10 books for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver


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News that the high-profile former first couple of California was splitting last week came as a surprise. What would cause ex-Gov. and action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and his journalist wife, Kennedy scion Maria Shriver, to separate after 25 years together?

As everyone knows now, the reason was a child. Specifically, a child that Schwarzenegger fathered with as an unnamed staffer who’d been with the family for 20 years. The staffer parted company from them in January; the child is thought to be 10 or 11 years old.


“After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” Schwarzenegger said Monday night in a statement issued to The Times. “I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused.”

Perhaps spending a little quiet time alone with a book would be good for Schwarzenegger, as well as for Shriver, who in a statement asked for privacy “as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal.” Shriver concluded, “I will have no further comment.”

Below we have a suggestion of five books for Maria Shriver, five for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and one bonus, for the mother of Schwarzenegger’s newly-acknowledged child.

For Maria:

  • “Infidelity: A Survival Guide” by Don-David Lusterman, PhD

  • “Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy” by Frank Pittman (not to be confused with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film “True Lies”)

  • “Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults Are Affected When Their Parents Are Unfaithful” by Ana Nogales, PhD

  • “Transcending Post-infidelity Stress Disorder” by Dennis Ortman, PhD

  • “Divorce Poison New and Updated Edition: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing” by Dr. Richard A. Warshak

For Arnold:

  • “Fatherhood” by Bill Cosby

  • “Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son” by Michael Chabon

  • Whichever is appropriate: “Why a Daughter Needs a Dad” or “Why a Son Needs a Dad” both by Gregory Lang

  • “Two Plays by Denis Diderot: ‘The Illegitimate Son’ and ‘The Father of the Family’” by Denis Diderot

  • “The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down” by Andrew Young

And for the former household employee who is the mother of Arnold’s child:

  • “Joint Custody With a Jerk” by Julie A. Ross and Judy Corcoran

-- Carolyn Kellogg