10 Best Books That’ll Help You Get Over a Breakup

It’s never easy to recover from a break-up. If you are going through something like that, my heart goes out to you.

With help – and that includes books to read after a breakup that can heal your broken-heart, you’ll be sure to recover and get on with life, as you should.

10. After You’d Gone, By Maggie O’ Farrell

First Published: 2000

What It’s About:

After You’d Gone is the story of Alice – a young woman lying in a state of coma. In a clever, dreamlike, and almost unreal way, Maggie introduces you to Alice’s past where many secrets are held. The book absorbs you into its powerful narration of loss, agony, and wretchedness while gripping you with an intense sense of grief. While it’s not a psychological thriller, it certainly feels like one.

Why You Should Read It:

Get away from the misery of your own breakup by dipping your toes into someone else’s story for a change. It’s a story of absence. It’s about how our choices will reverberate through generations to come and it’s a great way to look at how someone’s mind works.

Best Quote:

“Why Isn’t life better designed so it warns you when terrible things are about to happen?”

9. Dolores Claiborne, By Stephen King

First Published: 1992

What It’s About:

The title refers to the protagonist, Dolores, who is falsely accused of murdering a wealthy elderly lady Vera, for whom Dolores has worked for years as a carer. No one except Dolores and her own daughter believe her to be innocent, but as the story unfolds we see, through confessional flashbacks, how Dolores dealt with her own husband, and an unhappy marriage that stood on the brink of disaster.

Why You Should Read It:

Through the course of the book, it is revealed that Dolores was trapped in an abusive relationship with a husband she didn’t love. She desperately needs to find a way to escape from the nightmare she is living alongside her young daughter. Read this novel to know the depths to which a human being can sink in order to save themselves. Dolores Claiborne is the perfect mixture of love, heartbreak and hate.

Best Quote:

“In those days I still believed the love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man was stronger than the love of drinkin and hell-raisin—that love would eventually rise to the top like cream in a bottle of milk. I learned better over the next ten years. The world’s a sorry schoolroom sometimes, ain’t it?”

8. A Short History of Nearly Everything, By Bill Bryson

First Published: 2003

What It’s About:

A Short History of Nearly Everything is everything that Bill Bryson tried to understand – from The Big Bang Theory to why we are the way we are. He reaches out as far as chemistry and particle physics. The book reveals many interesting factors about almost everything under the sun, and that makes it for a very interesting read that can get you away from the heart break you’d have just suffered.

Why You Should Read It:

Breakup is drama. You’d do well to cling on to anything that can take you away from this drama. Bill’s work on A Short History of Everything has so many things you didn’t know that you’d forget all your earthy problems, at least for as long as you take to read the book. One thing is for sure: you’d realize that your problems are a moot point compared to what happens in the entire universe.

Best Quote:

“There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally, they credit the wrong person.”

7. You Should Have Known, By Jean Hanff Korelitz

First Published: 2014

What It’s About:

Grace Sachs thinks that she knows everything about women. In fact, one of her strongest beliefs is that women don’t value their own intuition about what men are really like. This usually leads to lots of trouble later on. But does Grace know about her husband enough? Instead of having it easy and taking time to find out about her husband, she sees a violent death, a missing husband, and a set of terrible events along with revelations. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist; it simply tells you what this woman really goes through.

Why You Should Read It:

If you thought that a breakup was bad enough, you should wait to read You Should Have Known only to find out what Grace goes through. With witty, easy, and a gripping story Jean Korelitz shows you how a woman tries to put her life back together, build another life entirely on her own, and a sequence of events no one could claim to manage.

But she does.

Best Quote:

“I know it’s supposed to take a village to raise our children, but why does ours have so many village idiots?”

6. Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him, By Patricia Marx

First Published: 2006

What It’s About:

A female protagonist meets and falls in love with Eugene and is almost obsessed with him. As our heroine pines for Eugene’s love for almost a decade, Eugene goes in and out of her life as if he didn’t even know. It’s a frustrating and yet amusing story of how the lady professes undying love, all the way to the climax, where something else awaits Eugene.

Why You Should Read It:

You’ll appreciate this typical boy-meets-girl approach to story but you’ll enjoy the turn of phrase, the witty writing style, and the common and super-relatable feeling of sitting next to someone spilling out their entire life on you. Enjoy the brilliance of writing, fast reading, and almost a debate-like treatment that the book has (apparent from the title).

Best Quote:

“I love narcissists – even more than they love themselves. You don’t have to buoy them up. They are their own razzle-dazzle show and you are the blessed, favored with a front row seat.”

5. Six-word Memoirs On Love and Heartbreak, By Larry Smith

First Published: 2008

What It’s About:

Love – or the lack of it – hurts. Six-word memoirs on Love and Heartbreak is a set of sagas that aims to rip apart the complexity of the human heart. It has hundreds of personal stories that dwell on love, romance, pitfalls of falling in love, breakups, and more. These brief stories are “insightful slivers of passion” that aims to capture what it really feels like to have loved, loved and lost, and to be one all over again.

Why You Should Read It:

Six-word memoirs on Love and Heartbreak is the perfect anti-dote to your doting heart (which is now broken) because, if it’s any consolation, you’d at least know just how many more people are in the same boat that you are in. Given that, you’ll unmistakably love the brilliance of writing in just pithy six words at a time.

Best Quote:

“Leap of faith. Shit, no parachute.”

4. High Fidelity, By Nick Hornby

First Published: 1995

What It’s About:

Rob likes to do what he wants. He keeps a list of things he wants to do, and he goes about doing them all. He does what he wants, when he wants to, and acts as if Laura – his latest ex – doesn’t even matter anymore. Yet, he finds that he can’t do what he set out to. He sets about asking big questions about commitment, love, and about why we choose to be with people we choose to be with.

Why You Should Read It:

With High Fidelity also as a movie now, it’s a million copy bestseller and it makes you believe in the redemptive power of music and love. It takes you through the motions of love, breakups, make-ups, and what it really feels like being in love. Just what you wanted at this point, didn’t you?

Best Quote:

“It’s brilliant, being depressed; you can behave as badly as you like.”

3. This is How You lose Her, By Junot Diaz

First Published: 2012

What It’s About:

This is How You Lose Her is a collection of narratives that bombard you with stories revolving around passionate love, the bad kind of love, and even maternal love. In an endless supply of energetic and passionate series of narrations, the book reveals the longing and inevitable need for love. It reminds you that passion always wins over everything else.

Why You Should Read It:

As you read each of these stories, it’s an experience that you didn’t know before. With one kind of love linking with another kind of relationship altogether, the book exposes the intangible web of love we all find ourselves a part of, one time or the other. With some really captivating stories, it evokes intense feelings making you feel like writing a book just like this one. That’s a break you really need.

Best Quote:

“You don’t want to let go, but don’t want to be hurt, either. It’s not a great place to be but what can I tell you?”

2. Bridget Jones Diary, By Helen Fielding

First Published: 1996

What It’s About:

Bridget Jones Diary is a chronicle of a single girl who has other single girls for company – each of whom have already surrendered to the thought that they’d all die alone, without ever finding someone to fall in love with. Meanwhile Bridget wants to do everything a single girl wants to do such as to have a functional relationship to start with. With all kinds of alcoholics, perverts, workaholics, and chauvinists around, would she ever be able to do that?

Why You Should Read It:

Soon after a breakup, what you need is two things: some humor and a peep back into how life is as a single person. You’d want to know that all that scrambling around for love might or might not be worth it in the end. Bridget Jones Diary is also a motion picture, but that’s not the point. This humorous story gives you a perspective you’d have missed all these days you were in love.

Best Quote:

“It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.”

1. Eat, Pray, Love, By Elizabeth Gilbert

First Published: 2006

What It’s About:

Eat, Pray, Love is the story of a woman who is left wounded after a breakup but chooses to travel the world instead of sitting there and brooding about what just happened. Elizabeth is in her thirties, has a husband, and a baby. Yet, she doesn’t want any of it. She is, instead looking for something else. Specifically, she is looking for pleasure, devotion, and balance in life. Crisscrossing across continents, she heads out to Rome, an ashram in India, and Bali in search for peace, pleasure, and ultimately happiness.

Why You Should Read It:

We are believers in travel. When you head out to other shores, you expand your horizons, broaden your mind, get to see new places, immerse yourself in new cultures, and meet many interesting people along the way. It’s the best thing to do to yourself anyway, especially after a major setback like a breakup. You owe it to yourself sooner or later. So, why not now? Like Elizabeth did in Eat, Pray, Love?

Best Quote:

“You’re wishing too much, baby. You got to stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”

Conclusion

Love is something we all need, but the sooner we realize that it’s only a part of our life and not everything, we are better off.

However, it’s hard to get to this stage and the requisite mindset. We need help sometimes, and any of these books listed above could do just that for you.

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