The best books about couples

3 authors have picked their favorite books about couples and why they recommend each book.

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Baby Bomb

By Kara Hoppe, Stan Tatkin,

Book cover of Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents

Attachment theory – the theory that humans need to form a close emotional bond with a caregiver early in life to survive and thrive – is near and dear to my heart as a therapist and coach for expectant and new parents. Tatkin is a master of human attachment in adult relationships, having created the PACT (psychobiological approach to couple therapy) training for therapists. The book, written with Hoppe, uses the science behind attachment theory to help couples strengthen their relationship and meet each other’s needs as a couple in order to be the best parents they can be. It offers tried and true ways to nurture your couple bond so you can not only be present for your baby, but also for each other.


Who am I?

As a trained therapist, educator, and coach for expectant and new parents, I understand on a deep level the importance of creating a strong foundation in building a family. I also was personally humbled at how difficult the transition to parenthood was for me and the challenges it presented in my relationship with my husband. While we’ve grown exponentially, I wanted to make it a little easier for other expectant parents to avoid some of the pitfalls that aren’t spoken about as much in becoming parents. I also wanted to help the new little beings arriving in the world to have more resourced, present parents. It’s a win-win.


I wrote...

Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

By Stephanie Dueger,

Book cover of Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

What is my book about?

Couples often spend surprisingly little time getting ready for this huge rite of passage. The first of its kind, this interactive book provides couples with essential conversation-starters and action items to complete before becoming parents. In Preparing for Parenthood, you’ll discover how to transition to parenting in ways that align with your own beliefs and values by: learning the biggest concerns couples face when becoming new parents and how to discuss them; finding your unique strengths as a couple, and addressing challenges as you embark on this journey; and developing greater confidence as parents so you can feel more relaxed and prepared.

This small and indispensable book will help you alleviate stress and answer some of the biggest questions you’ll want to address before your baby arrives.

Truly Madly Guilty

By Liane Moriarty,

Book cover of Truly Madly Guilty

On to the suburbs of Sydney where three families gather for a backyard barbeque that culminates in epic disaster. Liane Moriarty’s books each have their own flavor but what always makes her writing for me, is the utterly relatable characters. In this story, I felt completely ‘known’ by mother of two, Clementine. Selfish when she knows she shouldn’t be, wracked with guilt over things that simultaneously are and aren’t her fault, letting herself embrace her sexuality only to come up against dire consequences. Liane Moriarty’s famed novel is Big Little Lies but if you’re looking for more of the same best pal characters and unthinkable moral dilemmas, put this one on your list. 


Who am I?

I was born in the suburbs to the east of London and moved to California for adventure, only to end up living in the suburbs to the east of Los Angeles. Perhaps it’s because life is ultimately cyclical, or maybe I’m fated to live life inside a white picket fence. I suspect the real reason I’m here is because I secretly love it. Renegade sprinkler settings, trash day meltdowns, neighbor drama. For a writer, it’s all rich pickings. So far, the burbs have been where I’ve set all my novels and it’s also been fertile soil for the authors below.


I wrote...

Half Sisters

By Virginia Franken,

Book cover of Half Sisters

What is my book about?

After being gone for two decades, Maddy’s half-sister, Emily, is back in town to settle their late father’s estate. It can’t possibly matter anymore that Maddy married Emily’s first love, but the pictures Maddy finds on her husband’s phone tell a different story. Suspicions of an affair are hard to ignore.

Then again, Maddy hasn’t been herself lately. She’s increasingly confused. She’s losing items that are precious to her. The line between what’s real and unreal has become a blur. Though her state of mind starts to become everyone’s cause for concern, Maddy refuses to believe she’s losing her grip on reality. But the one thing she can’t deny is the secret from the past that rewrote all their lives―a secret that’s ready to come out.

The Stationery Shop

By Marjan Kamali,

Book cover of The Stationery Shop

The novel takes place in 1953 and before the 1979 Islamic revolution and during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah. 1953 was a critical time, which shaped the history of Iran, during which the coup d’état of Dr.Mossadegh was foiled by the United States CIA. Because of Iran’s geographical and strategic importance, such uprisings and meddling by outside forces are constant in Iranian history.

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.


Who am I?

I was born in Israel, but spent my formative years in Iran, a country rich in culture, superstition, and a history that is nothing short of an author’s dream. I also joined a large, colorful family, whose members possessed their own quirks and habits, which my future fictional characters inherited in one or another of my novels. Although the Iran I knew during the reign of the Shah was quite different than the Iran I had to flee at the onset of the Islamic revolution and the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini, her history remains ever timely, and never ceases to captivate me.


I wrote...

Scent of Butterflies

By Dora Levy Mossanen,

Book cover of Scent of Butterflies

What is my book about?

Amidst a shattering betrayal and a country in turmoil, Soraya flees Iran to make a new life for herself in Los Angeles. The cruel and intimate blow her husband has dealt her awakens an obsessive streak that explodes in the heated world of Southern California, as Soraya plots her revenge against the other woman, her best friend. What she discovers proves far more devastating than anything she had ever imagined, unleashing a whirlwind of events that leave the reader breathless.

What About Us?

By Karen Kleiman, Molly McIntyre (illustrator),

Book cover of What About Us?: A New Parents Guide to Safeguarding Your Over-Anxious, Over-Extended, Sleep-Deprived Relationship

From the well-known author of Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts, this book gets straight to the heart of the matter. Through on-point illustrations, it shows tired and time-poor parents how having a baby impacts a couple’s relationship, what’s really going on inside both of them, what the big issues are, and how to get through this trying time together. Parents will see themselves in the pages and find reassurance that they’re normal, not alone and it won’t last forever. I can imagine couples sitting in bed at night and having a good chuckle, maybe a good cry, and then an even better cuddle afterward. I'm honored that renowned maternal mental health expert and author Karen Kleinman recommends Becoming Us for further reading.

Best for: new parents who don’t know which way is up and for therapists working with new parents who are struggling.


Who am I?

Around 25 years ago, I thought my husband and I were ready for parenthood…until we got there. And as a relationship counselor, I was listening to countless stories of couples struggling through the rollercoaster ride of becoming a family too. So I wondered: can couples actually prepare for this? For years I waited for a book to recommend to my clients to guide them after our sessions ended and I ended up writing (an award-winning) one instead. This turned into training for professionals, and now expectant couples are doing Becoming Us courses at the hospitals where our three children were born. And, thankfully, there are more books to support new families too!


I wrote...

Becoming Us: The Couple's Guide to Parenthood

By Elly Taylor,

Book cover of Becoming Us: The Couple's Guide to Parenthood

What is my book about?

For expecting couples to plan ahead, new parents in the thick of it, and those wondering what to expect next, Becoming Us is a map for the journey. There are insights and practical step-by-step guidance on every page to navigate the wilds and wonders of life and love during pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Topics include work/life balance (is this our new normal?), financial pressures (can we afford this?), including grandparents and inlaws (bring a casserole!), identity shifts (who am I now?), common relationship issues (are we OK?), intimacy, sex and more. There’s also help and hope for perinatal anxiety and depression, relationship distress (what happened to us?), a challenging birth experience—and how to support each other through it all. Parents at any stage of the journey will find places to circle back, get on track, and move forward together as a team.

Best for: expecting and new mothers, fathers, and parents, and parenthood-related professionals wanting to work in a holistic, “whole family” way.

It's Okay to Laugh

By Nora McInerny Purmort,

Book cover of It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too)

Did you know that it's ok to laugh when you are grieving? Did you know it's ok to cry when you are grieving? I didn't. I thought I had to be strong. I thought I had to behave properly and seriously or else people would assume I didn't really love the people I had lost. Guess what? That's complete nonsense.  With grief, your emotions are all over the place, often at the same time, and that's ok. It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) is an amazing book that really helps you recognize that your emotions are not mutually exclusive. In sharing (and laughing) about her own experiences, the author really helped me give myself permission to feel my feelings. To feel happy and sad, sometimes at the same time, and to know that whatever I feel in my grief, it's ok. This book often left me laughing out…


Who am I?

When I had multiple miscarriages in my late 20’s, I found I had no idea how to handle my grief. I didn’t even recognize I was grieving. A few years later when my husband died I was thrust into grief and a life I had never wanted. It took me months to learn how to survive, and a lot longer to find the resources I needed to live a happy life despite my loss. Finding resources that would help became important to me, and a handful of books have stayed with me long after I read them. I hope these books help you as much as they helped me.


I wrote...

Boldly Into the Darkness: Living with Loss, Growing with Grief & Holding on to Happiness

By Autumn Toelle-Jackson,

Book cover of Boldly Into the Darkness: Living with Loss, Growing with Grief & Holding on to Happiness

What is my book about?

Life for me started out happy and ordinary. When I entered my thirties, however, tragedy made up for lost time. Over the span of a few years, I endured several miscarriages, the loss of my husband, and a child.

But one small cross-section of life doesn't do justice to the amount of love, resilience, and growth, a person experiences after such losses. With each new harbinger of grief, I was forced to discover another way to survive. In Boldly into the Darkness, I examine the lessons and outcomes of my life with intimacy and insight. The result is a portrait of healing so complete, it transcends the traditional survivor narrative and enters new territory, a bold light shining where before was only darkness.

Mating in Captivity

By Esther Perel,

Book cover of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

What I teach people about sex helps them have a strong tantric base. This creates the sexual bonding and physical foundation that allows us to do the necessary emotional relationship work. However, I certainly don’t feel qualified to give advice on how to make romantic relationships succeed. That’s where famous relationship therapist Esther Perel comes in. In this eloquent book, she admirably tackles the age-old problem of sustaining both a good sex life and a good relationship in the long term. Combine these relationship skills with tantra and you’ll be equipped with some remarkable tools that exceptionally few couples have mastered yet.


Who am I?

I’ve been meditating since I’m 10 years old, constantly inquiring about why humans are suffering. This led me on a very introspective journey into tantra. After travelling the world for over two decades to study tantric lineages and spiritual traditions, I founded The New Tantra in 2010 and developed a range of workshops with ground-breaking sexual practices. Through this crazy, wild, and genderfluid exploration, I’ve taught thousands of people how to improve their sex lives and experience sexuality in a totally different way. I believe that by dealing with our sexual conditioning, we can live more playful, innocent, and happier lives for ourselves and the future generations to come.


I wrote...

50 Misconceptions of Sex: A Modern Tantric Practice

By Alexa Vartman,

Book cover of 50 Misconceptions of Sex: A Modern Tantric Practice

What is my book about?

Are you interested to learn about advanced sex that awaits beyond basic friction-only sex? This down-to-earth and unconventional Tantra manual is a bold proposition for a new sexuality for humanity. By clarifying 50 common misconceptions, the book explains and teaches a simple practice of intimate mastery. It brings the physical and mental effects of esoteric tantra within reach of a modern 21st-century audience.

Tantric practice transcends greed, shame, confusion, stagnation, and frustration by opening a gateway to transformational experiences that otherwise require psychedelics or years of meditation. Be warned: the book is unashamed and outspoken. For adventurous adult audiences with a sense of humor only. Suited for couples and singles regardless of gender and sexual orientation.

Becoming Us

By Elly Taylor,

Book cover of Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives

As a therapist and coach for expectant and new parents, this book is always near the top of my list of recommendations. Taylor does a wonderful job of normalizing the difficult transition for most from “couple” to “parents.” She uses her background as a couple’s therapist to help people build tools to navigate the emotional upheaval that is incredibly common (and backed by extensive research) in the transition to parenthood. I appreciate Taylor’s honesty and her inclusion of stories from couples as examples. Reading this book feels like having a conversation with a good friend, who focuses first on your strengths, but who isn’t afraid to help you learn some new and helpful ways of interacting.


Who am I?

As a trained therapist, educator, and coach for expectant and new parents, I understand on a deep level the importance of creating a strong foundation in building a family. I also was personally humbled at how difficult the transition to parenthood was for me and the challenges it presented in my relationship with my husband. While we’ve grown exponentially, I wanted to make it a little easier for other expectant parents to avoid some of the pitfalls that aren’t spoken about as much in becoming parents. I also wanted to help the new little beings arriving in the world to have more resourced, present parents. It’s a win-win.


I wrote...

Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

By Stephanie Dueger,

Book cover of Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

What is my book about?

Couples often spend surprisingly little time getting ready for this huge rite of passage. The first of its kind, this interactive book provides couples with essential conversation-starters and action items to complete before becoming parents. In Preparing for Parenthood, you’ll discover how to transition to parenting in ways that align with your own beliefs and values by: learning the biggest concerns couples face when becoming new parents and how to discuss them; finding your unique strengths as a couple, and addressing challenges as you embark on this journey; and developing greater confidence as parents so you can feel more relaxed and prepared.

This small and indispensable book will help you alleviate stress and answer some of the biggest questions you’ll want to address before your baby arrives.

Behind Closed Doors

By B.A. Paris,

Book cover of Behind Closed Doors

Holy crap, this book. It’s one of those you gulp down in one sitting, then go back and read for a second time to find all the clues you missed. Jack and Grace are the perfect couple. They have charm, elegance, wealth…except her friends wonder why she never seems to answer the phone or be able to meet for coffee even though she doesn’t work, or why she never takes anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. And those metal shutters on all the downstairs windows, what are they for? Creepy and intense and dazzlingly devious, this is one live-wire of a novel.


Who am I?

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of seven novels of domestic suspense, including her forthcoming My Darling Husband and The Marriage Lie, a Goodreads Choice Awards semifinalist for Best Mystery & Thriller. Her books have been published in more than a dozen languages and have been optioned for film and television. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.


I wrote...

My Darling Husband

By Kimberly Belle,

Book cover of My Darling Husband

What is my book about?

Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple, with two adorable kids, a spacious home, and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.

Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef, and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

Come from Away

By Genevieve Graham,

Book cover of Come from Away

Obviously, I love that this book is set in Canada, like all my own novels. A little-known story coming out of Nova Scotia involves Nazi sailors leaving their U-Boat one evening, on a bet, to attend a small-town dance without their identity being discovered. Graham has artfully taken this possibility on its ultimate “what-if?” journey. What if one of those sailors didn’t make it back to his submarine before it blew up, killing everyone aboard? What if he found a deserted trapper’s cabin to hole up in? What if he met a young Canadian woman whose three brothers were serving overseas? Isn’t it a tantalizing setup? Graham totally delivers in this page-turner.


Who am I?

I’m a Canadian author and I set my novels here. When I first attempted to write a book, I chose historical fiction because I thought it would be easier to get my characters into trouble—without cell phones and other modern conveniences to bail them out. I wasn’t wrong. However, the research involved with writing good historical fiction soon gave me a whole new appreciation for the genre and I was hooked. I find the WWII era far enough in the past to provide historical insight into humanity’s many weaknesses and strengths, yet near enough to make it relatable. I’ve been thrilled with the feedback on my faith-based stories.


I wrote...

Rose Among Thornes

By Terrie Todd,

Book cover of Rose Among Thornes

What is my book about?

When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairies to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, budding pianist Rose Onishi’s dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. When Rusty Thorne joins the Canadian Army, he never imagines becoming a Japanese prisoner of war or surviving the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep. Can Rose and Rusty overcome betrayal and open their hearts? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created?

How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids

By Jancee Dunn,

Book cover of How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids

Not only is Jancee Dunn wickedly funny, but her real world, practical advice, collected by experts (including my tips in a chapter about organizing your home), will resonate with new and not-so-new mothers everywhere. 

Although my children are now young adults, I remember the white-hot fury Jancee describes about why and how I became an expert on everything, from changing diapers, to scheduling carpools, to filling out the 42 pages of forms required for a teen trip to Australia, even though I worked more hours than my husband. I particularly enjoyed the chapter with advice from an FBI hostage negotiator. Who knew that simply paraphrasing your spouse’s words could work such wonders in diffusing a marital spat?


Who am I?

I'm the founder of Life Organized Inc, a firm specializing in the organization of people, their lives, and physical spaces. Known for creating solutions that are as aesthetically appealing as they are practical, I transform spaces from the inside out. My areas of expertise include home and office organization, time management, digital decluttering, organizing for academic success, maximizing productivity while working from home, and management of everyday chaos. I'm a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the NYU Stern School of Business.


I wrote...

Secrets of an Organized Mom

By Barbara Reich,

Book cover of Secrets of an Organized Mom

What is my book about?

My book offers a life-changing approach to decluttering and streamlining your home so you and your family can live a simpler, less chaotic life.

Room by room, I address the most problematic areas in the home—from the tornado-struck play area to the packed basement—and tackle organizing in manageable bites. In addition to organizing tips, I address how to avoid social overload, preaching the power of “No”—for example, when your child wants to attend multiple birthday parties in one weekend. As the mother of twins, I have first-hand insight into the lives of crazed moms. Combining the humor of a sympathetic friend and the no-nonsense advice of a true type-A personality, I offer clever, appealing solutions that are genuinely achievable for everyone.

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