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How to Be Single

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  2,875 ratings  ·  399 reviews
It's the most annoying question and they just can't help asking you. You'll be asked it at family gatherings, weddings, and on first dates. And you'll ask yourself far too often. It's the question that has no good answer. It's the question that when people stop asking it, makes you feel even worse: Why are you single?On a brisk October morning in New York, Julie Jenson, a ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Atria (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sim
I can't quite figure out whether I want to give the book two stars or three. On one hand, each character - filled with pathos and false bravado, reminded me of well... me. And all my female friends. On the other hand, it felt ridiculous and contrived (which naturally upsets me). And at the end of reading the book, I'm torn about whether or not I liked the book.

This was an essay disguised as a novel,and reads like a non-fiction, which works for the book. I didn't hate the book - it flows well en
...more
Lives with Books
This book was so depressing.

It made me feel like "I need to get married" and at the same time, "It will never happen because all men are bastards."

It should have been called, "Accept You're Single Now Because Noone Will Ever Want You."

Emily
Oct 22, 2009 Emily rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Only the first 20 pages of this book were smart. The rest was offensive. The international stereotypes were so obvious it was insulting. Really, Liz? The Chinese girl who laughs and laughs? The Indians who "bobble" their heads? The strong nordic women? I was shocked to discover she did ACTUAL research for this novel, stemming from ACTUAL travel to the countries mentioned. If someone had asked me, I would have said that the only research she did for this book was to go to Disneyworld, take a ride ...more
Julia
Oh god, how many more books can I read about 30-something single women who live in New York before I want to shoot myself? There's a quote on the back from Plum Sykes (Vogue airhead and faux-writer) that reads, "A fun read that reminds single girls everywhere that it's fabulous to be single." I don't think that Plum Sykes actually read this book. How to Be Single reminds us that being single is miserable--you'll get dumped, ditched, or treated like dirty; the love of your life will be screwing a ...more
Melanie
This book is Sex and the City meets Eat, Pray, Love is the best way to describe this book. You have 5 women focused around the central character, Julie. Julie works for a publisher and is off to write a book about being single across the world after a humiliating night out. Her friends that barely know each other in the beginning become her Sex and the City girls.

Alice is a Legal Aid Attorney who quits her job for a new career in dating. She meets a wonderful guy and is tired of dating - will sh
...more
Mary
Fair warning: unless you are a single woman in her mid to late 30's, you may find this book trite and possibly annoying. However, should you fall within the target demographic, read on. I did...twice! Tuccillo co-wrote "He's Just not that Into You," which should give you some indication of the combo insight and humor awaiting you here.

What I loved here, and made me laugh over and over, is how nutty we get at a certain age when we haven't married. Yes, I know that married folk have their own ide
...more
Kelly
May 17, 2008 Kelly rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vapid people.
I've been waiting for this book to appear so I could review it. Okay, I read the whole thing, but if you know me, you know that once I start, I rarely stop, so the fact that I finished a book does not suggest that you should, and, in fact, I advise that you avoid this book altogether. First of all, did no one edit this book? She gets away with sentence fragments. No, I'm not talking about artfully used, I'm-breaking-the-rules-because-I've-mastered-them sentence fragments, I mean just flat out fr ...more
Helen
This book had great potential, and many great moments, but doesn’t deliver in the end. After a night out with her four single girlfriends, Julie decides to travel the globe interviewing single women for a book about dating in different cultures.

It’s a great premise, except that Julie gets air sick every time she flies and is too shy to talk to strangers on her own. Fortunately, one of her friends is able to fly across the world to each country she visits to hold her hand. And in every country s
...more
April
This was an awesome, fun, inspiring read. It's about a 38-year old woman Julie. She's single. She has 4 single friends, and she decides to travel the world to write a book about single women in different countries. Among the places she visits are Rome, Ireland, India. In each country she meets all kinds of women, and in each country, women have a different take on being single. The author actually did do the research - her information in the fiction book was real. And I found it fascinating.

I l
...more
Deanna
Apr 09, 2015 Deanna rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
ok so I'm only halfway through this book, and plan on finishing it so this review is pre-emptive. I will finish it in the hopes that Julie, the main character, will have some sort of revelation and stop being so irritating, but I won't hold my breath. I am writing the review now because I need to vent. I hate this book. And I take the word hate pretty seriously. It makes it seem like women are nothing without a man - over and over and over again. "Why didn't he call - it must have been the cellu ...more
Rachel
I know this book was intended as chic lit fiction; but the ethnocentrism in the book was derailing for me. The main character Julie epitomizes the ugly American abroad.

In Australia she writes: “Like an aborigine with a bottle of Wild Turkey, Georgia spiraled out of control.” and “Her name was Fiona Crenshaw from Tasmania (a small island off the coast of southern Australia).”

Then in China she writes: “In Beijing, as I soon found out, they enjoy “squatter” toilets. Even in some upscale establishm
...more
Leslie
Nothing really new here... The book felt recycled to me -- like I had read it before. No new insights or even ways of approaching the topic. It was like a cross between that book the gal wrote when she toured the world to find her soulmate with a little "Eat, Pray, Love" mixed in. And the mention of how one gal the narrator met loved "Sex and the City"... Oh geez, please! Don't get me wrong. I am a fan of the show. But the author wrote for the show and then includes a character in her book who l ...more
Kathy
So, where do I start...
Well, first off, the title of the book is so contradictory to what it is actually about. The title should be: “How NOT to be single”.

I am disappointed in this book because personally becoming recently single after being in a serious long term relationship I was hoping to read a book that gives you advice and insight into how to be okay being single. Not that I need it, but that’s what I assumed the book would be about, given the title.

The overall feeling I got from the bo
...more
Stacy
Feb 17, 2009 Stacy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my friends of the fairer sex
When my good friend handed me this book and said, "Here, you might like this." My first thought was, "You have got to be kidding me." Of course, I thanked her. Yes, the book is about a thirty-something single woman and her thirty-something single friends trying to find their way in the world, and yes, I now fall into that category. I admit, I passed immediate judgment on the book solely based on the fact that the author co-wrote He's Just Not That Into You and was editor of Sex and the City . ...more
Kristen
Tuccillo's estrogen-fueled storyline of five single friends in New York looking for love is just what a day at the beach ordered. (Wait...wasn't there a popular cable t.v. series about single women in NYC? Oh right, Tuccillo wrote for that famed show, too.) The main protagonist, Julie, goes left of her usual rationally centered life; She quits her desk job and vows to travel and write about how single women are living around the world. Meanwhile, back in the states, her four friends are coping w ...more
Umarani
The amount of ethnocentrism and judgement in this book is way too high! The concept of Julie gong to and experiencing different cultures has absolutely no impact because of how ignorant and judgemental she is in every town. It's typical privelleged mentality and the fact that the protagonist of the book itself is too self-centred to truly absorb her surroundings is horrible to me.

The only reason I would give it 2 stars is because while I absolutely detested Julie for the entire book, I did follo
...more
Linda Doyle
The title of this book could be How Not to Be Single or Desperate Daters. Either title would have been more appropriate. The author tries to counterbalance the depressing stories of these single women with humor, but there is not enough hilarity to tip the scales in a positive direction. Instead of laughing, I cringed. These women, all described as beautiful and intelligent, commit incredibly stupid acts in their desperate searches for Mr. Right. Also, the main character travels around the world ...more
Tina
If there was a book that the last page literally saved, it was this one. And not only because it was ending.

I wanted to like this book, really, because I thought it was fun. But I didn't have fun with it, and it didn't teach me anything that I didn't know already. I don't know if women really become *that* desperate when they reach a certain age and they are still single, and I really would rather not believe so. I wanted to smack all the characters silly for being so...well, pathetic.

But I'm g
...more
Bonnie
The real value of a cover is debatable, but I love the cover of this book.

I didn't love this book, and I didn't hate it--yet I find myself trying to decide whether I liked it at all. I liked it enough, I suppose, but not in a way where I would rush out to recommend it to my friends. Some of the comments were interesting, but some scenarios were ridiculous to the point where I wanted to stop reading. Like other reviewers, I'm not sure whether to feel depressed or enlightened!

Good for a light read
...more
Christine
This book sat on my shelves for probably 3 years. I bought it for about $3 and then, for some reason, didn't think about it again. What I DID think was that it would be cheesy and try to make single girls feel better about being single. THEN I heard it was going to be made into a movie so I thought that maybe I was wrong...and I was wrong!
Julie, the main character, travels the world (reason #1 why I liked it!) to interview woman about being single and how/what that means in their country. The a
...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2.5 STARS

"Why are you single?

On a brisk October morning in New York, Julie Jenson, a single thirty-eight-year-old book publicist, gets a hysterical phone call from her friend Georgia. Reeling from her husband's announcement that he is leaving her for a samba teacher, Georgia convinces a reluctant Julie to organize a fun girls' night out with all of their single friends to remind her why it is so much fun not to be tied down.

But the night becomes a wake-up call for Julie because none of her frien
...more
Wendy
This book is a fantastic how-to, not necessarily on being single, but on life and living. It's sort of "Sex And the City" meets "Eat Pray Love" -- only better than the sum of those two parts.
Knitme23
Oh, the nefarious misleadingness of lovely cover art! I WANT that dress, and I'd LOVE that weather, so I bought this book (second hand for 50 cents, hooray) and . . . .


IT IS TERRIBLE!


The book doesn't even deserve to be an article in Cosmo: it's dumb. Women are single for many reasons.
It can be hard to be single. It can also be hard to be married. Some men are dumb. Some women are dumb. People in different countries are different in some ways, but, essentially, people are similar. Some are mar
...more
Erica
This is a book any woman should read regardless if she is single or married! It is funny,sarcastic and TRUE! This book just keeps getting better chapter after chapter
Gwen Banks
I don't think I've ever read a book at just the right time in my life.... until now. This was not some big revelation per se, but not long ago I started figuring out a few things about life and about being single. I might not relate directly with any one particular character in this book, but I did relate to certain situations, certain thoughts, certain emotions... it was shorter than the normal books that I read, but it was just enough for me to appreciate and connect to a story about women who ...more
Candie Paulsen
This book was recommended to me by my best friend when I was in graduate school. I read this sometime in my four year stretch of being single and I really appreciated it during that time. It showcases how women in different parts of the world handle being single, spurred by a snarky comment made by French women in a hospital one night, if I remember correctly. I don't recall how the book ended, but I did appreciate knowing that there were other people out there having the same struggle as me and ...more
Mysterious
I honestly had no idea what would happen to the characters from one moment to the next, and I really enjoyed that novelty. I'm smack dab in the middle of this age group and it *is* this hard to be single, and it *does* literally drive you crazy sometimes. Underneath the humor (which is sometimes your only saving grace), there is real anger and real pain, and I think Tuccillo manages to convey that.

I especially appreciate that Tuccillo didn't (view spoiler)
...more
Ashley
It took me forever to get through this book. It's kind of a slow read & I think it's bc there's a lot of information bt all of the characters BUT do not let this keep you from reading this book. I myself have had a hard time adjusting to being single and this book was very helpful in helping me realize my feelings were normal. It also gave me a lot of advice on what not to do.


****spoiler alert*****
I am glad she did not end up with Thomas. It was a more realistic ending. I get so fed up with
...more
Sharondyck
I wish I'd read some reviews before I picked up this book at the second hand store. It really made me sad and depressed, and I was disappointed. I wish this site had half stars, because I would have given it 2 1/2. On the one hand, there was some humour and familiarity that I enjoyed. But, as another reviewer commented, it is so contrived as to be annoying. If you want validation as a single person, don't read this. If you want hope for a different future, don't read this either, you won't find ...more
Rashaal
I was shocked when I finally finished reading the book. I am amazed by the time and money I lost reading this book.
Anyhow the cover was very eye catching since it's a great marketing logo for single women, stories regarding the 5 women were neither realistic nor interesting to read about.

The interesting part of it all was when Liz the writer decided to acknowledge her friends through the whole helping journey with the book and the one name that I can recognize linked to the Middle East was Dim
...more
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Liz Tuccillo is an American writer and actress best known for her work on the HBO comedy series Sex and the City and for co-authoring (with Greg Behrendt) the self-help book He's Just Not That Into You. Her first novel, How to Be Single, was published in June 2008.

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More about Liz Tuccillo...
He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys

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“I think we are going to have to love ourselves. Fuck.” 50 likes
“Now the uncle spoke up. 'This cannot be,' he said. 'The human being is designed for many things. Loneliness is not one of them.' ... Mrs. Ramani leaned into me, and said, as a statement of fact. 'We are not meant to go through this life alone.” 4 likes
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