15 Books to Help Get You Through a Breakup

by Tori Telfer

Ways to get over a breakup: 1) Let the agonizingly slow march of time pass you by 2) Find someone new to love and/or flaunt in his face 3) Key his car — with a baseball bat 4) Find a new hobby, like gardening or poetry or black and white photographs of his new lover taken with a hidden camera 5) Read.

If you've just stumbled through a breakup and are feeling a bit jagged around the edges, reach for No. 5. It's a great way to distract yourself from whatever's going on in your love life, and it'll also keep your hands busy so that you can't write any more red wine-fueled Facebook status (“AMAZING DAY FEELING SO FREE I got NO REGRETS in this life URGGGHHHHH”).

Sure, reading a novel may not seem as immediately cathartic as, say, setting fire to all of his earthly possessions before writing a song that he'll hear every time he turns on the radio. But it'll get you out of your own head for a while and, most importantly, make you realize that you're not alone. Plenty of other characters, both fictional and non-, have felt battered, broken-hearted, lonely, and furious, just the way you do now.

1. For The Breakup Where You're Crying So Hard You Can Barely Make It Through A Paragraph:

Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak by Writers Famous and Obscure edited by Smith Magazine

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2. When You Just Want To Feel Like Someone Else In The World Has Been As Sad As You:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

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3. To Mourn The Relationship Where You Never Quite Got It Right:

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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4. If You Felt Totally Taken Advantage Of By Your Ex:

Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

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5. If You Want To Be Reassured That You Made The Right Choice In Not Staying With Your Love Forever And Ever And Ever:

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

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6. If You Need To Be Reminded That Getting Married To That Person Would Have Been A Huge Mistake:

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

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7. For The Times When You Just Want To Feel Like Men Are Scum:

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Dîaz

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8. Because You're A Masochist:

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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9. To Remind You Of How Awful It Can Get When A man And A Woman Love Each Other Very Much:

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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10. To Remind You That Other Women Are Suffering Much More Than You Are:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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11. To Remind You That Women Endure:

Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout

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12. Because You Just Want To Read Sad Poetry In A White Dress Curled Up On A Window Seat And Mourning Your Lost Love:

Glass, Irony, and God by Anne Carson

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13. Because Sometimes Not Even Soulmates Get It Right In The End:

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

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14. To Remind You That Not Every Dysfunctional Relationship Is With A Lover:

The End of Eve by Ariel Gore

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15. Because You Really Need A Different Reason To Cry:

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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Image: Universal Pictures