Single? It Could Be Worse!

February 12 2015

Though it’s a day centered around the heart, people tend to have a love-or-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Still, if there’s one thing good literature teaches us, it’s that things could always be worse. The great Dr. Seuss once wrote, “When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad . . . you should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky! Some people are much more . . . oh, ever so much more . . . oh, muchly much-much more unlucky than you!” and we here at Off the Shelf think that always applies. So, whether your singledom is empowering or just plain unappealing, here are some titles you can curl up with this Valentine’s Day to ease the pain. Don’t forget the chocolate! And if you still believe in love at first sight, check out XOXO After Dark’s suggestions for romance which go beyond 50 Shades.

You
by Caroline Kepnes

Joe doesn’t like artisanal soda, trust fund kids, Dan Brown, Brooklyn hipsters, or Vice magazine. He does, however, like you, ever since you walked into his East Village bookshop looking like Natalie Portman. Shame that Joe is a cold-blooded killer and adept stalker. In the all-too-rare second-person narrative, YOU takes place inside the obsessed brain of Joe Goldberg, who’ll stop at nothing to make boho-wannabe Guinevere Beck (the “you” of Kepnes’s page-turning novel) his.

Crazy like: The lovesick and the just-plain-sick.

Best crazy moment: The DA VINCI CODE reading marathon.

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You
Caroline Kepnes

Joe doesn’t like artisanal soda, trust fund kids, Dan Brown, Brooklyn hipsters, or Vice magazine. He does, however, like you, ever since you walked into his East Village bookshop looking like Natalie Portman. Shame that Joe is a cold-blooded killer and adept stalker. In the all-too-rare second-person narrative, YOU takes place inside the obsessed brain of Joe Goldberg, who’ll stop at nothing to make boho-wannabe Guinevere Beck (the “you” of Kepnes’s page-turning novel) his.

Crazy like: The lovesick and the just-plain-sick.

Best crazy moment: The DA VINCI CODE reading marathon.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

A modern classic. Boy meets girl, boy and girl get married, boy gets accused of killing girl when she mysteriously disappears. If you haven’t read it yet, there’s not much more we can say, except that this book might make you breathe a sigh of relief that you’re currently unattached.

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Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn

Some say she’s cold and unfeeling, calculating to a subhuman degree, and basically totally nutso. I say Amy Dunne is just a smart, sensitive woman in a man’s world, frustrated by patriarchy, down with to-do lists, and dedicated to the fine art of revenge! This powerhouse of a novel sees crime writer Gillian Flynn come into her own as a dramatic storyteller in full command of her many gifts.

Crazy like: A fox! Amy is a hottie!

Best crazy moment: The box cutter. ’Nuff said.

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He's Just Not That Into You
by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

A book before a movie, He’s Just Not That Into You is Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s guide to relationships. Reexamining typical mindsets and analyzing common scenarios, the two dole out the tough love so that women can stop making excuses for a person who might not even be interested and go find the one who is.

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He's Just Not That Into You
Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

A book before a movie, He’s Just Not That Into You is Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s guide to relationships. Reexamining typical mindsets and analyzing common scenarios, the two dole out the tough love so that women can stop making excuses for a person who might not even be interested and go find the one who is.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

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Looking for Mr. Goodbar
by Judith Rossner

Based on a true story, Looking for Mr. Goodbar follows Theresa Dunn, a schoolteacher whose resentment of the expectation that she “find the right guy” leads her to the alcohol- and drug-fueled underworld of singles bars. There, she engages in behavior that puts her safety—and life—at risk.

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Looking for Mr. Goodbar
Judith Rossner

Based on a true story, Looking for Mr. Goodbar follows Theresa Dunn, a schoolteacher whose resentment of the expectation that she “find the right guy” leads her to the alcohol- and drug-fueled underworld of singles bars. There, she engages in behavior that puts her safety—and life—at risk.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

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Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov

The original dysfunctional relationship. Humbert Humbert’s obsession with the young, beautiful girl he nicknames “Lolita” is passionate, doomed, and completely unsettling.

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Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov

The original dysfunctional relationship. Humbert Humbert’s obsession with the young, beautiful girl he nicknames “Lolita” is passionate, doomed, and completely unsettling.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

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Oedipus Rex
Sophocles

Enough said.

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Close

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