Romance Books Recommendations

Featured Title

The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love With Passion and Reason

Dr. Edwin A. Locke and Dr. Ellen Kenner

Just about everything most of us have learned about how to find love is wrong - That's the premise of "The Selfish Path to Romance". Love is not about sacrifice. Real, lasting romance comes when you are certain about your self, your needs, and your worth. In the words of top-selling novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, 'It is one's one personal, selfish happiness that one seeks, earns and derives from love'.

Authors Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Ellen Kenner are inspired by the ideas of philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand. Their book explores Ayn Rand's belief that the assertion of your own needs and values is the foundation of love. The book offers a no-nonsense, rational alternative for those who are serious about finding and sustaining a lifetime romance. Be prepared to have your preconceptions shattered, your intuition challenged, and be ready for candid introspection.

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Romance: Bringing Love and Sex Together

Dr. Edwin A. Locke and Dr. Ellen Kenner

How do you make your romantic relationship thrive? You cannot rely on feelings alone but must actively think about how to enhance the relationship. Drs. Locke and Kenner cover: the visibility principle, understanding your partner, encouraging your partner to pursue values, making your partner feel loved, joint decision-making and more.

Sexual intimacy presupposes emotional intimacy. They explore: creating the mood for sex, communication openly about what you want, prioritizing sex, avoiding subverters of sexual pleasure and much more.

[Audio; 8-CD set, 5 hours, 54 minutes, with Q&A]

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The Rational Basis® of Romance Part 1: Choosing a Romantic Partner

Dr. Ellen Kenner, Ph.D

Finding a romantic partner can be one of the most delightful activities in life. Why does it often end up being a drag or a dreadful disappointment? How can you, your children, or your friends act to help make dreams of an ideal romantic partner a reality? What knowledge will make dating an adventure? How do you ask the hard-hitting questions (e.g., "Do you have any social diseases? for instance, altruism")? How do you discover a potential partner's virtues?

[Audio; 5-tape or 5-CD set, 6 hrs.]

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The Rational Basis® of Romance Part 2: Courting Success In Romance

Dr. Ellen Kenner, Ph.D

"Romantic," as defined by one dictionary, means marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of the heroic, adventurous, remote mysterious or idealized. What makes a romantic relationship a success? What are surefire ways to undermine any success?

This course explores principles to cultivate growing tenderness, mutual respect, understanding and some delightful playfulness in your romantic relationship. Learn how to avoid typical pitfalls of: the altruism trap; the mind-reading trap; the love-test trap; the mismatched-hierarchy trap.

Learn some helpful skills and standing orders regarding romantic relationships. [Audio; 6-tape or 6-CD set, 5 hrs., with Q&A]

[Also Internet Course; RealAudio]

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The Rational Basis® of Romance Part 3: Preserving and Strengthening Your Romantic Partnership

Dr. Ellen Kenner, Ph.D

In this course Dr. Kenner offers advice on how to prepare the groundwork for successful long-term relationships, rescue slightly damaged ones or strengthen good partnerships. Drawing upon her experience as a clinical psychologist, she explains and illustrates how to be a careful listener, how to prevent misunderstandings and deal effectively with negative emotions.

The course also includes discussions on mutually growing-not stagnating-as individuals, enjoying shared interests, rationally compromising, and dealing with kids and in-laws. Using exercises, role-plays, cognitive therapy interventions and a foundation of Objectivism, Dr. Kenner explores principles and skills to help you keep the spark alive.

[Audio; 5-tape or 5-CD set, 5 hrs., with Q&A]

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Men Who Hate Women & The Women Who Love Them

Dr. Susan Forward

How do you treat someone you really love? What if your husband, the man who once adored you, increasingly belittles you, threatens you, and tries to control you? What happens when you have to hide your most joyous moments from your husband? What happens when you start to believe his attacks, blaming yourself unfairly, becoming more submissive and depriving yourself of the very goals that bring you pleasure? How do you break out of this vicious cycle?

Dr. Forward's book is a welcome eye-opener for any woman trapped in this situation. She shows how this destructive pattern in relationships develops, what its origins are from childhood experiences, and most importantly, how to regain your self-confidence and the courage to leave the relationship, physically and psychologically. She offers specific advice on how to deal with your own self-sabotage, how to set clear boundaries, how to get professional help and how to effectively end the relationship.

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After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful

Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D.

"If you're sticking around only out of guilt, fear or a sense of duty, you may want to rethink your decision, or prepare yourself for a life of self-imposed incarceration: you are the prisoner, and you are the keeper of the keys." "Affairs are not so much about sex, but about secrets and violation of trust" she says and she continues "trust is not a gift. It must be earned".

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The Divorce Book

Matthew McKay, Peter Rogers, Joan Blades and Richard Gosse (1984), New Harbinger Publications

This is a comprehensive book covering divorce to remarriage.

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The Divorce Handbook: Your basic guide to divorce

James Friedman (1984), Random House

He offers an easy-to-read question and answer format.

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Helping Your Child Through Your Divorce

Florence Bienenfeld, Ph.D.

It's not often that I read a book cover to cover and come away saying that I can recommend this without commenting that there are some parts I don't agree with. I really loved this book. She keeps the focus on your long range happiness.

"I hate life sometimes. I should have been able to see my sisters. I get real angry at my mom and dad. Sometimes I'm mad at the whole world." Divorce often leaves children in a path of devastation. Some children feel the chronic need, well into their adult lives, to try to please both parents, or to show pressured allegiance to one parent and shun the other.

Some children have indelible memories of horrific fights and arguments prior to and after their parents divorce. Such children may promise themselves that they will never get married - it involves too much suffering. Some children are convinced that they are the hidden cause of their parent's divorce. Feelings of abandonment, fear, hurt and guilt become the norm. It's common for children to repeat the traumas of their childhood or to withdraw into a repressed silence, cutting themselves off from the pleasures of life.

But much of this pain can be avoided, and everyone benefits. How? Dr. Bienenfeld lets you first hear from the children themselves. She then outlines a step-by-step method to help parents grasp the pain that their children are in and to help parents separate their own hostilities and financial battles from parenting issues. Although the parents are no longer marital partners, they will remain parent-partners for life. Given this, she outlines a method for helping them communicate clearly and fairly on all issues involving the children.

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Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families

Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

Divorce is messy enough. But there are things that make it mentally agonizing for children. One of them is guilt--more specifically unearned guilt. Kids are at risk of thinking that it’s their fault when their parents divorce: I didn’t clean my room and dad and mom would fight over that.” The first frame of this cartoon-like illustrated book has mom and dad sitting in overstuffed chairs, each with stern, furrowed brows and not engaged with each other.

The little dinosaur girl, with wide eyes, has her hands up in the air in total confusion. The caption reads: “Divorce takes place between mothers and fathers. You are not to blame if your parents get divorced.” Many a child and I have sat in therapy talking just about this one frame-- and it has helped relieve them of some heavy unearned guilt. That’s damage control. This short illustrated book covers so much: How parents fight differently: noisy battles, the silent treatment.

  • Natural feelings to have when your parents divorce: confusion, sadness, anger, fear, guilt, relief and worries about your future.
  • Unfulfilled longings that your parents will reconnect.
  • Telling friends that your parents are divorcing.
  • Ways to make living with one parent go smoother.
  • Living in two homes: Focusing on the positive and recognizing that mom and dad may have different rules.
  • Celebrating holidays and special occasions.
  • Eventually meeting your parents new “friends.”
  • Living with stepparents and possibly step-siblings.

The authors treat children with great empathy, as individuals capable of being responsible and making the major changes in their lives easier for themselves (and for their parents). They treat kids with respect. I highly recommend Dinosaurs Divorce for you and your children if you’re going through a divorce.

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Getting Through to People The techniques of to break through the mental and emotional barriers between people

Jesse S. Nirenberg, Ph.D.

A timeless gem that is well worth reading. He has an extrodinary understanding of how to communicate to get ideas across, how to listen with the purpose of understanding another person, how to deal with heated emotions in conversations, how to detect and deal with another person's irrationality, how to hear mixed contexts in conversation and much more.

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Get a Life, Then Get a Man -A Single Woman's Guide

Jennifer Bawden

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Couples Skills: Making Your Relationship Work

McKay, Fanning and Paleg

Couples Skills is an excellent source for learning essential communication skills. If you can sidestep some erroneous theoretical explanations (e.g., behaviorist or systems theory explanations and occasional moral relativism), you can gain lifetime skills from this book. It includes realistic examples and useful exercises in each of its four sections: basic communication skills, advanced skills, managing anger and conflict, and understanding and changing what goes wrong.

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The SEX-STARVED Marriage - Boosting your marriage libido

Michele Weiner Davis

"Show me a couple who has a mutually satisfying sexual relationship and I'll show you a couple I can pick out of a crowd. There's an almost visible bond between them—the gentle touches, knowing glances, laughter and warmth when their eyes meet. You can feel the connection between them." (Davis, p. 32)

How many couples miss this with their partner? Sex becomes a chronic source of tension in too many relationships. One partner has a high drive; the other one has a "leave me alone" attitude. Michele Davis offers excellent advice for those wanting to rekindle their sexual relationship and strengthen their marriage. She makes astute observations, such as noting the assumption many woman have that their husbands want sex because "having sex is like scratching an itch; it's a purely physical need."

She continues,"I am convinced that one of the grossest misunderstandings about sex is the belief many women have that men desire sex because they just want, or better yet, need a physical release. It's true that men (and some women) love an occasional quickie without much emotional hoopla. However I've been privileged to hear men describe the way they really feel when their wives aren't' interested. And if you've assumed that your husband wants sex just to "get off," what I've heard will undoubtedly surprise you." (David, p. 56-7)

This book is an easy read, with plenty of relatable examples and excellent tips, i.e., sexy solutions. Davis has an excellent understanding of both partner's dilemmas and she bridges the understanding and communication gap that so often leads couples to divorce or to suffer unhappy marriages. She helps you recapture that mutually satisfying sexual relationship, and more broadly, that soulmate relationship, you may have lost with your partner.

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The Great Sex Secret: What satisfied women and men know that no one talks about

Kim Marshall

What is “The great sex secret”? The answer, says Kim Marshall, lies in a profound shift in thinking: “the idea that intercourse could and should give sexual satisfaction and emotional fulfillment to a woman.” Why focus on the woman?

First, even with all the explicit sexual knowledge at our fingertips, many women are still shy about exploring their own sexuality, finding joy in doing so, and communicating what feels best to their partner. Marshall notes that partners “have had very little practice at putting their sexual likes and dislikes into words.” One explanation: “ . . . the imprint of early life experiences plays a major role in shaping sexual attitudes and behaviors.” Unfortunately, many of those early life influences campaign against pleasurable sexual abandon with a partner. Can you change? Of course, Marshall notes, “mutually satisfying lovemaking is learned.”

Second, the problem is “geography”: the location of the clitoris. During intercourse, it doesn’t gets the direct stimulation the penis gets, often leaving many woman unaroused and engaging in “multi-tasking”--planning dinner while their husbands are nearing orgasm. Men are often clueless as to why, when they are at the height of ecstasy, their partner is bored and angry.

Marshall sums up the essence of the secret: “The key to long-term sexual happiness is having a strong love relationship and finding an effective, mutually satisfactory way to bring both the man and the woman to orgasm while they are together.” He identifies three approaches that work. This is a realistic, easy-to-read book that breaks the “conspiracy of silence” regarding female orgasms and thus helps guide lovers to true sexual pleasure and emotional intimacy.

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