The best books on narcissism

6 authors have picked their favorite books about narcissism and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

By Karyl McBride,

Why this book?

Many people who are abused by their intimate partners learned to accept this behavior in their childhood. This book describes how a narcissistic parent twists the minds of their children to make the narcissist feel better. It helps de-mystify the sometimes non-sensical actions of the parent, helps the adult child set appropriate boundaries and find healing.

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Book cover of Delicate Scars

Delicate Scars

By Alta Hensley,

Why this book?

I like to read books that I can relate to and I was a foster child; sexually, spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally abused and as a result was the victim of many narcissists. It was my desire to overcome those patterns that drove me to read books like Delicate Scars and because I feel I have been the person who was delicate and gained scars to become stronger – this is why I chose to read and fell in love with this book.
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Book cover of Octavia

Octavia

By Jilly Cooper,

Why this book?

Octavia is a self-centered, narcissistic young heiress who thinks she deserves the best of everything. When she meets her friend’s fiancé, Jeremy, she has no compunctions about trying to seduce him. But Jeremy’s best friend, Gareth, has other plans. Brought up in the bad side of town and now a self-made millionaire, he decides to teach Octavia that she can’t play with other people’s lives without suffering the consequences.

This engaging story, full of wit and humor, shows us Octavia’s transformation when she drops from riches to rags, falls in love for the first time in her life, and starts…

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Book cover of "Don't You Know Who I Am?" How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility

"Don't You Know Who I Am?" How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility

By Ramani S. Durvasula,

Why this book?

If you feel like the world has become more narcissistic and entitled, then this book is for you. It examines the root of narcissism and how we can and should remove toxic narcissists from our lives. If you have ever witnessed egregious, inappropriate, and downright nasty behavior from others, you will get a deeper understanding of it and how to disengage from it in your own life.

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Book cover of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement

By Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell,

Why this book?

This is one of the most popular books on narcissism and really sheds light on the narcissism epidemic that continues to grow to this day. Twenge and Campbell have a gift of incorporating their important research on narcissism with entertaining and relevant anecdotes. This is a compelling, thought-provoking, and important book for understanding how deep-rooted narcissism has become in society.

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Book cover of Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad-and Surprising Good-About Feeling Special

Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad-and Surprising Good-About Feeling Special

By Dr. Craig Malkin,

Why this book?

Dr, Malkin’s work has been an inspiration for both books I have written. I use his definition of narcissism, Triple E (lack of empathy, entitlement, exploitation) whenever I explain it to others. He also does a great job of emphasizing that narcissism exists on a spectrum, and why it is good to have moderate narcissism- meaning, it is not dangerous, pathological, and causing harm to others. I think this is a groundbreaking read on narcissism and a must for anyone interested in the topic.

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Book cover of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited

Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited

By Sam Vaknin,

Why this book?

This is one of the first books I ever read on narcissism, and the most eye-opening. This book is written by Sam Vaknin, a recovering narcissist who takes you deep into the mind and motivations of the narcissist. It is comprehensive, in-depth, and helps one understand how destructive and dangerous narcissists can be. It helped me identify and move on from a horrible relationship I was in with a narcissist.

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Book cover of Help! I'm in Love With a Narcissist

Help! I'm in Love With a Narcissist

By Steven Carter, Julia Sokol,

Why this book?

When I was in my 20s and ending a relationship with a narcissist, this book was a lifesaver. This book was able to describe exactly what I had been through and made me feel less crazy (being in a relationship with a narcissist can make you feel crazy!). This book also solidified my decision to leave the narcissist once and for all and helped me find a relationship where I was treated well. A must-read for anyone in a relationship with a narcissist or who has been in a relationship with a narcissist.

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Book cover of The Woman Watching

The Woman Watching

By Paola Capriolo,

Why this book?

How do we decipher mundane truth from sophisticated deception? Who holds the gaze and who is the protagonist if they’re not readily revealed? Vulpius, a popular actor in a dubious era, develops an obsession with an unknown spectator, who he believes comes only to see him. The reader watches his life slowly unravel because Vulpius can never seem to capture the woman watching. Capriolo draws the reader into the insanity and narcissism of obsession, revealing how it can make perfect sense to the afflicted. I loved this book because of the strangeness of the extreme passive voice, probably because it's…

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Book cover of Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing

Motherland: A Memoir of Love, Loathing, and Longing

By Elissa Altman,

Why this book?

There are so many things I loved about Motherland, it’s hard to know where to begin. For starters, Elissa Altman is a brilliant writer and a great storyteller. Her portrayal of her dramatic, narcissistic mother created a flawed, human, larger-than-life character I will never forget. Elissa moves us through time effortlessly, at one moment vividly portraying herself as a child and in the next, seamlessly bringing in the voice of wisdom—her adult voice now—as we watch her struggle to make peace with the past. I deeply resonated with the love and hate, attachment and resentment that ricocheted between this…
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