Yes, it’s that time of year again. The pink and red candy boxes have started to pile up on the shelves of local grocery stores and the greeting card section suddenly has one whole side dedicated to cards that poetically talk about love and commitment. It’s Valentine’s Day season. Granted, I think there’s much more build-up for this holiday than I truly think is necessary, even I, as a girl, can appreciate it just a little bit. I mean, what girl doesn’t like to get flowers, chocolates, and a little card? However, considering that me (along with several other women around here in the world) don’t have a special someone to provide these little presents for them, I have begun a tradition of my own – saddling up with a great book or movie, make some dinner, and having a little date with myself. I know that may sound like loser-status, however, it’s actually quite refreshing to have some “me” time on this kind of holiday because, let’s be real, no one is going to treat you better than you can treat yourself.
So, if you’re like me, and even if you’re not, I thought I’d share a list of my favorite albeit unconventional love stories.
1. I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner
I was recommended this book by a friend after a break-up and it has been one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever read. Julie Klausner, a New York-based writer and comedienne, uses her quick wit and clever humor to write about her own personal (sometimes cringe-worthy) romantic encounters that she has learned from in her very eventful life. Through each trial and tribulation of love, Klausner discovers the importance of self-love, self-respect, and a gay friend when venturing into the world of romance in a very real and non-negative way. This book, despite its non-traditional format, will leave you both smiling and somehow ready to battle the unruly world of romance one laugh at a time.
2. My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler, writer and comedienne (I see a pattern here) with her own late-night talk-show, Chelsea Lately, let’s it all hang out with this hilarious book where each chapter is an account of one of her one-night-stands. True, it’s not the most romantic content to read on Valentine’s Day, however, her wittily written encounters (one of which involves a midget in a sombrero) are so deliciously funny that’s it hard to put the little book down. So, if you enjoyed the first book, or enjoy a little raunchy humor at all, I highly recommend picking up this little gem (I got the small version to carry in my purse) and prepare yourself for the whirlwind that is Chelsea’s horizontal life.
3. Whose panties are these? edited by Jennifer L. Leo
My dearest uncle gave me this book when I was about to travel home for the holidays saying that since I was traveling, it might be a fun read (he’s kind of a smart-ass). Anyway, after the first chapter, I was hooked. The entire book, as described in the tagline, is “misadventures from funny women on the road” and boy is it. Each story is just as funny, if not funnier, than the last and it certainly kept me entertained during an eight-hour drive. If you plan on doing any traveling in the future, I highly recommend bringing this book along with you for both laughs and…educational value.
4. My Heart Is An Idiot by Davy Rothbart
You may or may not have read my review on this particular book, so I’m going to act like you didn’t (because you probably didn’t). Davy Rothbart’s book about his insane traveling tales in search for love in all of the weirdest places (including a bar in the middle of nowhere in the dead of a Michigan winter) will have you laughing and smacking your head at the poor guy’s cluelessness. However, despite the self-inflicted pains of his fruitless chase for love, you can’t help but root for the unconventional hero, even though you know he’s running right towards a cliff. Rothbart’s sincere and almost innocent sense of love is heart-warming and is a great read for any and all of us that have had our hearts kicked.
5. Pack Up the Moon by Anna McPartlin
OK, OK, because my list primarily contains novels that gear toward a sort-of comedic romance (as is my preference) I thought I would throw in something a little more serious. Anna McPartlin’s book, Pack Up the Moon, is one of my all-time favorite books because of its heart-wrenching, real-life situations and the human strength portrayed in the characters to overcome their tragedies. After the death of her fiance, Emma is devastated and is not really sure what to do with her life, particularly since each of her friends and her own brother seem to be struggling with their own demons. However, through determination and a slight kick-in-the-ass from those that love her, Emma slowly starts to heal and learn to love again. McPartlin’s story, though unconventional, describes love and loss in a way that is accessible and will leave you both terrified and excited for the kind of great love she creates on the pages.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite unconventional love stories that will, surely, get you through Valentine’s Day (and life) whether you love it or hate it. If you have any great love stories (funny or not) go ahead and share them with your fellow ladies below.