Breakups. They can be more than just difficult. Especially before and during a major romantic holiday. Eh hem. But there is a way to “not be alone” this Valentine’s Day even if you are by yourself. Book lovers will always have good, reliable books, which don’t let you down, always keep things fresh, and never ask anything of you but your love and attention.
Whether through a fictional story, a biography, or a self-help book, you can find lots of stories and advice filled with hope and learn to move on from a hard breakup.
1. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
For anyone who has wondered what if or run into the one that got away, this book presents a look into two alternatives after a critical choice in the main character’s life. The narrative follows her resisting temptation and remaining in her stable relationship. It also reveals what would have happened had she kissed another man. The one choice has huge consequences on her career, her friendships and family relationships, and even her daily life. Ultimately, we discover that no matter which path we choose, we often end up questioning if the other choice would have been better.
2. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
As any woman wanting to be in a relationship (or practically any woman, period) can attest, Bridget constantly struggles with her self-esteem, and yet readers can clearly see the humor in those struggles. Through Bridget, readers also see how silly some self-help books really are. If you loved the Bridget Jones movies, you’ll love the books.
3. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Although this book doesn’t focus on breakups, it is a refreshing look into one man’s decision to make a new start. Through running in his thirties, the author clears his head, evaluates his life, and decides to become a writer. For those trying to move on, you could take up running itself, and/or you could read this book and realize that you can improve your life at any age.
4. The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor
Although the protagonist (named Jen) in this novel is still in high school, the heartache she suffers is no less real. Her boyfriend, with whom she works on the school paper, wants to be just friends. She has to learn to interact with him at school everyday, despite the pain she feels. To make matters worse, she gets relationship advice from her grandmother, who gives her a book called The Breakup Bible. In the end, Jen is able to find healing, which is what everyone enduring a breakup is looking for.
5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love is an iconic book about a woman recovering from a divorce and going on a soul-searching adventure in Italy, India, and Indonesia. Even though it feels like the end after a breakup, because of this book, you don’t have to travel the world to find the strength to change your life for the better. Life can begin again.
6. Who Am I Without You? Fifty-Two Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup by Christina Hibbert
Written by a clinical psychologist, this book offers 52 pieces of advice to strengthen your self-esteem while moving on from a breakup. Chapter topics include stopping the blame game, developing a mission statement, and stopping the broken record, or in other words the bad thoughts that keep replaying in your head. With the help of this book, you can see yourself as a complete, worthwhile person and hopefully get back into the relationship game with confidence.
7. Six-word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by Larry Smith
For those of you who don’t really want to spend a ton of time reliving the same pain in a long book or crying to a sad story that reminds you of your own, you can enjoy these short, true, and hilarious snippets about relationships and breakups. Prepare to laugh and feel that you’re not alone in messing up in the relationship department. No matter your status, everyone can relate to these quick quips.
8. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan Elliott
Instead of wasting time trying to get your ex back or trying to make your ex jealous or love you again, you need to focus your energy on you now and in the future. Forget your ex, and forget the past. This is the message of Getting Past Your Breakup.
What books have helped you get through a breakup?
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