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5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

HBL Note: My husband and I are leaving next week for Kauai, Hawaii in celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary! Also, summer is wedding season! So I'm using this as an excuse to share all of the great books about weddings and marriage I've seen popping up recently. These aren't necessarily descriptive of the ideal marriage, my marriage, or even good marriages but they are, nonetheless, great books. Some are funny, some are heartbreaking, some are personal stories, some are fiction. 

PS - that cover photo is of my husband and me at the Art Institute of Chicago on our actual 10th anniversary. That great picture was captured by my favorite Chicago photographer, Kathleen Virginia Page.

1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

From the publisher:

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
 
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward--with hope and pain--into the future.

2. How to be Married by Jo Piazza

From the publisher:

Everyone tells you marriage is hard, but no one tells you what to do about it.

At age thirty-four, Jo Piazza got her romantic-comedy ending when she met the man of her dreams on a boat in the Galápagos Islands and was engaged three months later. But before long, Jo found herself riddled with questions. How do you make a marriage work in a world where you no longer need to be married? How does an independent, strong-willed feminist become someone’s partner—all the time?

In the tradition of writers such as Nora Ephron and Elizabeth Gilbert, award-winning journalist and nationally bestselling author Jo Piazza writes a provocative memoir of a real first year of marriage that will forever change the way we look at matrimony. 

A travel editor constantly on the move, Jo journeys to twenty countries on five continents to figure out what modern marriage means. Throughout this stunning, funny, warm, and wise personal narrative, she gleans wisdom from matrilineal tribeswomen, French ladies who lunch, Orthodox Jewish moms, Swedish stay-at-home dads, polygamous warriors, and Dutch prostitutes.

Written with refreshing candor, elegant prose, astute reporting, and hilarious insight into the human psyche, How to Be Married offers an honest portrait of an utterly charming couple. When life throws more at them than they ever expected—a terrifying health diagnosis, sick parents to care for, unemployment—they ultimately create a fresh understanding of what it means to be equal partners during the good and bad times. 

Through their journey, they reveal a framework that will help the rest of us keep our marriages strong, from engagement into the newlywed years and beyond.

3. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

 5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

From the publisher: A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in this fun and flirty multicultural romance debut.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other... 

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...

4. Marriage Vacation by Pauline Brooks

 5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

From the publisher:

Marriage Vacation is for anyone who has ever fantasized about what it would be like to run away from it all.

By all appearances, Kate Carmichael has the perfect life: two adorable daughters, a prewar townhouse on the Upper East Side, and a husband who runs one of the most successful publishing companies in New York.

But when Kate attends a wedding and reconnects with successful friends from graduate school, she suddenly sees her life in a different light: the career she didn’t pursue, the dreams she’s locked away, the empty veneer of her privilege.

When the wedding weekend ends, instead of heading home to her husband and family, Kate gets on a plane and flies halfway around the world. She claims it’s just going to be for a week—two max—just so she can clear her head and reconnect with her lost dreams. But the adventure doesn't go quite as planned.

5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

(See my book review here.)

 5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

5 Books to Read About Weddings and Marriage

From the publisher:

In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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