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Bibliotherapy Series: Love – Part 1

February 14th, 2017 | 2 comments

As you may know, I believe stories are a form of medicine. So think of the Bibliotherapy Series as book-bundles of love to nourish your mind and soul. 


Since it’s Valentine’s Day – the first installment is LOVE – Part One. Enjoy!


How to Love, Thich Nhat Hanh




What’s it about?

Nourishing relationships through mindfulness and compassion. Thich Nhat Hanh offers wisdom with clarity and simplicity that, while written with intimate relationships in mind, can be applied to any connection (including ourselves).


What makes it great?

Thich Nhat Hanh doesn’t shy away from the fact that we’re likely practicing a tainted love. But there’s zero judgment in his delivery of Love Notes. It’s a small book and therefore perfectly suited to reading one page (consisting of a mere paragraph) each morning or evening.


You should read it if:

You want to learn how to love with more compassion, joy, equanimity and harmony.




Enduring Love, Ian McEwan




What’s it about?

Enduring Love charts the sexual-spiritual obsession between two strangers following a traumatic accident they were both involved in. As the protagonist becomes consumed with understanding and proving the criminality of his admirer, his marriage starts to disintegrate.


What makes it great?

The pace. And the recognition of the fragility of love once a third party enters in subtle and unwelcome ways. As the narrator observes: “A man who had a theory about pathological love and who had given his name to it, like a bridegroom at the altar, must surely reveal, even if unwittingly, the nature of love itself”: this book is a study of unhealthy “love” and the danger of neglecting wholehearted communication.


You should read it if:

You’d like to become engrossed in another world or have experienced obsession, regret and uncertainty in relationships.


The Course of Love, Alain deBotton


What’s it about?

The Course of Love weaves the story of a marriage through a series of philosophical insights on the limits of romantic love. Themes include infatuation, intimacy, children, adultery, attachment theory and personal growth.


What makes it great?

So many books that tell a love story are only telling the first part. What makes The Course of Love so engrossing and necessary is that the whole span of a long-term modern relationship is reflected (and dissected) in all it’s beauty, sadness, honesty and humour.


You should read it if:

You’re not at the blissful beginning of a relationship and wondering how love can survive marriage (or vice versa). Or you’re thinking about getting married and want to know the truth!

You like non-fiction, philosophical ideas and have your doubts about marriage (your own or as an institution).


Course of Love_Quote1


A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson


What’s it about?

A Return to Love is a reflection on the principles of A Course of Miracles filled with personal stories, wit and honesty. Whether you’re familiar with A Course of Miracles doesn’t matter – the universal themes of forgiveness, surrender, intimacy and faith are explored through the context of relationships, work, the body, and ‘heaven.’


What makes it great?

Spiritual truths can often be lost in translation because we have a negative history with the language. But Marianne Williamson manages to distill these spiritual truths with kindness and clarity.


You should read it if:


You’re attracted to The Course in Miracles Teachings – this is an honest reflection of living them.


You’re seeking spiritual guidance or curious about spiritual principles. The Course of Miracles is one path – and Marianne illuminates it beautifully.


Love takes more than crystals and


Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton


What’s it about?

Becoming and Unbecoming. The book covers addiction, adultery and acceptance as one woman makes peace with her body, her soul and her place in the world. On the surface it’s about the demise and (perhaps) resurrection of a marriage, but really it’s about becoming whole, letting go of illusion and pretence and finding the courage to be yourself.


What makes it great?

The candid truthfulness. Glennon Doyle Melton accurately depicts how most of us live our lives: sending our representatives to talk/act/love on our behalf so we can keep our private pain hidden from view. Love Warrior doesn’t just describe the pain. It provides a doorway through.


You should read it if:


·      You’re human. Especially if you’re a woman. Seriously.

·      You’ve struggled or currently struggling with addiction, body shame or living from the neck up.

·      You’ve suffered or currently suffering betrayal (including a betrayal of self).

·      You don’t mind more ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’ in your reading material.


Any woman who doesn't give a fuck


Red Hot & Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story, Sera Beak


What’s it about?

A search for passionate, expressive, wild spirituality. In other words: a search for the soul. Religion scholar Sera Beak merges research and personal revelation in this ride through religious expression and red hot love.


What makes it great?

The sumptuous language. And the punchy deconstructions of patriarchy and spiritual pomposity.


You should read it if:


You love so much it feels like your heart will burst (this one’s for you).


You’re curious about the ‘divine feminine’ and crave a spirituality that is natural, passionate and in-the-body.


You’re a sucker for Rumi and other spiritual misfits.


You’ve never heard of Rumi (then read it and learn.)


Now I’d like to hear from you! What are your 3 favourite books on love? I’m creating Love- Part 2 and would appreciate your recommendations.

Hit reply in the comments.


Kate x






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2 people have commented
  1. India says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these, Kate. I’m definitely going to add a few of these to my wish list. The Course of Love is one that I hadn’t heard of and sounds fascinating!

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