Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler
William Morrow
ISBN: 978-0061778742
Published Feb 19, 2013
Trade paperback, 320 pages

I’m always attracted to books on self-improvement. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me or the need to make sure I’m aware of the latest school of thought on any given topic that interests me. Whatever it is, I knew I wanted to read this book. Oh, I've read many books on family and as a Christian, I think that following Bible principles is key to family happiness, but I was curious nonetheless.

After reading the intro I knew I would like this book. The author is a family man, he does his research and he’s got a good sense of humour. This book was the result of his goal to set out to find the best practices for family today. After reading the first chapter, I approached my husband and said, “I think we've got to try this.” He read the chapter and replied, “This is a good idea, let’s do it.” That chapter talks about a cutting edge program called “agile development” that companies are putting into practice with success. Feiler shows how this agile blueprint can be used for families. How cool is that?

Why not use strategies that promote adapting to change? Like Feiler says, “families have undergone dramatic changes in recent decades... Almost everyone feels completely overwhelmed by the pace and pressures of daily life.” I agree! So I gobbled this book up, taking note of the practical things I could do and put into practice with my family. The book includes a family toolkit that makes it easy to use these practices, and an extensive bibliography and author notes that make me want to read a whole bunch of other books!

Feiler does his research and interviews all kinds of experts. He includes snippets of their conversations and snapshots of his own family life, which I could relate to. The advice is sound, it makes sense, it can be easily applied, and it encompasses many components such as issues with discipline, money, sex and what to do when your marriage is beginning to get stale.

I love books that make me want to be a better team player in my family, a better mother, wife and partner. This is how I felt reading this book. It empowered me to keep working at building up my family, even on days where I feel I just want to walk out and take a vacation...alone!

Some things I had heard before but they deserved repetition because they are worthy, and others were a revelation to me. This book is well-written, easy to read and a good resource I will refer to often. Highly recommended to all families!

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and Litfuse for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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