, even if that lesson is simply to be open-minded.

What have you read lately that might impress someone on their first date?

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Lauren V. Bryant

Having studied library and information sciences in a graduate program at San Jose State University, Lauren is a professional librarian who has worked in middle school, high school, and public libraries with teen patron groups. Favorite genres include fantasy, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and stories with strong female characters. Check out Lauren's website, LaurentheLibrarian.com for book reviews, giveaways, and library stuff. Check out all my articles.