Valentine’s Day. It’s the most divisive faux-holiday on the calendar, and chances are you're aware that it is only a few short days away. If you have managed to avoid the inundation of rose and heart-themed marketing over the past fortnight, we suggest you consider yourself lucky.
We have come to the very scientific* conclusion that there are three different types of single people on Valentine’s Day: those who are happy to be single on Valentine’s Day, those who care not for Valentine’s Day, and lastly those who are sad to be single on Valentine’s Day.
If you fall into the first category, good for you! You probably already have some rad Valentine’s Day activities planned. If you fall into the second or third category and would rather curl up with a good book this Sunday and ignore the world, we’re here to help.
We’ve prepared a list of the best books to read if you’re single this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re male, female, happy, or sad, we think there’s something here for everyone.
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
. Bridget Jones is one of the most relatable heroines of contemporary fiction, and her antics will have you giggling away your sadness in no time. Why not watch the movie after you’ve read the book and make a whole day of it?
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
. Because nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like contacting all your ex partners to work out where things went wrong. Failing that, Rob’s love of music will remind you that sometimes love isn’t necessarily about finding the perfect partner.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
. Kirsten has survived the deadly flu that wiped out almost the entire population of earth, and if she can survive that then you can survive being single on Valentine's Day.
One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
. When you could drop dead at any moment due to a heart condition, your perspective on life will undoubtedly change. Change your perspective this Valentine’s Day with Jonathan Tropper’s loveable protagonist Silver.
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
. We promise we didn’t pick all
the fiction about men and their love of music. They all just happen to be really great. Chabon examines friendship and family ties in this masterpiece of a novel.
Emma by Jane Austen
. Channel your inner Emma Woodhouse this Valentine’s Day and remain headstrong about never settling down. We mean, you might one day, but at least you’ll have fun along the way.
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
. Sometimes a broken heart can’t be healed with fiction, so treat yourself to the wise and soothing words of Cheryl Strayed.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
. They say time heals all wounds, but we think some high quality humour will help to speed up the process. You won’t find a better funny Valentine than Tina Fey!
Us by David Nicholls
. Sometimes the happiest endings are the ones that we didn’t see coming, and this book is wonderful. Enough said.
Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
. An intelligent and fiercely independent woman, Nora Webster comes to grips with lost love in the best way possible, and her struggle to start over will empower you to do the same.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
. When you’re feeling old and jaded, watching young people navigate their messy and complicated first loves can be an enjoyable experience. In the hands of Jeffrey Eugenides, it’s an experience we recommend.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
. Because sometimes the best and most rewarding love is the one we form with a friend. Ferrante’s series is not to be missed.
Anything Regency and sexy by Anna Campbell
. We really don’t need to explain this one, do we?
The Martian by Andy Weir
. Because your crippling loneliness pales in comparison to being the only person on an entire planet.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
. Because if you’re going to cry your eyes out this Valentine’s Day, you might as well make it over something worthwhile.
Remember: roses will die but a book will last forever. Love is love, especially for a well-worn paperback.
* Not very scientific at all, actually. More like a casual observation.