Navigating the Emptiness: 5 Best Books About Loneliness

According to research by the Cigna Group, an overwhelming 58% of Americans reported feeling lonely. This means if you are someone who is terrified of being alone and left with your thoughts, you have a large company. 

And why wouldn’t you?

We live in a culture that continuously despises being alone. There is this mainstream idea that no one wants to be alone and that solitude must be feared. If you are lonely, you are supposed to be obsessively trying to find someone or something to be around.

But part of growing up or growing out of this thinking is all about learning to love being in solitude. 

Now, loneliness is not all that bad. But how do you understand it?

Well, we have the perfect solution – books about loneliness and learning to love it. In this post, we will dive deeper into some of the finest books about loneliness and help you understand what accepting and enjoying your own company actually means. 

So whether you are looking to gain a better understanding of solitude or just looking to have some good companions for your time alone – these books are perfect for you. Let’s get started.

Books About Loneliness

5 Books About Loneliness To Make You Fall In Love With Them

1. Normal People By Salley Rooney

Released during the pandemic when loneliness was thrust upon society, Normal People is one of the best books about loneliness. While encompassing and describing this constant loneliness, the book creates an entirely different world. 

The story follows the primary characters, Connell and Marianne, two people who are thrown into the whirlwind of modern-day relationships and adulthood. Despite belonging to different social factions, both characters seem to transcend these barriers and understand each other’s loneliness. 

Set in the social media age, Normal People explains how people can still feel despite being surrounded by other people all the time. It also explores how emotional turmoil and instability can worsen loneliness and make it difficult to manage relationships. Alongside all this, the best part about Normal People is the glimmer of hope that it provides in its acceptance of human emotions, including loneliness.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

While reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, you will understand why Janie Crawford is the kind of character you will never come across ever again. A fiercely independent woman, Crawford fights for her rights tirelessly without giving up. She ventures out to create a space for herself in a world dominated by men. 

Now, while this is written by a black woman for a black woman, and if you don’t belong to the community, you might not understand all struggles that Janie goes through. But we all understand what loneliness is and how living in a world that continuously questions your steps feels like – and that’s why this is one of the best books about loneliness and solitude.

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3. The Lonely City By Olivia Laing

Have you ever shifted schools, homes, or cities and felt lonely in new situations? If yes, well, Laing’s The Lonely City is one of the most perfect books about loneliness for you. 

Through the lens of artists who have combated and lived through loneliness in their life, Laing walks us down a path of reflection with us on why we fear solitude and how we can reclaim these feelings. 

4. Real Life By Brandon Taylor

Set in the life of a Black Queer man, Wallace, from Alabama, Real Life navigates through the challenges of being a minority in a predominately White degree program. It is one of the best books about loneliness that explain the protagonist’s feelings of isolation even while surrounded by people who genuinely care about it. 

One of the most emotionally challenging chapters from the book explores Wallace’s past, where he describes violence and adverse childhood experiences from his life. Brandon Taylor’s ideas help us understand how difficult it is to be truly seen and understood by other people.

5. Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng

Though not the protagonist arc, the story of Mia Warren from Little Fires is one of the most stunningly apt portrayals of loneliness in books. Mia, who lives alone with her daughter Pearl is a story that helps you understand and comprehend the strength it takes to survive alone. 

She uses her loneliness as her strength and her defense mechanism. Without giving many spoilers, Celeste’s handling of Warren’s life story will reframe what being alone means to you.

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Loneliness is one of the most difficult and despised feelings in our world. Learning to be confident and content in loneliness and accepting solitude is one of the most important parts of self-growth and improvement. We hope these five books about loneliness will help you get started on the journey of understanding loneliness right away.

Not that big of a book lover? We have got you covered. Here are the top five most inspiring shows on Netflix

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