Most of you are outside today. A good thing.
As many of you know, I write a column every January about all of the self-help books I've been sent by publishers throughout the year. Once I'm done with the column, I send the books to readers who want them.
This time around, I can't wait until January. I've received twice as many self-help books as I did last year, and my desk is a messy library of misery that is making me feel like Bridget Jones in a bad way.
Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to post a list of all of the books on my desk, the self-help guides that have shown up from publishers since January. If you want one, e-mail me (meregoldstein at gmail dot com). Put "Book!" in the subject line. Tell me which one you want and I'll do my best to get you the right book. We'll do this while supplies last, so e-mail as soon as you can.
If you get one of the books, you have homework. Within two weeks, I expect you to e-mail me a one-sentence summary of the book you received. The one sentence can be long, but keep it to one sentence, just like I did in my January column.
When I get all of the reviews, I'll post them (with your chosen real or Boston.com. fake name, of course).
The funniest one-line review gets a big prize, of course, so be witty.
And yes, everyone gets to keep their self-help book. My gift to you. And sorry to anyone who gets a book I spilled coffee on.
Make sense? If not, e-mail me questions
Here are the books. Let me know which one you want. And happy holiday weekend. We'll get back to normal tomorrow.
1. "Making A Success of Marriage: Planning for Happily Ever After," David Yount
2. "Meeting Your Half-Orange," Amy Spencer
3. "Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples About Lasting Love," Charlie and Linda Bloom
4. "Marry Him: The Cast for Settling for Mr. Good Enough," Lori Gottlieb
5. "The Denzel Principle: Why Black Women Can’t Find Good Black Men," Jimi Izrael
6. "For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage," Tara Parker-Pope
7. "How to Stay Out of the Doghouse," Partners & Spade
8. "How to Keep Him on a Short Leash," Partners & Spade
9. "The Best Sex of Your Life," Jennifer Hunt & Dan Baritchi
10. "Divorce After 50: Your Guide to the Unique Legal & Financial Challenges," Janice Green
11. "How Not to Marry the Wrong Guy," Anne Milford and Jennifer Gauvain
12. "Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently," Marcus Buckingham
13. "You Can Count on Cupid: Uncovering Love by the Numbers, from the First Date, to the Seven-Year Itch, to Forever After," Luisa Dillner
14. "The Body Language Handbook: How to Read Everyone's Hidden Thoughts and Intentions," Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch
15. "And then I’ll be Happy!: Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness and Put Your Own Life First," Kristen Houghton
16. "Is He Lying to You?," Dan Crum
17. "It's Either Her or Me: A Guide to Help a Mom and Her Daughter-In-Law Get Along," Ellie Slott Fisher
18. "Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power," Gary Zukav
19. "Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love," Helen Fisher
20. "101 to Torture Your Husband,” Marcia Garcia-Kalb
21. "He’s Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing)," Andrea Syrtash
22. "The Complete Marriage Counselor: Relationship-saving Advice from America's Top 50+ Couples Therapists," Sherry Amatenstein
23. "L.O.V.E.: Putting Your Love Styles to Work for You," Les and Leslie Parrott
24. "The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief," David Biro
25. "To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First," David Code
26. "The Book of Love: Every Couples' Guide to Emotional and Sexual Intimacy," Laura Berman
27. "Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Interruption," Edward M. Hallowell and Sue George Hallowell
28. "The Right Decision: The Mathematician Reveals How the Secrets of Decision Theory Can Help You Make the Right Decision Every Time," James Stein
29. "A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-first Century," Cristina Nehring
30. "The Newlywed's Instruction Manual," Caroline Tiger