Newlyweds and couples looking to jump-start a foundering relationship will find Piazza’s analysis of marriage useful,...

READ REVIEW

HOW TO BE MARRIED

WHAT I LEARNED FROM REAL WOMEN ON FIVE CONTINENTS ABOUT SURVIVING MY FIRST (REALLY HARD) YEAR OF MARRIAGE

How women from different cultures handle the complexities of marriage.

Before journalist Piazza (co-author: The Knockoff, 2015, etc.) met her future husband, she had a successful career and good friends, and she knew how to live happily by herself. After marriage, she had to adjust to having another person in her life on a continuous basis, and like many newlyweds, she wondered if she was doing it correctly. “Marriage experts,” she writes, “call the first year of marriage ‘the wet cement year,’ because it’s the time when both members of a couple are figuring out how to exist as partners without getting stuck in the murk. It’s a time to set and test boundaries and create habits that continue for the rest of your marriage.” This idea led the author to ponder how women in other countries adjusted to sharing space, money, time, and all the other minor and major aspects that affect the union of two people under one roof. To smooth their own “wet cement,” Piazza and her husband traveled around the globe for work and pleasure, and she interviewed women from all walks of life about their secrets to a successful marriage. The answers were useful, humorous, seductive, and often far more intricate than she imagined. Among dozens of other pieces of advice, her interview subjects suggested to create a comfortable home, wear sexy lingerie (paid for by the man) on a daily basis, take care of yourself first, discuss most subjects but keep some things hidden, and, contrary to conventional wisdom, allow yourself to go to bed angry. Piazza blends the life stories of these interviewees with her own struggles during those first 12 months of matrimony.

Newlyweds and couples looking to jump-start a foundering relationship will find Piazza’s analysis of marriage useful, amusing, and engaging.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0451495556

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

Did you like this book?

more