As I was browsing Waterstone's yesterday, I found on a clearance table The Complete Book of Aunts by Rupert Christiansen for a mere £3.99. It cost less than the fashion mag I was going to wastefully spend my money on and is much more salubrious. It was first published in 2006, so we need not feel sorry for Mr. Christiansen that his book is on the clearance table. Instead, any Single woman in Britain should rush out and by it, for it is immensely cheering.
So far I have read only Christiansen's first two chapters, plus his etymological discussion of aunts, plus an amusing poem about aunts by Virginia Graham. But I am convinced that the whole work is chicken soup for the auntly soul, equally attractive to both Serious and Searching Single women.
The second book I discovered by way of Yahoo News, which (like MSN) reprinted a Maclean's article about Whom Not To Marry: Time-Tested Advice from a Higher Authority. The Higher Authority is 81-year-old Father Pat Connor of New Jersey, but speaking as an author, I think we can charitably assume the subtitle was not his choice. The phrase "Time-Tested" was ripped straight from the subtitle of The Rules.
The media seems to love books written about sex and/or marriage by priests: such a fuss last year over a Polish priest who wrote a sex manual. I suppose they still think priests know squat about marriage, despite most of them preparing hundreds of couples for marriage and then listening to our subsequent complaints for years. But I have to say that I am a wee bit annoyed that Fr. Connor has scooped the topic of my next book. How vexing. Fortunately, the market is big enough to handle several simultaneous books about whom-not-to-marry. Persuasion, for example, still sells very well.
But I am longing to read what Father Connor has to say, so I am going to get his book, and I bet all you Searching Singles would find it interesting, too.