A 'Bad At Valentine’s Day' Recommended Reading List
New Yorker and Onion writer Blythe Roberson's new book How to Date Men When You Hate Men is a comedic philosophy book about what it means to date men within the trappings of modern society. We thought, who better to suggest some Valentine's Day reading? So here are her 'love-themed' book recommendations to get you through February.
In what would otherwise be the objectively worst month of the year, when it's cold and dark and my hair seems to never fully dry, Valentine's Day gives us a chance to celebrate love, and the colors pink and purple, and the shapes "heart" and "doily." It's a holiday created by greeting card companies, which makes me love it even more, because it inspires people to complain about capitalism and I get to be like: "[raises fist] welcome to the struggle, comrade." None of us are fully onboard with it—we're single, or ambiguously coupled, or just stressed because Trump is president—so we can just enjoy being bad at it.
And what better way to appreciate the CONCEPT of Valentine's Day, without actually going full "candlelit dinner with my hot husband," than reading a love-themed book? Here are some suggestions!
"If there is a better flirt than sitting a man down on a bed and reading him two full pages of your emotional and sexual cosmic compatibility, I have not yet found it. You may think that astrology books are not a good investment, since you will only read the sections pertaining to your sign, but I assure you that male friends text me 'Cancer + Aries. Go.' at all hours of the night."
"Dr. Fisher is a biological anthropologist, and I learned so many scientific facts about love from reading this book—but even better was learning scientific proof behind things I already EMOTIONALLY knew to be true. Like: Women actually usually make the first move (through eye contact, touches, and asking questions). Love isn't eternal (the worldwide divorce rate peaks around 3-7 years). Millennials are taking longer to settle down with a partner than previous generations have. There's nothing I love more than citing a study, and after reading this book, I do constantly."
"Elif Batuman is one of our GOATS; she can write about seemingly anything for the New Yorker and make it so clear and fascinating and genius. It makes me so happy that she chose to use her brilliance on writing a long novel about love, a topic I think we all need to be taking at least 40 percent more seriously. The Idiot is one of the funniest books I have read, and made me realize: Ah, yes, I, too, am an Idiot."
"Some may say that this is a memoir by Carly Simon, but I say it is a motivational book about the pleasures and methods of sleeping with every single hot man in the entertainment industry. Carly was a brilliant and hard-working artist who banged some of the most brilliant artists of her time; as a woman and as a writer, I find this incredibly inspiring. I eagerly anticipate the day my exes are all much older and much more internationally respected, and *I* get to write a memoir that will shock young women with my incredibly good taste in (creative) men."
"A philosophical book about words and phrases associated with love ('jealousy,' 'engulfment,' 'waiting'), A Lover's Discourse made me feel incredibly seen and would have totally changed my love life IF I were capable of personal growth. After reading this, check out the loose film adaptation Let The Sunshine In starring Juliette Binoche and book adaptation How to Date Men When You Hate Men by Blythe Roberson."
"This incredible book is at once like twelve different genres, ONE of which is a dating-in-NYC story. I can't stop thinking about this one line from a sex scene: 'I can honestly say that it was my favorite body, his dick an ugly sea cucumber, veiny and brown and wretched.' Recently I texted a screenshot of this line to a new crush and for this, I deserve a National Book Award."
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