Neil Strauss

Author and Journalist

Neil Strauss, also known by the pen names Style and Chris Powles, is an author, journalist and ghostwriter. He is best known for his book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, in which he describes his experiences in the seduction community in an effort to become a "pick-up artist." He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and also wrote regularly for The New York Times.

Book Recommendations


Eden Project

by James Hollis

So one of James Hollis’s central ideas is, is that we have these two fantastic quests we go on in our lives. One is the fantasy of immortality, and the other one is the fantasy of the magical other. The latter is the heart of his other book that I love, which is The Eden Project. And let me get the subtitle here… The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other. Kind of like the Cheri Huber book, he just cuts to the core of it.

Neil Strauss, source
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Under Saturn's Shadow

by James Hollis

I highly recommend this book. It’s another one that I’ve given, at this point, probably like more than 100 copies away. It’s called Under Saturn’s Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men by James Hollis.

Ultimately it’s a book about self-examination and making sure you’re not just running on these preset tracks that the culture has given you, and really living out what’s important to you. Or as Hollis says it—and we’ll end the description of the book with this—”The crux of the middle passage is the requirement that a man, whatever his age or station, pull out of his reflexive behaviors and attitudes, radically reexamine his life, and risk living out the thunderous imperatives of his soul.” So good, highly recommended.

Neil Strauss, source

Silently Seduced

by Kenneth M. Adams

What happens with people who are enmeshed is, they want love, they want relationships. Then, they get in a relationship, and they feel suffocated. They feel trapped, and they sabotage it or want to get out of it somehow. It’s this crazy intimacy attraction, that avoidance pattern usually, and it’s a great book about it. It walks you through it, explains the cases, and then gives you steps to break the pattern. I highly recommend it, Silently Seduced by Kenneth Adams. If this is appropriate to you or someone you’ve dated in the past or someone you care about, it’s a good gift. I’ve definitely given at least 100 of these away.

Neil Strauss, source

Facing Love Addiction

by Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller, J. Keith Miller

It’s really about the love addict and the love avoidant. And this is probably 75% of relationships to some degree. I’m just throwing that out, ballpark, but what happens is, one person in a relationship is more needy, and one person is more resentful. It doesn’t begin that way, it begins in this flowering of love and projection. Then eventually this pattern plays out, where one person needs more, and the other person wants to give less. The less the other person gives, the more the other person needs, and there’s this neediness and resentment pattern that eventually plays out and blows up in negative ways.

Neil Strauss, source

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Facing Codependence

by Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller, J. Keith Miller

Codependence is a word that’s used a lot, but really rarely understood, and this book isn’t just about relationships for me. What it is, is it presents a model of trauma that to me has been key to understanding my life and to helping others and is really life changing.

Neil Strauss, source

Be the Person You Want to Find

by Cheri Huber

The title kind of says it all, and I love this book because it’s exactly my philosophy on relationships, which is: if you want to meet a better person, then become a better person. This is, like, this beautiful book that really elegantly sort of weans us away from these crazy relationship miss we have and these expectations of other partners. It begins by really boldly saying, “This book is about you taking 100% responsibility for yourself all the time.”

Neil Strauss, source

The Fear Book

by Cheri Huber

The Fear Book is so powerful because so many of us have a certain area where fear and doubt and uncertainty get in our way. The book walks you through the idea of how to embrace them and move beyond them, and often it’s very counterintuitive but so true. I highly recommend this for dealing with it.

Neil Strauss, source

Life is Elsewhere

by Milan Kundera

For artists, there's a book by Milan Kundera that I give away a lot. It's called Life is Elsewhere. And, this is my interpretation of it, which is probably wrong. It's been a few years. But, there's someone who's born. And, he's born to be a great artist. He's going to become a great poet, but his mother issues, and sort of politics, and peer pressures of the time turn him into a total hack. And, I think it's an analogy for that choice we all have in life: Are you going to fulfill your potential? Or, are you just going to give into the peer pressure of the moment, and become nothing?

Neil Strauss, source

The Painted Bird

by Jerzy Kosiński

It's really dark, but it's 'un-put-down-able'. I tend to give that away a lot. You learn about human nature through that book.

Neil Strauss, source

Buy One Hundred Years of Solitude on Amazon

One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel García Márquez

Literature is story-telling in a magic world that can be weaved through fiction. So, I give that away.

Neil Strauss, source

On the Shortness of Life

by Seneca

I have a stack of those—that Little Penguin edition I think it is. So, I give that away a lot.

Neil Strauss, source