How to Be a Husband

Tim Dowling. Penguin/Blue Rider, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-17293-9
In this witty collection, Dowling, a London resident and columnist for the Guardian, offers wry observations on marriage and fatherhood that are sure to resonate with readers on both sides of the pond. Drawing on over 20 years as a husband, Dowling opens with his courtship of his wife-to-be ("When we met... we had no shared interests beyond smoking and drinking") and their wedding, and then goes beyond to offer a series of anecdotes, tales, and observations. A gifted storyteller, he is quick to point out his own foibles during shared adventures such as running out of money mid-honeymoon ("I'll be back," his wife says as she dashes to the bank, "don't eat anything") as well as the everyday drama of life with three kids in tow. Topics include advice for successful arguing (he's a big fan of the "whatever" response, since "everybody walks away with something"), how to handle manly duties such as home repair ("you cannot make the problem worse; you can only move it forward to a stage where professional intervention becomes urgently advisable"), as well as unspoken rules (such as the freedom to steal small amounts of money from each other). This lighthearted romp through married life will have many readers nodding in recognition. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-0-00-752768-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-14-751774-6
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-62899-649-4
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