How We Live Now: A Review

I usually save my favorite books for the holidays but this one was published just this week and I like to keep readers up with the latest news. Even though there are a plethora of books on my shelf that I could recommend this is the one I think you should add first.


Like many of you, my life is always on the go so I can’t always find time in my busy schedule to sit down and read an entire book. But if you don’t read anything else, this is the one to pick up from Amazon today.

Here are a few reasons.

Well, of course I would love this book. It is all about community and how relationships change as we adapt to our current times.
how we live now
Just look at the chapter titles:

Not Going Nuclear: So Many Ways to Live and Love

  1. How We Live Now: Finding Our Place, Our Space, and Our People
  2. One Big Happy Family: Relatives Sharing and Caring
  3. One Big Happy Friendship: Housemates Go Long and Deep
  4. Living in a Community: From Neighbors to Friends
  5. Not-So-Single Parents: Finding New Kinds of Community
  6. The New Couples: So Happy Not Together
  7. Lifespaces for the New Old Age: Institutions Begone!
  8. There’s Nothing Sweeter than Solitude: Living Alone

Revolutions in Living, Now and in the Future

Author Bella DePaulo introduces the new ways that we are living in an engaging way and with a cast of characters that you quickly get to know. In fact, I am one of those characters and you can see my story in chapter 3. She’s opened my eyes and mind to new ways of living, many of which are oriented toward living with others and I love it.

The book is easy to read with a personal voice and writing style that comes across like talking with an old friend. She weaves narratives from the diverse people she’s interviewed in a way that makes me feel like I know each and every one of them. She calls us all by first name as though we’re having a conversation. The short, snappy paragraphs within each chapter lets you read in quick bursts but you don’t feel like you’re just skimming the surface. I felt involved and like I was learning something new with each story.

In fact, I felt like I knew each and every one of the people she described. In some cases I did. My BFF Sarah Stokes is also featured. She lives near Bella in Santa Barbara and I suggested her as another subject to interview.

I also love the features on “living alone together” or LAT. The idea is that couples in committed, long term relationships can chose to live separately. Had I known this was an option it might have saved me from a few divorces!

The story of Dr. Bill Thomas and his Green Houses was, as always, a delight to read. I’ve long admired and worked with Bill and am always happy to see his story spread.

Bella came all the way from Southern California to Western North Carolina to interview me. We sat in my dining room, the one I until very recently shared with others in my community, and shared stories. I talked about life in that house, life before that house, and how living with a husband gave me more perspective.

This book will make you wonder about how you’re living your life right now. It will encourage you to open your eyes and meet new people. I highly recommend it for your post-Labor Day read. It is a keeper for my own bookshelf.

You can buy How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century on in both hard cover and Kindle editions.


  1. I love this, Marianne! Thanks so much. And thanks for participating, for recommending Sarah, and for all your wisdom.

  2. Thank you for the list, Marianne. I must read them all. I will see Dr. Bill next month, he is an inspiration.



  1. […] several of the people interviewed in the book have blogged about it, including April McCaffery and Marianne Kilkenny. Thank you, both! Second, one of my favorite media stories is this one in Longreads, by Jessica […]

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