Hello everyone, and welcome to Noble Wine and Words! This month, I read Bell Hooks’ “All About Love” paired with an affordable red wine straight from South Australia, which I tested for the incredible price of eight pounds. Unfortunately, it is already finished, but that is a positive indicator of how tasty it was. I have a few other adjectives to describe this red wine; however, I will leave the description and a link in the description bar.

Let’s get into the book. If you see me looking down, I have some notes. To summarize, Bell Hooks uses her razor-sharp pen to answer the question, “what is love?” In thirteen concise chapters, she examines her search for emotional connection and society’s failure to provide a model for learning to love. She digs into the false idea that love is infused with sex and desire. The book journeys through a diverse range of loves, such as romantic love, biblical love, a relationship with death, and the impact of our childhood relationships. Finally, she offers a proactive new ethic for a society stricken with lovelessness.

This book is compact at just over 200 pages, and the nice font size makes it easy to read. Undoubtedly, this book has critics, but Hooks has punch lines; it is like listening to your favorite rapper, and you hear that sentence or that loop that makes you say, “hey, for example, ‘real Gs move in silence like lasagna,’ or ‘when drink stared square, we the square root of 69 is eight something.’ Come on, tell me you felt it, tell me you felt it!” Perhaps it could have been a better illustration I could pick if you didn’t, but it’s still valid. Now, Bell Hooks’ lines and quotable are so direct that, at one point, if you are suffering from lovelessness, you feel she has provided the medicine or the antidote to your problem or perhaps just a punch in the face to wake up. I love Bell Hooks’ wordplay; her quotables will be valid for decades.

One chapter, in particular, made my eyes, eyebrows, and ears all perk up, and this is “Justice: Childhood Love Lessons.” For context, she is at a party with mainly well-educated, well-paid professionals, and they are discussing parenting and beating your children. One man brags about the aggressive beatings he had received from his mother, sharing that they had been good for him. I interrupted and suggested that he might not be the misogynistic woman hater he is today if a woman had not brutally beaten him as a child. She argues that no one can claim to be loving while behaving abusively, which is common in our culture. She continued to push this conversation from an angle I had never explored or even considered until that moment. I read a paragraph, so I’ll leave the rest for you, but what are your thoughts on parental punishment?

To summarize, reading this book, I fell back in love with love. I’ve had some of my principles confirmed, and I have a point of reference to bring to my discussions of love. I’ve found a language to express love and been educated. More importantly, I now have a way of acknowledging and identifying love, both in practice and in theory. So, this book gets a solid 5 out of 5 from me. It was my first time reading Bell Hooks, and was a great introduction to her literature. I will certainly be reading more.

That is it from me. Peace and love in every language!