Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Book Review: Mr. & Mrs Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy

Reviewed by Jeffrey Caminsky

In the press of everyday life, it is easy to forget about the little things in life. Worried about work, we can overlook the beauty of a sunset. Consumed by paying bills, the small progress our children make each day may pass unnoticed.

It is often the little things that make life a joy or a source of sorrow. And The Mr. And Mrs. Happy Handbook, a heartwarming look at married life by Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, shows how these small, everyday details can grow into laughter and memories. It will be these memories of good times that will sustain us through the hard times that every life will know, from time to time.

The author’s sense of humor is evident on every page. His misadventures begin while he was courting his wife-to-be, and appear never to stop. The author’s underlying message is that finding someone to share life’s journeys will turn our time on Earth into a shared adventure. But finding someone to share laughter at misadventures we encounter along the way can turn the journey into a joy.

Through it all, Doocy’s focus is on keeping the peace and making family life a source of warmth and affection. He weaves practical experience with good fun to craft a guide to married life that will strike a familiar chord for most couples. There is advice on planning the wedding (let her have anything she wants), settling arguments with hide and marriage intact (listen to your mate...and never fight to win), buying presents for your beloved (stay away from appliances), as well as the most difficult subjects for anyone dealing with the consequences of fruitful multiplication—or, in other words, kids (they’re not as breakable as may you think...but most parents could learn a lot about child discipline from studying the Godfather, and alternating between bribery and strong-arm tactics).

The writing is conversational, not pretentious, and the author speaks to his topic with clarity and wit. Being able to share laughter is, in many ways, the key to sharing love, and the author and his wife (who contributes the occasional clarification for her husband) seem to have gotten the combination just about right.

The book is fun and heartwarming, but not intended for those with serious problems. The advice is good-natured, but not for those torn by tragedy or serious psychological problems. For that, professional advice may be needed. But most of us are not in crisis, and for couples who have lost their perspective or their sense of humor, this book may be just what the doctor ordered.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed The Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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