Single and Forced to Mingle: A Guide for (Nearly) Any Socially Awkward Situation

Melissa Croce. Atria, $16.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-982144-34-0

Croce debuts with a bright and witty guidebook for living the single life. After Croce grew tired of repeating herself to well-meaning family members at weddings who pried into her romantic life, she created a brochure that answered commonly posed to people who aren’t in a relationship. Croce’s tactics include fill-in-the-blank templates and ready-made excuses, such as ironically attributing one’s relationship status to one’s zodiac sign. (“Taurus: You’re a homebody who enjoys the simple pleasures in life.”) She tells readers what to do when they run into their ex, how to navigate high school reunions (play a drinking game), and suggests activities to enjoy solo such as ideas for picnics and beach days. Croce also includes mindfulness activities and ideas for “dissociative daydreams” (such as planning a dream date with a celebrity), a “single person tarot spread” meant for understanding stressful social situations, and cocktail recipes to help singles through specific situations (such as the Devil’s Handshake, for an awkward mixer, or the Witch Hunt, to accompany tarot readings). The smart and irreverent advice will be welcomed by readers who love living solo. (Jan.)