This summer, there’s a world of healing to be had. Here are three books by Santa Barbara authors who have written about their personal struggles — and are here to help you with yours. These road maps help you with everything from disease to romance, though some would argue those issues aren’t terribly different. So take a look at these recently published self-help books: one about mentally healing after a cancer diagnosis, one about dealing with one’s parents, and one about feeling prepared for romance.

Diana M. Raab’s Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey: A combined self-help manual and memoir, this book is the result of the author’s struggle against breast cancer and multiple myeloma. Through journals, reflections, poetry, and prompts for the readers, Raab provides a guidebook for others who are in similar situations.

Raab incorporates her personal experiences, from diagnosis to surgery, into a creative and thoughtful work. She includes some related pieces of poetry as an example of a method of dealing with cancer. This book can guide the reader with a compassionate rendering of a painful subject. If you’re interested in this topic, this is a well-written and helpful manual that inspires personal growth and healing.


Lorrie Caplan-Shern’s Giving Birth to My Parents: In writing this combined memoir and self-help manual, Caplan-Shern speaks to the Baby Boomer generation on creating and cultivating a loving and respectful bond with one’s aging parents. A part of that generation, Caplan-Shern explains through insights, anecdotes, and poetry how members of any generation can learn to honor, celebrate, and enjoy our parents. Told with humor and compassion, this book serves as a guide to fostering enjoyable relationships with our elders, namely, our parents.

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Leon Scott Baxter’s The Finance of Romance: Investing in your Relationship Portfolio: Who says you can’t buy love? Leon Scott Baxter, author of other self-help romance books such as Out of the Doghouse: A Man’s Secret Survival Guide to Romance, argues that your romantic life is like a financial portfolio. One builds it up over time, can do various things to make it better, and it all pays off in the end. Baxter provides an interactive road map to explain this process, complete with fill-in-the-blanks, quizzes, and worksheets.

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