‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ by Taffy Brodesser-Akner – A Book That Nails Modern Love and Marriage

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner‘s is the hilarious, powerful and brilliantly observed book I’m recommending to all my friends.

Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine and this is her first novel (she’s well-known for her celebrity profiles).

It’s a satirical novel about marriage, divorce, and modern love. Maria Semple describes it best: “From its opening pages, Fleishman is in Trouble is shrewdly observed, brimming with wisdom and utterly of this moment. Not until its explosive final pages are you fully aware of its cunning ferocity. Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page-turner with heft.”

Try and avoid reading too much detail about it as there will no doubt be spoilers.

Read a review of Fleishman is in Trouble and buy it where you get good books.

36 Questions – A Podcast Musical

36 Questions is a three-part podcast musical by Two-Up Productions in which a couple, played by Jonathan Groff (aka Kristoff from Frozen) and Jessie Shelton, attempt to bring their marriage back from the brink of divorce using 36 revealing questions designed to make strangers fall in love.

Not being a fan of musicals, I was dubious. However, I adored La La Land, needed a new podcast to get stuck into and it had great reviews.

Whilst it took me the first episode to get into it because the format is so different to anything I’ve heard before, by episode two I was unashamedly hooked.

Maybe I really do like musicals after all.

Read reviews by The New York Times, The Guardian and Vulture.

Listen to the podcast.

Alain de Botton ‘On Love’ at the Sydney Opera House

Image from http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com

I had the pleasure of watching a talk by Alain de Botton last night at the Sydney Opera House (big shout out to my sister for organising the tickets). He was there to discuss his new novel, “The Course of Love“. There were many revelations for me about being in a long-term relationship. I felt myself nodding to pretty much everything he said and immediately wanting to buy a ticket for my husband and friends (alas, he was only talking for two nights). It all made so much sense and I think most people in relationships could benefit from hearing his way of thinking. This excerpt from a recent piece he wrote for The New York Times sums up a key thought he has on long-term relationships: “The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.”  Certainly not the romantic idea we’ve long associated with love and marriage but definitely a more accurate one. Read more about Alain de Botton and his books and other ventures here and you can now watch the talk here (runs for around 70 min).

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