- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (May 16, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393254798
- ISBN-13: 978-0393254792
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give Hardcover – May 16, 2017
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“Ada Calhoun has written the definitive meditation on marriage in all of its mystery and imperfection. It should be required reading for anyone considering it, and highly recommended for those who want to be reminded of why they did it in the first place.”
- Molly Ringwald
“Ada Calhoun is the friend we all need―the one who lets us behind the curtain of her good marriage to help us better understand our own. She’s smart, funny, and, best of all, willing to bare all.”
- Emma Straub, New York Times best-selling author of Modern Lovers
“By turns hilariously candid, thought-provoking, and romantic, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give gave me a richer view of the joys and challenges of marriage―especially my own marriage.”
- Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project
“Extremely funny and deeply insightful. With its generous spirit and breathtaking honesty, Ada Calhoun’s instruction manual of a book recalls another all-time favorite, Anne Lamott’s classic Bird by Bird. This slim volume is brimming with practical advice and should be mandatory reading for married people and anyone who’s contemplated taking the leap.”
- Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart Is an Idiot
“A warm, tart, corrective to the persistent conviction that a wedding is the neat end of a love story.”
- Rebecca Traister, New York Times best-selling author of All the Single Ladies
“Brutally honest, hilarious and unsentimental―but never unkind―this is a book for anyone who has ever had a thought (good or bad) about the institution of marriage. I devoured this gem in one sitting. I want to marry this book.”
- Susannah Cahalan, New York Times best-selling author of Brain on Fire
“What a witty, sexy, surprising testimony to the institution of marriage! It’s the best essay collection I’ve read in a long time, just astoundingly honest and insightful about what marriage really means. And I say that as someone who has been married 20 years.”
- Karen Abbott, New York Times best-selling author of Sin in the Second City
“[Calhoun’s] witty, enthusiastic, emotional, and hard-headed reflections ought to be required reading for anyone entering, experiencing, leaving or avoiding marriage.”
- Jonathan Sale, Guardian
“By turns funny, melancholy, and profound. A thoughtful read of the monogamous, non-monogamous, and every relationship iteration in between.”
- New York Magazine
“A lighthearted approach to the toils and snares of marriage…. [O]riginal, engrossing.”
- Heather Havrilesky, New York Times Book Review
“[A] lovely meditation on what it means to be married and faithful in this age…. I just felt a lot of affection for this book.”
- John Williams, New York Times Book Review Podcast
“Raise a glass to these reality-check essays that are equal parts ode to marriage… and sly acknowledgment of its challenges.”
- O Magazine, "10 Titles to Pick Up Now"
“Calhoun convincingly argues that marriage isn’t a happy ending but rather an opening scene... She is clear-eyed when it comes to love and sex.”
- Fani Papageorgiou, The Times Literary Supplement
“A fine gift to tuck between negligees and garter belts at the more literary bride’s shower....[Calhoun’s] wry, likable voice is at its Ephronesque best.”
- Lisa Zeidner, Washington Post
“You really need to read this book.”
- Wayne Alan Brenner, Austin Chronicle
“Raw and relatable.”
- Jill Sieracki, Brides
“Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give does away with the fabled ‘happily ever after’… This isn’t a manifesto against the institution; rather, Calhoun shows how challenging yet rewarding it can be.”
- Stephanie Topacio Long, Bustle, Best Nonfiction Books of the Month
“[It’s] a delight to read about the sort of marriage I might actually be comfortable inside: not a perfect love story, but a real one.”
- Cara Strickland, eHarmony Blog
“Insightful, humorous, and relatable musings on matrimony? We’ll cheers to that.”
- Star Magazine
“Moving, refreshing, funny.”
“Engaging... wise and lovely.”
“A pithy summation of the realities of marriage… [a]lternating between hilarious personal anecdotes and sobering professional insight.”
- Thérese Purcell Nielsen, Library Journal
“Calhoun is laugh-out-loud funny…. This realistic, empathetic book of advice is worthy of a spot on any newlywed’s bookshelf.”
- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Ada Calhoun has written for the New York Times, New York magazine, and the New York Post. Her book St. Marks Is Dead was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year.
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Top customer reviews
I was stunned by a passage from a clergyman, who mentions that while there are many happily unmarried people, he refers to some unmarrieds as "sad" , who "by all rights should have been married", and then goes on to reference aging, as if these "sad" souls have aged out of wedded viability. If that wasn't enough, the same clergyman further rhapsodizes that there is even "a certain dignity" to being divorced, because "at least it had happened.", referring to marriage. My feminist heart blanched and shuddered. I realize Calhoun doesn't express this opinion, the clergyman does, but are we still trotting out and perpetuating these tired, opinions in 2017? re: Single people are sad. Better to be married as we age. It's better to be divorced than unmarried. Find this thinking so outdated and offensive. Again, I'm aware that these are merely the thoughts of one person Calhoun encountered. It just saddens me that to be unmarried and alone is still perceived as sad, undesirable and unfulfilling by some. There are many roads to happiness.
Calhoun's book is a good read. Funny, wise and thought-provoking.
I purchased it on Kindle and liked it so much also bought the hardcopy.
All the while Ada is delivering that information, she shares her dating and marital past. She shares a lot of stories from her life with her husband and their son. She talks about making out with a guy while shes out of town. Going home and telling her husband about it, only to find out a woman has recently told him he is attractive and he said the same thing to her.
"Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give" really just gives accounts of how difficult marriage can be: miscarriage, house fire, debt, illness, accidents, etc. That we should just stick it out, and perhaps laugh at ourselves a little bit more, bad stuff happens to all of us, but going through it with someone helps.
This is a great book, especially for an engaged or recently married person. Life can suck, suffer together, then you have all these interesting memories to share with your children and grandchildren!
Advice gleaned: Be nice and don't leave!
Ada Calhoun's frank, eye-opening, and deeply thought-provoking Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give truly sucked me in from the first page. I'm not a huge fan of books that give marriage advice because in reality, I've found them to usually be condescending in nature or too "prim and proper." Ada Calhoun shattered all of those ideas I had about marriage books with this blunt but real look at what marriage truly is all about.
Ada's writing style is engaging and exciting. She weaves her own anecdotes with advice from experts and experiences of her friends carefully together. In a way, each chapters is its own standalone story, but when you finish the book, all of the chapters weave seamlessly together into a quilt of knowledge about married life. I felt like Ada put into words so many things I feel as a married woman but can't quite express--or don't have the courage to. She is honest and raw in her revelations, letting the reader into her marriage from a unique vantage point and allowing us all to benefit from her wisdom and her mistakes.
I love that she never has a "know it all" attitude about marriage. She doesn't claim to be an absolute expert. Instead, she presents information and various perspectives, allowing the reader to digest it at his or her pace. I could connect with so many of the stories in the book and loved the humorous asides presented.
I also think Ada Calhoun approaches marriage from a courageous perspective. Few are willing to admit some of the difficult realities she does while also holding the stance that marriage is worth it. I love that she doesn't claim marriage is all rosy, but she also doesn't claim that marriage is worthless, horrible, or hopeless. She strikes the perfect balance, showing the reader that all marriages are a struggle, but are also worth it. She gives the reader permission to be imperfect while also inspiring the reader to work hard at marriage.
There are so many beautiful quotes in this book that made me reflect on my own relationship. I really liked the section on J.R. R. Tolkien and the phrase "companions in shipwreck not guiding stars." What a powerful statement and reminder; the book is filled with tons of valuable phrases like these.
Ada Calhoun presents her ideas in a skillfully crafted story that doesn't feel "preachy" or "overly academic." Instead, I felt like I was talking to a close but wise friend about love, marriage, and all of the things so many people are afraid to say.
Thank you, Ada Calhoun, for being brave enough to say the things about married life so many shy away from. Thank you for giving us permission to accept that we may never be the perfect wife, husband, or couple, but that is perfectly beautiful and okay in its own way.
I recommend this book for anyone who is married, has been married, or is considering marriage. I think this should be a wedding gift for every newly married couple because it is just that good, real, and important.
Most recent customer reviews
Don't think she held much back and the story is richer for it