The 8 Best Break-Up Books

It's over. That's it. Finito. Here are the eight best break-up books you need right now

You know that saying that time’s a great healer? Forget that – choose a book. Here are some that might just help you get That Person out of your head. Whether it was a sweet, brief fling followed by a short, sharp break that you instigated – or a long torrid affair with a ‘hey-what-just-happened?’ kinda split, these books might just give you the breathing space you need. Or a few ideas for getting your own back, at least.

The Silver Linings Playbook, by Matthew Quick
Read this if: you think you’re going just a little bit crazy
This will convince you you’re not. Others have a much harder time. In fact, this soulful read will make your relationship seem like a walk in the park. We all know recovering from a bad break-up takes time, and even though the idea of a silver lining to each cloud is a bit of a cliche, we still love it. If you haven’t seen Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the movie, go climb out of that cupboard and go watch it right now too. But read the book first.


This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz
Read this if: you want to get inside his head

So you split up – and you’re really, really confused. Junot Diaz takes us on a journey of love and loss with this collection of stories that show just what might be going on inside his head. Warning: it’s not always pretty and it may anger you – so probably best left when you’re feeling a little more generous towards your ex rather than in the initial throes of the split.



Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding
Read this if: you need to feel sorry for yourself (and fancy a laugh)
When you’re feeling low, there’s nothing better than knowing others have been there, too. Ms Jones has to be one of the funniest, most truthful romantic heroines ever created. And yes, even if you’ve watched the film umpteen times, the book still has a lot to offer. We guarantee it will have you laughing quicker than you can say ‘I will not fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomanics…’

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J Elliott
Read it if: you want to feel like you’re the best thing he never had
In true Beyonce fashion, Susan J Elliot helps you through your break-up reminding you that you’re the best thing he never had. With tips and strategies for everything from how to be by yourself to Not Calling Him, Elliott’s no-nonsense approach has made this break-up bible one of the most popular self-help books on the subject worldwide. Only bother if you’re over the wallowing stage and are really ready to Do The Work, as they say Stateside.



Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Read this if: you’re feeling rather vengeful
Nora Ephron (writer of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle) drew on her own experience when she wrote this tale of cooking show host Rachel Samstat who, at seven months pregnant, discovers that her husband is cheating on her. It picks apart the best and worst parts of their marriage. A similar thing happened to Ephron when she discovered that her husband, investigative Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein was having an affair. A realistic, poignant but funny and empowering tale of what it’s like when your world start unravelling – and how to pull it together again. Watch out for the key lime pie.

Tender Is The Night, by F Scott Fitzgerald
Read this if: you feel a teeny bit jealous of those other couples

You know those couples you see who are all ha-ha-ha and glamorous and shiny and sort of perfect? We’re here to tell you that it’s not as easy it all looks. This is the tale of Dick and Nicole Driver and recounts their awful demise. It closely mirrors Fitzgerald’s own experience with his wife Zelda and is even more moving when you realise it was the last book he was to write. Messy, destructive and awful behaviour in heaps, this book will make you feel a whole lot better about yourself.


High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
Read this if: you keep making the same relationship mistakes
. Again and Again.
Made into a memorable film starring John Cusack, this is the ultimate snap-out-of-it book. Rob has just been dumped by his girlfriend and decides to look up all his past loves to find out where he keeps going wrong. If you go for the same kind of people, or split up for the same kind of reason or simply feel that you’re treading water and getting nowhere fast, it’s for you. It’s funny, revealing (about men) and also has such a heart-warming, optimistic approach that we reckon you’ll be dating again in no time. But, hey – remember. Someone different next time, ok?

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Read this if: you need some head space before diving back in again

The true story of 32-year-old writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, who – after a tricky divorce and a frankly shockingly awful year – decides to go travelling alone. She embarks on a journey where she eats (in Italy), prays (in India) and finds love (in Bali). Gilbert has been criticised for offering a ‘cure’ for heartbreak that requires a certain amount of privilege. We still think it’s an uplifting tale. You may want to skip the god bits (we did) and be prepared to crave pasta for days afterwards.

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