The best 34 Loneliness books

Loneliness is a universal human experience that can have a profound impact on our well-being. To help shed light on this complex emotion, we've curated a thoughtful collection of books that delve into the causes and effects of loneliness.
These titles offer personal stories, scientific insights, and practical strategies for overcoming loneliness and fostering deeper connections. Whether you're looking for solace or seeking to understand the loneliness of others, this book list is a valuable resource.

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Loneliness Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
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What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

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Loneliness Books: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

Haruki Murakami
4.3 (7 ratings)
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What's Norwegian Wood about?

Norwegian Wood (1987) transports you to late 1960s Tokyo, where Toru Watanabe's recollection of his student days unveils a haunting tale of love, loss, and the passage of time. As he navigates friendships, passionate encounters, and heart-wrenching choices, we witness his complex relationships with the troubled beauty, Naoko, and the brazen Midori. Set against a backdrop of societal upheaval, Murakami delves deep into the emotional turmoil of choosing between past and future, weaving a story that resonates with the nostalgia and unrest of youth.

Who should read Norwegian Wood?

  • Lovers of introspective, melancholic narratives
  • Fans of Japanese culture and literature
  • Anyone grappling with the complexities of love and loss

3
Loneliness Books: Heft by Liz Moore, , Liz Moore

Heft

Liz Moore, , Liz Moore

What's Heft about?

Heft by Liz Moore is a poignant novel that delves into the lives of two unlikely characters, Arthur and Kel, who are both struggling with their own personal challenges. As their stories intertwine, the book explores themes of loneliness, family, and the power of human connection. It is a beautifully written and thought-provoking tale that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

Who should read Heft?

  • Readers who enjoy character-driven stories and deep introspection
  • Those interested in exploring complex relationships and human connections
  • People who appreciate a compassionate and empathetic portrayal of individuals dealing with personal challenges

4
Loneliness Books: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Henning Koch

A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman, Henning Koch

What's A Man Called Ove about?

A Man Called Ove tells the story of a grumpy yet endearing widower who finds new purpose in life when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Fredrik Backman's heartwarming novel explores themes of friendship, love, and the impact one person can have on the lives of others.

Who should read A Man Called Ove?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming stories about unlikely friendships
  • People looking for a character-driven novel with a mix of humor and emotional depth
  • Those interested in exploring themes of loneliness, loss, and the power of human connection

What's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous about?

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a debut novel by Ocean Vuong. It is a letter from a son to his illiterate mother, exploring their family history and the struggles they face as immigrants in America. Through beautiful prose and poignant reflections, the book delves into the complexities of identity, love, and the desire for connection.

Who should read On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous?

  • Readers who enjoy literary fiction and poetic writing
  • Those interested in exploring themes of family, identity, and the immigrant experience
  • People who appreciate emotionally powerful and thought-provoking narratives

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Loneliness Books: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

The Lonely City

Olivia Laing

What's The Lonely City about?

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing is a captivating exploration of loneliness in the bustling metropolis of New York. Through the lens of art and the lives of famous artists, Laing delves into the profound and often overlooked experience of being alone in a crowded city. This thought-provoking book offers a unique perspective on human connection and the ways in which we navigate our inner worlds.

Who should read The Lonely City?

  • Art lovers who want to explore the intersection of art and loneliness
  • People who enjoy reading lyrical and introspective non-fiction
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of urban alienation and the human experience

What's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an iconic coming-of-age novel by Betty Smith. Set in early 20th century Brooklyn, it follows the life of young Francie Nolan as she navigates poverty, family dynamics, and her own dreams for the future. With beautifully crafted characters and a poignant storytelling style, the book explores themes of resilience, hope, and the power of education.

Who should read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

  • Anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories with strong female protagonists
  • Readers who are interested in exploring the challenges and triumphs of growing up in a working-class neighborhood
  • Individuals who appreciate rich, vivid descriptions of the human experience

What's The Perks of Being a Wallflower about?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a poignant coming-of-age story that follows Charlie, a shy and introspective teenager. Through a series of letters, Charlie shares his experiences as he navigates high school, friendship, love, and loss. The book delves into themes of mental health, identity, and the complexities of growing up.

Who should read The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

  • Teenagers and young adults navigating the ups and downs of adolescence
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and emotionally resonant storytelling
  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age narratives with complex and relatable characters

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Loneliness Books: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

The Blue Castle

L.M. Montgomery

What's The Blue Castle about?

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery tells the story of Valancy Stirling, a timid woman who discovers she has a terminal illness. Feeling liberated by her impending death, she decides to break free from her oppressive family and live life on her own terms. Set in the early 20th century, the novel explores themes of love, self-discovery, and the pursuit of happiness.

Who should read The Blue Castle?

  • Readers who enjoy classic literature and timeless storytelling
  • People who appreciate beautifully crafted characters and vivid descriptions
  • Those seeking a heartwarming and uplifting story about self-discovery and finding happiness

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Loneliness Books: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie

Kate DiCamillo

What's Because of Winn-Dixie about?

Because of Winn-Dixie is a heartwarming tale by Kate DiCamillo about a young girl named Opal who adopts a stray dog and names him Winn-Dixie. Through their adventures in a small town, they befriend an eclectic group of characters and uncover the truth about Opal's own family. It's a story about friendship, forgiveness, and the power of unconditional love.

Who should read Because of Winn-Dixie?

  • Readers who enjoy heartwarming and touching stories
  • Children and young adults looking for a relatable and memorable protagonist
  • Animal lovers who appreciate the bond between a person and their pet

11
Loneliness Books: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

Our Souls at Night

Kent Haruf

What's Our Souls at Night about?

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf is a poignant and tender novel that explores the unexpected friendship and companionship between two lonely widowers. Set in a small town in Colorado, the book delves into themes of love, loss, and the desire for human connection. It is a beautiful and heartwarming story that reminds us it's never too late to find happiness.

Who should read Our Souls at Night?

  • Readers who enjoy simple yet profound stories about human connection and relationships
  • Those who appreciate well-crafted and emotionally resonant character-driven narratives
  • People who are interested in exploring themes of loneliness, aging, and the pursuit of happiness

12
Loneliness Books: The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot

The Path of Loneliness

Elisabeth Elliot

What's The Path of Loneliness about?

The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot delves into the universal experience of loneliness and offers insights on how to navigate through it. Drawing from her own personal journey and faith, Elliot explores the different facets of loneliness and provides a perspective that brings comfort and hope to those who may be walking a similar path.

Who should read The Path of Loneliness?

  • Anyone who feels isolated or disconnected from others
  • People who have experienced loss or are going through a difficult life transition
  • Individuals seeking spiritual guidance and comfort in times of solitude

13
Loneliness Books: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Christian Frobenius

Thirteen Reasons Why

Jay Asher, Christian Frobenius

What's Thirteen Reasons Why about?

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a compelling novel that delves into the delicate issues of teenage suicide, bullying, and the ripple effects of our actions. Told through cassette tapes left by a girl named Hannah Baker, it follows the thirteen reasons why she decided to take her own life. This thought-provoking book challenges us to reconsider how we treat others and the impact it can have.

Who should read Thirteen Reasons Why?

  • Anyone interested in exploring the complexities of teenage mental health and bullying
  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking narratives and multiple perspectives
  • People who want to gain insight into the impact of small actions on others

14
Loneliness Books: El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo

Cece Bell

What's El Deafo about?

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a heartwarming graphic novel that tells the story of a young girl named Cece who loses her hearing due to illness. Through colorful illustrations and a touch of humor, the book explores Cece's journey as she navigates the challenges of fitting in at a new school and embracing her differences. It's a beautiful and inspiring tale of friendship, self-acceptance, and the power of communication.

Who should read El Deafo?

  • Children and young adults with hearing loss
  • Those who want to learn about the experiences of people with hearing impairments
  • Parents, educators, and caregivers looking to foster understanding and empathy towards individuals with disabilities

15
Loneliness Books: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

We Are Okay

Nina LaCour

What's We Are Okay about?

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour delves into the theme of grief and the complexity of human emotions. It follows Marin, a college student who has isolated herself from her past and her best friend, Mabel. The novel unwinds with vulnerability and raw honesty as Marin confronts her pain and allows herself to heal. It is a beautifully poignant tale of friendship, love, and self-discovery.

Who should read We Are Okay?

  • Anyone experiencing loneliness or grief
  • Young adults navigating through complex emotions
  • Readers who appreciate introspective and character-driven narratives

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Loneliness Books: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin

What's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle about?

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami is a mesmerizing blend of magical realism, mystery, and historical fiction. Set in Tokyo, the novel follows the protagonist, Toru Okada, as he embarks on a surreal journey to find his missing wife. Murakami weaves together multiple storylines and characters, delving into themes of war, trauma, and the search for identity. With its rich imagery and thought-provoking narrative, this book is a captivating exploration of the human psyche.

Who should read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle?

  • Readers who enjoy surreal and thought-provoking narratives
  • Those with an interest in Japanese culture and history
  • Individuals who appreciate complex and multifaceted characters

17

What's Eleven Kinds of Loneliness about?

Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is a collection of short stories by Richard Yates that delves into the emotional isolation and disconnection experienced by various characters. Through poignant and beautifully crafted narratives, Yates explores the complexities of human relationships and the universal longing for connection.

Who should read Eleven Kinds of Loneliness?

  • Readers who enjoy exploring the complexities of human emotions and relationships
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and character-driven storytelling
  • Those who are curious about the challenges and realities of urban life in mid-20th century America

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Loneliness Books: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child

Eowyn Ivey

What's The Snow Child about?

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is a captivating novel set in 1920s Alaska. Inspired by a Russian fairy tale, it tells the story of a childless couple who build a snow girl, only to have a real child appear in the wilderness. As they come to love the mysterious girl, they discover that she may be more connected to the harsh and enchanting land than they ever imagined.

Who should read The Snow Child?

  • Readers who enjoy magical realism and folklore elements
  • Those who appreciate a blend of historical fiction and captivating storytelling
  • People who are drawn to narratives about family, love, and the beauty of the natural world

What's Everything I Never Told You about?

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a gripping novel that unravels the mystery behind a young girl's death and delves deep into the complexities of family dynamics and the weight of unspoken truths. Set in the 1970s, it explores themes of identity, belonging, and the pressure to live up to expectations.

Who should read Everything I Never Told You?

  • Readers who enjoy family dramas and character-driven stories
  • People interested in exploring themes of identity, belonging, and cultural expectations
  • Those who appreciate nuanced and emotionally complex narratives

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Loneliness Books: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian

Andy Weir

What's The Martian about?

The Martian by Andy Weir follows astronaut Mark Watney, who is mistakenly left behind on Mars after a dust storm forces his crew to evacuate. With limited supplies and ingenuity, Watney must find a way to survive on the desolate planet while NASA works tirelessly to bring him home. A thrilling tale of resilience, problem-solving, and the power of the human spirit.

Who should read The Martian?

  • Science enthusiasts and those curious about space exploration
  • Readers who enjoy a mix of humor and gripping survival stories
  • Individuals who appreciate detailed and realistic scientific explanations

What's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian about?

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a captivating coming-of-age novel that follows a young Native American boy named Junior as he navigates life on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Filled with humor, honesty, and heartache, Junior's diary entries offer a unique perspective on identity, friendship, and the pursuit of a better future.

Who should read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

  • Tweens and teenagers dealing with identity and self-discovery
  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with humor and honesty
  • Those interested in exploring complex issues such as racism, poverty, and cultural identity

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Loneliness Books: Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Sputnik Sweetheart

Haruki Murakami

What's Sputnik Sweetheart about?

Sputnik Sweetheart is a novel by Haruki Murakami that delves into themes of unrequited love, longing, and the search for identity. The story follows a young teacher named Sumire who falls in love with an older woman named Miu. When Sumire mysteriously disappears on a Greek island, her friend K sets out to uncover the truth. Blending elements of mystery and magical realism, the book explores the complexities of human relationships and the enigmatic nature of existence.

Who should read Sputnik Sweetheart?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and surreal storytelling
  • Those who appreciate exploring themes of loneliness, love, and identity
  • People who are open to ambiguous and open-ended narratives

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Loneliness Books: The Arrival by Shaun Tan

The Arrival

Shaun Tan

What's The Arrival about?

The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel that tells the story of a man who leaves his family to seek a better life in a new country. Without using any words, Tan captures the immigrant experience, the challenges of adapting to a new culture, and the universal themes of hope and resilience. It is a poignant and thought-provoking book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

Who should read The Arrival?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and visually stunning stories
  • Those interested in exploring themes of immigration, identity, and belonging
  • People who appreciate unique and unconventional storytelling

What's The Anatomy of Loneliness about?

The Anatomy of Loneliness delves deep into the psychological and emotional factors that contribute to feelings of isolation and disconnection. Teal Swan offers profound insights and practical guidance for healing and transforming loneliness, bringing greater awareness and understanding to this universal human experience.

Who should read The Anatomy of Loneliness?

  • Individuals experiencing chronic loneliness or seeking to understand its root causes
  • People who want to develop a deeper connection with themselves and others
  • Those interested in psychological and spiritual perspectives on overcoming loneliness

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Loneliness Books: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Robert Ingpen

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens, Robert Ingpen

What's A Christmas Carol about?

A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic that tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Through these visits, Scrooge is forced to confront his own selfishness and lack of compassion, ultimately leading to his redemption. This heartwarming tale reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas and the power of kindness and generosity.

Who should read A Christmas Carol?

  • Readers who enjoy classic literature, particularly Victorian-era works
  • Those who appreciate stories with themes of redemption and generosity
  • People looking for a heartwarming holiday tale that still resonates today

26
Loneliness Books: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami

What's Kafka on the Shore about?

Kafka on the Shore is a thought-provoking novel by Haruki Murakami that delves into the intertwining stories of a teenage boy named Kafka and an elderly man named Nakata. Filled with magical realism and deep philosophical insights, this book explores themes of identity, destiny, and the blurred boundaries between reality and fantasy. It transports readers into a world that challenges their perceptions and leaves them pondering long after the final page.

Who should read Kafka on the Shore?

  • Readers who enjoy surreal and thought-provoking narratives
  • Those who appreciate blending of reality and fantasy in literature
  • People interested in exploring themes of identity, memory, and existentialism

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Loneliness Books: The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

The Storm Whale

Benji Davies

What's The Storm Whale about?

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies is a touching story about a young boy named Noi who discovers a beached whale during a storm. He takes the whale home and cares for it in secret, forming a special bond. As Noi's father learns about the whale, he helps Noi return it to the sea. The book beautifully portrays themes of friendship, compassion, and the importance of family.

Who should read The Storm Whale?

  • Parents looking for a heartwarming story to share with their children
  • Teachers wanting to discuss themes of empathy, friendship, and the environment with young students
  • Anyone who enjoys beautifully illustrated picture books

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Loneliness Books: The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, Richard Zenith

The Book of Disquiet

Fernando Pessoa, Richard Zenith

What's The Book of Disquiet about?

The Book of Disquiet (1982) by Fernando Pessoa, translated by Richard Zenith, is a thought-provoking collection of fragmentary writings that delves into the inner musings and reflections of a solitary bookkeeper named Bernardo Soares. Throughout the book, Soares grapples with themes of existentialism, identity, and the complexities of the human experience, offering profound insights and challenging the reader to contemplate the nature of life itself.

Who should read The Book of Disquiet?

  • Readers who enjoy reflective and introspective literature
  • Those curious about the inner thoughts and musings of a sensitive and observant individual
  • People who appreciate philosophical insights and existential ponderings

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Loneliness Books: The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich…

The Death of Ivan Ilych

Leo Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich…

What's The Death of Ivan Ilych about?

The Death of Ivan Ilych is a powerful novella by Leo Tolstoy that delves into the themes of mortality and the meaning of life. It tells the story of a high-ranking judge who is forced to confront his own impending death and reflects on the emptiness of his life. Through Ivan Ilych's journey, Tolstoy prompts readers to contemplate the choices they make and the way they live their lives.

Who should read The Death of Ivan Ilych?

  • Readers who are curious about exploring the meaning of life and death
  • Individuals interested in philosophical and existential literature
  • Those who enjoy thought-provoking narratives that challenge conventional beliefs

30
Loneliness Books: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Carol Rifka Brunt

What's Tell the Wolves I'm Home about?

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt is a poignant novel that delves into themes of love, loss, and family. Set in the 1980s, it tells the story of fourteen-year-old June Elbus who forms an unlikely bond with her late uncle's partner, Toby. As their friendship blossoms, they navigate through their grief and secrets, ultimately learning the true meaning of acceptance and forgiveness.

Who should read Tell the Wolves I'm Home?

  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with complex characters and emotional depth
  • Those interested in exploring themes of love, loss, and family dynamics
  • People who appreciate evocative and lyrical writing that captures the nuances of human relationships

What's Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine about?

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is a compelling novel that delves into the life of the quirky and solitary Eleanor Oliphant. As Eleanor navigates through everyday life with her unique perspective, her carefully constructed world begins to unravel. This heartwarming and thought-provoking story explores themes of loneliness, the power of human connection, and the possibility of healing.

Who should read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine?

  • Readers looking for a compelling and heartwarming story with well-developed characters
  • People who are interested in exploring themes of overcoming loneliness and trauma
  • Those who appreciate a mix of humor and poignant moments in a novel

32

What's Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock about?

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the mind of a troubled teenager named Leonard Peacock. On his 18th birthday, Leonard plans to shoot his former best friend and then himself. The book takes us through Leonard's day as he says his goodbyes and reflects on the events that led him to this decision. It explores themes of friendship, mental illness, and the impact of our actions on others.

Who should read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally charged stories
  • Those interested in exploring topics such as mental health, friendship, and forgiveness
  • Individuals who appreciate well-developed and complex characters

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Loneliness Books: Uninvited Study Guide by Lysa TerKeurst

Uninvited Study Guide

Lysa TerKeurst

What's Uninvited Study Guide about?

Uninvited Study Guide by Lysa TerKeurst is a companion to the bestselling book Uninvited. It provides thought-provoking discussion questions, insightful reflections, and practical exercises to help readers explore the themes of rejection, loneliness, and finding their true identity in God. This study guide is perfect for individuals or groups looking to delve deeper into the book's powerful message.

Who should read Uninvited Study Guide?

  • Individuals who struggle with feelings of rejection or loneliness
  • People seeking to find their worth and identity in God
  • Those who want to deepen their understanding of God's love and acceptance

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Loneliness Books: Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Uninvited

Lysa TerKeurst

What's Uninvited about?

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst explores the universal experience of feeling rejected and shows readers how to overcome the pain and power of rejection. Drawing from her own personal struggles and biblical wisdom, TerKeurst offers a message of hope and acceptance, reminding us that we are loved and valued by a God who invites us to live a life of freedom and purpose.

Who should read Uninvited?

  • Individuals who struggle with feelings of rejection and loneliness
  • People who want to develop a greater sense of belonging and self-worth
  • Readers interested in personal growth and overcoming negative thought patterns

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