I thought it might be a good idea to create a "library" of marriage books to recommend to y'all. If you want to build your marriage, these books are really solid. They are high on substance and low on chaff.
Please feel free to leave reviews of helpful marriage books as a comment to this page. I'd like for this list to help ladies find great book resources.
The Love Dare (by Stephen & Alex Kendrick) has 40 days of teaching and encouragement. It includes daily challenges and questions to help you explore how to personally apply the teachings to your marriage. I think it would also be good to take the better part of a year and focus on one challenge a week to give God a chance to really work the lessons into your life and marriage. From the movie Fireproof.
Real Marriage (by Mark & Grace Driscoll) covers a number of subjects in a thorough and thoughtful way. I was impressed with the authors' transparency and willingness to discuss what are normally difficult subjects, including sexuality. I also appreciated their perspective of teaching principles and leaving the specific application/method to couples. I think this would be an excellent study and discussion book for any couple.
The Five Love Languages (by Gary Chapman) is a fairly old book, but it's solid and because of that has become a classic. I think understanding the concepts and terms used in this book would help in understanding your spouse and could be used to make communication easier (always a good thing).
The 3rd Alternative (by Stephen R. Covey) is not specifically a "marriage" book, but the concepts are so important to dealing with conflict that married couples will benefit. The book talks about creative options that meet the heart needs of those involved in conflict. There are really many possible options beyond the usual two options proposed.
Love & Respect (by Emerson Eggerichs) teaches you how to break the Crazy Cycle and build love and respect into your marriage.
The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex (by Sheila Gregoire) is a wonderfully encouraging book. It addresses a lot of sexual issues that usually get ignored and puts sex into a healthy perspective, exploring not just the physical side of sex, but also the emotional and spiritual aspects of sex. And, boy howdy, she will make you laugh.
She has also authored the ebook 31 Days to Great Sex, a 31 day challenge.
A Celebration of Sex (by Douglas E. Rosenau) is a guide to enjoying God's gift of sexual intimacy. I would recommend this book as a first book about married sexuality as there is a good deal of foundational information. I think it would also be an excellent book to read and discuss with your spouse as a way of opening up discussion on a number of topics.
Sheet Music (by Kevin Leman) is a delightful book about married sexuality. "It's not just a how-to-do-it manual," writes Leman. "This is more of a do-it-yourself look at why to do it and how to do it better." He addresses a number of sexual issues quite frankly.
Intimacy Ignited (by Joseph & Linda Dillow and Peter & Lorraine Pintus) is a verse-by-verse exploration of the book Song of Solomon. It's designed to help couples build a passionate marriage. Eight week Bible study included.
I can also recommend Linda & Lorraine's book Intimate Issues. It's a very tastefully written book about married sexuality and some of the struggles that women face.
The Fantasy Fallacy (by Shannon Ethridge) is an amazing and challenging book. The numbers are growing when it comes to people caught in sexual woundedness and sin and God wants to help, heal and set us all free. This is an amazing tool that can help.
You're Already Amazing (by Holley Gerth) is like a hug, a great cup of coffee and the best encouragement you've ever had all rolled into one.
Holley walks you through a number of simple exercises to discover your unique design and, in doing so, helps you toss a load of lies and wrong expectations off of your back. Each page offers an insight, a bit of wisdom or an encouragement.
I walked away from it with a renewed appreciation for who God created me to be and an excitement for my life's journey. I also saw more clearly the dangers of the comparison trap.
Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior (by Kimberly Wagner) is a very challenging book. From my perspective it is hugely about integrity and allowing God to shape how you express your inner strengths, particularly in the marriage relationship.
The book would be great for personal study or small discussion groups. There are truckloads of very challenging questions and you get a bird's eye view of the author's personal struggle in this area. I found her story to be very encouraging and insightful.
The Resolution for Women (by Priscilla Shirer) is about making wise choices and being integrity driven. I was deeply impressed by the book.
Margin (by Richard Swenson) is another "not a marriage book," but it could very well save your marriage. Busyness and stress are killers of relationships. We need to slow down, appreciate our loved ones and build a sane lifestyle.
In a similar vein, I would recommend these two Kindle books. Simplify and Inside-Out Simplicity (by Joshua Becker). These are books that will help you sort out your values and dreams and point you toward a sane and simple lifestyle. Great marriage building tools.
Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money (by Dave Ramsey) is the textbook for Financial Peace University. I highly recommend that you attend an FPU near you, but, in a pinch, the book itself is a great resource. Get a handle on your finances before they get a handle on your marriage.