Harper: The Snakes by Sadie Jones

How to Date Men When You Hate Men

Dating in the 21st century is complicated. So is patriarchy. Humorist Blythe Roberson considers both in How to Date Men When You Hate Men--so titled because "it just didn't sound as catchy to name the book How to Date Men When They Are Born into and Brainwashed by an Evil System That Mightily Oppresses Women." Don't be fooled, though, Roberson likes men. A lot. And lots of them. As she puts it, "I have ended up with a number of crushes greater than the population of Iceland."

In this collection of musings, quips and reflections, Roberson invites readers into an inner monologue, much of which could pull double duty as a stand-up routine. The book is a primer on love and all of its trappings: infatuation, flirting, dating, psychic wounds and break-ups.

And it's hilarious.

A researcher at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Roberson has comedy bona fides that run deep. So it's not surprising that How to Date Men When You Hate Men is both funny and smart. Harvard educated, Roberson also makes delightful use of her English major, referencing Roland Barthes ("daddy") even more than she references her crush on actor Timothée Chalamet--which is often.

Really, this is more of a philosophy book than a dating book. It's about how crushes are fun, and how women's crushes get policed differently than men's (Roberson excoriates the common accusation that Taylor Swift is "boy crazy"). It's about considering how so many benchmarks in women's lives seem to be based on women's ability to attract, and keep, a man rather than succeed in their own endeavors. Roberson's answer to that? "Prose before bros." --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer