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Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels Paperback – October 4, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you read it through and still come away in any doubt as to how amazing both Romance Novels and the people of the Romance Community truly are, then I do believe your heart and soul and possibly brain may be made of stone. And, if that is the case, then you are in most desperate need of reading one of the books Sarah uses as examples throughout the book. " - The Book Goat

"Winning, entertaining and highly persuasive... Fans of the romance genre are likely to come away feeling vindicated; newcomers may be inspired to pick up a few new paperbacks with racy covers" - Kirkus

"A joyous celebration of those novels we all love to read, romances." - Historical Hilarity

"If you ever had anyone sneer at you when you say you read romance novels, this is a book you should whip out and start quoting from." - Night Owl Reviews

"As a reader and a writer, I think this is a must read... " - Beck's Book Picks

"A pleasure to read... It promote[s] the positive elements of romance books. " - SOS Aloha

"This little book packs a wallop of laughs, spews smart sarcastic rhetoric with sound advise - add to that creative longings to make us dream, and mullets for years to come. " - Aisle B

"Ra-ra-romance!" - Chrisbookarama

"There's a strong argument here that the genre helps readers identify and articulate needs and feelings they already have, as they notice what kinds of books and heroes they gravitate toward." - Monkey See, NPR's Pop Culture Blog

"A humorous yet poignant guide to romance, both the highs and lows... a whole lot of fun that ended way too quickly. " - My House of Books

About the Author

Sarah Wendell's day job involves a cloak, and possibly a dagger, but by night she's the cofounder of the influential romance blog SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband and two children.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402254490
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402254499
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Sarah Wendell's blog (Smart Bitches Trashy Books) and her podcast with Jane Litte of Dear Author (DBSA Podcast), and I really really loved Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels, which is both smart and uproariously funny. So, I was very excited when I found a used copy of Everything I Know about Love for pennies, and I liked this book, but didn't love it. I think the problem is that having already followed Wendell's blog and podcast and twitter and read her prior book, I'd heard all of this before, so it didn't feel fresh. Also, this is almost a self-help book (though humorous), which I wasn't really expecting, and which isn't really my cuppa.
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Format: Paperback
I've randomly picked up a romance here or there but don't qualify as a strong romance reader, but have read fiction all my life. However, having said that, I LOVED this book, it's witty and on the money on why we love to escape in fiction. The "rules" that Sarah lays out resonated and even being unfamiliar with many of the titles she cites, I could instantly see what she was trying to share. And now I'm buying some of the books she mentioned, she certainly has opened my eyes a bit.

I loved it, it gave me a whole new appreciation for the genre.
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Format: Paperback
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels (henceforth known as EIKAL), since I'm not a large nonfiction reader. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

EIKAL is filled with short, amusing topics that are light-hearted, insightful and take a look at how romance books have affected readers. Topics such as: We Know More Than a Few Good Men, We Know What Not to Want, We Know Good Sex and We Know How to Ask for What we Want share reader's and author's real life experiences about each of the topics. These stories are wonderful and it was nice to hear from some of my favorite authors.

The lesson that resonated the most with me, was the one that direct communication and problem solving is essential for a solid relationship foundation. So often in romance novels we watch events unfold where the hero and heroine could have sorted the whole disastrous situation out if that had stopped to communicate with the other person. Another favorite was that romance novels give us a safe place to explore how we want to want to approach life: what kind of relationships we want, what we want out of sex, and how to go about asking for those things.

Overall, if you are a romance fanatic, then this is a book you should add to your reading list. It is very short, much shorter than the 222 pages listed, mainly due to the reiteration of text quotes in block quote boxes. that was probably my only issue with the book and it lost a star for the overuse of them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am, alas, a hardcore romance reader so I approached this book CAREFULLY. It was definitely worth the read.

Ms. Wendell's take is right on as far as what romance novels teach you (and don't teach you) about romance and love.

I would recommend this book highly to anyone who is interested as to WHY they read romance novels vs. science fiction or another gendre. It is a humorous and entertaining filled with insights you might never see anywhere else.

Read it - you'll like it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved it! I just recently got into reading romance so some of the books Sarah mentions in this book are unknown to me. But all in all, it reaffirms my view that a good romance book is not trash, but treasure. Reading about love teaches people about relationships the same way, for instance, reading about novels in other countries helps acquaint the reader about that country. So yes, this book offers a lot to someone who feels like they should be ashamed of reading 'drivel', but in fact don't because it teaches you to see the value of what you're doing: exercising your imagination while helping you explore the value of love without having to personally get hurt.
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Format: Paperback
All good stories involve strong emotion; such as love. For that reason, every author can learn how to put emotion and caring between characters into their novels by reading and learning from romance novels. Sarah Wendell, the well-known co-founder of SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com, has put down her reasons for why people should stop criticizing the romance genre and start to learn from it in Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels. And her points are very compelling.

Romance Lessons from The Wizard of Oz

Wendell brings together popular romance authors and readers of romance to comment on the genre and what it means to them. She is a smart woman! The first reason every writer should pick up a copy of this book is to read Loretta Chase's letter explaining how her rules for romance character traits are illustrated in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. Most of us do not think of Oz as a romance story. However Chase shows us that each of the Oz characters has traits that are also found in a classic romance hero. Romance novels do not just jump into love and marriage. The heroine and hero must go through a journey of discovery about themselves, their relationship, and what love means. That is what makes a good romance read. And Oz is in fact a story about a journey of discovery. About leaving what you know to discover something more about yourself and those around you.

Reading Wendell (and Chase), you understand that characters who do not grow during the story are not interesting to read. One dimensional characters do not provide depth in a story.
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