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The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  528 ratings  ·  60 reviews
So, you’ve decided to use Natural Family Planning.

Has it blessed your marriage? Deepened your respect for your body? Has it made your sex life fantastic?

Do you and your spouse hold hands at sunset, and do pink flowers grow around your marital bed?

If so, this book is not for you.

But if you’ve tried Natural Family Planning and have discovered that your life is now awful
Kindle Edition, 117 pages
Published October 9th 2013
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Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a truly excellent offering from Simcha. I am naturally predisposed to disliking Simcha. I respect her, I enjoy her wit, I appreciate that she tackles tough topics but I also feel that she too often borders on the vulgar, the crass, the disrespectful and the banal. She simply is not my style. I don't object to her morally or socially but I also don't feel terribly uplifted or inspired by her writing either. This offering must be said to be the very best of her. She takes an incredibly dif ...more
Amy C.
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, really.
This is the NFP book that desperately needed to be written, and I’m so, so glad that Simcha Fisher was the one to write it. Her voice is ideal for delivering straight talk, sending me into side-splitting laughter at one moment and then quietly stunning me with simply stated bits of enduring truth. Beautifully done. I’ll be reading it again and giving copies to friends.

My only quibbles with the book were the places that left me wanting more . . . I especially wanted to hear even
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It was well thought out, a perfect mix of funny and reverent, and very honest.

I only wish it were longer!
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-list, favorites
This book is one-of-a-kind. You'll find books about NFP, but none that treat the topic with the brevity and hilarity of this one.

But don't be fooled by the fact that you're laughing left and right: Fisher's making some important points and sharing some awesome tips and commiseration.

What I loved:

1. Fisher's no-nonsense approach to a topic that so many people tiptoe around. She's honest, which means there's a lot to laugh about, some things to cry about, and everything to relate with.

2. The range
Jeffrey Hite
Mar 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: religious
The Sinners Guide to Natural Family Planning By Simcha Fisher.

This book came highly recommended, so when one more person recommended it to me, I decided that it was time to get a copy. Well actually two copies, since the deal right now is if you buy the hard copy you get the kindle version for free. That worked out really well since my wife prefers hard copy and I prefer e-copy.

I should start this review by saying my wife and I have been practicing NFP for more than 14 years, and we have been te
Fer de Uña
Es una pena que el libro no esté en castellano, aunque una persona de nivel medio-alto de inglés lo puede leer perfectamente. Simcha escribe de una manera muy cercana, sin tapujos, y sobre todo, divertida. Porque aunque el sexo sea algo santo, eso no significa que tenga que estar exento de humor. El libro aborda las diferentes casuísticas que se pueden dar en un matrimonio que use la PFN conforme la doctrina de la Iglesia: no se centra en explicar los métodos, sino en qué se puede hacer y qué no ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am very surprised that this book isn't more popular. It's very funny, very true, and it speaks on an issue that I for one would love to talk more about, or at least read and hear more about.

This book talks about the big picture behind NFP, and gives you humor and tools with which to deal the the emotional/relational side of it. Which is incredible helpful.

BetweenThe Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning and Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, P
Brigid Prior
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Incredibly disappointed. Started out really well, and was a quick easy read... But it had nothing new. Which was more frustrating because of how she relates so willingly in the beginning. That was the one good thing- she made you feel not alone in your struggles. But doing that is only helpful if you follow it up with some actual practical advice (which does not include belittling every single struggle in NFP). Otherwise it just calls attention to a problem. Not helpful. And allllll of the spiri ...more
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Maybe I didn't read the description closely enough, but I didn't realize this was going to simply be a collection of essays - the majority of them published elsewhere, at least in some form, before. I've read some of Simcha Fisher's essays online and felt with the book I got duped into paying for something I'd already read for free.

There was obviously some new material, too, and I hadn't read all of the previously published pieces, so it wasn't as if I didn't enjoy some of it. I was just looking
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really wasn't sure how I would take this one but I truly laughed our loud. Good book. Very honest.
Emilia P
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-books, churrrch

Uh this review is totally technical about sex so don't read it.

Simcha, I love you. I always love you. Apparently I was on a particular book kick in June, not the best one I've ever been on.

And I *like* NFP more or less... I've been working on learning it for...about a year now. And it's good to be able to actually have a consciousness of your body and everytime someone's like "my period is late" you can think "but is it REALLY late. your cycle is not 100% consistent from month to month nor shoul
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Open, personal, funny, helpful. Also too short. Like really, it's too short. Read it easily in less than a day. It needed more stuff.

I'm surprised by how many people thought she was crude or crass or too open. If this is too open, no wonder we have issues today... (Speaking as someone who's had issues because of lack of openness. I'd be willing to be persuaded that her style isn't always suitable for everybody.)

Follows are some notes I took while reading. Boring stuff, but I wanted to record it
Ash Pappas
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is wonderful! I originally thought that it was a guide book on NFP (like how to chart, etc.). A friend recommended it so I didn't even really read the description before buying. It is not but this was even better! It showed NFP in a totally different light. I definitely recommend to anyone using NFP or thinking of using it. See my full review on my website!
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simcha Fisher discusses the difficulties that couples can experience while using NFP, but even more helpful than this, she shows readers why (and how) the church's teaching on sexuality leads to true freedom and deep and honest love. I would recommend this book to anyone, Catholic or otherwise, who cares to know more about NFP.
Mary Evans
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Bruening
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own, catholic
Most practical book on NFP I've found. Highly recommend to married and preparing to be married couples. It really helped me better understand the question it seems like most couples have: what is a 'serious reason'?
Thomas Lehner
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really good book (or series of edited columns) that lays in plain English, with witty, wry, sometimes sarcastic humor, the joys and difficulties of marital love, especially when using NFP. Very encouraging for those struggling, falling and getting up again to try all over. Highly recommended!
Kathleen Kirchner
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny and real and I got different things from
It reading it now as opposed to when I did earlier in my marriage.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty good. Not a big fan of her Simcha Fisher's writing style, but the content is not bad. Makes me consider the fecundity of a Catholic marriage in a different way.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wish I had read this book while my wife and I were engaged, we could have saved ourselves a couple difficult discussions (they were usually not arguments but intense discussions). Here's why the book is worth a read. First, it's a quick and engaging read. Second, here is the real personal reason you should read it. For marriage prep, we went to a couples weekend retreat (instead of pre-Cana) and we started going to NFP classes on two methods. There was a lot of very conservative talk about cou ...more
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
[CAVEAT: This book is for couples who use Natural Family Planning to space their children prudently. It is not a discussion of the method, it is a 'how to get the best out of NFP.']

I sat down with Simcha Fisher’s “The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning” on Thursday night and couldn’t stop turning the pages until, a few hours later, I had read the last page. In her usual frank, humorous and engaging style, Fisher has taken a waltz through all the major struggles and dilemmas facing modern
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant (and hilarious) little book. I don't happen to be married, but Simcha's amazingly succinct reflections on the struggles involved in NFP and married life should be read by everyone. I found her considerations of suffering, communication, and discernment to be especially relevant to anyone trying to live a holy life, married or not. Many of the topics discussed are just as applicable to maintaining strong and fulfilling friendships and family relationships as they are to marria ...more
Avel Deleon
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An easy and lively read, thoroughly grounded in orthodox Catholic theology, this book is packed with refreshingly frank insights about sex, love, and marriage. The next time you ask yourself, “If NFP is wonderful, why am I so miserable?” – don’t panic. The Sinner’s Guide to NFP is here to help. (less)

Be ready to laugh and potentially cry.
Chapter 14 is hilarious. "How to Ruin Your Marriage with NFP."

"When she is pregnant, make sure she knows it's her problem, not yours. Ditto for all aspects of
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I bought this expecting an easy to read introduction to the ideas and practicalities of NFP. That wasn't what I got. I guess I didn't read the description closely enough. I don't think I'm part of the intended audience for this book: I'm a Protestant trying to figure out the ethics of sex and reproduction, and find myself becoming more and more sympathetic towards Catholic natural law thinking on this topic (as well as many others). I'm interested in the philosophy, first and foremost, and then ...more
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be a fun read with snippets of beautiful truths. I am not even Catholic. I am a so-called "Mormon." I love her honesty. I love open and honest people!

Some of my favorite aspects were:
1. The emphasis on "abstinence is a negative, and chastity is a positive." We shouldn't think about or teach our children that chastity = not having sex. Chastity is about loving God, loving ourselves and others, loving children, and ultimately honoring the beauty of what life is all about. EVE
Susan Windley-Daoust
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book. Anyone who has read Simcha Fisher's blogs at Patheos and National Catholic Register knows she is funny and insightful, so reading anything longer than 1000 words is a treat. But this not just is also a practical and deeply spiritual look at what happens when a couple takes practicing Natural Family Planning seriously. She is candid (maybe a little too candid for some, but we're all adults here, right?), witty, very non-judgmental, and has some fantastic in ...more
Erin Cupp
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Do you already know what Natural Family Planning is? Do you want to use it? Are you not quite always happy about using it? Do you wish NFP were easier on you? Then guess what–you’re normal! You’re also the target audience for this book. If you could really use some validation for your struggles to live your Catholic faith obediently as it’s actually taught, then The Sinner’s Guide is right up your alley. Not a page goes by that isn’t filled with honest, deliciously sardonic belly laughs (which, ...more
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At the risk of discussing our personal life too much I can't recommend this book enough for those who use NFP for any reason. Although the book is decidedly Catholic (Fisher is Catholic and writes for a few Catholic publications) she hits on all of the ups and downs of the effects NFP has on a marriage.

The book is witty, insightful, and spot on. I found myself nodding along when she said certain things, and I cringed when she hit the nail on the head about abstaining when necessary. It is like h
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is excellent at what it aims to do, give clear practical guidance on the experience of living out NFP in marriage. I'm not married so most of it doesn't apply to me but I didn't want to give a lower review just because I'm not the target demographic.
I gained a lot from the book despite this though because many of the issues she talks about affect everyone. Lack of communication and needing to grow in virtue. I appreciated her wit, candor and her desire to show that everyone has a diff
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is mostly written for those who have more than a vague idea of what NFP entails. I wasn't that familiar with NFP to begin with (I should've read more of the description first), but it did cover the Catholic ideology behind NFP, as well as the struggles and strengths of it. I did feel that the third(last) section of the book was the most important (and more relevant/practical) and the book seems to appeal more towards a female audience but whatever the case may be, I think this is a gre ...more
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“Sometimes difficulty clarifies things. And sometimes realizing that the road you’ve chosen is a demanding one gives you the courage to stay on that road. It reveals the nature of our relationship with God. It sounds cute and comforting to say “God is in control,” and people who say that may imagine sitting on their daddy’s lap behind the wheel of the family car, going “Vroom vroomy vroom!” while Daddy does the steering. In reality, when God is in control, it feels more like one of those movies where some amateur has to step up and land the airplane or steer the ship to safety through a crashing storm, with an expert giving them instructions remotely through a headset. In theory, following the expert’s instructions will help us get in safely; but our fear, panic, self-doubt, and lack of skill are not exactly comforting. Yes, God is in control, but we’re the ones who are in for a rough ride.” 2 likes
“If you’re struggling with NFP, it’s not because you’re a crappy person, or because the Church doesn’t understand what sex is like in real life. It’s because, for some people, NFP is a genuine and significant cross.” 1 likes
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