Dr. Steve McCornack's Book Review

I am a tarnished and skeptical critic of popular press treatments of relationships and relationship advice.  The simple fact of the matter is, most authors and so-called relationship “experts” have no credible knowledge of the scientific literature on relationships.  Instead, they base their claims entirely upon anecdote and stereotype.  The result is that 99% of popular press books on relationships are utter nonsense.

This is most decidedly not the case with Dr. Jennie Rosier’s delightful new book, “Make Love, Not Scrapbooks.”  In this personal, conversational, yet powerful book, Dr. Rosier seamlessly blends peer-reviewed, published science on communication and close relationships with personal stories from her own life; providing readers with information that is at once trustworthy, accessible, profound, and practically useful.  I have never, in all my years of reluctantly reading popular press tripe, read a book that I agreed with so much!

Most useful of all, Dr. Rosier drills down to specifics in repeated lists of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” throughout the book – virtually all of which are grounded in valid theory and research, yet will prove incredible helpful for those struggling to maintain ongoing close relationships of all types.  Although I’m not a fan of simple rule sets and prescriptive lists, the way that Dr. Rosier frames these is as suggestions that may work.  What’s more, in critiquing them from the viewpoint of both scholar, and married partner for close to 25 years, they’re all legit!

And she’s not afraid to pull any punches!  Forging and maintaining a long-term relationship is hard work, and Dr. Rosier makes this abundantly clear.  Her description of the torment of infant colic on page 46 – and the marital discord and disruption it caused – reminded me of the pact my wife and I made during our own experiences with this dreadful affliction.  We forged an agreement that “nothing said in the middle of the night counts.”  And oh boy, the things we said to one another!  Right off of Dr. Rosier’s list of examples.  We lived to survive this challenging period of our lives and relationship, but I wish that I had had Rosier’s book to help us through it!

It is rare to find a book that depicts relationships so honestly, provides so much in the way of valid and useful information, and yet is fluid, conversational and engaging throughout.  Dr. Rosier has done a fantastic job with this book, and I hope that people who are interested in trustworthy advice about relationships buy it!

-Dr. Steve McCornack, Ph.D., author of Reflect & Relate and Associate Professor of Communication at Michigan State University