The Top Ten Books All Single Women Should Read
I’ve wanted to write this blog for a really long time. Since I am a bookworm, the #1 way I get inspired in whatever season of life I’m in is through the written word. While there are a TON of books out there that I think send the wrong messages to singles (anything having to do with “make any man fall in love with you” or “get married in 6 months or less by reading this book!”)…there are also some really great books out there that have inspired, challenged, and motivated me to embrace my single life. And now I want to share those books with you! Some of them you may heard of…some of them you probably haven’t…but ALL of them are guaranteed to make you laugh, make you think, and make you a little more confident to say “I’m single because I’m TOO FABULOUS TO SETTLE.” 🙂
10. Angry Conversations With God by Susan E. Isaacs – For any single woman who has ever had moments of feeling like God has forgotten you…this book is for you. A friend introduced me to this book and all I had to do was read the back cover to be sold. Unhappy with how her love life is going and still single at age 40, Susan decides to call God to the carpet by taking him to “couple’s therapy.” Susan’s rocky, real, raw, HONEST relationship with God was something I could relate to immediately, as one who has never tiptoed politely around God and has had more than a few wrestling matches with him myself about life and love. Wildly funny and exceptionally moving, this book had me laughing hysterically one minute and crying just as hysterically the next. Does Susan find her Happily Ever After at the end of the book? You’ll have to read it to find out.
9. It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken by Greg Behrendt – You might have heard of Greg’s book He’s Just Not That Into You (that just might be popping up later on this list), but have you heard of his follow-up book? For anyone who has ever been through a breakup (and who hasn’t?), this book is like the Breakup Bible. And it comes from a man, so it’s like having a built-in guy friend to be the voice of reason in your post-breakup, driving by the guy’s house, stalking his Facebook page misery. I’ve actually read this book over and over again after almost every breakup I’ve ever been through and can’t recommend it enough. Throw out the Ben & Jerry’s and reach for this book instead. It’ll save you hundreds of dollars in therapy!
8. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – This book needs to be read by every person, single or not. I can’t tell you how much this book changed my life, my thought processes, my approach to happiness. Ann is a such a beautiful writer, it feels almost as though you’re reading poetry. She details her journey to list 1,000 things in her life to be grateful for and how that journey changed her life. How finding joy in little things brought even bigger things into her life. How learning to simply say THANK YOU and show gratitude opened the door to joy in her heart. This book opened my eyes to a whole layer of life and joy and blessings that I spent most of my life staring blindly at.
7. Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot – This was one of the first books I read after giving my life to God at age 20. And though it’s written from a Christian perspective, it is honestly for anyone striving to honor their bodies and remain pure until marriage. Elisabeth is very vulnerable and open about her struggle to hold out for God’s best and to trust His perfect timing in her life, and the love story between her and her eventual husband, Jim Elliott, is completely captivating and inspiring to anyone who has also struggled to trust God completely by submitting their love life to Him. I’ve read this book numerous times and every time it blessed me in a new way, and always renews my hope that no matter how uncertain my path might look NOW, God has a plan for my life that goes far beyond anything I could ever imagine.
6. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – This book absolutely shook me to my core, and then shook me some more. It is a complete game-changer for anyone, married or single, who is looking to lead a more authentic, transparent life. No matter where we’re at in our lives, vulnerability is necessary to build the career and the relationships and the lives that we dream of. So many of us hide behind walls of shame and self doubt and fear, we never allow anyone to get close enough to us to see the real us, and this book is all about tearing down those walls to walk in the freedom of Just. Being. You. If you’re tired of settling for just breezing through life at the status quo, this book will show you how to love yourself for exactly who you are instead of who the world thinks you should be while challenging you to lead a bigger, bolder, braver life.
5. The Between Boyfriends Book by Cindy Chupack – Prepare to laugh out loud through this entire book. Reading this collection of essays by former writer for Sex & the City Cindy Chupack is like sitting down to dinner with your four best girlfriends and swapping stories about your wildest and funniest dating and life fiascos until you’re all breathless with laughter. Anytime I need a little pick-me-up in my single girl walk, I reach for my very worn copy of this book. If you’ve ever had a bad date, experienced a drive-by relationship, or wondered if you’re the last single girl left on the face of this planet – this book is for you. Cindy sympathizes with the often jaw-droppingly unbelievable situations in love and life that single ladies frequently find ourselves in and helps find the silver lining in even the most heinous of awkward dates or painful breakups. Plus, she’ll just make you laugh. (Until you’ve completely forgotten about the awkward date or bad breakup.)
4. He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt – Over the years since this book first came out, I’ve tried to argue with it. I’ve tried to declare it false. I’ve tried to say that relationships aren’t as black and white as Greg presents them to be in this book, but you know what? They are. The truth is, relationships ARE more black and white than they are fifty shades of gray…and that’s a good thing. Because when you change your mindset and start to look at relationships as black and white instead of every shade in between, you cut out a lot of drama and heartache and nonsense. The honest truth is, as Greg says so succinctly in this book: “A man who wants to make a relationship work will move mountains to keep the woman he loves.” It just doesn’t get any more black and white, cut and dry than that. The only compliant I have about this book is that it came out before the era of texting and Facebooking and IM’ing and DM’ing and Twitter and all the other various ways people communicate now…so I’d love to see an updated version! But even though the game of love has changed a bit since its publication, the truths in this book still hold true, and will still save you a LOT of heartache when dealing with a wishy-washy, is he or isn’t he? type of man.
3. I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has: Mishaps & Miracles on the Road to Happily Ever After by Mandy Hale – My second book (and New York Times bestseller) travels deep into the journey of the single woman, covering serious and relevant topics like heartbreak, struggling with anxiety, abusive and toxic relationships, overcoming depression, rediscovering a new career path for yourself after one abruptly ends, and everything in between. And while it does break down some serious issues…there are also some SERIOUS laughs along the way! I think this book will isnpire you to let go of the idea of what “Happily Ever After” is supposed to look like, stop obsessing about the destination, and instead, rejoice in the journey. The wild, adventurous, uncertain, often crazy but always magical journey of the single woman.
2. The Single Woman: Life, Love, & a Dash of Sass by Mandy Hale – With my first book, I wanted to talk about relationships but I didn’t want to focus on just relationships. I wanted this book to be a complete snapshot of the entire experience of the single woman, not just one aspect. I feel like so many books out there for single women only touch on one area of life, and that’s love, dating, and relationships. How can we hope to live healthy, happy, balanced lives if the only thing anyone is talking to us about is relationships? From loving yourself to letting go to following your dreams to making a difference in the world to refusing to settle in ANY area of your life, this book is a comprehensive look at living your best life as a single woman and celebrating exactly who you are in this moment. And yes, love is a chapter or two of that…but not the entire book. The busy, vibrant, confident single woman has many, many other stories to tell! As I say in the book, the REAL fairytale is designing a life that’s so amazing, you don’t want to be rescued from it.
1. Beautiful Uncertainty, by Mandy Hale – My latest book and the one I’m most proud of and most excited for you to read. With #BeautifulUnertainty, I tried to combine all the greatest elements of the storytelling from Never Been to Vegas and the quotable nuggets of truth from The Single Woman and I feel like it resulted in my best work ever. #BeautifulUncertainty was written about a very special year in my life in which I decided to stop sitting around waiting for life to begin (as many of us singles find ourselves doing) and get out there and actually LIVE. Because the truth is, most of us are waiting for SOMETHING: Love, marriage, babies, a new job, a raise, a miracle, a phone call, a cure, a diploma, an ANSWER…but I believe that we don’t just have to sit around and wait, we can wait in purpose. We can say yes to our lives. We can follow God and follow our dreams and take bold chances and surrender to our process and RISK and dare and love and embrace the Beautiful Uncertainty of every single moment.
What books have spoken to you as a single woman? Which books did I miss and need to add to a future list? Comment below with your picks!