Dear Dorky is my Dear Abby-inspired column with a twist; instead of offering advice, I’ll recommend a book. I’m a firm believer that there’s a book for every occasion and I intend to prove it with this column!
If you’re interested in receiving a Dear Dorky recommendation, please send a letter request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a 29-year-old woman with a pretty good life. I have a good job, I’m close with my family, and I have a great circle of friends. The one area of my life that needs some improvement is my dating life. I’m an introvert by nature and I’m very shy, especially around the opposite sex. Also, I’m a terrible flirt. None of these things work in my favor when it comes to dating and relationships.
I’ll be 30 soon, and while my biological clock isn’t really ticking, I’d at least like to get things poppin’ in the romance department. Do you know of any books that could help with this? It can be fiction or nonfiction—I’m not picky. I just ask that it not be written by Steve Harvey, Tyrese, or any other misogynistic, self-proclaimed “relationship expert.”
Bashful in Baltimore
Dear Bashful in Baltimore,
As a life-long dork, I can definitely relate to your gawkiness around the opposite sex. You may have read about the dramatic, quarter life crisis that inspired my decision to adopt systems instead of New Year resolutions this year. For some reason, age 30 has grown to symbolize some vague yet looming deadline to a lot of us. It definitely adds even more pressure to a ritual that is already clumsy and intimidating on its own.
Though I have nothing against self-help books, from reading your letter, it doesn’t seem like you’re too far off from getting what you want. You certainly don’t need any relationship direction from a thrice-married, flamboyant suit-wearing host of an obnoxious family game show. You sound like a great catch, and I’m betting that it’s simply a matter of stumbling into the right guy who understands that every girl isn’t the hair-twirling, lash-fluttering type and is drawn to your unique quirkiness. What I think you need is a book that reminds you of how awkward (and let’s face it, kind of terrible) dating is, but also reveals how our own insecurities and hang-ups can make the ordeal even more tiresome.
The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men is the sort of companion novel to Ernessa T. Carter’s best-selling debut 32 Candles. If you’ve read 32 Candles you might recognize some of the characters mentioned peripherally in The Awesome Girl’s Guide, but you’ll have no problem following the story even if you aren’t familiar with Carter’s previous novel.
The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men chronicles the dating endeavors of four best friends in the two years leading up to their 30th birthdays.
Sharita is a successful accountant gunning for partner at her firm, but can’t seem to get out of her comfort zone when it comes to men. Thursday is a serial dater who wants to reform her ways and settle down. Risa is a has-been musician who plans to (re)climb the charts and win back the favor of a lost love. After receiving a major career setback, naive Tammy is determined to achieve success all on her own.
The friendships and relationships that unfold will definitely ring familiar, and come prepared to highlight Carter’s strategically placed dating (and general life) advice.
At over 400 pages long, The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men is a bit of a doozy, but the craftily woven story lines and expertly placed plot twists are guaranteed to keep your attention.
In closing Bashful, I have a feeling your pretty good life is about to get even better, and I’m hopeful that The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men will assist in your quest to get things poppin.’