The Book World Blog

About Short Stack: Short Stack is a blog by book lovers for book lovers. Every week a member of our staff recommends a list of five favorite books on a particular subject -- fiction or nonfiction. We invite our readers to agree, disagree, free associate, and post their own favorites. In this way, we hope to spark conversation, share ideas, learn a thing or two.

-- Marie Arana, Book World Editor

By Christian Pelusi |  October 5, 2007; 7:25 PM ET Introduction
Next: If Your Marriage Is on the Rocks


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Where are the current books? Granted, you mention Ian McEwan's book--a novel that was published recently. But there must be a ton of contemporary books about marriage and trouble. How about Annie Dillard's The Maytrees? There's a book about marriage for our times. We all know people like this. The hero drops his wife for his lover. And then, many, many years later, he brings his lover back home to die in the very home where he and his former wife lived. Now that's a guidebook on marital relations. Head on.

Posted by: capitol hill | October 5, 2007 9:54 PM

cool blog!
but i hope it doesn't mean that you're always doing fiction. i'd like to know, for instance, what your top 5 science books would be.

Posted by: steve | October 7, 2007 8:22 AM

A fine addition to the bookish blogosphere! Welcome!

Posted by: Karen DeGroot Carter | October 8, 2007 11:23 AM

I really admire James Salter's "Light Years" (1975). The main couple drift apart so gradually, so nonchalantly, that we don't really notice when, precisely, they cease to be a couple until they have moved on to other partners. Nedra and Viri are beautiful and superficial, and watching their relationship decline is like watching smoke dissipate; it is alluring and nebulous and, ultimately, it is nothing. Salter's prose is the real protagonist, however: an economy and grace that makes every word glow. This is a depressing book, but also one of the most beautiful I have read. I think it is much more satisfying than his better-known "A Sport and a Pastime" (1967).

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