Is the title enough to clue you in? I’m about a month into breakup recovery and I’ve done all of the normal things–binged Friends on Netflix, cried, watched rom-coms, ate ice cream, listened to both sad and inspirational playlists, signed up for a half-marathon, got a tattoo…okay some of these might just be things I do when dealing with heartache…and yes, I did get a new tattoo. It’s Harry Potter-themed, of course. In addition to all of this, I decided that something that will help me through this process is coming up with a breakup reading list. I have compiled a short list that spans genres and, in my mind, will help you throughout all of the different phases of a breakup. Of course, this is all based on my own opinion, and if you have different “coping” books, comment below and tell me what they are!
1. When you want an Eat, Pray, Love experience without reading (or rereading) Eat, Pray, Love:
Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love. I also enjoyed the movie. However, it’s been talked about…a lot. Lunch in Paris is similar in that it is a true story about a woman traveling to another country and discovering new loves. Our main character falls in love with a French man and this book chronicles the beginnings of her life with him, figuring out France, and eating a lot of French food. It is, dare is say it, delectable. Reading this will make you hungry, but don’t worry, recipes are included! As it is a love story–she falls in love with a man, France, and food–this might be hard to read if your breakup is particularly fresh. Give it a little time, and then give this a go. Warning–just like Eat, Pray, Love, it will make you want to buy a ticket to pretty much anywhere.
2. When You Need a Break From the Murder Podcasts but Not From Murder:
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
I don’t want to give too much away but this book is brilliant and perfectly blends classic and modern mystery styles. As a huge Agatha Christie fan, I love what Horowitz did with this book. Need a break from true crime podcasts? Ran out of true crime documentaries? Watched every episode of every British mystery show in existence? This book is for you. I actually forced myself to put it down multiple times just so I wouldn’t finish it so quickly. It will draw you in and keep you absorbed–giving you sweet, sweet respite from over analyzing every single detail from your relationship and the break-up.
3. When you think it’s time for Jane Austen:
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
So why not the typical choice of Pride and Prejudice? I thought about it, but sometimes Sense and Sensibility just feels much more relatable. It has men who say they’re going to call on you and then pretty much ghost you. It has men who neglected to tell you they were already in a relationship. It has men who make you think they’re going to marry you and then ghost you and end up going for someone with more money and status. It has two sisters who deal with heartbreak quite differently, and I have found myself relating to both of them. Of course, though, it’s an Austen novel, so it can’t end too badly. Read the book, and then watch Ang Lee’s film version, which is also completely lovely.
4. When you need something with action, nostalgia, video games, and a bit of romance:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Okay, I love this book and I recommend it to pretty much everyone I meet. It is that good. Why is it on this list, you might ask? It made the cut because of how absolutely absorbing it is. Like I mentioned above with Magpie Murders, when you are reading this book you are in this book, and there is no time to listen to your ex-boyfriend’s favorite songs and cry. When you are not reading this book, you will be thinking about how much you would rather be reading this book than texting your ex. Trust me. Additionally, I wanted a list with diverse genres, and Ready Player One is absolutely not like any other book on this list. It has something for everyone, so even if this is not generally your style of book, read it anyway.
When you have reached the pissed off stage and are over the patriarchy:
Feminasty by Erin Gibson
I have not yet listened to Gibson’s podcast “Throwing Shade“, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. It is comprised of a series of essays that “expose the hidden rules that make life as a woman unnecessarily hard and deconstructs them in a way that’s bold, provocative, and hilarious.” (From inside cover). Women: read this book at any stage of your breakup. Life is tough. So are you. I find it especially helpful when you are just starting to feel that twinge of anger at your ex-partner. Men: READ THIS BOOK. Maybe this won’t help you with your breakup, but maybe it will help you get a little perspective. I mean, I’m a woman and this book opened my eyes and gave me perspective. Just a thought.
Just remember: one day at a time. Say it with me! “One day at a time.”
It sucks, but it will get better, and books help. Don’t forget to comment below with any books that have helped you get through the breakup blues and, as always, keep reading!