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How to be Single Paperback – 5 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (5 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416527567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416527565
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Liz Tuccillo's debut novel is part fascinating, hands-and-lips-on anthropological study and part whirlwind trip around the world. But most of all, How To Be Single is a tribute to female friendship with a double dose of hilarity and heart!"-- Claire Cook, author of "Summer Blowout" and "Must Love Dogs" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

A former story editor on SEX AND THE CITY and co-author (with Greg Behrendt) of the bestselling HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, Liz Tuccillo lives and dates in New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I came to this expecting frothy, light-hearted chicklit and that is basically what it delivers, along with a few more poignant moments on the way. The story follows a group of five 30-something female friends from New York, all of whom - for various reasons - find themselves single at the same time and all have their own very different ways of dealing with this, with sometimes tragic or hilarious results. (I won't go into further details or it'll spoil it ! ) The central character, Julie, decides to travel the world and interview women from different cultures to see who has found the "right" way of being single and happy so that she can write a book about it.

My one big criticism was that I thought the descriptions of the different cultures were way too superficial and totally based on stereotypes. As the blurb says, we have the "proud Parisians, the brazen Brazilians and the ice cool Icelanders". Some interesting and humorous points were raised but the different cultural viewpoints seemed too one-dimensional and "obvious" to me. I was actually very surprised to read at the end that the author did indeed, like Julie in the book, travel the world interviewing women from different countries as research. So maybe the stereotypes are just totally right after all !

To me, it was very reminiscent of Ally McBeal / Bridget Jones / Sex and the City and I was hardly surprised to see that the author, Liz Tuccillo, was in fact a former executive story editor for Sex and the City. If you like funny, romantic chicklit with a hefty dose of "girl power", you'll love it ! And despite my earlier criticism, I did really enjoy it and would recommend it to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Babycakes on 17 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved it. She's a fab writer, everything she says is relevant. I was hooked. It was so emotionally honest and I can't wait to read what ever she writes next.
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By Jennifer on 7 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny from star to finish couldn't put book down. Laughing out loud great choice
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DubaiReader VINE VOICE on 30 Dec. 2011
Format: Audio CD
The abreviated audio CD was read by Judy Greer in a rather twee voice that grated at times, but my expectation of chick-lit was somewhat tempered by the travel aspect.

Thirty-something Julie decides to travel around the world with a view to writing a book about how single women deal with their situation in various countries.
She leaves her four single friends, with all their various problems, and travels from Paris to Rome, India to China, Brazil to Iceland, interviewing single women (very small samples, it must be said!). She manages to fall in love with a married man, experience varied highs and lows during the journey, and returns to New York in a slightly better mental position than when she left.

The author did travel a fair bit before writing this novel so the travel aspect should be reasonably accurate, reflecting her own experiences. I fear that the main content that was abridged from my audiobook was possibly a fair chunk of the travel detail, which would have been a shame. However, although I enjoyed listening to this while driving, it's not a book that I shall be in a hurry to read in full.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 56 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This Book is NOT "Chick Lit"!! 7 July 2008
By Alexandra - Published on
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.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
From a guy's point of view 10 Aug. 2008
By Russell Corey - Published on
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!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Let down 11 July 2008
By Reader_SLC - Published on
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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Ehhhh... 1 July 2009
By Jared Wood - Published on
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. I mean, these women (all in their late 30's) are tragic, floating from man to man in hopes of---well, what exactly? Surely there are men out there who will love them and treat them with respect, but as I trudged to the last pages, I realized these women don't DESERVE to find love. They are annoying, self-absorbed, narcissistic, and sheltered--and they didn't even like themselves. And when they realize that they should, umm, get a life and start doing for themselves (at the end, natch), the reader can breath a sigh of relief. Sure it took over 350 pages to come to the point that once you love yourself and get a life, romance will come to you, but it sure does validate what any common-sense reader knew already and that's why I gave it three stars---I felt like a smarty. But, really, is dating in NYC THAT hard?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
From S. Krishna's Books 17 Nov. 2008
By skrishna - Published on
Format: Hardcover
How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo has a simple premise: how do women all over the world handle being single? Unfortunately for Julie, a publicist living in New York City, the answer is much more complicated than the question. After watching the unsuccessful love lives of her three closest friends, Julie decides that it is time that someone discerns the answer to this probing question. After pitching the idea of a book to her boss, Julie embarks on a quest around the world to discover how women cope with the gut-wrenching pain of being a single woman in today's society.

Back at home, Julie's three friends lead their own hectic lives. Georgia's husband, Dale, recently left her for a much younger woman, and Georgia is desperately trying to stay afloat while managing their two young children. Serena decides to join an ashram, taking a vow of celibacy, but that vow is much harder to keep than she realizes. And Ruby, poor, emotional Ruby, has decided that she can't keep investing so much in relationships that turn into nothing. As Julie's quest draws these three women closer, they, too, learn how to be single in the wide world of New York City.

Does this premise sound familiar? If it does, you aren't alone; How to Be Single is a healthy mix of Sex and the City and Eat, Pray, Love. Liz Tuccillo was the head writer and executive story editor on the HBO series Sex and the City, so it is understandable why the book resembles the show. Even the characters are reminiscent of the famous New York City women; to start with, there are four of them. Julie, like Carrie, is a writer (well, to be fair, Julie is a publicist at the beginning of the novel, then becomes a writer). Alice treats dating like Samantha treats her trysts with men; both are a full-time job. Ruby is reminiscent of over-emotional Charlotte. Serena, however, is not much like Miranda.

Julie visits France, Italy, Australia, Indonesia, India, and a few other destinations. In Liz Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, she makes trips to Italy, Indonesia, and India. Because of this, it is sometimes easy to forget that How to Be Single is actually fiction; Tuccillo's writing style makes it seem like a memoir.

Julie's travels are fun, her experiences memorable. Considering that Tuccillo traveled extensively to many of the destinations mentioned in this book, it is interesting to hear the perspective of other women around the world on the subject of being single. It is also heart-wrenching in some places; the fear of not finding a significant other is a real and potent source of despair for many women.

In the end, of course, it has an uplifting message that is a bit unexpected, considering Julie's views throughout the book. It is safe to say that any fan of either Eat, Pray, Love or Sex and the City will enjoy How to Be Single. Though I can't say that it is a unique book, Liz Tuccillo's novel is fun and enjoyable read that any fan of chick lit should be happy to pick up.

Originally published at Curled Up With a Good Book
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