Amidst an era where vampire series', self-help books, and murder mysteries grow abundant, more and more authors are shying away from topics dealing with family and relationships. While it is such a prevalent part of our everyday lives, take a quick stroll through your local Barnes and Nobles and you'll have trouble finding a genuine, insightful book about the intimacies of relationships.
A few authors stray from the norm; here are 3 books in particular that stand out as insightful, unique, and powerful portrays about the how-and-why of relationships, which help us learn more about ourselves:
1. Tuesdays with Morrie
Written by Mitch Albom in 1997, Tuesdays with Morrie documents the weekly meetings between Albom and his former Brandeis Professor, Morrie Schwartz. The story begins when Schwartz, recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), receives a surprise visit from his former student, Albom. What begins as a one-time meeting evolves into a weekly one-on-one seminar as Albom discovers the significance of the lessons that he is learning from Schwartz, as well as the implications it has on his own life.
As they progress in their relationship and conversations, Albom's entire outlook of his life, career, and perspective shifts into a much deeper, thoughtful mindset. His relationship with Schwartz was the key to these insights, Albom soon realizes. While most people continued regularly about their lives as they observed passively the decay of Morrie Schwartz, Albom embraced Schwartz's declining disposition, and in doing so uncovered a wealth of meaning for both himself and Schwartz. The knowledge and perspective that Albom then gained was a result of his initiative in establishing and growing a relationship with Schwartz.
2. A Cloud in the Sky
While still enrolled at Brandeis University, Jake Newfield began meeting with his grandfather every Sunday. In his new book, Newfield creates a unique collaboration of memoir, stories, and philosophies that he gathered through these conversations of almost three years. The story outlines the life of his grandfather, Kal Newfield, from his humble beginnings in the Lower East side of Manhattan during the height of the depression, through his current life living in Boston with his wife. What makes the book so interesting is its sincerity. It holds back nothing as it illustrates the views, morals, and beliefs of its main character, Kal.
The book is centered around a metaphor regarding the passing of time, and on the implications that time has on life as a whole. Newfield's relationship with Kal, and his persistence in meeting weekly over a period of years is what brings this story to life the most. The dialogue is a unique mixture of thoughtfulness, bluntness, and a hint of comedy. Readers will be able to pre-order the book at a discount through October.
3. Mate: Be the Man that Women Want
In his latest book, Tucker Max pulls a sharp 180 from topics he previously had written about. Max tackles a commonly spoken yet seldomly investigated phenomena: why and how men fail at making connections with women. Co-authored by Geoffrey Miller, PhD, the book investigates the psychology behind the miscommunications and mistakes that people make when trying to form a relationship, and the sociological difficulties tied in with getting to know someone. Max recognizes the importance of relationships in peoples' lives, and aims to fix some of the roadblocks. When asked about the issue as a whole, Tucker Max responded,
"Everything about how men view relationships is wrong. Men are not broken or obsolete; they just need a new frame through which to understand dating and women, one that will allow them to be both effective and ethical. And it all starts with not seeing dating as a battle of the sexes, but as a way to find win-win relationships."
The book provides insight about how people can reposition themselves, without changing their underlying intentions, to more effectively communicate their personalities, goals, and emotions with someone they want to form a connection with.