150 Secrets to a Happy Wife

Joe Gumm. Sourcebooks, $12.99 trade paper (214p) ISBN 978-1-4022-5328-7
Embracing the stereotype of the husband as a clueless, insensitive dolt and the wife as an endlessly patient, effective yet marginalized mom at the helm of a busy household, Gumm returns with an update to his 2006 guide (Romancing Mommy) full of humorous and pragmatic instruction. The titular secrets are no mystery; they're common-sense. Gumm's tips on being a loving husband and dad (really, just a normal human being) include filling her car with gas, using a glass, flushing the toilet, and reading to your children. This is Husbandry for Dummies, and it's debatable whether men—Gumm's target audience—will listen. But taken en masse, and taken seriously by the husband who wants to be better, these tips would surely result in more respect and courtesy. A 21st-century Art of Courtly Love this is not, and it's surprisingly unkempt for an updated edition, but credit is due: if small gestures make a happy marriage, then Gumm is on to something. If they don't, and he's not, at least he‘ll have readers laughing. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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