‘Vow: A Memoir of Marriage’
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Seven ill-advised books for your Valentine

‘Vow: A Memoir of Marriage’
“Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs)” by Wendy Plump looks, at first, like a memoir of couplehood. It is. But it’s also a chronicle of affairs on both sides that ultimately broke down a marriage. A lovely gift for the recently divorced.  (Bloomsbury)
‘I Am an Executioner: Love Stories’
Rajesh Parameswaran’s collection “I Am an Executioner: Love Stories” seems sweet -- except for the “executioner” part.  (Vintage Books)
‘The Average American Marriage’
Nobody wants to be called average -- not that “The Average American Marriage,” Chad Kultgen’s sequel to his novel “The Average American Male,” is recognizably middle-of-the-road. Sadly, it was impossible to find a representative passage that wasn’t dripping with profanity.  (Harper Perennial)
‘How to Think More About Sex’
“How to Think More About Sex” covers “lust, fetishism, adultery, and pornography,” the back cover tells us, and author Alain de Botton “frankly articulates the dilemmas of modern sexuality.” That’s all well and good, but the title may imply the wrong thing to your partner. (Picador)
‘The Feminist Porn Book’
From the introduction: “ ‘The Feminist Porn Book’ is the first collection to bring together writings by feminist porn producers and feminist porn scholars to engage, challenge, and re-imagine pornography.... By putting our voices into conversation, this book sparks new thinking about the richness and complexity of porn as a genre and an industry in a way that helps us to appreciate the work that feminists in the porn industry are doing....”  (The Feminist Press)
‘How to Live Together’
Sure, “How to Live Together” looks like a book about compatibility, but it’s by French literary theorist Roland Barthes and “focuses on the concept of ‘idiorrhythmy,’ a productive form of living together in which one recognizes and respects the individual rhythms of the other. He explores this phenomenon through five texts that represent different living spaces and their associated ways of life.” (Columbia University Press)
‘The Human Body Book’
Now out in a second edition -- with accompanying DVD! -- “The Human Body Book” is a fascinating, fully illustrated look at the systems of the human body. But on this day, maybe it’s better to think of the heart of the one you love in a little less specificity. (DK Publishing)