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 next Tuesday 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. Not single? Skip past these books to get to our recommendations for loved-up Booklovers.
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 definitely survive being single on Valentine's Day.
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.
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.
If you are one half of a couple this Valentine’s Day but still want something inanimate to curl up with, these five books have made us all very happy over the past year or two. We’re only picking five and not ten because you may have other ways to spend your time, but if you can’t find anything here that takes your fancy hit us up on Twitter
and we’ll help you out!
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
. Once the shiny gloss of a new relationship has started to fade, 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.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
. It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Graeme’s book, but The Rosie Project
is popular for good reasons. The story of Don and Rosie’s romance will help you appreciate your partner’s quirks just a little bit more than you obviously already do.
Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane
. Being called a homewrecker is never fun, but it’s especially awful when you’re called a homewrecker after an incident at a wedding… with the groom. Read along as Edie’s life falls apart spectacularly, and then slowly begins to come back together.
Who’s Afraid? by Maria Lewis
. If you like your fiction with some bite, Tommi Grayson’s tale is the one for you. The romance here is of course secondary to the life-changing news that Tommi is actually a werewolf, but that doesn’t make it any less of a brilliant read.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
. Curtis Sittenfeld’s contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice
is hugely popular in our office, and once you read it you’ll see why. It’s witty and clever and it turns out that the Bennets are just as charming in the twenty-first century as they were 200 years ago.
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.