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Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers) Hardcover – February 4, 2014
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“A provocative, insightful, and deeply humane meditation on ‘life’s most mystifying subject’... Jones ... proves an exceptional guide -- droll, compassionate, nonjudgmental -- through all of love’s many phases.” (Elle)
From the Back Cover
Love is unrivaled in its power to thrill, crush, and sustain. No subject in human history has been more thoroughly examined. And yet, as desperately as we have tried to unlock love's mysteries—to "decode" it through scientific experimentation, philosophical inquiry, and even mathematical algorithms—do we really understand love any better today than Shakespeare did nearly five hundred years ago?
As the editor of a column about love in the New York Times, Daniel Jones has been privy to the deepest personal revelations of tens of thousands of strangers. Deluged with stories of scheming cheaters, hopeless romantics, racy texts, and fierce devotion, he has spent much of the past decade wading through love's muck and majesty—and has taken plenty of notes along the way. In Love Illuminated, he uses his unique perspective to tease apart life's most mystifying subject.
Drawing from the 50,000 tales of love that have crossed his desk, Jones traces the arc of human relationships through ten phases, starting with the pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, and trust of new love, and then turning to the practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty, and wisdom of love matured. With empathy and wry humor, he takes readers on an enlightening journey through the highs, lows, and enduring unknowns of this universal experience that rattles the head and stirs the heart.
As Jones explains, "Love is about curiosity, not certainty. It's about tossing oneself overboard into the wild seas, not remaining safely on deck."
In Love Illuminated, he pulls us into the depths of love in all its contradictions and complexities, offering glimmers of understanding along with the comforts of shared experience.
Top customer reviews
Reading this book was extremely enlightening, in that it points out the realism of love and marriage very bluntly. The author doesn't try to sugarcoat things or make things sound better than they seem - he writes it as he sees it. The truth is, relationships are hard. Love is hard. Marriage is hard. But, like all things in life, a little effort every day goes a long way. Daniel Jones talks about each stage of a relationship, and illuminates certain truths with anecdotes and stories from his stint as the editor of a relationship column on the NY Times.
I think it's important to go into this book with a positive mindset; there is a lot to be learnt about how to be a better partner (or a better person in general), as long as you don't let the depressing undertones of the book get to you.