Tag Archives: wedding

Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give – Ada Calhoun

Review (Amazon): 

We hear plenty about whether or not to get married, but much less about what it takes to stay married. Clichés around marriage―eternal bliss, domestic harmony, soul mates―leave out the real stuff. After marriage you may still want to sleep with other people. Sometimes your partner will bore the hell out of you. And when stuck paying for your spouse’s mistakes, you might miss being single.

In Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, Ada Calhoun presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long-overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is: not the happy ending of a love story or a relic doomed by high divorce rates, but the beginning of a challenging new chapter of which “the first twenty years are the hardest.”

Calhoun’s funny, poignant personal essays explore the bedrooms of modern coupledom for a nuanced discussion of infidelity, existential anxiety, and the many other obstacles to staying together. Both realistic and openhearted, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give offers a refreshing new way to think about marriage as a brave, tough, creative decision to stay with another person for the rest of your life. “What a burden,” Calhoun calls marriage, “and what a gift.”

My Review:

Executive Summary: meh

I am so ahead of the game this year. First book club book of the year, and I’m already writing the review. Let’s see how long I can keep this up!

I thought this book was really just kind of snarky and not in a good way. The premise of the book is how all wedding toasts are sappy and unrealistic. Well, duh. No one wants to hear a wedding toast that talks about how marriage is incredibly challenging to make work, and how most marriages don’t last. Why would anyone want to hear that on their wedding day? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the most sappy and sentimental person in the world. My now-husband and I went out to dinner before we got engaged to talk about whether we wanted to have kids, how we were going to handle the finances, and whether I was going to change my name. Maybe I should write a book.

Anyway, back to the book. Ada talks us through how marriage means paying for not only your mistakes but also your spouse’s mistakes, how you have to compromise, how sometimes (a lot of times) things are boring, how sometimes your spouse does things that you hate but you have to think about the good things so that you can stay married. Nothing newsworthy here. Marriage 101.

The book just sort of flits along with stories about someone she knew or the weird old timey summer camp where she worked (which I don’t know why that was included), and some more relevant stories of her own life. I enjoyed the part about the pre-Tinder type of mail in dating service where she worked because I thought it was a fascinating glimpse into a tiny flash in the pan in time. Some of them are good, some of them not so much. I didn’t need a whole background about her cousin Jeremy to be introduced to his friend who was Ava’s “soul mate” when she was 15 for her to then explain that soul mates are overrated.

She goes into a little detail about how her husband, Neal, had an affair. It took a lot to get over but they did (she honestly goes into more detail about her trip to Gettysburg than she does about his affair), and then a lengthy bit about how she made out with an old boyfriend while on a book tour, and when she told Neal about it, he mentioned that he flirted with someone they both knew, and how they talked through her makeout session and moved on.

She talks about love and death, and then at the end of the very short, 192 page book, she writes a lengthy wedding toast which she would give at a wedding which is completely unlike the rest of the book, incredibly serious and dry. I get the point wrapping the book up that way, but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I can’t imagine a person who wrote this book also writing that speech.

Verdict: 2.5 stars

On the plus side, this book was a quick read, and it wasn’t boring or anything that should warrant such a low rating, however, it just didn’t strike me as a book that needed to be written or to be read. I felt a bit like I had wasted my time, and I rarely feel that way about reading even if it’s a book I don’t like that much.

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Filed under 2.5 stars, Book Club

Harry Potter Bridesmaid Photo!

So you might remember this post where I was collecting Harry Potter hardcover books for my wedding. Well the wedding has came and went (it was wonderful!!) and finally I have photos!

This one is by far my favorite:

Amanda_Max_Wedding0281

The ceremony venue was an antiques shop so it lent itself well to us just sitting down and having a read. 🙂 It was convenient that I’m in the middle and book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was my favorite of the series. Thanks again to Bree from Capital Romance for the brilliant idea!  (I’ll be sending a copy your way!) Also thanks to my wonderful photographer Ashley K who seriously is amazing!

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Filed under Books, Random

Weekend Trip to Half Price Books

Used book stores are a danger. I walk in looking for one specific book…and I walk out with all sorts of new friends. I went to the Half Price Books on Saturday with the intention of picking up Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises (next book club read). They had only one Hemmingway and it wasn’t that one. (Who is hoarding all the Hemmingways?)

So I started looking for some other books on the book club list, but I didn’t find any of them either. And then I ever so accidentally wandered into the young adult section. Danger! I bought the hardcover Hunger Games (I had originally borrowed it from the library but bought Catching Fire and Mockingjay when they released soI needed it to complete my hardcover set). And then, since I’m getting married next month, (and I have six bridesmaids) I saw this glorious picture with the set of Harry Potter books. But my collection is incomplete. I only had books 5-7 because my sister and I shared 1-4 and she kept them. So Half Price Books provided me with books 2 and 3. (Still in need of 1 and 4!)

a+b-13 copy

(Photo taken from Capital Romance)

But wait!! I did buy two books that I haven’t read yet. I picked up books 1 and 3 (I meant to get 2!) of the Mortal Instruments series (City of Bones and City of Glass) that my friend Carly recommended. And the lady who checked me and my pile of young adult fiction out at Half Price Books non-sarcastically (seriously) told me they were really good too. So those are at the top of my to-read pile. Now back to the original task of finding that Hemmingway!

*Note: I brought home Hunger Games to put with my other two, and I couldn’t find them. And then I remembered that my dad borrowed them from me because he wanted to read them. So I guess I’m not going to grow out of the young adult book phase any time soon! 🙂

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