On Relationship Advice Books- Best and Worst Buys

Recently it was my hubby’s birthday and I got him a customized silver key chain with his name on it and added “The Great” below.

On one hand it was meant as a joke (we really think megalomaniacs are funny) and on the other I truly think he is a great man and I’d like him to remember that whenever he is down.

I really believe we should let the people around us know from time to time that not only we love them, but also believe in them.

Without a doubt, people are very complicated. Relationships are also very complicated. No wonder there are so many books on relationship advice and being interested in psychology I have read a lot of them:

  • Men are from Mars Women are from Venus (John Gray)
  • Why Men Love Bitches (by Sherry Argov)
  • Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man (Steve Harvey)
  • Why Men Lie and Women Cry (Allan Pease & Barbara Pease)
  • He’s Just Not That Into You (Liz Tuccillo’s and Greg Behrendt)

I will begin with the worst picks.

Definitely and by far the worst book I have read is Why Men Love Bitches. I see what Argov is trying to say in the book. Don’t be a doormat, be self confident, have high self esteem and the guy will fall head over heels. That’s what she is trying to say, but you don’t need a book about that. A good article will do.

There are a lot of issues with this book. We can’t ignore the title.  I really don’t think having high self confidence and high self esteem makes you a bitch, or at least it shouldn’t. While Argov does say that by bitch she means Babe in Total Control of Herself, I believe she could have created an anagram around a better word. The title is just meant as an attention-grabber, a ploy to trick you into buying it.

As for the content, at no point you feel Argov has any background in psychology or that the book was written on any kind of respectful research. She just asks a few male or female friends and states her conclusion afterwards. This book just did not earn my respect. I am not saying it’s worthless, just you won’t get much out of it. There are much better books about self-esteem issues.  I bet this book did made Argov a lot of money, so its purpose has been fulfilled. You don’t actually have to read it.

Allan and Barbara Pease’s books also tend to grab your attention. They have many books on men and women including Why Men Lie and Women Cry. They are entertaining, very well researched, but I don’t think they add much to the table. When I read their books I tend to skip over many things because I already know a lot about the issues discussed. There was no unique insight to make it interesting.  I know it doesn’t make their books bad just because I read a lot and I have heard it all before, but there are better picks.

Act Like a Lady, Think like a Man by Steve Harvey was very amusing. I read it whole on one afternoon. As a book, it served its purpose on entertaining me. A lot of relationship books are written by men, but you don’t see the husband’s or boyfriend’s perspective on the relationship. You mostly see the author playing the part of the psychologist/ the brother/best friend while giving advice. By writing a book from the husband’s perspective, I don’t question Harvey’s expertise as a psychologist or researcher. He is a man who has been married, divorced and remarried that’s his background. About the content, not all was new info for me, but I just loved the book. Steve Harvey is an entertainer I was really entertained. I am not saying you should buy it though, you won’t learn much.

The best book you can buy for the ultimate insight into the world of men, women and relationships is Dr John Gray’s Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus. In fact if you don’t have it, you must buy a copy right now. It will give you the answers you are looking for. It will help you understand your partner better and will even coach you. It doesn’t tell a woman to be a bitch in order to get what she wants, because it’s wrong and bad for the relationship. It teaches both sexes to act lovingly even in situations that are stressful. Most importantly this is a book for both men and women. No other book in the genre has more value than this one. Trust me I checked.

I purposely left Liz Tuccillo’s and Greg Behrendt’s book He’s Just Not that Into You for last. That’s a good book for a gift to a girl you know caught up with a guy, you all of her friends know that he is not interested in her. Maybe it will knock some sense into her.

That was fun for me. Feels good to put all my excessive reading to good use.


The Classics and Excitement Over “The Raven”

Being a bibliophile and an avid reader I confess that while i have read a lot of classics, the non-classics outnumber them by, well, a lot.
And while I mean to go back and to them, i always seem get sidetracked by the new big thing. It helps that i tend to prejude them as dull (“They have been written over a 100 years ago,” “my mom was only born 50 years ago and i think she’s out of fashion,” etc.) So you can imagine how positively surprised i am when i actually go through a classic which i have been postponing for ages. Then it hits me; firstly, it’s wrong and mean of me to compare my mother to a 100 year old book and she is not “unfashionable,” and secondly i have been missing out on great/awesome writing. Really the difference between the classics and the new books is that the classics have already been filtered and only the best have remained and while not all may be to your taste, at least you get to have an intellectual argument next time someone fusses about how great this classic is.
In my country (Lebanon), people don’t read much. I wish to make reading more exciting.
With tablets i think i can make reading a whole new experience which while i don’t wish to compare it to reading a paper book, should encourage people to read, not only here but around the world as well. So i thought i would start with the classics.

Ok, so would you like to hear the wind and the rain if it’s raining in the story? Would you like to have a monster jump up on you if you are reading a horror story? What about ambience? (Not rhetoric questions, i would really like to have your feedback)
I know the ambience happens in your head while you read, but we do go watch the movie because we didn’t have enough of the story and it’s a different experience.
That’s what i am aiming for: a new reading experience (entertaining) and encourage people to read worthy stories and great writing.

And by the way, I am super excited that the downloads for ‘The Raven’ ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-raven/id581468270?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4) ) have surpassed  1000 copies since it was first published in December. I am also really happy that the book has received mostly good ratings.
The invisible man is going great. I tried for this book a totally different illustration style than the raven.
I really hope people will like this one too.