Why say “single” like it’s a bad thing? One of the great perks of being unattached is the free time — time that can be spent catching up on all the great reading you’ve been meaning to do for the last 5 years. Here’s a list of the best choices for those blissfully quiet summer evenings.
1. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Because once you get into a relationship, you’ll never have enough alone time to finish this beast (and it really is worth finishing).
2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Because you need the occasional reminder that the guy you were in love with at age 10 isn’t actually a worthy partner at age 30.
3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Because if you read this book while you are dating someone you will definitely, definitely break up.
4. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
Because you should get the chick lit thing out of your system before you get too embarrassed to read lady books in front of a dude.
5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Because adultery and suicide don’t make for the most pleasant pre-sex reading.
6. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
Because dudes love this book, and you will be able to intelligently explain why you think it is good/sexist/some combination of good and sexist/whatever.
7. Our Bodies, Ourselves
Because you’re a smart, liberated woman who is fully in control of her sex life, regardless of whether there’s a dude around.
8. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
Because it is high time you invited all your friends over for a killer dinner party.
9. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Because, honestly, sometimes you just think about giving up on dudes forever and launching your own future colony of women.
10. The Dirt by Motley Crue
Because you kinda want to know what guys talk about when there are no women around, and it’s this.
12. The Girl with the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
Because it’s important to remember that grownups can still believe in magic.
13. Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg
Because you’re strong and self-sufficient.
14. The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice
Because reading some sexy erotica is a great alternative to another bad date.
15. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Because it’s a beautifully-written classic, but you don’t want any overnight guests getting the wrong idea.
16. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Because she’s like a mom/wise older sister/straightforward BFF in one great advice-giving package.
17. The Ethical Slut by Dottie Easton and Janet Hardy
Because, hey, girl, get yours.
18. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Because laughing hysterically while in bed with someone is probably considered rude.
19. Apartment Therapy: the Eight-Step Home Cure by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
Because your home is your palace, even if home is a tiny studio apartment.
20. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Because this book will make you think that all relationships end in murder, and it’s best to read when you don’t have a specific culprit in mind.
21. How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan
Because you want to be ready when you do meet someone who rocks your world.
22. Love is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield
Because when you cry your guts out, you’ll want to do it in the privacy of your own home.
23. The Melting Season by Jami Attenberg
Because it’s never a bad time for a reminder that a relationship won’t fix your life for you.
24. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel
Because you might as well kick major ass in your career in the meantime.
25. Go Your Own Way: Women Travel The World Solo
Because these stories will inspire you to set off on an incredible journey of your own.
26. Modern Dating: A Field Guide by Chiara Atik