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Party of one: The Loner’s Manifesto by Anneli Rufus


A very interesting book about people who tend to prefer their own company over others. When I first saw this book, I was surprised to see the subtitle – why do loners need a manifesto anyway? – but my doubts were answered soon after. Even before I’d read the first page. The first three people I knew who saw me carrying the book had roughly the same reaction – “Don’t worry! You’re not a loner!“.

So, it turns out that loners (distinct from lonely people) do have a negative reputation and some bad press. Somewhere in the middle of the book, the author describes how serial killers and the like are often labeled as “loner types”.

Most of the book though, is about a loner’s perspective (the author states that she is one), how they tend to be different from people around them. Also discussed are the lives and traits of many loners who were very well known – from Einstein to Emily Dickinson.

As someone who definitely needs some alone time and private space, I appreciated most of the book very much. The issues discussed are wide-ranging and the writing is wonderfully light and personal. This, however, is not a book for people who’re extremely social and unconditionally love human company – I’ve had many discussions with such people and they probably won’t be able to appreciate the thoughts very much. It is, after all, a loner’s manifesto.

Rating: 4 / 5