I’m not saying you were looking for a beach read, or that you even want to bring a set of books to your honeymoon (after all, it’s not as if you’ll be doing a lot of reading, will you?!?), but if you are a reader, here are some books that come highly recommended – if you’ve read them (or you want to recommend some books of your own!), leave a comment and share your thoughts!
To start your marriage off strong: The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. Do you know what your love language is? Cam’s are Acts of Service and Physical Touch, but mine are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. This is one of those books where you’ll refer to it over and over again, and each time you do, you’ll find yourself working to be a better spouse. And per the recommendation of one of my very good friends (who has been in a loving and healthy marriage for almost 10 years now!), also check out Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, a book that explains how emotional needs differ for men and women while giving you the skills to act and react in a way that supports and strengthens your marriage.
To share with your new husband: What I Love About You by Kate and David Marshall. This is a mutual “fill in the blank” book – where you each actually have to think about and write down the things you love about each other. It’s like romantic Mad Libs!
To share with the girls (when you get back home, that is!): Bicoastal Babe by Cynthia Langston. I love Cynthia’s writing style, and this is one of those books where you can look like you’re ahead of the curve: Katherine Heigl is turning it into a series for The CW. Lindsey Miller has the coolest job: jetsetting between New York and Los Angeles to report on the hottest trends. It’s a perfect book club read: a love triangle, a bitchy work partner and a dramatic ending means you’ll be handing this over to your girlfriends the moment you return home.
To increase your financial intelligence: It’s a tie between The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley (a classic, this was a book that my father gave Cameron when we were about four years into our relationship) and The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (a book for those who are committed to getting out of debt and needing a guide to do it right).
To laugh so hard you might just snort: Bossypants by Tina Fey. Okay, so I’m biased because I love everything Tina Fey, from Mean Girls to 30 Rock. This book is no different. Bonus points for me because she and I shared a Planned Parenthood in Chicago, and both rode the Purple Line el at 4am. But if you are a fan of Fey – or just love extremely awkward, self-deprecating humor – then this is a must.
To educate yourself on your surroundings: Lonely Planet Travel Guides. Since I don’t know where you’re going for your honeymoon, I can’t tell you precisely which book you’ll want. What I can tell you is that I find Lonely Planet guides to be the best – and they have a book for virtually every possible destination!
To give your imagination some food for thought: Aerenden: The Child Returns by Kristen Taber. Full disclosure: Kristen is a good friend of mine, but that has no bearing in my recommending this book. It’s first in a series (the second book is coming soon!) that will pretty much take you in as deeply as The Hunger Games… and, also like Hunger Games, it’s well-written Young Adult lit that I actually want to share with young girls. It’s one of those rare books that is beyond a single genre – it’s fantasy, romance, sci-fi and action all in one – and would be perfect for your long, LONG plane flight to paradise.
To learn how to love yourself more: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I actually met Gretchen last year at BlogHer when she spoke at the P&G Life Well Lived event, and I was captivated by her methods to happiness. One of the “secrets” that got my attention (and worked for me, too) is focused eliminating the options and extras that weigh us down. Believe me, you’ll read this and want to clean house – literally and metaphorically – when you get home.
To sound clever at parties: Sorry, Wrong Answer by Rod Evans. It’s not a heavy read, and you may end up frustrating your husband with your new-found knowledge, but this book is fun and educational! A few examples of these tricky questions: Do you know where Venetian blinds invented? Or what color is the black box on a commercial airplane? You will when you’re done reading!
To help you become a cook (in the kitchen): The Joy of Cooking by Erma Rombauer. Okay, okay… so you’re NOT going to bring this with you on the honeymoon. But if you don’t own it, buy it NOW. TJoC is the cooking bible! Everything you’ll ever need to cook (within reason, of course) is in here. It also makes a great housewarming gift for friends and newlyweds!
And, of course, I needed to add a bonus book to help you become a cook (in the bedroom): Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered by Debby Herbenick. This is the newest book from research scientist and sex columnist Dr. Debby Herbenick, and it’s one that looks fun and educational without being boring. Plus, can’t we all learn how to be a little bit better in bed?
Share your thoughts on these books, and let me know if you get any for yourself!