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Crazy Little Thing: Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad Paperback – December 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Viva Editions (December 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936740036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936740031
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,337,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Langley’s enthusiasm for the freaky, funky, and just plain weird aspects of love and relationships is infectious and buoys the reader along on the rollicking, roller-coaster ride that is our brain on love."
—Portland Book Review

"This is a well-researched book, and what I really liked about it is that Ms. Langley takes the scientific topics like brain development and body chemistry and gives examples from modern day pop culture to make it more understandable and often amusing. It keeps the topics from feeling like obligatory reading from a college text book. However, I did often find myself disappointed that I didn’t have a highlighter nearby, because I kept finding myself wanting to highlight many passages, so I could go back to them later. Crazy Little Thing will take readers on an interesting journey through various kinds of love and relationships. Many people may find a bit of themselves in it, and something is going to click, leaving them a better understanding of themselves or someone they know. It may even change how you look at love. If nothing else, it will spark some fascinating discussions among its readers, and that alone makes it a worthwhile read."
—Book Wenches

"To say I enjoyed this book is putting it mildly. I wanna give every one of my friends this book. 'Here, you are not mad for feeling like you do!'”
—Kissin Blue Karen

"Each day science teaches us more and more about the science of love and attraction. In highlighting some of the most unusual love stories around, Langley shows us brain chemistry and neuroscience in action, providing insight into why, how and who we love"
—Sarah Forbes, Curator of The Museum of Sex

"Crazy Little Thing author Langley has applied the burgeoning field of neuroscience to romantic love. She has done it with cutting-edge science, insight, and — most importantly — a sense of humor. The science is backed up with real research studies, referenced in 14 pages of endnotes., but Langley describes it all with phrases like “big new brain,”“love is a painkiller," “love drugs whizzing through our veins,” “the cuddle hormone,” and “Gandhi neurons.” The book is creative, very readable, comforting, and a standout in an e-detached world which is trying to replace human contact with electronic networking. It will not only make readers who are struggling with the symptoms of unrequited love feel more in control of their lives, it will also encourage everyone to take a new look at old-fashioned, in-person socializing."
—Anna Jedriewski, New Age Retailer


"In Crazy LIttle Thing Liz Langley takes one of our most complicated emotions, love, and explains it in a way that is factual, entertaining and sometimes, down right funny. We may never ultimately solve the puzzle of who we choose to love but now we understand how and why - and Liz reminds us that even though the low points make our stomach feel funny, the thrill of the roller coaster ride called love will keep us coming back for more."
—Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP, author of Abnormal Psychology

"Liz Langley says she's written about crazy love (is there any other kind?) you can read on a flight across the country and she's done it. A fun, freaky survey -- a dash of science, a soupcon of nuttiness, and best of all, Langley's charming voice that can make necrophilia sound like a prom date."
-Brian Alexander, author of America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction

"This book is simply irresistible! With wit like a machete, Liz Langley clears a path through the jungle of neurological research investigating why we fall in love and what happens to our brains when we do. Hilariously funny, Langley goes beyond neurologists to talk to lovers of all kinds, mingling science and unexpected sexual scenery. Insightful, compelling, beautifully written, filled with eye-opening facts and extraordinary people, Langley'sCrazy Little Thing will make you appreciate the truth of Bryan Ferry's song "Love is the Drug" in whole new ways.
—Lev Raphael, author of Rosedale in Love

"When it comes to love and sex, everyone seems to be trying to find answers to all of the eternal questions. But in Crazy Little Thing, author Liz Langley instead decides to question all of the answers, and it’s a heck of a lot more satisfying. Let’s face it, the “He’s just not that into you, you complete me” stuff is only making all things love and sex more confusing. So Langley skips the easy road and the clichés and gets to the heart of things. From incestual love and necrophilia to freaks and the divine, Langley dives in and goes straight to the source, not to finish the conversation, but to further it. She talks to the experts. She talks to the people who have been there. (As well as those who have done that…) And she talks to her readers like the intelligent knowledge seekers that we are looking for a little help when it comes to better understanding this crazy little thing called love."
—Jenny Block, author ofOpen: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage

“Liz Langley balances along the tightrope between love and sex with considerable thoughtfulness, compassion and wit. Applying the precision of a skillful surgeon, she probes the mysteries and myths of mating and marriage alike. But who knew that reading in Crazy Little Thing about the role of brain chemistry in romantic relationships would give me an intellectual hard-on?”
—Paul Krassner, author of In Praise of Indecency

"If you've ever uttered the words "what the hell was she thinking," read this book. Liberally spice with Liz Langley's trademark humor and curiosity about the human condition, Crazy Little Thing is a tour de force of scientific info (this is your brain on love) and real-world examples of how our brains trick us into landing on the evening news, if not the Jerry Springer show. Plus it's proof that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction."
—Lara Dien, author of Heat Index

"Like a hearty cabernet sauvignon, Liz Langley’s writing is a pleasingly complex combination of earthy flavors accented by subtle notes of humor and piquant insights. Whether paired with meaty discourse or just desserts, her work is the perfect compliment to both sweet or savory, and delivers a full-bodied 'mind feel' that will leave readers with a long, rewarding finish." — Judy Cole, Editor emeritus, Playgirl and SexIs magazines

"In the decade that Liz Langley has been writing for AlterNet, she's developed a cult following. Her work is smart, witty and wild. She's piqued our curiosity, opened our hearts and vigorously stirred the pot of ideas when it comes to love, relationships and sexuality. — Tara Lohan, Senior Editor, AlterNet


If Baudelaire and Tina Fey had a kid, they might give birth to Liz Langley. In Crazy Little Thing, she combines a journalist's eye and knack for pointing out naked emperors with prose packed with more zingers than an express lane at Wal*Mart - the whole time, tongue planted firmly in cheek."
—Curtis X Meyer, poet, author and essayist


"Like Mary Roach's Bonk, Langley takes you behind-the-scenes of the Love Lab, run by mad scientists mixing up bittersweet brain cocktails that will leave you thirsting for more. From circus freaks to morgue rats, Crazy Little Thing takes you on a fascinating leaky loveboat adventure that will leave you feeling incredibly and refreshingly sane. Langley affectionately pulls no stops in her quest to uncover the bewitching reasons love drives even the best of us batty. Buckle your life vest and join her in this madcap journey that will have you sipping dopamine tea with Romeo and Juliet at Heartbreak Hotel under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower."
- Kendra Holliday, Writer & Editor of The Beautiful Kind

"Liz Langley's treatise on what is arguably humankind's most important function is fraught with a deep understanding of the mysterious, often hilarious and perpetually bipolar state of our loving minds. If Crazy Little Thing were a movie, it would screen in art houses featuring tales beyond category, stories that defy pigeonholing: "A Rom/Com/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Buddy/Horror" picture about love's indomitable strengths and absurd weaknesses, designed by evolution, directed by science, and produced by free will and fatalism."
— Scott Elias, film and record producer

From the Back Cover

This Is Your Brain on Love

There are plenty of books that offer advice about how to find or keep love in your life. But what can we learn from those who've gone to the extremes of love and desire? Liz Langley answers that question in Crazy Little Thing, a light-hearted look at the science of why we long for love. She deciphers how the burbling, boiling soup of endorphins, hormones and neurotransmitters that spill from our brain make us do things, in the name of love, that would otherwise be viewed as insane. From the greatest breakup story ever told to the psychologists and scientists who can explain our bad behavior, Langley reveals the control our chemicals have over us in this hilarious, confounding and too-strange-to-be-anything-but-true look at love.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
81%
4 star
6%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
13%
See all 16 customer reviews
Buy this book if you want to find out how and when we fall in love.
Richard Gregor
Anyone that has known me any length of time knows that I'm a person that is a little cynical when it comes to love.
Cyrus Webb
Liz Langley's quirky writing style and anecdotes about love stories also make this book very enjoyable.
SamK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Miller on February 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Wanna know more about love and why it makes you act completely insane?

Just so you know where I'm coming from: my close friends know that if they want share their art, I will be a critical and opinionated ass about it. If I dislike it, I will say this, and I will outline in detail and ad nauseum what doesn't work for me. I can even be a jerk about it, pushing for changes I think will make it better - I really am a hateful person about this sometimes. My true friends have to put up with this or hide their art. If, however, I love the work, I feel deeply humbled and proud to say I know the artist. And then I become a cheerleader - still an ass, just a different kind of ass.

I know Liz Langley, and I've always liked her writing a lot. Crazy Little Thing, though, goes from being witty and self-deprecating to being flat-out wonderful. I was amazed at the research she does into why we go off the deep end about romance and love. Then, there are her clever, pop-culture references and sly jokes. But the best part is how she finds the weirdest examples of what she's talking about.

I'm serious. I know so much more about the chemicals and electricity of the brain in love. But it's even better when we can measure these against the woman who married a man who hired someone to beat her up. The thug threw lye in her face, blinding her, and after her suitor got out of prison, they STILL married! And then he cheated on her, and she STILL loves him!

Langley also finds the circus oddities - like the man with alligator skin and the woman with excessive body and facial hair - who fell in love. Why them and not you or me?!?!?

Finally, there are people who fall in love with corpse and inanimate object. I kinda get the latter, because I love this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charles M Martin on May 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a very skillful blend of hard science -- the latest studies on why love makes us a bit nutty -- combined with FABULOUS stories of strange and wonderful love stories you WILL be sharing with people for years at social gatherings. PLUS you get the wit and whimsy of Liz Langley, who tells these stories like she's talking to you on the next barstool and occasionally nudging you in the ribs. And trust me, you want to keep buying her drinks.

What I liked about the book especially was the clear-eyed way Langley boils down the complicated stuff WITHOUT "dumbing" it down. It's an art that only she and Rachel Maddow (and that old guy in the Schoolhouse Rock films!) ever seem to possess anymore, and she pulls it off with great panache. The "educational" portion of the book takes up some of the early chapters (after a frankly HILARIOUS introduction to Liz and her own highs and lows in love that really personalizes things), but then -- with equal grace -- Langley puts herself in the background and tells us some incredible tales of how all this science and brain chemistry plays out in the real world. And occasionally in the surreal world.

Apart from the introduction, and the brief mention I get (yes, I'm quoted in the book, but only briefly and it's not colouring my opinion of the work as a whole, I swear), my favourite part was the second half, which is just UN-PUT-DOWNABLE true tales of romance, sex and hi-jinks that bring the "crazy" to the title.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Borg Norm on July 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading the great reviews (all 13 reviews giving the book 5 stars) I was anticipating a book that would not only be informative, but capture my attention by presenting the material in a light hearted manner. The first chapter had a captive introduction to the subject with a touch of humor, but from there I lost interest and said no more after having read 30% of the book. I became overly bored with the book and could/would not continue. I can't recall ever having that experience before on such a highly rated book.

In summary, I made an honest effort, but the book wasn't for me. I don't want to be critical of the other reviewers, but I couldn't even give a 2 star rating and I am not a harsh reviewer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Gregor on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Buy this book if you want to find out how and when we fall in love. Forget why. It's all chemistry. Great book, and a quick read with lots of real life questions and answers, like why do fools fall in love, and what does s(he) see in h(im)er? Congratulations on a well researched, readable story. Liz has made sense from non-sense.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SamK on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
For a book filled with scientific explanation, it was highly entertaining. Liz Langley's quirky writing style and anecdotes about love stories also make this book very enjoyable. As for the scientific explanations, they go from biological science with the chemicals in our brains, to psychological science such as how our childhoods shape our ideas about love and which partners we choose. I particularly enjoyed the equation of love to a drug like cocaine, because it triggers dopamine in our brains in the same way, and when we go without, we have withdrawal similar to the withdrawal of a cocaine addict.

Altogether, it was very informative as well as very entertaining. I would definitely suggest this book to anyone who is frustrated and wants to know what actually makes us fall in love, for better or worse.
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