If you aren’t sure what to read, I can recommend some excellent books written by other military spouses. Since starting my blog in April 2016, I have reviewed a new military spouse book each month. Winter is the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Whether you are visiting family, hanging out alone during a deployment, or just spending a quiet evening at home while your spouse is on duty or away training, I think you will enjoy any of these.
Want to read more books this year? Start with these great examples of military spouse books. Post contains affiliate links.
15 Years of War
This is a unique book written by a military spouse AND her active duty Marine. It tells the story of how they met, how she adjusted to military life, and his experience during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The author, Kristine Schellhaas, became the mother to 3 children, some born during deployments. Tragically, one of their children died as a baby in a drowning accident. Schellhaas and her husband share their deployment emails, as they work through their grief, and struggle to come to terms with their military life. 15 Years of War is a story of love and loss, tragedy and victory. The author does not sugar-coat her military struggles, but her positive spirit gets her through the deepest challenges of military life. Read my full review and exclusive author interview here.
This book is not written by a military spouse, but it is incredibly insightful for military spouses. The author, Sebastian Junger, is a journalist with over 30 years of experience in wartime conflict around the world. He interviews people from different cultures, over several generations, to determine how military service members are respected by their society. His book, Tribe, explores the links between higher rates of PTSD and lower rates of popular participation in military conflict. The more separated military veterans are from the rest of the population, the less they are valued and respected. Tribe is a wake-up call to the environment that will truly nurture military service members and their families. You can find more in my full review here.
I loved reading this book, newly published in 2016 by Military Spouse of the Year Corie Weathers. She is a professional counselor, and her husband is an Army Chaplain. When he deployed to Afghanistan, his unit suffered heavy casualty rates, and Corie became a couselor to the bereaved families. Around Christmas 2015, she received a unique offer: the Department of State invited her on a week-long tour of Afghanistan, because she had been selected as the Military Spouse of the Year. Weathers uses her clinical knowledge to translate the experience of deployment to military spouses who will never fly in a helicopter or visit a base in Afghanistan. Her descriptive storytelling in Sacred Spaces helped me experience the sights and sounds of deployment, so that I had a better understanding of what my husband had been through. The book helps military couples to talk through their separate “sacred spaces” that develop during long periods of separation. More details are in my review here.
Modern Military Spouse
This is a fresh, new book written especially for a modern military spouse. Instead of worrying about outdated tea party etiquette, these three young military spouses got together to write a book about the real challenges facing new military spouses: long-distance relationships, finding jobs, communication during deployment, and raising children alone. You can buy a copy of Modern Military Spouse through this affiliate link here, which means I get a percentage of any sales, at no extra cost to you.
This book is a compilation of columns that appeared in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes over several years. The author, Terri Barnes, wrote the columns while her family was stationed in Germany, Georgia, Guam, and Washington, D.C. She shares some of the classic moments of military spouse life, covering topics such as deployments, PCS moves, raising children in different states, making new friends, and constantly redefining the meaning of ‘home.’ The book Spouse Calls shares a great dose of humor, sprinkled with helpful advice. Anyone who has been a military spouse for a few years can relate to some of the situations Barnes describes. Read the full review here.
You are Not Alone
This book, written by Jen McDonald, offers encouragement and positive advice for the typical challenges of military life. Each entry is short, with a humorous story, some advice, reflection questions, and a prayer. It can be read as a daily devotional, or all at once. New military spouses will find support for deployments, PCS moves, searching for a job, and living far from family. You Are Not Alone is a great reminder to military spouses that we are all in this together. The military community can be supportive and helpful, if you give it a chance. Read more in my review here.
Journey through Deployment
At some point, most military spouses will face a deployment. Although every deployment experience is different, there are some common emotional cycles that every military spouse goes through. The author, Kathryn Sneed, shares her deployment experience with a young toddler. Journey Through Deployment also includes advice and input from numerous military spouses. This book is good preparation for the roller coaster of deployment emotions. Read the full review and exclusive interview here.