BookPeople hosts a reading and signing of WEDDING TOASTS I'LL NEVER GIVE, a new essay collection about marriage by W. W. Norton & Company author Ada Calhoun (ST. MARKS IS DEAD). Ada will be in conversation with her brilliant former coworker Wayne Alan Brenner of the Austin Chronicle.
Ada Calhoun is a journalist who got her start at the Austin Chronicle but has been living in NYC for the past 15 years. Her 2015 book St. Marks Is Dead was named a New York Times Editors' Pick, Amazon Book of the Month, and one of the best books of the year by Kirkus, the Boston Globe, Orlando Weekly, and the Village Voice, which called it 2015's "Best Nonfiction Book About New York."
There will be free drinks for all attendees, becuase she doesn't go anywhere anymore without bringing a bunch of champagne.
About WEDDING TOASTS I'LL NEVER GIVE:
We hear plenty about whether or not to get married, but much less about what it takes to stay married. Cliches around marriage--eternal bliss, domestic harmony, soulmates--leave out the real stuff. After marriage you may still want to sleep with other people. Sometimes, your partner will bore the hell out of you. And when stuck paying for your spouse's mistakes, you might miss being single.
In Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give, Ada Calhoun, acclaimed for her provocative essays in the New York Times Modern Love column, presents an unflinching but also loving portrait of her own marriage, opening a long overdue conversation about the institution as it truly is: not the happy ending of a love story, or a relic doomed by high divorce rates, but the beginning of a challenging new chapter of which "the first twenty years are the hardest."
More about the book: https://www.adacalhoun.com/wedding-toasts-ill-never-give
"A humorous, realistic, and loving look at marriage. . . . Each essay mixes components of memoir and self-help, drawing on insight from Calhoun's own marriage as well as the wise thoughts of clergymen and lessons learned from long-married couples. . . . Calhoun is laugh-out-loud funny. . . . This realistic, empathetic book of advice is worthy of a spot on any newlyweds' bookshelf."
"[A] series of graceful essays that explore the significance of marriage in a time that no longer deems marriage a necessity. Alternating between hilarious personal anecdote and sobering professional insight, this memoir conveys perhaps the simplest lesson ever given about learning to make a marriage last: just don't get divorced."
"Calhoun plumbs personal material for her explorations into how to guide others through a wedding's great beyond while drawing on extensive research and interviews with scholars, clergy, and acquaintances at different stages of marriage. . . . Readers will marvel at the connections she makes through her many-limbed approach. . . . Moving, refreshing, funny."
"[Calhoun] approaches her subject not as the voice of wisdom and experience but as someone in the same trenches who can comfort her married readers that they are not alone. . . . [S]he's engaging and all-too-human, chronicling the strains of being together, being apart, sharing a rental car, screwing up finances, raising a son, and somehow staying together in spite of (and maybe because of) it all. Calhoun ends with a toast that she would actually give, and it's wise and lovely."
"Ada Calhoun has written the definitive meditation on marriage in all of its mystery and imperfection. It should be required reading for anyone considering it, and highly recommended for those who want to be reminded of why they did it in the first place."
"By turns hilariously candid, thought-provoking, and romantic, Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give gave me a richer view of the joys and challenges of marriage--especially my own marriage."
--Gretchen Rubin, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project
"A warm, tart, corrective to the persistent conviction that a wedding is the neat end of a love story."
--Rebecca Traister, New York Times best-selling author of All the Single Ladies
"Ada Calhoun is the friend we all need--the one who lets us behind the curtain of her good marriage to help us better understand our own. She's smart, funny, and best of all, willing to bare all."
--Emma Straub, New York Times best-selling author of Modern Lovers
"This really spoke to me. It's a beautiful love letter to what marriage is. Ada Calhoun seems like she'd be a ball to hang out with. Marriage: not so bad, guys."
--Kathryn Hahn, actress (Transparent, Crossing Jordan)
"What a witty, sexy, surprising testimony to the institution of marriage! It's the best essay collection I've read in a long time, just astoundingly honest and insightful about what marriage really means. And I say that as someone who has been married twenty years."
--Karen Abbott, New York Times best-selling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
"An uncommonly gracious invitation to rethink our relationship to an institution that often seems to have us doomed before we begin. There's been so much cant, as they used to say in the nineteenth century, written about marriage, but Ada Calhoun's book is honest about the struggle to love another person without congratulating itself for being honest, and if that isn't a spiritual discipline, I don't know what is."
--Carlene Bauer, author of Frances and Bernard and Not That Kind of Girl
"Extremely funny and deeply insightful. With its generous spirit and breathtaking honesty, Ada Calhoun's instruction manual of a book recalls another all-time favorite, Anne Lamott's classic Bird by Bird. This slim volume is brimming with practical advice and should be mandatory reading for married people and anyone who's contemplated taking the leap."
--Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart Is an Idiot, creator of FOUND magazine, and contributor to NPR's This American Life
"This unflinchingly honest, astutely balanced probe of a most perplexing institution asks all the right questions. It sets up a conversation with the reader, who is challenged to reflect at each point, choosing between 'No, that's not me' and 'How did she know that?' Most of the time, she knows."
--Phillip Lopate, author of The Art of the Personal Essay
"True, funny, and wise, Ada Calhoun's insight into the nature of marriage is a compulsively readable and sneakily profound primer on all interpersonal relationships. She should be required to give a toast at every wedding, bar mitzvah, and funeral she attends."
--Leah Carroll, author of Down City: A Daughter's Story of Love, Memory, and Murder
"Brutally honest, hilarious, and unsentimental--but never unkind--this is a book for anyone who has ever had a thought (good or bad) about the institution of marriage. I devoured this gem in one sitting. I want to marry this book."
--Susannah Cahalan, New York Times best-selling author of Brain on Fire