We believe the key to being a good lawyer is helping our clients make wise decisions.  Great attorneys are voracious readers.

Books on Relationships in Transition

While we handle your family law matter, you may find some of these books helpful.  Each is currently available on; we also love supporting our local, independent bookshops (like Fountain or Black Swan in Richmond, Mermaid in Williamsburg, or Blue Whale in Charlottesville).


  1. Crazy Time by Abigail Trafford

  2. Living from the Inside Out by Teresa McAlister Adams

  3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

  4. God Calling by A.J. Russell, Ed.

  5. How to Make Love All the Time by Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D.

  6. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

  7. Mars & Venus Starting Over by John Gray, Ph.D.

  8. There’s Hope After Divorce by Jeenie Gordon

  9. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

  10. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans

  11. When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner

  12. When the Vow Breaks by Joseph Warren Kniskern


Books On Divorce After The Age Of 50

  1. Divorce After 50: Your Guide to the Unique Legal & Financial Challenges by Janice Green

  2. Calling It Quits: Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over by Deirdre Bair

  3. He’s History, You’re Not: Surviving Divorce After 40 by Erica Manfred

  4. Widows and Divorcees in Later Life: On Their Own Again by Carol L Jenkins

  5. A Man’s Feelings: Finding Closure After Divorce by Michael L. Eads

Special thanks to preeminent Mississippi family law attorney Mark Chinn for originally compiling this list of reading materials.


Books on Finance & Wealth Building

Attorney Van Smith asked a long-term estate planning client worth over $12M in personally earned/invested assets to pass along the 'best books' that he's read on finance to help folks on their own financial journey, here's what he passed along.

Of course, nothing beats the advice and guidance of a long-term financial advisor.

[Van adds: "A good 'first book' on finance is 'The Elements of Investing' by Burton Malkiel. Especially for a college student or young professional."]:

"Ok Van, here are the best finance books i've ever read:"

1-howard marks - mastering the market cycle

other good ones

2-other books by howard marks

a-the most important thing illuminated

b-the most important thing

3-any/all books by john bogle

a-bogle on mutual funds

b-the little book of common sense investing

c-bogle on investing - the first 50 years

d-stay the course

4-any/all books by jim rogers

a-investment biker

b-adventure capitalist

5-any/all books by nassim taleb

a-fooled by randomness

b-the black swan


6-any/all books by ken fisher(also recognized as a global authority on redwood trees)

a-the ten roads to riches

b-the only three questions that count

7- historian niall ferguson - the ascent of money

8-john kenneth galbraith - a short history of financial euphoria

9-stanley/danko - the millionaire next door

10-ben graham-the intelligent investor

11-stanley - the millionaire mind

12-beth kobliner

a-make your kid a money genius

b-get a financial life

13-levitt and dubner - freakonomics

14-teresa ghilarducci

a-how to retire with enough money and how to know what is enough

b-rescuing retirement

c-when i'm sixty four

15-burton malkiel-a random walk down wall street

16-peter lynch - one up on wall street

17-jason zweig

a-your money and your brain

b-the devil's financial dictionary

18-johnathan clements

a-from here to financial happiness

b-how to think about money

19-andrew tobias

a-the only investment guide you'll ever need

b-the only other investment guide you'll ever need



Real Estate Books

1.  The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, by:  Gary Keller

2.  The Financial Security Bible, by:  Mike Summey

3.  The Weekend Millionaire's Secrets to Real Estate Investing, by:  Mike Summey and Roger Dawson

4.  The Unofficial Guide to Managing Rental Property, by:  Melissa Prandi

5.  What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know about Cash Flow, by:  Frank Gallinelli

6.  Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by:  Robert Kiyosaki

7.  Landlording on AutoPilot, by:  Mike Butler

8.  Investing in Real Estate, by:  Gary Eldred



Reading for the Grieving: What to Read After Your Spouse Passes Away

"On Your Own:  A Widow's Guide to Emotional and Financial Well-Being," by Alexandra Armstrong and Mary R. Donahue

"The Year of Magical Thinking," by Joan Didion