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  • Jeff Somers 7:50 pm on 2018/08/09 Permalink
    Tags: , david joachim, diveorce, guide to life, hard to do, , , nora ephron, on your own again,   

    10 Books to Read Before Getting Divorced 

    Despite the knowledge that many marriages aren’t forever, most who say “I do” assume there partnerships will be forever—otherwise, why bother? But divorce really is the answer, sometimes—the right decision for all involved. That doesn’t mean it won’t also be a painful period of transition.

    Or not. The key is considering your options before you make that fateful choice. While no book can speak definitively to your specific situation, there’s a good chance there’s a book out there that can help you do just that. If you’re thinking your marriage is headed for a divorce, you might benefit from a little reading. The following books will offer perspective, advice, and entertainment, and just might make the decision easier for you, whatever you choose.

    If You’re in My Office, It’s Already Too Late, by James J. Sexton
    First a book to help you determine if your relationship is truly beyond repair. Sexton, a successful divorce lawyer who estimates the number of marriages he’s helped dissolve to number in the thousands, muses on what he’s learned about failed marriages from his work, and offers a guide to figuring out just how far gone your own relationship might—or might not—be. As Sexton explains, expectations (realistic and otherwise) are the foundation of a long-term relationship. You might see yourself in his warm and witty book—and find alternative solutions.

    Reconcilable Differences, by Cate Cochran
    Divorce is often equated with failure, but Cochran offers a different take, examining ten “successfully failed” marriages—including her own—where divorce didn’t mean a cataclysmic breakup, thrown crockery, and psychologically-damaged kids. Instead, these couples found their own way forward and made divorce a positive force in their lives, making up new rules that worked better for them and their kids. This could be just the sort of perspective you need.

    Two Homes, One Childhood, by Robert E. Emery
    If you’ve got kids, you’re going to have to start thinking about them before you tackle the divorce itself. It’s possible to insulate them from the worst of the process, but it takes planning and cooperation—so start the planning now, with this excellent book. Emery shifts the focus from your needs to the needs of your children, helping you and your soon-to-be-former partner develop a plan that will evolve along with your kids, and ensure they get to have a childhood despite the dissolution of your marriage.

    On Your Own Again, by Keith Anderson
    Living with someone can become a habit, and one of the scariest things about divorce is the idea that you’ll once again be on your own. Once you accept that divorce is your only way forward, there’s no time to lose in thinking about how you’re going to clear the rubble and start again. Anderson offers a concise and well-organized approach to putting the past behind you and finding a way to live by yourself—how to find the self-confidence that you can, in fact, rely on yourself to not only survive, but thrive.

    A Man, a Can, a Plan, by David Joachim
    Despite the title, this book is for anyone who has no idea how to cook or shop at a grocery store. If your spouse took care of the groceries and the cooking, a divorce might leave you facing epic takeout bills. This book allows anyone—and we mean anyone—to feed themselves with a modicum of style, without knowing anything at all about fresh produce or advanced cooking techniques. While we can’t recommend staying on this meal plan forever, it’ll get you through those first confusing months when dinner no longer magically appears on the table every evening.

    Getting Back Out There, by Susan J. Elliott
    You may not be divorced yet, but if it’s become inevitable, then jumping back into the dating life probably is too. Dating after you’ve been in one relationship for a long time can be a brutal, eye-opening experience—so start getting yourself mentally and emotionally prepared for the modern dating scene, a battlefield intimidating enough for young folks, and almost paralyzing for someone on the other side of a divorce. Elliot doesn’t just offer platitudes or a strategy for catching someone’s eye, she guides you to consider where and why you went wrong before—and how to avoid making those same mistakes.

    The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout
    Dating will bring you into contact with a lot of new people—and some proportion of those, science tells us, will be sociopaths. Stout’s sensational book argues that there are more sociopaths out there than you think, and they can be difficult to identify, and thus avoid. If you want to avoid dating one (or, maybe, dating one again), Stout helps you to learn how to spot one in the wild, before they buy you a drink and turn on their superficial charm.

    This Isn’t the Life I Ordered, by Jenniffer Weigel
    Television personality Weigel offers a fun, entertaining reflection on her own divorce, and tells how embracing the new layout of her life led her to bigger and better things… eventually. If you’re headed for a split, learn from Weigel’s experience, and set yourself up to take advantage of it as a change, not a failure. Weigel’s journey through her own painful split will prepare you for the challenges and missteps to come with your sense of humor intact.

    Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
    Not only was Ephron a great writer, and not only is this a great novel, but the fact that it’s largely autobiographical should be comforting. If a smart, rich, successful people like Ephron can suffer through a brutal divorce, you don’t have to feel too bad about your own. And if she can come out stronger and wittier for it, maybe you can too. As an added bonus, this story of cookbook author Rachel’s split from her philandering husband is side-splittingly funny.

    The Rabbit Angstrom Novels, by John Updike
    John Updike was a writer with myriad obsessions, and they all came together in the four-book, decades-in-the-writing saga of flawed but fascinating Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, who attempts to abandon his young family in book one and doesn’t make life any less complicated for himself as the decades rush on. What you end up with is, in large part, one of the most finely-detailed accounts of the ups and downs of a marriage in literary history. Considered as a whole, Rabbit’s race through life offers the sort of minute study of a relationship that will force you to reconsider you own.

    The post 10 Books to Read Before Getting Divorced appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Madina Papadopoulos 8:00 pm on 2017/07/24 Permalink
    Tags: , chocolate, emile zola, , filling reads, food fiction, foodie, , nora ephron,   

    8 Fictional Beach Reads for Foodies 

    It may be too hot these days to cook, but foodies who usually turn toward a new cookbook and an evening in the kitchen can find solace in food-oriented novels instead. Here are eight works of fiction that are an escapist trip for both the heart and the stomach.

    Feast of Sorrow, by Crystal King
    Crystal King’s newly released debut novel delights readers with its vivid descriptions of daily life in ancient Rome, particularly its food. The story centers on Roman gourmand Apicius. It’s told from the first-person perspective of Apicius’ slave, Thrasius, who imparts his cooking knowledge to the characters as well as the readers, with recipes like patina of small fry and honey cakes. Feast of Sorrow makes for a great summer read, particularly if one’s summer trip is to Rome.

    Chocolat, by Joanne Harris
    Readers might have seen the movie of the same name inspired by this book, but the source material shouldn’t be missed. Harris’s story follows Vianne Rocher, a single parent of a little girl, who moves to a small French town and opens up a chocolate shop. Chocolate is known not just for its exquisite taste, but for its mystical powers—and soon, the chocolate has cast a spell on the town. Vianne runs into trouble when the local priest catches a whiff of her enchanting product, and seeks to shut her little boutique down and run her out of town. The chapters are told from first-person perspective, switching seamlessly between characters in the little town.

    The Belly of Paris, by Emile Zola
    Those who like hefty beach reads should reach for The Belly of Paris, which tells the tale of a wrongfully imprisoned Parisian man, Florent Quenu, who escapes his sentence and returns to Paris. But, as it is an ever changing city, the Paris he finds is not the Paris he left. He finds work in Les Halles, the city’s famous 19th-century food market, making the title both figurative and literal. As the tale unfolds, the protagonist gives detailed descriptions of food—lards, sausages, fish—and offers unforgettable descriptions in which he likens characters to cheese, such as a sick nobleman who resembles a piece of Roquefort.

    Bone in the Throat, by Anthony Bourdain
    While Anthony Bourdain is famous for his reporting on food from around the world, his culinary expertise, and his nonfiction food books, he’s less known for his works of fiction, one of which is Bone in the Throat. This fun read is perfect for a plane ride to NYC, as it follows burgeoning chef Tommy Pagana, who, in pursuit of his cooking dreams, instead ends up part of a murder racket in NYC’s Little Italy neighborhood. The humorous novel follows Tommy as he tries to find his way out of the mob without ending up as minced meat.

    Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
    Nora Ephron is best known for her beloved romantic comedies (When Harry Met Sally…) and nonfiction titles including I Feel Bad About My Neck, but unless you’re a dedicated fan of the late writer, then her fiction may have fallen under your radar. In her typically alluring style, Ephron recounts the story of cookbook author Rachel Samstat, who, at seven months pregnant, learns her husband is in love with another woman. The book is full of humor and heartache, and appetizing descriptions of comfort food that will have your belly rumbling in your swimsuit.

    The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Cathleen Toelke (Illustrator), Mario J. Pulice
    Romance, magic, and food abound in this captivating read about Tilo, an enchantress from ancient times. Tilo is transported to modern-day Oakland, California, where she enters the body of an old woman, opens a natural healing shop with her spices as medicine, and falls in love with a mortal. Soon she finds herself forced to choose between love and immortality.

    The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones
    In The Last Chinese Chef, American food writer Maggie McElroy travels to China to deal with an inheritance complication. Her late husband, a Chinese national, left behind a dispute regarding his estate, but Maggie’s editor will only allow her time off if she agrees to profile up-and-coming Chinese Chef Sam Liang. And from that point, a tale of love and love of food commences.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
    Perhaps the most famous food book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a well-known tale by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl. For those who like to revisit children’s literature, this book can be enjoyed now as much as it was during childhood. Written in Dahl’s whimsical prose, it tells the familiar but fresh tale of a poor boy, Charlie, who wants to win a golden ticket hidden in a chocolate bar, allowing him to visit Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory. After he finds that elusive ticket, his life is destined to change.

    The post 8 Fictional Beach Reads for Foodies appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jen Harper 2:00 pm on 2016/07/12 Permalink
    Tags: , divorce, , heartbreak and healing, , nora ephron,   

    7 Books to Help Get You Through Your Divorce 

    Amy Poehler is full of sage—and hilarious—wisdom, but even she turns to pals for advice when it comes to situations as tough as divorce. In her book Yes Please, she writes, “As my dear friend and relationship sponsor Louis CK has noted, ‘Divorce is always good news because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.’”

    While that may be true, it’s often difficult to see any silver linings when facing your own crumbling marriage. It can, however, help to know that others have made it through and even come out better on the other side. We’ve rounded up some books about divorce and struggling through difficult times—fiction, memoir, and some self-help—that might just help guide you through.

    Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
    Going through a divorce means trudging through some dark days, but beloved author Nora Ephron managed to find humor and levity in her own split from her second husband, Carl Bernstein, through Heartburn, the autobiographical novel based on their relationship. In it, cookbook writer Rachel Samstat is seven months pregnant when she discovers her husband, Mark, is having an affair with a woman with “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs.” Ephron serves up plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in less than 200 pages.

    Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, by Cheryl Strayed
    Sometimes adult problems like facing a divorce can leave you feeling like a lost child just wanting one of the real grown-ups to come in and tell you exactly what you’re supposed to do. Enter Wild author Cheryl Strayed—aka Sugar—the formerly anonymous online columnist for literary website The Rumpus. Blending self-help and memoir, Strayed advises readers on topics like sex, love, family, and grief in this collection of advice from her Dear Sugar column with compassionate insight and her own heartbreaking stories. Tiny Beautiful Things may not give you the solutions for your own unique situation, but it will offer the opportunity for a cathartic cry and even some hope for the future.

    Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
    Sometimes an unfortunate situation leaves you with only two choices—to laugh or to cry. And inevitably when going through a divorce, you’ll find the need to do both at some point. When you’re ready to laugh, pick up comic genius Amy Poehler’s first book Yes Please, a collection of personal stories, lists, and even a haiku that’ll definitely put a smile on your face. Poehler doesn’t dedicate a lot of space to her own divorce from Will Arnett, calling it “too sad and too personal,” but the insight on splitting up she does offer will have you nodding right along with her as she writes, “getting a divorce really sucks.”

    Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World, by Rita Golden Gelman
    Getting a divorce definitely marks an end—the end of a relationship, the end of a direction you thought your life was headed in—but it can also mark the beginning of a new life like it did for author Rita Golden Gelman. In her memoir Tales of a Female Nomad, Gelman finds herself at 48 facing a divorce from her husband of 20 years. She opts to leave behind her lavish Los Angeles lifestyle, selling her possessions and embarking on a nomadic existence that leads her from a Zapotec village in Mexico, to the Galapagos Islands, to a palace in Indonesia. Gelman’s tale is an inspiring one about starting over and learning what it really means to live at large in the world.

    How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over, by Theo Pauline Nestor
    Theo Pauline Nestor’s divorce story itself isn’t that out of the ordinary—she confronts her husband about his massive gambling debt, not the first breach of trust she’s endured with Kevin but certainly the last as far as their marriage is concerned. It’s the approachable, raw, and even funny way she relives her story on the page and the revelatory doorway it opens into her family’s past that make her tale extraordinary. “I’m from a long line of stock market speculators, artists of unmarketable talents, and alcoholics. The higher, harder road is not our road,” she writes. “We move, we divorce, we drink, or we disappear.” Readers will see themselves in Nestor’s honest reflections and maybe even find some healing in the process.

    When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chödrön
    When life throws its worst at you, one of the main things you need above all else is for someone to grab you by the shoulders, look you in the eyes, and tell you, “You’re going to be OK.” And American Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön has a knack for doing just that, with her teachings like those found in When Things Fall Apart. A collection of talks she gave between 1987 and 1994, the book doesn’t just offer sympathy—Chödrön gives readers useful advice and real-deal action items for what to do now and where to go from here, which is something we could all use in difficult times.

    High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby
    Most breakup books focus on a woman left by/leaving a man, but Nick Hornby gives readers a fresh perspective in his novel-turned-film High Fidelity. Sarcastic and self-deprecating record store owner Rob Fleming has just been dumped by his girlfriend Laura, leading him to track down former girlfriends for a thorough examination of his five most memorable breakups. In this funny read, Rob discovers that what he seeks isn’t in his past—it’s what awaits him in the present.

    What books would you recommend to help someone get through a divorce?

     
  • Joel Cunningham 9:47 pm on 2014/11/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , michel faber, , , , nora ephron, , , , ,   

    What to Read Next If You Liked As You Wish, Yes Please, The Peripheral, The Book of Strange New Things, or The Secret History of Wonder Woman 

    wtrn116Every fan of The Princess Bride is sure to fall in “twue wuv” with As You Wish, a loving memoir of the making of one of the most universally adored movies in history by the Dread Pirate Roberts himself, Cary Elwes. If you’re still not satisfied, you can ask your grandpa to read to you from Which Lie Did I Tell?, by William Goldman, who wrote both the screenplay for the film and the novel upon which it is based, featuring an account of how the film’s surprising success saved his floundering career. Don’t miss either of these—I mean it! (Anybody want a peanut?)

    After the smashing success of best-pal Tina Fey’s Bossypants, I can’t imagine the pressure Amy Poehler was under to deliver with Yes Please, but her hybrid memoir/showbiz insider account more than delivers. It’s one of the funniest books of the year, packed with insights on life, motherhood, marriage, and making it as a woman in the cutthroat world of comedy. If you’ve already shown love to Tina and Amy, go straight to the source with I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts About Being a Woman, by Nora Ephron, a trailblazer whose remarkable career set the stage for so many funny ladies who followed her.

    In 1984, William Gibson’s Neuromancer managed to more or less accurately predict exactly the ways the rise of the not-yet-invented Internet would change all of our lives (even if some of the more outlandish sci-fi trappings, like neural implants, haven’t come to pass quite yet). The jury is still out on whether his newest work, The Peripheral, which deals in quantum theory, augmented realities, immersive gaming, advanced drones, and global catastrophe, will be regarded as prescient one day. In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to read both of these books, just to be prepared.

    The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber, is lyrical literary sci-fi, the epic story of a missionary sent to spread the good word to the alien inhabitants of a distant planet, even as the Earth he’s leaving threatens to crumble away in a global environmental and political disaster. Mary Doria Russell’s 1996 debut novel, The Sparrow, similarly imagines the hardships and communication barriers faced by a band of Jesuits who travel to make contact with a distant star and discover that some cultural divides may simply be too great to bridge.

    The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore, uncovers the feminists roots of the world’s most famous superheroine via the strange history of her polygamist, counter-cultural creator. For another book that takes a look at female heroes, feminism, and sexism in comics, The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, by Mike Madrid, is an engaging, pop-academia read.

     

     
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