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The Art of Marriage: A Guide to Living Life as Two
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The Art of Marriage: A Guide to Living Life as Two

3.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  71 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Read Catherine Blyth's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.

A witty, thought-provoking celebration of why marriage still matters-and how to make yours work-from the author of The Art of Conversation.

Today we no longer get married for the reasons our grandparents did: because our families say so, because we must marry to leave home, to have sex, to have fin
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published December 30th 2010 by Gotham (first published June 10th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 175)
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May 08, 2016 Sid rated it really liked it
The book serves as a manual for a happy marriage filled with many historic accounts that show examples of how the past can shape our future. In a marriage, embrace each others differences, for it is our differences that make us adept at handling many situations. Build common goals and work towards reaching them. We all know how life ends, but how it is written is unpredictable, making life and marriage all the more interesting.

I recommend this book to anyone:
a. looking to get married or recently
May 18, 2011 Madison rated it it was ok
This book was more tongue and cheek or sarcastic than I was expecting. I think it would have been okay except that the author peppered every few sentences with quotations from historical figures, song lyrics, celebrities and other sources. That in itself was annoying, but then she didn't explain the significance of the quote at all and sometimes it didn't make sense. If my college English teacher had been reading this she would have said there wasn't enough "so what" to support the quotes. Also, ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Layne rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As a self-help book, I'm not sure this book would tell a reasonable person anything they didn't really know ("Oh, you mean marriage is work?"). However, it's a great light read on the history of marriage and Western views on love, sex, and arguments.
Dec 16, 2010 Kimberlee rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book from a first reads giveaway. Although the author made some good points, I disagree with a lot of her philosophies. For example, chapter 7 in entitled, "The Wisdom of Adultery" with a section that is called "How to have a good affair." The first line in that section says, "An affair can conceivably help a marriage.", although her personal view is "don't do it". What? Need I say more?
Dec 04, 2010 Amy rated it liked it
I won this advanced copy! it is gives good and humorous advice on a vast array of marriage related topics.
Thank you goodreads!
Jul 28, 2013 Sandra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got bored and have up.
Dec 08, 2010 Marsturgeon rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
What a wonderful read!

Catherine's ability to provide marital and relational wisdom from such varied sources from the Pope to famous celebrities to many in the "industry" was phenomenal.

Admitedly, after scanning through the table of contents my curiosity (and affront) took me straight to "The Wisdom of Adultery?" I was ready to toss the book into the trash after reading that title alone. However, as a First Read it was my duty to read the book. Catherine did a great job addressing that topic that
Feb 22, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Blyth writes in a way that is soothing, yet challenging and full of wicked fun as she delves into quite literally the A-Zs of marriage. This book is enjoyable and full of smart tips on how to get along with your spouse, their family (be gracious and remember that they knew him/her first so that is to be respected and can prove an area of curiousity) and what happens when you add kids, work, etc into this besotted mix. Lots of good thoughts on balance -allowing each other space but also making su ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Molly rated it it was ok
I set the book aside about half way through. As a newlywed looking for some hints at how to build a strong marriage and keep things in perspective, her sarcasm was rather unsettling. The historical notes were interesting but not much help. If I was looking for material to research for a sociology class, this book would be helpful. It's not what I was looking for though.
Feb 07, 2016 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Great book on marriage, its history and practical problems that married people encounter. Fun and thought-provoking, even controversial at times; no wonder, so many people dislike it.
Sep 17, 2014 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started this book with high hopes for it. I had seen a lot of positive reviews about but unfortunately I only made it to chapter 3, barely. I tried and tried to like this book but I couldn't. Some of the material was confusing and some of it I just plain didn't agree with. With chapters with titles like "How to be a happy slave," I was none too impressed. Many of the references I didn't get and the anecdotes throughout the book didn't seem to fit right.

Ultimately I got bored and confused, so I
May 27, 2013 Vanessa rated it it was ok
Perhaps the low rating comes from the fact that my husband and I were going through a rough patch, and I wanted to reject the thought of reading a book on marriage. I like to think that it is a combination of numbly skimming through it and perusing it, hoping for a good section to catch my attention. It seemed every single page of the book had some type of crazy historical example of a marriage or relationship gone wrong. The little tidbits of information were more like a side note of an avid Eu ...more
Ashley Greene
Sep 13, 2012 Ashley Greene rated it really liked it
Catherine Blyth has a way with words and away we go on a journey of self-discovery times two. She takes readers along for a very raw ride on the subject of marriage -- raising a few eyebrows, sparking on a few light bulbs as well as a tear or two along the way. Every time I put down this book I can't wait to pick it up again. A must read for anyone contemplating marriage, hopeful for it, detesting the concept of it, curious about it, or already engaged into a happy or a sad one.
Kate Ditzler
Aug 19, 2011 Kate Ditzler rated it liked it
Shelves: marriage
I find this book to be less self-help than an older fashioned meditation on the many facets of a particular subject, in this case, marriage. I found myself nodding along in a lot of places, as the author verbalized the thoughts on committed partnership that I myself had no words for.

It prompted discussion with my husband as I read passages aloud, and I marked many passages to turn into blog posts (meditating on subjects myself). A good thought provoking read.
I thought this book had far too many quotes and their usage was random. They were quoting people from different time periods and splashing it all together and trying to use it to make a point. And, although it tried to give you an even perspective on marriage vs divorce, I thought it kind of had a negative outlook.

I feel like the first half had a lot more information that was helpful for a couple planning a marriage.
Jan 05, 2012 Liisa rated it really liked it
This book is very discursive and I can see it frustrating someone who was looking for straight forward advice. However, I enjoyed it's meandering nature. I liked reading the historical and more contemporary anecdotes and found the book as a whole informative, humorous and fun. For someone interested in marriage both as an institution and as a everyday reality I think it's well worth a read.
Mar 03, 2011 Jamison rated it liked it
interesting book. it's the kind you can browse through quickly, and get what you need out of, without actually missing anything. there are a lot of good stories of historical couples . .some not that well known. (i'm looking up the story of paul dirac, and manci wigner, myself.)

i can see where this book may help some people, but it was nothing more than a flip-through for me.
Dec 12, 2010 Shelie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was a mix of practical advice, historical facts and quotes, humor and anecdotes of both recent and historical vintage. It may at times challenge your idea of what constitutes a "good marriage" but provides enough evidence to let the reader know that what is good in marriage is subjective. A worthwhile read.
Aug 22, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
I don't think this book does much for a self help angle. Like other reviewers have posted, it's a lot of common sense stuff. I do love the history the author puts into the book. She shows how marriage has changed yet stayed the same over the centuries.
Jul 22, 2013 SueAnn rated it it was amazing
I won this paperback from the First Reads giveaway. It is very well researched, informative, and thought provoking. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the history of marriage and relationships.
Dec 06, 2010 NightlyReading rated it really liked it
I won this book from Goodreads! The book gives a little background on the custom of marriage and advice on a variety of situations that can occur during marriage. Thanks goodreads!
Mar 28, 2013 Prom rated it it was ok
This book was just "meh" for me. It was funny enough in some parts. A little too accepting of certain practices in others. It was okay.
TW Yeung
Oct 01, 2014 TW Yeung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a beautifully well-thought-out write that is fun to read and easy to follow with perpetual nods from a reader like myself
Mar 31, 2011 Donna rated it it was ok
A bit dry and clinical for my tastes, but seemed to contain useful information if one has the patience to trudge though.
Feb 11, 2012 Claire rated it liked it
A mixed-bag for me, but many clever & refreshing ideas & a great, readable format. Love the concept of this book.
Jan 27, 2011 Paige rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Good Reads giveaway. Excellent information for deepening relationships here. A fast, fun read.
Anuradha Murphy
Jan 28, 2012 Anuradha Murphy rated it liked it
I am skimming through this book - lots of interesting little points to ponder.
Oct 16, 2011 Mridula rated it did not like it
It was meh!
Meghana marked it as to-read
May 25, 2016
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