Two Books to Get You through Valentine’s Day

Leaf with a heart-shaped hole in it
Source: cygnus921, Flickr

Don’t worry. I’m not going to suggest a Sex-and-the-City type novel or a 18th century romance for my top picks for February. Instead I thought I would take a realistic approach to the month of love.

The lead character in Hilma Wolitzer’s An Available Man isn’t a 30-something single woman or a man who just can’t commit. It’s about Edward, a sweet, retired widower who likes bird-watching and gardening. Follow Edward has he re-enters the modern dating world of widows seeking love, lunch dates, and dinner parties for the over 50 crowd. If you’re not in the mood for a sappy romance, but something a bit more realistic and funny, you will enjoy An Available Man.

For those who are anti-Valentine’s Day, read Going Solo by Eric Klinenberg. Readers seriously concerned about their singlehood will enjoy Klinenberg’s statistical and data-driven assessment of adults in America who are single and living alone. The best part are the in-depth interviews with people of all ages and classes discussing their single lives and explaining how just because they’re single doesn’t mean they’re lonely. So when the annoying couple at the table next to you takes PDA to a whole new level you can kindly interrupt with fun facts like 50% of American adults are single and 31 million adults live alone. Are members of your family disappointed about your single life? Fire back that single people lead more environmentally sustainable lifestyles and are more likely to volunteer. How can they argue with that?