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Books about Single Life: Reviews and Discussions

I have been reviewing books for Psych Central since 2015. Happily, many of them have been about single people, single life, or experiences particularly relevant to single life. Even better, each year seems to bring even more singles-relevant books than the year before. There are now so many that it seems worthwhile to assemble a list of them, and that’s what I’ve done here.

I’m also publishing this blog post on my personal website, where I will update it each time one of my reviews of a singles-relevant book is published.

As you will see, I mostly avoid books about dating as well as books with a “poor me, I’m single” sort of message.

I’ve organized the books into 8 categories, beginning with the ones most directly relevant to single people and single life. There are links to my reviews of each of the books, except for some books that were published before I started writing reviews. For those books, I’ve included links to blog posts about them. For some books, I wrote a book review and published one or more relevant blog posts; the latter are included under “also see.”

#1 Books about Single People and Single Life

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, by Kate Bolick

Here’s my review.

Also see:

10 fun facts about spinsters

50 shades of single

Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the World’s Next Superpower, by Roseann Lake

Here’s my review.

Also see:

China’s “leftover women” and “shake and bake” husbands

Women who hid in empty graves to avoid marrying

The Art of Not Falling Apart, by Christina Patterson

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Insights and quips from “The Art of Not Falling Apart”

No One Tells You This, by Glynnis MacNicol

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Is there a script for your life if you choose to be single?

The Unexpected Joy of Being Single, by Catherine Gray

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Are friendships psychologically healthier than romantic relationships?

Author of new book explains why not dating is better than dating

Retiring Solo: Plan to Be Happy, Healthy and Independent in the Years Ahead, by Lori Martinek

Here’s my review.

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, by Rebecca Traister

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Before “All the Single Ladies” there was “Singled Out”

How to Be Single and Happy: Science-Based Strategies for Keeping Your Sanity While Looking for a Soul Mate, by Jennifer L. Taitz

Here’s my review.

Also see:

What does it mean when married people feel sorry for single people?

Splitopia: Dispatches from Today’s Good Divorce and How to Part Well, by Wendy Paris

Here’s my review.

Suddenly Single After 50: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Navigating Loss, Restoring Hope, and Rebuilding Your Life, by Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane

Here’s my review.

Also see:

If you have been single all your life, you have a lot to be proud of.

#2 Not Specifically, or Not Only, about Single Life, But Relevant to It

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, edited by Meghan Daum

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Choosing not to have kids: 16 writers bare their souls

Love, Inc.: Dating Apps, the Big White Wedding, and Chasing the Happily Neverafter, By Laurie Essig

Here’s my review.

Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude, by Stephanie Rosenbloom

Here’s my review.

Also see:

My Q and A with Stephanie Rosenbloom for the Washington Post

15 quotes for solitude lovers from the book, “Alone Time”

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship, by Kayleen Schaefer

Here’s my review.

On Being 40 (ish), edited by Lindsey Mead

Here’s my review.

Also see:

How do you know that living single is right for you?

The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream, by Courtney E. Martin

Here’s my review.

Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship, by Joshua Gamson

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Our families: What’s missing?

Radically new families and how they are becoming more ordinary

The New “I Do”: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists, and Rebels, by Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson

Here’s my review.

Also see:

7 kinds of marriages – and one awesome alternative

What Love Is and What It Could Be, by Carrie Jenkins

Here’s my review.

Making the Big Move: How to Transform Relocation into a Creative Life Transition (3rd edition), by Cathy Goodwin

Here’s my review.

On Silver Wings: A Life Reconstructed, by Kristin Noreen

Here’s my review.

Also see:

Worried about dying alone? Read this story

Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir, by Vivian Gornick

Here’s my review.

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, by Marina Keegan

Here’s my review.

Also see:

What is the opposite of loneliness?

#3 Here are some singles-relevant books that were published before I started writing book reviews for Psych Central. I recommend all of them.

The New Single Woman, by Kay Trimberger

See:

Kay, Kate, and the single ladies, Part 1: Different experiences of single life across the generations

Kay, Kate, and the single ladies, Part 2: Experiments in living outside of a nuclear family household

Single women in India: A conversation with Kay Trimberger

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, by Eric Klinenberg

See:

Living alone: 12 things you didn’t know

This book will change our lives

How going solo takes lonely out of being alone

Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto, by Anneli Rufus

See:

Why true loners are awesome – and why you thought they weren’t

The happy loner

Alone: The badass psychology of people who like being alone

Here Comes the Bride: Women, Weddings, and the Marriage Mystique, by Jaclyn Geller

See:

Meet a brilliant, fearless, and funny satirist of the marriage mystique

Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics

See:

“Single at heart”: Is it Quirkyalone’s naughty cousin?

#4 I’ve written reviews of these books; they should be published in the next couple of months:

Somebody Hold Me: The Single Person’s Guide to Nurturing Human Touch, by Epiphany Jordan

#5 I will be submitting reviews of these books in the near future:

Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living, by Elyakim Kislev

See:

19 ways single people are doing way better than you realized

No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone, by Keturah Kendrick

Hard to Love: Essays and Confessions, by Briallen Hopper

#6 I haven’t published formal reviews of these books, but I have written about them:

One: Valuing Single Life, by Clare Payne

See:

The double standards of single life

How to Be Alone, by Sara Maitland

See:

“How to Be Alone”: 14 quips and tips

If Someone Says, “You Complete Me,” RUN!, by Whoopi Goldberg

See:

Why Whoopi Goldberg doesn’t want anyone to complete her

Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled, by Michael Cobb

See:

Who is the true avatar of the lonely crowd – the single person or the couple?

It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single, by Sara Eckel

See:

About those 27 wrong reasons you are single

#7 Relevant to issues of activism, advocacy, and social justice

Should marriage be a ticket to privilege? Several dozen skeptics weigh in. (Relevant books are in Section II.)

Has the Gay Movement Failed? By Martin Duberman

See:

Marriage equality: Was it too small a dream?

#8 Finally, here are my own books about single life:

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

Alone: The badass psychology of people who like being alone

Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It

The Best of Single Life

Single, No Children: Who Is Your Family?

Single Parents and Their Children: The Good News No One Ever Tells You

Single with Attitude: Not Your Typical Take on Health and Happiness, Love and Money, Marriage and Friendship

Marriage vs. Single Life: How Science and the Media Got It So Wrong

The Science of Marriage: What We Know That Just Isn’t So

How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century

Books about Single Life: Reviews and Discussions

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard; Academic Affiliate, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara), an expert on single life, is the author of several books, including "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" and "How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century." Her TEDx talk is "What no one ever told you about people who are single," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyZysfafOAs. Dr. DePaulo has discussed singles and single life on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and her work has been described in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and magazines such as Time, Atlantic, the Week, More, the Nation, Business Week, AARP Magazine, and Newsweek. Dr. DePaulo is in her sixties. She has always been single and always will be. She is "single at heart" -- single is how she lives her best and most meaningful life. Visit her website at www.BellaDePaulo.com.


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APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2019). Books about Single Life: Reviews and Discussions. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/single-at-heart/2019/03/books-about-single-life-reviews-and-discussions/

 

Last updated: 17 Mar 2019
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Mar 2019
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.