31 books like Passionate Marriage

By David Schnarch,

Here are 31 books that Passionate Marriage fans have personally recommended if you like Passionate Marriage. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples

Julie A. Mullen and Mike D. Rodgers Jr. Author Of The Island

From my list on cultivating a fulfilling life-long relationship.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are a couple with a combined 70 years worth of relationship experience. We certainly know ‘what not to do.’ What makes us relationship experts is having a relationship that is as exciting today (after more than 6 years together) as it was from day one! We never argue, we have tremendous passion, we never name-call, we show 100% respect every day, and we have 100% connectivity. This does not mean we don’t have disagreements. It means we handle them without arguing. Since experiencing a relationship we never imagined was possible, we want to share with others how to get it and keep it ongoing.

Julie and Mike's book list on cultivating a fulfilling life-long relationship

Julie A. Mullen and Mike D. Rodgers Jr. Why did Julie and Mike love this book?

I was intrigued by the ideas about why we chose our partners in the first place. I discovered ways to have more compatibility in relationships. This book opened my mind to aspects I had not considered before. Those realizations caused positive shifts in behavior.

And… I had a much better understanding of why my partner approached things the way he did.

By Harville Hendrix, Helen Lakelly Hunt,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Getting the Love You Want as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Getting the Love You Want, Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen Hunt offer the relationship skills that have helped millions of couples replace confrontation and criticism with a process of mutual support that facilitates healing and growth at any stage of a relationship. This extraordinary practical guide describes the revolutionary technique that combines a number of disciplines - including the behavioural sciences, depth psychology, social learning theory, Gestalt therapy, and interpersonal neurosciences, among others - to create a program that transforms conflict into creative tension that deepens connection and renews passion.

In a new forward and chapter, Hendrix and…


Book cover of Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy

Zachary Zane Author Of Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifesto

From my list on overcoming sexual shame.

Why am I passionate about this?

As the sex and relationship advice columnist at Men’s Health Magazine, I’m obviously pretty damn obsessed with sex. I find it fascinating on so many levels, which is why I not only have a ton of it but also made it my career. For so long, I struggled with sexual shame, and one thing I realized as a writer is that I’m not special. Sure, I’ve probably been to more sex parties than you, but if I’m struggling with shame, being bisexual, and embracing my kinks, then other folks are, too. And just like I’m obsessed with sex, I’ve become obsessed with helping others remove sexual shame.

Zachary's book list on overcoming sexual shame

Zachary Zane Why did Zachary love this book?

This is my favorite book about non-monogamy and polyamory; it uses attachment theory to explain our relationship dynamics. I particularly loved how detailed the book was. She described some of the self-destructive and less-than-ideal behaviors and thoughts I’ve had in past non-monogamous relationships and explained, “Okay, here’s why you’re likely doing this, and here’s how you become secure enough to do this stupid shit, no longer.”

I remember feeling very motivated after reading Fern’s book, as if I had an action plan for future relationships. Now—and hopefully, I’m not jinxing it here—I’m in the healthiest non-monogamous relationship I’ve ever been in. 

By Jessica Fern,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Polysecure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A practical guide to nurturing healthy, loving non-monogamous relationships using attachment theory.

Attachment theory has entered the mainstream, but most discussions focus on how we can cultivate secure monogamous relationships. What if, like many people, you're striving for secure, happy attachments with more than one partner?

Polyamorous psychotherapist Jessica Fern breaks new ground by extending attachment theory into the realm of consensual non-monogamy. Using her nested model of attachment and trauma, she expands our understanding of how emotional experiences can influence our relationships. Then, she sets out six specific strategies to help you move toward secure attachments in your multiple…


Book cover of All About Love: New Visions

Mechal Renee Roe Author Of I'm Growing Great

From my list on expanding your inner vision and allowing life to rush in.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Mechal Roe and I have loved creating fun and colorful art to inspire the inner child in all of us. I began my journey in children's print design and worked my way up to Clothing Designer. It was quite rewarding, and I learned so much. After, I left to create a children's book and toys to serve underrepresented youth. Creating the book was a form of introspection to move me along my heart's path. It was also a gift to those young ones who also struggle with understanding themselves in the world. 

Mechal's book list on expanding your inner vision and allowing life to rush in

Mechal Renee Roe Why did Mechal love this book?

I recommend this book because I have found the meaning of love to be elusive. Slipping in and out of my life's timeline. When love stays, it waits for me to generate it alone, by myself, in hopes that I will alchemize it to all of my relationships. Bell Hooks helped me see how to better understand the mystical workings of love, and it's sometimes confusing nature.

Her work helped me appreciate that the endurance of pain is not the presence of love. Allowing love to be an inner source as life-giving, rather than codependently attaching to an outside source, which can be life-ending.

By bell hooks,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked All About Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The word "love" is most often defined as a noun, yet...we would all love better if we used it as a verb," writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with lovelessness. As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question "What is love?" her answers strike at both the…


Book cover of In Watermelon Sugar

Jeffrey Dunn Author Of Radio Free Olympia

From my list on where imagination and nature run free.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a child of the woods. I preferred to leave my home and wade a creek or explore a hillside. Nothing compared to the sight of a black snake or the feel of a mud puppy. School was a torture until an English teacher introduced me to Richard Brautigan and then read my first serious story to the class. Since then, this dyslexic nature lover has become a dream fisher and history miner with a Ph.D. in English Literature and Cultural Studies. Retired from forty-one years of teaching, I now write and publish cultural fiction.

Jeffrey's book list on where imagination and nature run free

Jeffrey Dunn Why did Jeffrey love this book?

I love Richard Brautigan, and In Watermelon Sugar was my first Brautigan book.

I was in the ninth grade and ready to be transported to a land that was hippie without trying to be so. A living room with trees and a stream. A sun that shines a different color every day, especially on Thursday when the sun shines black and there is no sound.

Written three years before the summer of love, the seeds of the hippie dream-turned-nightmare are already sown. Too much whiskey. And yet, this book lit the way for a life of creativity. Still does.

By Richard Brautigan,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In Watermelon Sugar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A charming and original work... The parable itself is extremely relevant' The Times

iDEATH is a place where the sun shines a different colour every day and where people travel to the length of their dreams. Rejecting the violence and hate of the old gang at the Forgotten Works, they lead gentle lives in watermelon sugar.
In this book, Richard Brautigan discovers and expresses the mood of the counterculture generation.

'Delicate, fantastic and very funny... A highly individual style, a fertile, active inventiveness... It's cool, joyous, lucid and pleasant to read' Malcolm Bradbury


Book cover of Cities in Civilisation

Michael Batty Author Of The Computable City: Histories, Technologies, Stories, Predictions

From my list on cities that are not what they seem.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are as many ways of thinking about cities as there are people who live in them, and by the end of this century, it is clear we will all be living in cities of one size or another. Cities are in effect the crucibles where all technological and cultural change takes place. They are the drivers of prosperity while also the harbingers of chaos, decline, and war. What makes them fascinating is that as soon as we begin to peel back the layers that compose the city, our understanding of them begins to change: they metamorphose into different conceptions where there is no agreement as to what they are or what they might become.

Michael's book list on cities that are not what they seem

Michael Batty Why did Michael love this book?

From classical times when cities first appeared, Hall shows how culture and innovation merge to produce the urban civilization that we have today. Hall’s history is portrayed through his perspectives on 21 cities worldwide, which reflect his previous writings about world cities and the fact that the urban society we have invented is undergoing a rapid transition to a global world composed of cities that are all of one piece.

This is a comprehensive history of cities–read it, and you will be up to date on the history of cities from the point of view of technology and culture.

By Peter Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cities in Civilisation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Hall explores the history of cities and their role in the development of civilization, from the cultural crucibles of Athens in the sixth century BC and Florence in the fifteenth century through the industrial innovations of Manchester, cotton and steam, and Palo Alto, computing, to the city as freeway, Los Angeles.


Book cover of Intimacy with the Almighty

Harry Kraus Author Of Could I Have This Dance?

From my list on Christians who feel like there has to be something more.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a practicing board-certified general surgeon and my writing reflects the medical authenticity of an “insider.” I have divided my professional life between practice in America, and also in East Africa, serving as a surgeon and instructor. I am also a man of grace, who has sought to fight against a legalistic Christianity of my youth. We experience life in story, and fiction is the perfect way to teach the heart concepts of love, and perhaps stir within the reader a longing for something more.

Harry's book list on Christians who feel like there has to be something more

Harry Kraus Why did Harry love this book?

This little book prods us to silence and solitude to recapture the intimacy that we crave but few experience. I have reread this little book many times and it gently reminds me of what is so easily lost in the hurry of modern life. Our present society has pushed these disciplines, not just off the front burner, but off the stove entirely. When solitude and silence are recaptured, we find ourselves at rest, enjoying the presence of our loving Father.

By Charles Swindoll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Intimacy with the Almighty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Noise and words and frenzied, hectic schedules dull our senses, closing our ears to His still, small voice and making us numb to His touch.

Charles Swindoll offers all new insights from his own journal to guide people on a journey of intimacy with God. This keepsake book includes pages in Swindoll's handwriting collected in an embossed, antique-looking cover.


Book cover of Courage to Connect: A Journey Toward Intimacy in Relationships

Healey E. Ikerd Author Of Changing Your Feelings: A Workbook for Anxiety and Worry from a Christian Perspective

From my list on Christians determined to be more mentally healthy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a licensed therapist who has been in the mental health field for over 15 years. I believe that God wants his followers to be mentally healthy! We are better witnesses to Him when we think and act in ways that reflect biblical principles. This is why I am a big fan of books that help me think and act more wisely and that also helps me follow God more deeply. Working through our mental ‘stuff’ and following God well are greatly intertwined. Whether in person or by recommending books, I love to be a part of that process with people.

Healey's book list on Christians determined to be more mentally healthy

Healey E. Ikerd Why did Healey love this book?

Our world is filled with people who crave intimacy but don’t know what it means and don’t know how to do it. 

We build up walls trying to protect ourselves but ultimately, we are miserable because we want the closeness of another. Spoiler Alert – Intimacy isn’t sex! Hurst helps us see that intimacy is about knowing our real, authentic self and being willing to share that with others. Though first, we must know where our identity comes from. 

Good mental health requires us to know who we are and be willing to share that authentic self with God and others. Healthy people can do that freely.

By Rich Hurst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Courage to Connect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is not for the faint hearted! If you choose to embark upon this journey toward intimacy you will find yourself moving from a passive victim to an active participant in life. You will discover intimacy is a journey, not a destination.

Everyone wants intimacy, but time and disappointing relationships have dulled its meaning. This book is about:

• Discovering intimacy is a journey, not a destination
• Understanding expectations and creating the life you want
• Principles that matter in building an intimate lifestyle
• Overcoming myths that destroy relationships

Courage to Connect will help you to open…


Book cover of For Real

Arnold Miles Author Of Special Delivery

From my list on exploring sexuality and intimacy in and between men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for the themes and moods of this list because they explore so many parts of my emotions. They rile me, they work me up into a hot frenzy, they turn me on, they fascinate me, they bruise me, they heal me. I see myself in these books, and I feel that I understand other people. I’ve enjoyed (and still enjoy) reading these books published for free on blogs online, but now I want to write more and read more than I’ve done before. This list is a starting point, and I hope you enjoy them!

Arnold's book list on exploring sexuality and intimacy in and between men

Arnold Miles Why did Arnold love this book?

I love this book because it balances the desire to get up close and personal while watching two men find their way to an emotionally strong relationship so well.

It’s kinky, sexy, and British. The dialogue is great, and the descriptions are great. And in places, it is pure smut. 

By Alexis Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For Real as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Sea Wife

Susan Cole Author Of Holding Fast: A Memoir of Sailing, Love, and Loss

From my list on huge life changes and the stories behind them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived on or around sailboats for over thirty years. I had never sailed before meeting my husband. Many people dream of sailing off but few actually go. In 1996, we sailed away to the Caribbean with our seven-year-old daughter. Although I didn’t want to go, by the end of the voyage I found an inner strength that has stayed with me. The books I chose are all about making huge changes, taking leaps of faith. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Susan's book list on huge life changes and the stories behind them

Susan Cole Why did Susan love this book?

Gaige’s writing is terrific, insightful, fresh, and fast-paced. As I read about the fictional couple and their conflicts at sea, I was struck by the similarities to our real-life sailing experience. In a fabulous first scene, the wife hides in a closet, unable to deal with reality. She reluctantly goes on a voyage with her husband and their lives change, much as ours did. I never hid in a closet, but before the voyage, I was someone who if I didn’t like reality, ignored it. At sea, that’s not possible. 

By Amity Gaige,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sea Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Taut as a thriller' Claire Messud

'A gripping tale of survival at sea - but that's just the beginning' Jennifer Egan

'A smart, swift and thrilling novel' Lauren Groff

From the highly acclaimed author of Schroder, a smart, sophisticated literary page turner about a young family who escape suburbia for a year-long sailing trip that upends all of their lives

Juliet is failing to juggle motherhood and her anemic dissertation when her husband, Michael, informs her that he wants to leave his job and buy a sailboat. The couple are novice sailors, but Michael persuades Juliet to say yes. With…


Book cover of Intimacy

Charlene Challenger Author Of The Voices In Between

From my list on with “difficult” protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I find “difficult” characters fascinating because their humanity isn’t easily discerned. They’re often complex and richly drawn and show us aspects of ourselves we may not want to admit to others. Examining the ugly, the hidden, can be exhilarating.

Charlene's book list on with “difficult” protagonists

Charlene Challenger Why did Charlene love this book?

Jay, a selfish, self-absorbed screenwriter, reflects on his failings as a lover, husband, and friend on the eve of leaving his wife and children. From the way Jay describes his marriage and his approach to fatherhood, it’s clear he’s more than willing to throw his comfortable life away and damage three innocent people for no other reason than he’s bored, shallow, and desperate to blame his incompetency on those closest to him. What keeps the reader engaged is how painfully funny it all is – Jay’s obliviousness provides ample opportunity for mature audiences to chuckle and shake their heads at every meanspirited quip he makes at his family’s expense. By the end of the book, readers can only feel relief that he’s done them an incredible, and long overdue, service.

By Hanif Kureishi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Intimacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'It is the saddest night, for I am leaving and not coming back.'

Jay is leaving his partner and their two sons. As the long night before his departure unfolds he remembers the ups and downs of his relationship with Susan. In an unforgettable, and often pitiless, reflection of their time together he analyses the agonies and the joys of trying to make a life with another person.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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