2013 Challenges, Books

Book 201: Homo Domesticus – David Valdes Greenwood

Greenwood_9780738211145.inddOnce again, I have to say something about other Goodreads reviews that’s not very nice. Multiple people have compared this book to Dan Savage’s The Kid and although yes, they are comparable, they are not the same thing. Savage’s book focuses on the adoption process and this book focuses on wait for it, a Same Sex Marriage (see what I did there, I stole it directly from the subtitle). In addition there are people whinging about the plainness of this marriage. Aren’t all marriages boring to anyone not in it? I mean seriously people did you expect the craziness Valdes Greenwood alludes to when talking about the Dear Parent note of cosmopolitan and sex parties?

I’ve read this book once previously and when I found it in a box of old books when I was moving my mom this past winter I knew I wanted to re-read it again before I passed it on and I am glad I did. In addition it just further supports that my statement still stands: this is a better book than Savage’s The Kid.

This is because Valdes Greenwood (VG from here on out) either has better writing skills (perhaps because he is a writer/author by training) or because of his ability to come across less crass and more heartwarming than Savage. But don’t get me wrong, Savage’s book provided a lot of insight into the adoption process – a lot more than VG’s ever intended to provide, as seen by this book’s subtitle. Whereas VG only makes a nod to politics in passing when Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, Savage’s book is much more overtly political as he is in general.

I found myself tearing up at multiple points reading Homo Domesticus this past week on my various commutes. Part of this is clearly from having someone to identify with, damn you VG and your subtle digs at yourself, and because of the sheer emotional heartstrings VG plays while taking you on his relationship’s journey.

I debate calling it a highlight, but what was most well written and what I think the biggest takeaway from the novel was the same thing that makes me want to recommend it to people. The book is all about working through the troubles of a relationship and finding the little things that make a relationship successful. I almost don’t to put this book in the donate/re-sell pile because it’s a good how-to as well as a good reminder about how to make things work and how important communication is to a relationship

Recommendation: EVERYONE should read this. It’s about communication and love and making things work and I don’t think enough people take these things into account these days. There’s too much in-and-out of the sack, one night stands and oh maybe in the futures going on for there to really be this type of hard-working committed relationships. (Or I’m just once again acknowledging my jadedness…)

Opening Line: “There are myriad reasons why two people might marry—sudden pregnancy, desire for a green card, federal benefits—but only two good reasons to have a wedding: so that you may shamelessly solicit presents and so that you can make people cry.”

Closing Line: “I scooped my daughter up, gave my husband a kiss, and started another day with my family.” (Not whited out as this is a work of nonfiction.)

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9 thoughts on “Book 201: Homo Domesticus – David Valdes Greenwood”

    1. Isn’t it?! I remember when I first stumbled across it I was taking a course on human evolution and I was like YES! I was really hoping he’d play up the title, but he didn’t really have to which is probably even better.

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  1. Will add this to my list. And yes, marriage is boring unless you are in it. People ask me all the time if I’m okay when I talk about my relationship. when you are happy, you don’t feel the need to talk about your relationship. It’s when the relationship sucks that people want to talk about it. many people find us boring and that’s perfectly okay with me. I hate drama. Steady happiness, with a few bumps.

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    1. See justification 😀 And this one is definitely worth a read. I found myself on Friday this past week on the T wondering if they were still in the city and how they were doing.

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          1. One time, after seeing a movie at Fenway I went to the D line to go home. It was shut down because a tree fell on the track. Then I walked to the C line and it was shut down since a train had jumped the track. Only the green line.

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