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All About Love: A Journey Through the Heart with bell hooks

book cover of bell hooks' "All About Love"

Please note: bell hooks was the pen name for Gloria Jean Watkins. Her pen name was a tribute to her maternal great-grandmother, Bell Blair Hooks. She preferred her pen name to be recorded with lowercase letters to separate her literature from her identity.

bell hooks’ “All About Love” explores the true essence of what love means, beyond the Hallmark fluff. hooks writes about love in all its forms: romantic, familial, communal, and most importantly self-love.

via GIPHY

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bell hooks challenges us to redefine love shifting our focus from infatuation to intentional connection. She makes it clear that redefining love starts with us exploring our first experience with love – our childhood interaction with our parents. From there, the book unfolds like a personal essay filled with anecdotes supported by historical context, literary references, and practical guides. The transparency of her anecdotes is what resonates with readers. It changes the novel from being a critique on the reader to an educational conservation with the reader.

hooks tackles the harsh realities of love. She addresses the patriarchal roots of our understanding of love, she dissects the dangers of possessiveness, the need for power, and emotional dependency. 

“All About Love” isn’t just about analyzing the old; it’s about building something new. hooks paints a beautiful vision of love as a conscious choice we make every day through our words, actions, and relationships. She emphasizes the importance of communication, trust, and emotional maturity, laying the groundwork for healthy, fulfilling relationships. 

Final rating? Four stars.

This book is a must-read for anyone seeking self-reflection starting with the way they love. This book requires you to be willing to reflect on your actions in past relationships and comfort your (learned) assumptions about love. Did I agree with everything she wrote? No. I do not agree with all of the arguments or references she chose to use to support her viewpoint of love. However, I still appreciate the thought and purpose behind the book. With this, I think that you should read it. 

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Written with lots of care, 

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Kaylannk

Your Internet BFF

P.S. Share your thoughts and reflections on “All About Love” in the comments.

Check out: Here Is What I Learned From Reading bell hooks

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