I just finished reading the wise bell hooks and her elegant take on love in “all about love, new visions.” As the month of February brings into contact with themes of love, romance, and intimacy (not because of Hallmark and Valentines but because of astrology), I want to recommend you read this important book! Here are a few gems:

On intimate relationships:  “The essence of true love is mutual recognition-two individuals seeing each other as they really are. We all know that the usual approach is to meet someone we like and put our best self forward, or even at times a false self, one we believe will be more appealing to the person we want to attract. When our real self appears in its entirety, when the good behavior becomes too much to maintain or the masks are taken away, disappointment comes. All too often individuals feel, after the fact-when feelings are hurt and hearts are broken-that it was a case of mistaken identity, that the loved one is a stranger. They saw what they wanted to see rather than what was really there.”

Wider cultural connection: “All over the world people live in intimate daily contact with one another. They wash together, eat and sleep together, face challenges together, share joy and sorrow. The rugged individual who relies on no one else is a figure who can only exist in a culture of domination where a privileged few use more of the world’s resources than the many who must daily do without. Worship of individualism has in part led us to the unhealthy culture of narcissism that is so all pervasive in our society.”

Do yourself a favor and put this book on hold at the library or order it from your favorite bookseller now!