How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t. Lane Moore. Atria Paperback, 2018. 215 pages.
Good books make you think or feel. Great books do both. How to Be Alone is a great book.
Moore has transcended an abysmal childhood marked by neglect and abuse. Nothing unique about that, but what makes Moore’s story so distinctive is that she has not only survived a youth devoid of any and all meaningful connections (familial and otherwise), she has done it with a scrappy grace accentuated by a dark, yet paradoxically light-hearted, sense of humor. One thinks of the old phrase “you have to laugh because if you don’t you’ll cry.”
And while this book is a deeply personal story, it is also a commentary on the need for real face to face connections in a social media world. We’re all connected on the internet, yet more people have never felt more isolated and alone.
How to Be Alone is both an inspiring story of resilience as well as a sobering social commentary.
Moore is a rare performer who is as impressive onstage—whether hosting her iconic show Tinder Live or being the enigmatic front woman of It Was Romance—as she is on the page, as both a former writer for The Onion and an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had.
From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift.
How to Be Alone is a must-read for anyone whose childhood still feels unresolved, who spends more time pretending to have friends online than feeling close to anyone in real life, who tries to have genuine, deep conversations in a roomful of people who would rather you not. Above all, it’s a book for anyone who desperately wants to feel less alone and a little more connected through reading her words.