With all the rogue sites popping up – AltUSForestService, AltBadlandsNatPark, Resistance_NASA, Rogue NOAA, etc – It got me thinking. I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s a Hallmark-created corporatized holiday that makes people who don’t have a Valentine feel bad and people who do feel pressure to be romantic just because it’s February 14.


How to Go Rogue

My husband is well aware of my disdain for Val-Day so we we created “Love Day,” which takes place after Valentine’s Day. (More on that tomorrow on actual Love Day. I am also a big fan of Galentine’s Day, which was yesterday. Leslie Knope for President!) Therefore, I’m all about embracing this sea-change of rebellion against a corporate, money-driven society and going rogue on Valentine’s Day!

Here’s how I’m going to do it.

  1. I’m going to wear black.
  2. I’m not going to eat any chocolate hearts. I will eat chocolate (because I won’t let Valentine’s Day ruin chocolate). But, my chocolate will only be consumed in square or rectangle form.
  3. There will be no flowers or balloons or stuffed bears.
  4. There will be no candy hearts with little cutesy slogans on them.
  5. There will be no Valentine’s cards.
  6. There will be no fancy dinners. My dinner will come in a carton or Tupperware form.
  7. There will be no candles, unless they are for the express purpose of hiding a smell coming from the garbage, which could use a good disinfecting.
  8. Instead of romantic music I’m going to turn on Megadeath. (Side note: I have never actually listened to Megadeath so I’m really not sure what I’m committing to here.)
  9. Instead of watching a rom-com, I’m going to go to watch a horror movie, or just read the news because that’s plenty horrifying these days and can kill a romantic mood in seconds.
  10. Instead of reading a romantic book, I’m going to read an anti-romance book, something weird and creepy. Good thing Dante’s Inferno is on my current reading list. Archaic writing and a story about following a guy to hell is the perfect romance buzz kill.

And speaking of books…

If you’re with me on this…

Or even if you’re not and just want to see how one might go rogue if you’d like to in the future, in honor of  Anti-Valentine’s Day or Alt-Val-Day (I’m still working on a name here) and the fact that it’s also International Give a Book Day (a far better “day” as far as I’m concerned), here are a few of my favorite anti-romance books. (Side note: Did you know there is actually a genre of literature called anti-romance. Go figure.)

These books will not make you long for a loved one or swoon. And even if they do have some kissing or things of that nature, it is the very un-romantic kind. But, I would recommend these books as gifts! In fact I’ve given some of these to people myself!

The Professor and the Madman

prof and madman.jpgThe Professor and the Madman, masterfully researched and eloquently written, is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary — and literary history. The compilation of the OED began in 1857, it was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. When the committee insisted on honoring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

devil-in-the-white-cityDevil in the White City

Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World’s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.



gone-girlGone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

girl-on-the-trainGirl on the Train

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.



am-psychAmerican Psycho

In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.



true grit.jpgTrue Grit

True Grit is his most famous novel–first published in 1968, and the basis for the movie of the same name starring John Wayne. It tells the story of Mattie Ross, who is just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shoots her father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robs him of his life, his horse, and $150 in cash money. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father’s blood. With the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, the meanest available U.S. Marshal, by her side, Mattie pursues the homicide into Indian Territory.


There definitely is a theme of unhinged people in this list…very anti-Valentine’s day topic.

Want More Rogue Valentine’s Day Book Recommendations?

And if you’re interested in some YA books without romance, here is a great list I found on the blog Paper Fury: http://paperfury.com/ya-books-without-romance/

Happy Anti-Valentine’s Day!