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Staff Picks: 21st Century Romance

Cover_21st Century RomanceI’m a single woman in my twenties, so if there’s one thing I can count on, it’s hearing about love and marriage. Whether it’s being asked to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding or answering question after question about whether or not I’m seeing someone, sometimes it feels like everything in my life revolves around the subject.

Enter “Modern Romance,” in which comedian Aziz Ansari works seamlessly with sociologist Eric Klinenberg to present findings from an extensive study on the culture of love and dating over the past fifty years, all interspersed with hilarious anecdotes from Ansari’s own dating experiences. I knew I had adopted this book into my heart and soul when my mom asked me if I was seeing anyone, and I responded by sharing how the changing nature of marriage from a primarily ‘companionate’ bond to a ‘soulmate’ bond has shifted the expectations people are entering into dating and marriage, instead of just saying “No, not right now.”

In a similar vein, Rebecca Traister charts the history of women’s sexual, economic, and emotional lives in America in her book “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.” Full of anecdotes from historical and contemporary single women and informative research on women who chose paths besides marriage, “All the Single Ladies” presents an intriguing look at both contemporary American life and an American history that is often forgotten about. The book also does a fabulous job reminding readers that women are not a monolith, touching on the issues of race, class, and sexual orientation.

Both of these books are great reads for all those who are interested in learning more about how dating and marriage have changed throughout the years, especially in the most recent decades with the rise of technology. They’re both extremely informative, but written in a way that is easy to understand.

Modern Romance” and “All the Single Ladies” are available to put on hold in our catalog. While you’re waiting, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These …” at the bottom of each book’s page for more reading suggestions.

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