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How to Be Single: A Novel Hardcover – June 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416534121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416534129
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The sassy coauthor of He's Just Not That into You and former executive story editor for Sex and the City stays on familiar ground for her energetic fiction debut. It follows the dating lives of five single New York women, one of whom, narrator Julie, is writing a book about how bachelorettes across the world manage. A Yahoo-sponsored trip sent Tuccillo traveling the world interviewing women in preparation for her novel; Julie embarks on a similar journey while her four friends duke it out on the New York dating scene. The subsequent stories of courtship, marriage and romantic expectations from Julie's travels are revealing and compelling, but the narrator's interviews quickly give way to her own international affair. The friends back home engage in familiar behavior: the postdivorce fling, the forbidden workplace romance, the comfortable but boring relationship and the quirky pet as substitute-boyfriend. The women's plucky points-of-view are nicely intermingled, with Julie as the woman who ties them all together in Carrie-like fashion. Occasional shifts to issues like poverty in India, however, work against the book's strengths. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Tuccillo, coauthor of the enormously popular He’s Just Not That into You (2004), ventures into fictional territory that distinctly echoes Sex and the City. Julie Jensen, 38, and her friends are singletons living it up in New York, but they would all much rather be in committed relationships. On a whim, Julie decides to write a book about the experiences of single women around the world. Taking a leave of absence from her job as a publicist, she jets off for parts unknown. Her first destination is France, where she encounters the enigmatic and charming Thomas, who is in an open marriage. Even as she visits other countries, Julie can’t help but long for Thomas, who meets up with her again in Bali, jump-starting a whirlwind affair. While Julie is off seeing the world, her friends are back in New York, growing closer to each other as their lives take some disastrous twists and turns. Both entertaining and thoughtful, Tuccillo’s debut is a must-read for women navigating the sometimes treacherous dating world. --Kristine Huntley

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Customer Reviews

A quick fun read.
abigail
I'm sure there are many others out there who, like me, thought that maybe this book would offer something different.
T.L. Walker
I just didn't think it was accurate to name this book How to Be Single.
Sarah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra on July 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Liz Tuccillo deftly captures real women's experiences, thoughts, fears, and feelings in her debut novel How to Be Single.

Women who are 25 and already married or who are 38 and single (like the characters in the novel) will both be able to relate to the women portrayed in this book because deep down all women seem to share the same fears whether due to their real current situations or fear of what the future might hold. Ms. Tuccillo truly has a gift when it comes to being able to tap into the fears and anxieties of today's modern women and convey the same in her writing.

The fact that Liz Tuccillo really did traverse the globe researching how single women live all over the world adds glitz and fun to the novel. We, the reader, are treated to glimpses of how women live in Reykjavik, Beijing, Sydney, Paris, Rome, Rio de Janiero, and New York. The locales are exotic and the tales heart-wrentching and uplifting.

Like Sex and the City (for which Liz Truccillo was Executive Story Editor), How to Be Single is sure to strike a chord with women everywhere.

After reading How to Be Single, you will feel like you know Liz and wish that you really did.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Russell Corey on August 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a guy, I read these types of books mostly to see what the other side is thinking.

Like the women in the book, I'm single and in my late thirties and even us guys hear a clock ticking if we want to marry someone our own age and start a family. So I could relate in a way to their search for love.

As for the book itself, hey, I read it, didn't I? If it wasn't any good I would have put it down a long time ago. Not the manliest book cover for a guy to be carrying around. But I gave the first few pages a chance and kept turning them.

A few points of view.

The main women in the novel bemoan their fate, but I think the fact that they are still single is a lot of times their own fault. Not to say guys are blameless, yeah, we're pretty bad.

Too much like Sex & The City. I wonder what single women in the Midwest or South go through? Or single women serving in the Armed Forces? I've seen this New York crowd so often in movies and TV, that it didn't break much ground for me. The International women were a little more interesting, but even then it was mostly city women going to bars and dancing - which is exactly where all the "great guys" are.

I didn't like that the main character slept with a married man. Guess what? You're the freaking bad guy when you do that. So I couldn't really care for her to do much of anything after that.

Do I recommend this book to single people in their 30s and 40s? Yes. Not that I agree with all the characters in the book and the decisions they make with their lives.

I also read He's Just Not That Into You, which Liz Tuccillo co-wrote. That was the main reason I picked up How To Be Single in the first place, because I enjoyed reading He's Just Not That Into You from the other side as well. What did I learn from that book? If you are into a girl...tell her!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Reader_SLC on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book only had a few marginal good spots (the intro about people asking "why are you single" is probably the highlight of the book...its downhill from there). It does do a good job of sharing insights that only a single woman over 35 would understand, but I kept thinking that this book was too similar to "Eat, Pray, Love" or "Chasing Harry Winston" both of which I didn't really care for. The characters seem to think that if they just take their lives on the road, things will be better--but if drinking in bars and hitting the club scene wasn't working for them in New York, then it isn't going to be any better in Italy, China, Bali, India or Australia. Really, sleeping with married men, one-night stands, hiring a prostitute, using narcotics w/o a prescription...what part of these women's lives is put together? It also seemed like there were a few too many women in the group...hard to keep track of who was who and which sad life belonged to whom. I generally read books for lighthearted entertainment and that leave me with a good sense that everything is going to be "happy ever after"--this book did not leave me with a sense of closure or that any of the characters were going to get what they wanted (seriously, after everything that they go through they end up right back in the club scene in New York...and this is somehow supposed to lead them somewhere different this time?) I certainly hope other single women don't think that this is way to be single. The author uses the f-word liberally and writes in a couple of sex scenes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jared Wood on June 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved Sex and the City, from it's high-gloss feel to it's rudimentary plotlines (he loves me, he loves me not). This book ain't Sex and the City; instead of 4 successful women who have their own lives seperate from men, the women in How to be Single have NO lives without men. It took a full 200 pages before one woman's children even entered the picture. I should have known from the opening pages, when our protaganist Julie is trying to balance Starbucks, her purse, a cell phone, and her dignity without losing any of it. My stomach began to churn when I realized this would be the perfect movie opening, and then I thought: Ms. Tuccillo is not writing a novel, she is writing a screenplay, and there are few things worse than when a writer writes solely so that their book can be optioned.

But I carried (get it?--Carrie Bradshaw--Sex and the...well, forget it)on, following Julie through her world tour, trying oh-so hard to find out how single women deal with being...well single (she is writing a travelogue for women who are--wait for it--SINGLE so they can find out how not to be single anymore). And by "trying oh-so hard", I mean she stays within 4 feet of her (usually) posh hotels and speak to about 4 women, who suspiciously are all "tall, goodlooking, and fashionable". And if riding along with Julia was not miserable enough, we get to accompany her four friends Georgia, Serena, Ruby, and Alice who are ALSO navigating the treacherous waters of <gasp> singledom. But these tales of the city are not what bother me. Sure, in more capable hands, this could have been a rip-roaring time, but Ms. Tuccillo can turn a phrase here and there. I was bothered by the fact that, for a LOT of people, being single is really not that tedious or permanent as Ms. Tuccillo paints it to be.
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