Looking for Love In All the Right Books

By Beth Schwartzapfel

Published February 09, 2007, issue of February 09, 2007.
  • Print
  • Share Share

For the involuntarily single and the recently dumped, Valentine’s Day has long been an opportunity to mope, feel sorry for oneself, and lick the wounds that others are salting with their roses and chocolates. However, three of this season’s new books may help keep hope alive. Aimed at the unattached, the single mother and the sexlessly wed, respectively, “Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic,” “Single Mom Seeking” and “Mating in Captivity” echo a certain politician’s inspirational (if ultimately unfulfilled) promise: “Help is on the way.”

Susan Shapiro’s “Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic: How to Meet & Marry Your Match” (Delta, 2006) is a chatty, readable book full of practical suggestions for those who are looking for their besherts. Her advice boils down to two key tenets: Love yourself first, and then ask someone you know and respect to set you up.

“Single Mom Seeking: Playdates, Blind Dates and Other Dispatches From the Dating World” (Seal Press), by Rachel Sarah, is a memoir of the first few years of a single mom who is actively seeking Mr. Right. Sarah has an infant daughter; her longtime boyfriend, Eric, her baby’s father, disappeared without a trace. Here’s the endearing and steamy, if slightly self-indulgent, story of Sarah finding her way back into the dating world.

In “Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic” (HarperCollins, 2006), couples and family therapist Esther Perel walks readers through the various causes of, and some strategies to combat, matrimonial bed-death. Using real-life examples from her New York City private practice, Perel hypothesizes that “it is not a lack of closeness but too much closeness that impedes desire… desire is fueled by the unknown.”

Beth Schwartzapfel is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. She is working toward a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at the New School.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.