Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Book Suggestions: Relationships

This week's book recommendations all deal with relationships-specifically marriage. I found them all to be thought-provoking and insightful, though it very different ways.


Now, of course, I could have picked any number of novels that deal with marriages and relationships, but I chose these because the relationships were complex, and at the center of the plot and characters. I wanted something more that just a good romance.

Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelly Rowley
The charming tale of Quinn, who must find out who she really is, and what she really wants after the dream proposal from the perfect guy.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield
Although purely fictional, this story may sound familiar if you are at all familiar with Bush family. A young woman falls in love with and marries a man who eventually becomes the President of the United States.

The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
A young couple move into a town-home adjacent to a retired Senator and his wife. But soon they discover that the older couple's relationship is quite unconventional. Very enthralling.


I steered clear of self-help and personal development books here, but rather looked at books that take a more exploratory and analytical approach to the subject.

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
After meeting her love at the end of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert is perfectly content committing to him forever without the formality of a wedding or marriage vows. In fact, they prefer it that way. But after an immigration incident, the marriage-wary couple is forced to marry or spend their lives apart. Gilbert works through her feelings about the institution by studying the history of marriage across cultures.

The Committment by Dan Savage
As his 10th anniversary with his boyfriend approaches, Savage must field questions advice from family, friends, and their young adopted son about their decision not to wed. Law and politics aside, Savage and his boyfriend examine their relationship, the roles they play in it and the purpose of marriage in the first place.

Okay, I have to admit that I haven't finished this one yet. It's a dense, but fascinating look at the history of marriage and how it has come to mean what it does today. Gilbert sites much of Coontz's research in her book, so if you read Committed, you'll get a taste of what Coontz has to offer. However, after reading the first half, I know that there is much more here for those who want to go deeper into the subject.

What marriage and relationship books do you recommend? Has anyone else read these? What do you think?


Katie Earley said...

I love American Wife and really want to read Committed since I loved Eat Pray Love.

As far as favorite relationship books, Lee and I really like For Men Only and For Women Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn. It's a bit self-help and Christian focused, but they make a lot of good points and keep it interesting.

Caitlin said...

I think you would like Committed! Yeah, I know there are a ton of other relationship books out there. Probably another post. I might need more experience to talk about those though :)

Cindy Brown said...

Sharon and I just finished reading "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Denver Moore and Ron Hall. It's not directly about relationships, but the relationship between Ron Hall and his wife Debbie is a foundation of the book. A wonderful, true story.

Caitlin said...

Thanks Cindy! I've known about the book for a while now, but haven't read it yet. I can see how it would have a lot to say about relationships. I'm glad to hear your liked it. I'll have to put it nearer to the top of my list!