The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is the book Aaron and I have been reading together for the past couple of months. trying to read at the same pace in order to have conversations about what we've read as we go along. It is the perfect book for couples to read and then discuss the theories presented. Chapman explains what he deems the "five love languages" and elaborates on how knowing your own love language, as well as your spouse's, can create a perfect set up for great communication between each other. He lists the languages as being A. Words of Affirmation, B. Quality Time, C. Receiving Gifts, D. Acts of Service, and E. Physical Touch. There are plenty of examples of different couples, many at the brink of divorce, that after having counseling with Chapman and learning each other's love language become the couple they were when they first married.
All of Chapman's teachings are extremely well explained and very relevant to every day life. Aaron and I were both able to easily discover our own love languages and therefore put that to use every day. I really believe that finding out about this book early into our marriage (though we aren't quite married yet, it sure seems like it...7 years together will do that to you) we were able to prevent a lot of communication issues that seem to arise as years pass. I now know that Aaron needs Words of Affirmation in order to feel truly loved, in terms of feeling appreciated in all he does for me. Aaron knows that I also need Words of Affirmation, with a little Quality Time mixed in, in the form of Presence. We don't necessarily need to spend every free moment sitting down and talking to each other, I just need to know he is there. Knowing this makes it so much easier to understand what each other wants, instead of playing that guessing game so many couples describe as their daily experience.
I would recommend this book to any couple, new or old, married or not. Chapman has a great way of blending humor and education with real examples that encourage couples to try his theories and ultimately see amazing results. This book gets a 10 out of 10 from me!!
Now on to the fiction selection of the past weekend. I have been a fan of Luanne Rice since my first year of college about 6 years ago. I read one of her first books (I think it was Follow the Stars Home) and I was hooked! I quickly devoured everything I could get my hands on and continue to do so to this day. Rice is one of the few authors I actually purchase before having read her new releases. I know I'll love the book, so I automatically purchase it, usually by preorder!
The Edge of Winter is a typical Rice book. It focuses on a mother and daughter healing together after divorce has ripped their family apart. Mickey's father is an alcoholic that refuses to pay child support in order to help her mother, Neve, raise her. Rice creates a wonderful story of first love between Mickey and Shane, coming together to help an injured owl, as well as love the second time around between Neve and Tim, the local beach ranger, all while showing the path of healing for all four main characters. Though not typically a "romance" genre fan, Rice gets me every time. She creates characters that are incredibly real and vulnerable and this time around is no exception. She also almost always places her stories near the beach or a lake of some sort (this time in Rhode Island), which I just love. I have a great connection to the water, it being one place where I feel at peace with myself and very close to God, and being able to read excellent stories that take place near those places I love makes the book even better. This book gets an 8 out of 10.
I would of course recommend this book to all of you (though mainly the women, I guess it's not really a "man's" type of story :-) and I would also encourage you to check out some of Rice's other novels. Some of my favorites are Cloud Nine, which I have also reviewed, Follow the Stars Home, and Firefly Beach. Make sure you do a little research on Luanne Rice's website before checking them out, some are not necessarily part of a series, but include characters from previous books, which would be easier understood if read in order. Just start from her first published and work your way up!
Let me know if you've read either of these and enjoyed them or what you think of Rice's other books. Have a great Tuesday!!
Just some quick updates on challenges: I am substituting Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene for The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy on my Banned Books Challenge list. I have been wanting to read this book for some time now and the Conroy book just isn't interesting me at this point. I also am adding several extra credit books to my Spring Reading Thing Challenge, due to the overwhelming number of holds and new books we are getting in at the library. I'll just count them as extra credit as I read them, rather then adding them into the challenge so late in the game. That's it for now! Have a great Tuesday!