If you’re like me, choosing the next book to read is serious business.  There are moods to be considered and big decisions to be made. When I go to the library, I often check out various titles in many different genres because I don’t know what I’ll feel like reading next.

I recently picked up The Female Brain, Dr. Louann Brizendine’s very reader-friendly book on the neurological differences that exist between the female and male brains and how those differences shape their personalities, biology, and ability to communicate with one another. The influence for this choice, I must confess, was my book club; however, I very much enjoyed the book, was able to glean a lot from it and recommend it to every woman (and every man who wants to better understand women).

After finishing this book I was craving a good novel, so I decided to read something a good friend had just finished and raved about: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. It is the story of a newlywed couple and a wedding night gone awry. After finishing this all-too-quick read, I was left with the awe-inspiring impression that no one better captures the subtlety of a moment with such gravity than Mr. McEwan. This is definitely going on my list of all-time favorites.

What is most interesting to me about my latest choices though is their pairing and the influence they had on one another. While reading On Chesil Beach, I kept thinking that the young couple would have much better luck communicating with one another if they had read Dr. Brizendine’s book too. I found myself thinking, “Well, he needs to do this and remember that she is acting the way she is because of this hormone in her brain.” and “She should understand that he is thinking this way because of X-Y-and-Z.” I am amused by how these books, seemingly different in every way, have come together and influenced my reading experience, something that has made me contemplative regarding the act of choosing and reading books in general. Surely, other bibliophiles can relate… Feel free to comment if you have an interesting story to share!

So, I guess the short of it is read these two books and, if you want an interesting experience, read them together.

-Marie

An Unlikely Couple: The Female Brain and On Chesil Beach

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