Here is our list of good books for couples to read together. They are funny but introspective, and educational but entertaining.
While they’re not all relationship books for couples to read, they will all make you and your partner a better team.
The English playwright Joseph Addison once said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
Well, you may already know the massive benefits of working out with your spouse, so it may not come as a surprise that we also believe couples should read together.
Just like exercise, reading helps improve cognitive function, slows down aging, promotes longevity, and reduces stress.
In fact, one study found that reading for 30 minutes has similar effects on acute stress reduction as 30 minutes doing yoga!
As for longevity, Yale University School of Public Health published a fascinating study that found adults who read lived an average of 2 years longer than those who didn’t. Two! Years!
And ready for the best part?
When it comes to relationships, reading offers even more benefits. Multiple studies have shown that reading promotes empathy and a better understanding of others’ feelings and emotions.
Plus, reading heightens your analytical skills and improves memory. This makes navigating the ins and outs of a relationship much, much easier.
Book Club for Two
Whether you choose to read together in a structured book club for two, or simply snuggle into bed each night with the same book going at your own pace, it’s not a big stretch to say that couples who read together stay together.
So, how do you decide which books for couples to read together? The truth is, any book you’d like is a great place to start.
For more relationship-centric books, we’ve put together a list of our personal favorites as well as recommended books by relationship therapists to further improve your relationship and bond.
A University of Rochester psychology professor, Dr. Ronald Rogge, found that there are certain movies couples can watch together that can be just as effective as marriage therapy.
These are the movies that can cut your chances of divorce in half.
However, it’s not just watching the movies that made all the difference. To reap the full therapeutic benefits of watching these movies as a couple, discussion questions are essential.
As you read these books together as a couple, ask each other thoughtful questions and share what you liked best.
Books for couples to read together
Here is our list of the best books to read as a couple. We’ve read (or are reading currently) and enjoyed all of them.
Since these are our favorites, we’ve left the list short and sweet, leaving room to expand the list over time.
Please, if you have a book recommendation, share it with us in the comments and it will be on our Kindle in no time!
by Aziz Ansari
This is the best funny book for couples to read together.
Brought to you by comedian Aziz Ansari of Parks and Recreation, Modern Romance is a hilarious and surprisingly data-backed look at dating in the modern-day.
Aziz analyzes how we used to date generations ago, and how online dating has changed how we look for and find love.
This is a laugh-out-loud book that might ring true with you and your partner, and will make you appreciate how wonderful it is to have your spouse!
Put this one at the top of your list of good books to read as a couple.
Whether or not you’ve even ever thought of personal therapy, this is a book that everyone — and every couple — should read.
In this true story, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist trying to hold it together for her patients while experiencing her own relationship woes. She also shares insights into what it’s like to be a therapist and talks in-depth about several patients.
Each of these patients is someone we can relate to, shedding light on how we can also work through our own problems together. Five stars for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.
by Dan Buettner
From the author of The Blue Zones Solution (another excellent read), this book studies the world’s populations that are living the longest and the healthiest.
While not your typical “relationship book,” The Blue Zones of Happiness looks at all of our relationships: the relationships we have with our friends, family, nature, and ourselves.
A fun read that’s not too dense or science-heavy, take some time to learn about the proven methods of being happy.
by Eli J. Finkel
Psychology professor and director of Northwestern University’s Relationships and Motivation Labs, Finkel has studied what it takes to create the best marriage you can.
What we love most about The All-or-Nothing Marriage is that it’s based on years of research. Concrete strategies and tips are shared on how best to navigate and optimize your marriage.
By Gary Chapman
If you only have time to read one book together, this is the best (hands-down) relationship book for couples to read.
The 5 Love Languages has been a relationship staple for decades, and for good reason. This book deciphers even the most complicated relationships by showing you how best to show (and receive) love.
It’s a short book but was ground-breaking for us. Seriously, just read and later re-read this one. It stands the test of time.
By Dr. Sue Johnson
This is the book that’s currently on our bedside tables (sort of, inside of our Kindles, that is)! Countless relationship therapists that we look up to recommend Dr. Johnson’s books and we’re overdue on reading it.
So far, it lives up to the hype, and it’s nice to have a female author’s voice from the relationship side.
This book goes through the conversations you should have with your partner, and why your focus should be growing your emotional relationship above all else.
Hold Me Tight is one for every couple.
If you’re looking for relationship books for couples to read, this is as solid as it gets.
John Gottman is a renowned relationship expert and shares his research on the seven simple ways are to make a long-lasting marriage.
Like Finkel, Gottman runs his own labs and experiments and helps decipher the data to bring all couples easy action items for their marriage.
It’s said that Gottman can determine within 15 minutes and with 90% accuracy if a couple will divorce in the next several years. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, here’s a lot we can all learn from him!
The author, Chris Voss, was formerly the FBI’s top hostage negotiator. And while you and your partner may just be negotiating whose turn it is to clean the dishes, the truth is, many interactions in life are negotiations.
The point of reading Never Split the Difference as a couple isn’t to outsmart your partner. Instead, it’s to practice empathy, understanding, and motivation. All strong skills for marriage in our book.
by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
Another non-relationship book, but a must. No matter who your money guru is or what your family finance strategy is, add a finance book to your booklist. It’s important that you’re both financially literate and discuss your finances often.
We recommend this book, The Millionaire Next Door, because it’s easy to follow and has a strong message.
The truth is, there are more millionaire plumbers than lawyers, and the book dives into the research. While its math isn’t always perfect, the lifestyle message is loud and clear.
For a deeper dive into the finance world, we’re huge fans of author William J. Bernstein.
We hope you’ve added one (or all) of these good books to read together to your couples reading list. If you have an opinion or a great read to recommend, please share in the comments.
If you’re like us and thrive when following a plan, check out our Date Night “Menu” and our DIY Marriage Retreat below.
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Hey we're Ryan and Alex
The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”
After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.
The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.
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