Helen Fisher’s Why We Love (2004) is not only a report on her latest astonishing research but a sensitive description of the infinite facets of romantic love. This book is a scientifically grounded examination of love that reveals how, why and who we love.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“Curious to find out why love affects our brains the same way as cocaine? Want to understand how evolution is linked to the prevailing structure of monogamy? A perfect title for those interested in the biological side of love.”
– Justyna, Web Product Designer
Click (2010) delves into the miraculous topic of quick-set intimacy and explores what’s at work when we’re instantly drawn to some person or thing. It examines how and why clicking makes our life more meaningful and outlines the (very ordinary) factors that can make such “magical” connections more likely.
Attached (2010) is all about how to make your relationships work. This book offers you valuable insight into the science of adult attachment and how to use this insight in everyday life, whether you’re in a committed relationship or are still looking for love. It also provides tips and tricks on how to find the perfect partner and reveals why some people just aren’t compatible.
In A General Theory of Love, three psychiatrists take a scientific look at the phenomenon of love. Arguing that our emotional experience in adulthood is profoundly influenced by our childhood relationships, the authors suggest ways to undo this emotional “programming” and establish healthier relationships with friends and romantic partners.
All Joy and No Fun (2014) is a book about the trials and tribulations of raising kids. Senior examines the challenges of parenting while keeping us cognizant of the pleasures and rewards that come with it.
Daring to Trust (2010) offers a clear path to finding the confidence to trust yourself and the world around you. You’ll learn to overcome past trauma and accept life for what it has to offer, discovering how to live in the moment and work toward a better future.
The Art of Loving (1956) argues that love, like any other creative art, is something humans must practice in order to master. German-born psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm describes various forms of love and highlights threats posed to them by capitalist society.
30 Lessons for Loving (2015) shares advice from hundreds of elderly people to reveal the secrets of building a long-lasting relationship, from first encounter to “happily ever after.” You’ll learn how to tell if your current crush might be “the one,” how to communicate in a healthy way and how to keep the passion alive in a long-term relationship.
Screamfree Parenting (2007) is your guide to a better relationship with your children. From the space and boundaries that a child needs, to the trust and love you need yourself, these blinks shed light on the principles of screamfree parenting.
The 5 Love Languages (2015) is a contemporary guide to developing a relationships of lifelong love that can easily overcome the hurdles that modern couples face. These blinks detail the five ways people give and feel love, and how any couple can use this knowledge to make their relationship more nurturing, affectionate and compassionate.
Kissing: it’s a normal part of life. But few people understand its true significance. The Science of Kissing (2011) explains why kissing is so rooted in both human and animal biology, what happens physiologically when we do it and why it’s a lot more important than you may realize.
The Truth (2015) takes a close look at relationships, sex and trust, unpacking our assumptions about sex and arguing that monogamy may not be right for everyone.
Labor of Love (2016) is your guide to the history of dating. These blinks walk you through the social, cultural and economic shifts that have shaped modern rituals of courtship and explain the curious fads and fashions of flirtation that have come and gone through the ages.
The All-or-Nothing Marriage (2017) shows us the many ways in which the institution of marriage has changed over the years. Supported by a wealth of data and sociological studies, these blinks explain what makes the best marriages work and what causes the vulnerable ones to fall apart.
Why Love Hurts (2012) is about the history of love, romance and relationships. These blinks detail the gender differences, cultural expectations and social structures that shape our conception of love and make it one of the more difficult emotions to experience.
The Art of Seduction (2001) examines the amoral game of seduction, explaining how seduction always starts in the mind and that the most successful seducers know this very well indeed. It explains strategies for inciting interest, disorientating the target of seduction, stirring desire and kindling emotions. These tactics will lead to the eventual seduction of the target.
Dollars and Sex (2013) demystifies the complex issues of sex and love by looking beyond the raging hormones and cultural mores and exploring the driving force behind most of the world’s sexual trends: economics. By applying simple economic theory, we can better understand why we regard romance the way we do as well as why contemporary relationships face so many challenges.
Experiments With People (2003) is a survey of social psychology throughout the twentieth century, and everything we have come to learn from it. These blinks will teach you about yourself, the hidden sides of human nature, why we make the choices we do and how altruistic humans really are.
Getting Past Your Breakup (2009) provides practical advice for coming to terms with the end of a romantic relationship. It emphasizes the importance of self-care and generating happiness for yourself so you can thrive in life – with or without a significant other.
Hold Me Tight (2008) focuses on one of life’s greatest challenges: building and sustaining an intimate relationship. Drawing on the author’s own highly successful couple therapy form EFT (Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy) – based on the idea that the quality of relationships are defined by key emotional moments, both positive and negative – these blinks show you how to form a deeper, and more enduring bond with your partner.
How to Love (2015) is an indispensable collection of teachings on the subject of love from the world-renowned Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. Packed full of wisdom and insight, this aphoristic handbook unlocks the mysteries of true love in its exploration of what it means to love ourselves, our partners and the world itself.
Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away (2008) is about difficult marriages and how to work things out when you’re most tempted to hit the eject button. Written by a marriage counselor with years of hands-on experience, this patient and thoughtful reflection on rocky marriages is ultimately filled with hope. With enough understanding, empathy and clear communication, Gary Chapman argues, there are few marriages that can’t be saved.
Raising a Secure Child (2017) is a guide for new or expecting parents wanting to make sure they meet the many needs of their child. Hoffman et al. are experts in helping caregivers form healthy bonds with their kids while reminding parents not to get hung up on being perfect. The authors also show how parents can better understand their own insecurities and make sure they don’t pass them on to their children.
Eight Dates (2019) helps couples navigate the ups and downs of a relationship. Whether you’ve been married for years or have just met the love of your life, the bedrock of any relationship is quality conversation. Uncover your partner’s innermost needs and desires by going out on the eight themed dates set out by the authors in this book. But don’t stop there – the wisdom from these eight recommended dates can be applied to any date you and your partner go on.
The Algebra of Happiness (2019) lays out some of the most important variables involved in living a life full of meaning, love and success. It then provides a wide range of practical tips and principles on how to navigate the tensions and trade-offs involved in balancing these variables against one another.
Good Reasons for Bad Feelings (2018) bridges the gap between evolutionary biology and psychiatry by answering some pressing questions about why we feel the way we do. By focusing on our evolutionary development, we can better understand where many of our most instinctual feelings, moods and emotions come from, and how we can better treat our disorders when they arise.
Real Love (2017) draws our attention to the habits and cultural conditioning that stop us from forming deep connections with others. By inviting us to expand our notions of love and the ways in which we practice it in our day-to-day lives, Sharon Salzberg provides practical advice on how we can strengthen our relationships and experience more joy.
Fair Play (2019) explores gender inequality in the division of domestic labor and the impact of this inequality on mothers. Packed with practical advice, these blinks also offer couples a radical approach to reallocating domestic chores so that women married to men can get a fairer deal.
All About Love (2000) breaks down why love remains elusive for many of us. From our flawed understanding of what love is to our misguided expectations of romantic love, author bell hooks examines common barriers to love and explains the steps individuals need to take for society to become more loving and nurturing.
How to Be an Adult in Relationships (2002) is the definitive guide to effective relationships. It focuses on how we can all become more loving, and more open to love, both for our own benefit and that of the wider world. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, author David Richo explores five concepts of mindful loving, and how they can be applied to relationships throughout our lives.
Love Sense (2013) is an exploration of the science of love. These blinks suggest that humans instinctively desire to connect with each other, and that relationship problems arise when lovers no longer feel secure. They also offer practical strategies for how to develop your love sense – that is, your ability to create fulfilling and long-lasting bonds with your loved ones.
Untamed (2020) is a story of unexpected love. In it, Glennon Doyle reveals how falling in love with Abby Wambach completely derailed all her plans for her life – but allowed her to become fully herself. Doyle had spent her life repressing her true spirit, trying to please other people, and be the perfect wife and mother. But, eventually, she learned to tune into her deepest desires and start building a life around who she truly is.
Conscious Uncoupling (2015) is a guide to moving gracefully beyond a dysfunctional relationship and into the next phase of life. It offers a mindful method for navigating separation in five simple steps.
The Four Noble Truths of Love (2018) brings ancient Buddhist wisdom out of the monastery and into the bedroom. By adapting the timeless insights taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago to the nature of love, it shines a light through the murky mess of modern romance.
Didn’t See It Coming (2018) offers guidance on how to overcome seven important challenges that you will inevitably face in life. Drawing on Pastor Carey Nieuwhof’s own personal struggles and victories, these blinks show how faith and foresight can help you work through the challenges of work, family, and friendships.
Untrue (2018) aims to challenge the long-held assumption that women are less interested in sex than men. Diving into history and the details of the human body, Untrue reveals that not only do women have strong sexual desires, they’re wired to seek satisfaction from a variety of partners.
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) is the best-selling relationship book that helps men and women understand each other and reconcile their differences. The book’s author, John Gray, uses the playful metaphor of opposite sexes being from different planets, and creates a translation guide that can help men, “Martians,” and women, “Venusians,” to understand each other better. This guide can help them build intimacy and create stronger relationships.
Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship (2009) explains why all people in committed, long-term relationships run into sexual problems. Driven by case studies of real couples in sex therapy, the book demonstrates how people in relationships can transform their perspective – and confront themselves and each other – to reawaken sexual passion.
The Relationship Cure (2002) prescribes a surprisingly simple solution to the problems that ail many of our relationships. Drawing on psychologist John M. Gottman’s extensive research, its insights and tips are equally applicable to relationships between romantic partners, friends, family members, and coworkers.
Opening Up (2008) demystifies nonmonogamous relationships, and shows that there are many different ways of creating loving partnerships and building alternative families. By opening up their relationships, people can explore hidden desires, have lots of fun, and radically improve their self-awareness and communication skills.
The School of Life (2019) provides a set of philosophical, yet practical, lessons on emotional intelligence, compiled from the real-life institution of the same name. Offering insights on relationships, work, and life itself, it gives us the wisdom we need to understand ourselves and others just a little bit better.
The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship (2012) is aimed at women who expect too much from unavailable, unreliable men, and want to change their ways. By examining the reasons that women delude themselves about men, as well as the specific lies they believe, it ultimately points the way toward happier relationships and more realistic dreams.
The Complete Kama Sutra (1994) is a translation of the classic Indian text, which was compiled in the fourth century. It’s an enduring guide to the pleasures of love and sex.
Love Warrior (2017) by Glennon Doyle is a memoir that recounts how one woman battled through addiction, disordered eating, and betrayal by confronting and ultimately owning her vulnerabilities. More than that, it’s a meditation on what pain has to teach us, and how, by embracing our own failings, we can live as our most authentic selves.
Mr Unavailable & the Fallback Girl (2008) provides a lifeline for anyone who keeps getting messed around by emotionally unavailable partners. With searing personal insights, tough love, and a large dose of humor, Mr Unavailable is an essential guide to breaking destructive relationship patterns and finding love.
Deeper Dating (2014) is a roadmap to intimacy and loving relationships. It breaks down how looking inward can help us identify the kinds of people we’ll connect with most deeply, and shares tools for finding these people and fostering relationships that will inspire and fulfill us.
The Meaning of Marriage (2011) is a meditation on marriage in an age of skyrocketing divorce rates and growing skepticism that a life of monogamy can deliver true happiness. Pastor Timothy Keller and theologian Kathy Keller ask what’s gone wrong – why are so many couples hesitant to take their vows and so many others calling it quits on their marriages? The authors’ answer: we’re far too idealistic, set impossible standards, and have forgotten the true meaning of matrimony – learning to love anew each day, a lesson at the heart of the Bible’s teachings.
Safe People (1995) examines the traits of safe and unsafe people and teaches readers how to seek out the former and avoid the latter in their search for meaningful relationships. From a biblical perspective, the book talks about the importance of true connection.
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail (1994) is an insightful guide to creating successful relationships. It describes the four red flags to look out for in your relationship, and how to repair negative patterns and rediscover what made you fall in love in the first place.
The Mastery of Love (1999) uses anecdotes and examples to illustrate the erroneous assumptions and lies that characterize most people’s relationships. It is a guide to overcoming emotional wounds and transforming relationships from wars of control into harmonic connections based on love, joy, and freedom.
In Praise of Love (2012) is a passionate defense of love in an age when romance is threatened from all directions. The product of a dialogue between French philosopher Alain Badiou and journalist Nicholas Truong, the book lays bare how our sex-obsessed media, our individualistic striving, and our online-dating culture are all setting love up to fail. Its thesis: love needs to be reinvented for the modern world.
The Four Loves (1960) is an exploration of love in its different forms. By tracing how each form is motivated, author C. S. Lewis identifies love’s gifts and shortcomings, and reveals how God’s Divine Love can beautify all our relationships.
Where the Crawdads Sing (2018) is a coming-of-age story that seamlessly blends into a murder mystery and an ode to nature. A reminder that we are forever shaped by our childhoods, it recounts the early life of a remarkable girl, Kya, and her transformation into an equally remarkable young woman.
Sheet Music (2002) helps Christian couples unlock the secrets to marital bliss. It will have you and your spouse dancing and laughing, as you master the art of harmonizing your sex life.
Making Great Relationships (2023) is a practical guide to building nourishing, healthy, communicative relationships. It shares simple strategies designed to troubleshoot conflict and break unhealthy cycles, as well as best practices for deepening and strengthening positive relationships.
Good Boundaries and Goodbyes (2022) offers a Christian perspective on setting healthy boundaries and learning when and how to say goodbye.
Feeding the Soul (2021) is a special blend of intimate memoir and self-help, with a few vegan recipes thrown in for good measure. Heartwarming and direct, Feeding the Soul will help guide you to listen to your inner voice, overcome self-doubt, and follow your passion.
The Love Prescription (2022) is a practical guide to creating more intimacy and connection in romantic relationships. Based on 40 years of research, the authors offer simple actionable advice that will help couples in any phase of their relationship.
Passionista (2008) is a guide to understanding male sexuality and satisfaction. It offers answers to the questions partners may have – and shows that giving pleasure can be just as fun as receiving it.
Marry Him (2011) is an honest, open and humorous quest for what it means to find the perfect man. It confronts common barriers to finding a partner, like chasing sparks over stability and the never-ending checklist of ideal qualities, and makes a case for rethinking what is important in a partner, drawing on scientific wisdom and often hilarious personal anecdotes along the way.
The Song of Achilles (2011) is a creative retelling of Homer’s Iliad. The epic tale of the Trojan War is transformed into a moving love story, told from the perspective of Patroclus, the beloved companion of the Greek hero Achilles.
Jane Eyre (1874) is an intense, intimate portrait of a young woman’s search to find her place in Victorian society without compromising her passionate ideals. It follows her as she navigates life’s obstacles – and her developing love for the mysterious Edward Rochester.
How to Be a 3% Man (2013) provides straightforward practice methods, tips and guidelines for meeting and dating women. It teaches you what to say to women, when to say it, and what her responses mean.
The Overthinking In Relationships Fix (2020) is a guide to getting rid of toxic overthinking patterns that put your romantic relationships on the verge of a breakup. It offers advice and easy-to-do techniques to release your worrying thoughts and strengthen your bond with your partner.
Normal People (2018) tells the story of Marianne and Connell, two people who grow close during the final days of secondary school. As they move on to college and careers, the two struggle to make sense of their relationship and their feelings for one another.
Marriage Be Hard (2022) offers advice on how to effectively communicate important topics with your partner. Chronicling the ups and downs of the authors’ own marriage, it shows how to form loving, lasting relationships.
How to be Love(d) (2022) teaches you how to transform your thoughts and actions to give, receive, and experience more love in life. Full of relatable stories and actionable advice, this guide will teach you how to rid yourself of useless programming, embrace imperfection, and honor your progress – so you can better love yourself and others.
The Great Gatsby (1925) tells the tale of a tragic romance set against a Roaring Twenties backdrop of hedonism and excess. It's considered a defining work of America’s Jazz Age and the time leading up to the Great Depression. With sales surpassing 30 million copies worldwide, it’s among the twentieth century’s most enduring novels.
Persuasion (1817) is the story of Anne Elliot, a 27-year-old woman whose heart was broken at 19, when she was persuaded not to marry the naval captain Frederick Wentworth – the love of her life. When Anne and Captain Wentworth cross paths again, they are both still unattached. But does the Captain still carry a torch for Anne, or has resentment and time snuffed out the flame forever?
Verity (2018) is the breakout thriller leaving mystery fans breathless. Taut and tense, with a final plot twist delivered like a sucker-punch, the novel leaves readers questioning everything in the end — especially the truth.
Wuthering Heights (1847) is a masterpiece of English literature. Set in Yorkshire, it tells the story of two families and their intense, often tumultuous relationships – in particular, the stormy romance between Heathcliff and Catherine.
No More Mr. Nice Guy (2000) is the Nice Guy’s guide to recovery. Learn how to stop seeking the approval of others, live your life the way you want to, and ultimately get the love, life, and sex that you crave but that your Nice Guy Syndrome actually stops you from achieving.
The Science of Happily Ever After (2014) digs into the history of mating throughout the history of the human species and answers the question of why some couples live happily ever after and some don’t. Part history and anthropology lesson, part self-help, it offers explanations and advice for anyone seeking love.
Talk To Me Like I’m Someone You Love (1993) is a relationship repair tool that coaches couples on how to speak to each other more genuinely.
The Argument Hangover (2021) is your guide to constructively fighting with a romantic partner so that you both learn from the conflict and emerge from it even stronger. Through clear communication, you’ll be surprised to find how disagreements can suddenly become opportunities for growth.
Mad Honey (2022) tells the story of two women who have fled abusive pasts to make a new life in the small town of Adams, New Hampshire. When one is found dead, and the other finds her son accused of the murder, the tense courtroom drama that unfolds shines light on the true cost of secrets kept for love.
The Ethical Slut (1997) has long been the trusted handbook for anyone exploring sex, romance, and intimacy outside the constraints of monogamy. An updated 2017 edition combines time-tested strategies for navigating polyamory with advice on how to embrace an even greater diversity of orientations and relationship configurations.
War and Peace (1869) is a novel that follows the lives of several aristocratic families during the French invasion of Russia and the Napoleonic Wars. It explores themes of love, war, politics, and the human condition, and is considered one of the great works of literature.
We Over Me (2023) is the story of the podcasting-and-influencing power couple Devale and Khadeen Ellis – in their own words. With trademark disarming honesty, the Ellises lay bare the struggles and successes that have shaped them as a couple, and share the strategies that allow them to thrive as a partnership.
Trust (2023) is a sensitive and practical guide to this essential part of human relationships. It reveals the deep significance of trust as a factor in our lives and outlines the five essential elements for building and maintaining it.
A Little Life (2015) follows the lives of four friends in New York City: aspiring actor Willem, moody painter JB, quiet architect Malcolm, and the brilliant, mysterious litigator Jude. Over the years, the four friends grow together, drift apart, find love and success, and struggle with loss and addiction. As enigmatic Jude gradually moves into the center of the narrative, the full extent of his unbearable burden begins to reveal itself.
Love & Respect (2012) uses biblical scripture, the author’s experience as a marriage counselor, and insight from other relationship therapists to help couples connect. By following the principles it lays out, husbands and wives learn to show each other the kind of love and respect they both crave. In the process, conflicts get resolved and marriages become energized.
Romeo and Juliet (c. 1591-1597) is the iconic tragedy of two youths who fall in love amid the feud raging between their two families. The many themes it explores include love and hate, fate and free will, and dream and reality.
We Were Liars (2014) is the suspenseful story of the wealthy, carefree Sinclair family and the tragic event that exposes the cracks in their perfect facade – as told by an unreliable narrator, Cadence Sinclair.
Love Unfu*ked (2022) is a no-nonsense, in-your-face guide to identifying and fixing the one thing that’s stopping you from having a meaningful and fulfilling relationship: you. By accepting hard facts about yourself and your habits, you can begin making the changes necessary to be the best version of yourself and stop being the problem that you don’t even know you are.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (2012) is a playbook designed to unlock enduring passion in your marriage. It blends faith, self-love, and open communication for transformative sexual satisfaction.
Polysecure (2020) unites attachment theory, which explains the different types of attachment people form with each other, with consensual nonmonogamy – the increasingly popular practice of having multiple romantic partners. By learning more about your attachment style, you can develop healthy relationship habits, even in nonmonogamy.
The Power of the Pussy (2014) shares the twelve secret “powers” that women can use to transform their lives by changing the ways they perceive men and dating. Through straight-forward advice and positive encouragement, author Kara King gives readers tools to break the cycle of bad relationships and create the life they want with the man of their dreams.
Everything I Know About Love (2018) is Dolly Alderton’s very funny and painfully honest recollection of her early twenties, and all the bad dates, heartbreaks, grimy flat shares, and steadfast friendships this period of her life entailed. In 2022, the book was adapted for television by the BBC.
Unlearn (2014) is a collection of 101 short essays on how to live a better life. These succinct yet profound essays prompt you to challenge your own beliefs as well as the commonly held assumptions of wider society. The truths revealed about happiness, love, success, and truth itself aren’t always easy to hear, but they’re crucial insights into the nature of empowerment and freedom.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) is the first in the Fifty Shades trilogy, telling the story of student Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey – who introduces her to his dark world of sensuality, bondage, and discipline.
You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For (2008) lays out the secret for finding happiness and intimacy in modern romantic relationships. Using the established Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, it shows that true contentment and compassion come from understanding and trusting the Self – your compassionate center of peace and clarity. By adjusting your perspective and completing some practical exercises, your relationship can start to flourish like it never has before.
The Ultimate Retroactive Jealousy Cure (2017) is a guide to overcoming any jealousy about your partner’s romantic and sexual past. It introduces what retroactive jealousy is, the mindset shifts needed to get past it, and actionable changes you can make today.
The Man’s Guide to Women (2016) is a comprehensive and scientifically backed look into the mind, emotions, and habits of women. Drawing on decades of research, it examines the hidden and not so hidden factors that drive women’s behavior and leave many men perplexed. Whether you’re married, dating, or just looking to better understand the women in your life, there’s always room to learn and add a little more compassion into your relationships.
Closer to Love (2023) examines the secrets of forming a deep connection with others. Highlighting the author’s experiences alongside various experts’ theories and concepts, it offers practical wisdom on fostering self-love and romantic love.
The Little Prince (1943) is the classic allegorical tale about a stranded pilot’s extraordinary encounter with a wise and curious little boy from another planet. As the boy shares his fantastic and poetic journey, he reveals profound lessons and observations regarding life, love, and the importance of looking with our hearts.
The Honeymoon Effect (2023) explores the possibility of maintaining the euphoric state typically experienced during the honeymoon phase of a relationship. By delving into diverse fields such as biology, quantum physics, and psychology, it sheds light on the nature of love, the role of hormones, and the power of the subconscious mind in shaping our relationships.
The ADHD Effect on Marriage (2010) sheds light on the way that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects individuals and impacts established relationships. By providing insight into typical behavioral tendencies, it offers couples a framework in which to move beyond unhelpful patterns and re-establish a loving relationship.
Single on Purpose (2020) is a candid exploration of love, closure, and the human quest for genuine happiness. Get ready to renew your relationship with yourself, redefine your perspectives on love, and ignite the engines of self-confidence and joy within you.
Hello Beautiful (2023) is a tale of love, family, and sisterhood. It centers on William Waters, who meets and marries the ambitious, practical Julia Padovano while they are both still in college. Julia is one of four girls in a close knit Italian-American family, whose storybook lives at first seem like a fantasy to William. But soon enough, life’s many obstacles catch up with the Padovanos, and William is drawn deep into their lives, loves, conflicts, and griefs.