Book Club

What I’ve been reading:

9/2014: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Read my thoughts, here!

7/2014: Dark Places, by Jillian Flynn

This book is a page tuner, just like “Gone Girl.” However, if I had to guess, Jillian had a complicated relationship with her mother, or women in general… I just love her books. She develops the characters very well, but still leaves a lot of room for mystery. My favorite thing about this book is that I didn’t know who the killer was until the very end of the book, and in each chapter I thought it was someone else.

Also, she is from Chicago. Winning. Read this book, it is a great story.

5/2014: Actually, I’m Gay, by: Roxy Harte

Okay, self disclosure alert: I read my first gay romance novel and I loved it. Clearly, Roxy Harte is a fake name (Chicago, anyone?). She is actually a multi-published author who enjoys writing romance novels and is happily married to her husband and has a teenaged daughter.

I read this book while traveling through Italy last month. I was with one of my dearest friends, Erin. As a result of it being just us two, we shared everything.. including a bed. Thus, for twelve days we were always within ten feet of each other. Was it a problem? Not really. Was I able to masturbate? Nope. Sooooo, I found other, more appropriate ways, to feed that part of myself.

I purchased this e-book because of the plot: A married man comes out to his wife and as a result, she abandons him and his 6 year-old child with autism. Lost and absolutely confused on how to handle his newly acquired duties of fatherhood, the main character juggles to maintain his hectic work schedule as a very successful attorney, and to adequately care for his son. Thus, the father decided to enroll his son into an intensive summer camp that accommodates his needs.

What I learned:
1. A lot about working with children that have autism.
2. You can find true love at summer camps.
3. Fisting is stupid and is something that you would, absolutely, have to prepare for. My advice is never to try it, but if you do, don’t believe the novels.
3. Romance novels may have good plots.
4. Reading porn is somethings better than watching it.

Happy readings.

5/2014: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by: John M. Gottman, PH.D.

If you haven’t noticed, there is a bit of a theme going on for me. After my last breakup, I began to reflect a lot about, what is marriage for me, exactly? So, of course like Elizabeth Gilbert, I did research.

Dr. Gottman, and his wife have been conducting marriage research and predicting marriage outcomes since the 1970’s. Their quantitative data has allowed them to predict if a marriage will last with a 90% accuracy, within approximately 10 minutes of observing a couple. This is equally very neat and terrifying… Think about being invited over for dinner, what a nightmare. Thankfully, I haven’t gotten any invitations for a BBQ from the Gottman’s, but what I have received from them was wells of simply written data in both qualitative and quantitative forms.

Obviously, as one may deduce from the title, there are 7 principles that are outlined that help create a happy, long-term, marriage. Without giving away all the details from this good, informative, read, I learned a few things:

1. Be friends. This seems simple, but you are entering into a lifetime contract, it is amazing to me how often people do this without thought or insight, myself included.
2. Be emotionally intelligent. Granted, I’m a therapist, but know your partner– set the frame early.
3. Spend time working on your partnership/marriage. People send time at the gym, why not your marriage. In the book, it discusses how if “fitness buffs” spent a portion of that time on their marriage, it would be more successful.
4. And finally, stay positive. Couples that have positive outlooks, have positive outcomes.

I loved this book, and I will continually reference it, and probably make my future partner read it… And yes, I know there is information in that!

Happy readings!


5/2014: Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert
If you have ever sought advice from me it is likely that I have recited a beautiful quote from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. Her most recent book is about the history of marriage, personal accounts of marriage, and her journey to marriage. And much like her first best seller, this book is amazing. She has quickly become one of my literary idols and I hope to aspire to her level of writing.

I would suggest this book to anyone who is currently married or has hopes of matrimony. Not only does she recount a historical evolution of marriage, from many cultural perspectives, she very delicately inserts her own opinions of marriage- both positive and negative. For instance, when discussing a conversation about her mother’s sacrifices, made at the hands of marriage, Elizabeth refers to it as “velvety oppression.” Punctuating the willing sacrifice and the internal strife that results from joining lives.

By no means is the book “bashing” marriage. In fact, it is thought provoking and incredibly insightful. And yes, I’ll say it: encourages it? Of course this is coming from a divorced man.

Personally, I have been very interested in books that focus on marriage. Also, I should mention that I hope to be married in the future, which adds to my continued interest in the topic. Lately, I have been pondering on what it is like to “give your life to someone.” What does that look like? How to sustain that? Elizabeth Gilbert, gives me many things to reflect on– Thus, I would suggest reading this book!

2/2014: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
This book is crazy good. It is a thick book, but a quick read. A couple of friends just started an actual book club, and this was our first selection. I am interested to hear what everyone has to say about it once they’re done!

7/16/2012: Bird by bird, by: Anne Lamott.  It is a book about writing at book. 🙂  She is witty, well written and most importantly, full of helpful instructions. I look forward to completing this read!

7/15/2012: I just finished Stephen King’s latest novel, 11/22/63, and it was wonderful!  I’ve recently been on a history kick, and this book was the perfect read to take me back in time.  Not only did I learn accurate facts regarding the Kennedy assassination, I was able to be swept away by the mysteries of time travel and romance.  Any book that inspires me to do additional research is something I enjoy!  Definitely, a must read.


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