Rating: 3 stars
Headline: A pleasant read, produced by a couple with sound expertise and a skill for joint-authorship
When it comes to reviewing non-fiction I often find myself baffled by relationship guides. Conventional relationships are a joint venture, yet so many books present as one person (the author) stating advice to another person (a singular reader).
In Tina and Michael LeBlanc’s book, The Ten Habits of Happy Couples, the pair bring together their professional and personal experiences to create a guide that encourages ten habits to improve connectively between couples. Examples include prioritising relationships and intimacy, setting clear rules and boundaries, and building mutual respect. For each chapter, or “habit”, there contains a quick introductory questionnaire for readers, information on the habit, “our conversation” (where Tina and Michael share their experiences), and then hints and tips for applying this habit into conversation between couples and/or into daily life.
I like the premise of this book, with an inclusive approach that is less finger-pointing and more unified in style. On multiple occasions the authors highlight toxic tendencies and encourage readers to revaluate or walk away from relationships which show signs of harm. That said, this book does suffer in places from excessive copy. When I find myself quickly flicking through twenty four pages (plus the introduction) to get me to the first habit, I know something is amiss. The use of a number in any book title makes me more impatient in nature (a trait shared with many of my millennial peers, with no thanks to the infinite number of “top ten” lists on the internet). Some of this content could have been cut, merged or the title changed to avoid the glass-eye syndrome I feel into.
While I can see the intention behind the “our conversation” sections, the dialogue between Tina and Michael comes across as too staged for my liking and equally, I am not a fan of the habit numbers decreasing from ten to one. It placed a heightened significance on habit number one which I do not think was intentional.
When reviewing the sales of this book, a purchaser commented online that The Ten Habits of Happy Couples would make an excellent wedding gift. While I am not quite convinced that nuptial events are this title’s best market potential, I do see this as having a place in everyday life, for everyday couples. A pleasant read in places, produced by authors with sound expertise and a skill for joint-authorship. I look forward to seeing what they produce next.
Reedsy Discovery Review: AEB Reviews – “The 10 Habits of Happy Couples”
Purchase Link: “The 10 Habits of Happy Couples” by Tina and Michael LeBlanc (Amazon)
Author Website: Better Yourself 365