Books on Loneliness

Great books about being lonely-- there are so many. Somehow they make us LESS lonely.
1

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2

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4.02 avg rating — 650,766 ratings
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3

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4.19 avg rating — 3,478,067 ratings
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4.13 avg rating — 1,741,216 ratings
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5

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4.31 avg rating — 1,545,175 ratings
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6

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3.83 avg rating — 719,610 ratings
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7

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3.93 avg rating — 4,094,143 ratings
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8

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4.21 avg rating — 1,366,599 ratings
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9

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4.03 avg rating — 781,711 ratings
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10

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3.82 avg rating — 1,251,586 ratings
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11

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4.13 avg rating — 146,932 ratings
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12

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3.98 avg rating — 96,835 ratings
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13

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4.13 avg rating — 223,000 ratings
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14

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4.14 avg rating — 560,706 ratings
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15

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4.03 avg rating — 401,618 ratings
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16

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3.96 avg rating — 255,375 ratings
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17

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3.68 avg rating — 261,672 ratings
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18

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3.79 avg rating — 241,811 ratings
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19

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3.97 avg rating — 397,848 ratings
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20

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3.92 avg rating — 52,052 ratings
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21

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3.42 avg rating — 115,406 ratings
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22

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3.78 avg rating — 691,444 ratings
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23

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3.92 avg rating — 1,417,427 ratings
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24

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4.23 avg rating — 85,009 ratings
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25

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3.95 avg rating — 89,031 ratings
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26

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 123,609 ratings
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27

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3.90 avg rating — 83,279 ratings
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28

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3.54 avg rating — 199,011 ratings
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29

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4.04 avg rating — 82,677 ratings
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30

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3.86 avg rating — 300,406 ratings
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31

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3.97 avg rating — 23,531 ratings
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32

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3.77 avg rating — 63,053 ratings
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33

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3.91 avg rating — 192,184 ratings
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34

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3.82 avg rating — 381,196 ratings
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35

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4.18 avg rating — 18,210 ratings
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36

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3.94 avg rating — 128,661 ratings
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37

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4.15 avg rating — 234,348 ratings
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38

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4.23 avg rating — 689,027 ratings
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39

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4.16 avg rating — 3,002,445 ratings
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40

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3.52 avg rating — 498,337 ratings
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41

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3.92 avg rating — 94,145 ratings
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42

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3.96 avg rating — 97,845 ratings
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43

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3.87 avg rating — 339,101 ratings
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44

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3.66 avg rating — 178,382 ratings
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45

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3.97 avg rating — 193,479 ratings
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46

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 180,073 ratings
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47

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3.80 avg rating — 5,440 ratings
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48

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3.80 avg rating — 183,525 ratings
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49

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3.78 avg rating — 161,131 ratings
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50

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4.18 avg rating — 74,579 ratings
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51

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4.06 avg rating — 753,966 ratings
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52

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4.17 avg rating — 139,126 ratings
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53

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4.06 avg rating — 24,300 ratings
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54

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3.66 avg rating — 9,765 ratings
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55

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3.88 avg rating — 365,454 ratings
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56

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3.72 avg rating — 20,089 ratings
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57

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4.13 avg rating — 345,292 ratings
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58

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3.81 avg rating — 67,410 ratings
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59

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3.95 avg rating — 146,818 ratings
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60

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4.19 avg rating — 12,972 ratings
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61

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3.83 avg rating — 189,646 ratings
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62

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3.56 avg rating — 1,583,362 ratings
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63

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4.38 avg rating — 2,007,201 ratings
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64

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3.82 avg rating — 15,637 ratings
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65

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3.99 avg rating — 936,598 ratings
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66

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4.27 avg rating — 15 ratings
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67

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3.85 avg rating — 130,167 ratings
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68

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3.99 avg rating — 781,441 ratings
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69

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4.09 avg rating — 107,864 ratings
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70

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4.23 avg rating — 12,831 ratings
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71

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3.42 avg rating — 744,139 ratings
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72

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3.86 avg rating — 22,977 ratings
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73

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4.07 avg rating — 5,141 ratings
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74

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3.79 avg rating — 905,052 ratings
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75

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4.18 avg rating — 714,816 ratings
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76

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4.12 avg rating — 10,641 ratings
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77

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4.68 avg rating — 73 ratings
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78

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3.80 avg rating — 47,906 ratings
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79

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4.08 avg rating — 1,101,096 ratings
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80

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3.59 avg rating — 17,752 ratings
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81

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3.84 avg rating — 31,166 ratings
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81

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3.84 avg rating — 940,172 ratings
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83

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3.60 avg rating — 260 ratings
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83

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3.73 avg rating — 2,134 ratings
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85

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4.02 avg rating — 668,720 ratings
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86

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4.56 avg rating — 39 ratings
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87

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3.70 avg rating — 13,440 ratings
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88

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4.13 avg rating — 969,251 ratings
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89

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4.27 avg rating — 859,658 ratings
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90

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3.78 avg rating — 171,643 ratings
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91

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3.83 avg rating — 528,771 ratings
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92

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3.88 avg rating — 201,169 ratings
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93

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4.07 avg rating — 656,837 ratings
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94

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4.12 avg rating — 30,186 ratings
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95

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4.13 avg rating — 124,057 ratings
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96

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3.85 avg rating — 129,058 ratings
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97

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3.81 avg rating — 3,738 ratings
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98

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 180,912 ratings
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99

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3.79 avg rating — 19,807 ratings
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100

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3.70 avg rating — 246 ratings
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478 books · 593 voters · list created November 3rd, 2009 by George Green (votes) .
215 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


George 9 books
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Lobstergirl 4903 books
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ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔ 3484 books
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camilla 2513 books
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Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 546 books
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Thom 6023 books
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Lynda 20557 books
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Greyweather 2660 books
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Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by George (new)

George Green I swear, looking things over I think a list of great books about loneliness is almost the same thing as a list of great books. This seems a theme common to all great literature, all great stories. Not sure why. Hope you will add some more favorites here!


message 2: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn George wrote: "I swear, looking things over I think a list of great books about loneliness is almost the same thing as a list of great books. This seems a theme common to all great literature, all great stories. ..."

Well, as W. H. Auden said, Each one lives "in the cell of himself"...and we never get out. Have a nice day !


message 3: by Harold (new)

Harold Griffin This is an extremely interesting list to consider. The question is what the operative definition of loneliness should be. I started to add Notes From Underground, but don't think the narrator is all that lonely, though he's certainly isolated. I've already voted for Bartleby, but wonder if a loner who simply prefers "not to" is lonely. Was Hamlet truly "lonely"? I guess Gregor Samsa was, but was the Hungerkunstler? Holden and Seymour, come on down!





message 4: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Harold wrote: "This is an extremely interesting list to consider. The question is what the operative definition of loneliness should be. I started to add Notes From Underground, but don't think the narrator is a..."

I can't recall anywhere where Hamlet expressed loneliness. And Holden's stresser was grief over his dead brother. These are alienated characters, people pissed off at society, not people longing to engage it.


message 5: by Harold (new)

Harold Griffin I agree as to Hamlet. It's one thing to feel grief and a need for vengeance, but the melancholy Dane doesn't strike me as a "lonely" character, despite having good grounds for being so.

But Holden Caulfield wants to connect, to find love, to be the catcher of children. While he may articulate alienation more than loneliness, it seems to me his actions bespeak the most intense of loneliness.


message 6: by Reese (new)

Reese Harold wrote: "This is an extremely interesting list to consider. The question is what the operative definition of loneliness should be. I started to add Notes From Underground, but don't think the narrator is a..."

Not surprisingly, Har, you pose the question that should be answered before one answers the question that has been asked. I chose works that include one or more characters who want to be connected to another person or other people. But the possibility of creating meaningful relationships does not exist (or no longer exists) because the characters are not understood and/or because circumstances make the "right" people inaccessible, unavailable, etc. Hence, what they experience is loneliness, not aloneness.

As for Bartleby, I agree with those who consider his "preference not to" a message that others cannot de-code. The lawyer, despite his tolerance and generosity(?), is not made of the stuff that could put him on the road to Bartleby's soul. Bartleby needs a soulmate, not a caretaker.
Rdbot


message 7: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Rdbot wrote: "Harold wrote: "This is an extremely interesting list to consider. The question is what the operative definition of loneliness should be. I started to add Notes From Underground, but don't think th..."

Bartleby and the lawyer/Narrator in B. the Scrivener are counterparts: Rather than confront Bartleby directly, the Narrator MOVES OUT ! Nor does he understand himself why he does it. Somehow he comes off carrying Bartleby's cross, ehh ?


message 8: by Reese (new)

Reese Thom wrote: "Rdbot wrote: "Harold wrote: "This is an extremely interesting list to consider. The question is what the operative definition of loneliness should be. I started to add Notes From Underground, but ..."

The text probably offers enough support for the theory that Bartleby is or represents the irrational, unreasonable part of the narrator -- the part that the lawyer determinedly works to shut up, shut out, wall off, move away from, etc. I do not reject this interesting and credible reading of Melville's story. But I don't embrace it. I say that there is textual evidence to discredit the theory and that the story holds compelling evidence to support other interpretations of the work. At the end of the story, the narrator still wants (& hopes he has) a rational explanation for Bartleby's behavior. To him, Bartleby is a mystery that ignited his curiosity, some pitiable creature about whom he can report the obvious. And the way in which he tells the tale suggests that the Bartleby experience has had no lasting impact on the lawyer's thoughts or actions. He's carrying Bartleby's cross? I think not. I share the view of whichever critic (can't recall which one or ones)identified Bartleby as a "dead letter"; the lawyer-narrator never got the message. The lawyer has eyesight, not vision. Rdbot


message 9: by msleighm (new)

msleighm At #200+ I added another 40 or so books for consideration, including Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (as an option instead of the current #86 Trópico de Capricornio by Henry Millery.

I am hoping some of the people who already voted will recheck the list for new additions to consider.


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