Here Are the Real Reasons I Chose All About Love by bell hooks as the First Book Club Pick
“The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes bell hooks.
As a connoisseur of romance books, it was a no-brainer for me to choose a book that had the word "love" in its title. But to my surprise, All About Love immediately showed me that it was anything but a romance book. Romance books create, maintain, or at least contribute to the fantasy. They gracefully lie to you, giving you hope that time is the only thing standing between you and your happily ever after. They speak to your heart, tug at your emotions and recreate the imperfect but oh-so perfect love story in your mind with you replacing the main character.
The main character in All About Love is society, and the story isn't a romantic one. Bell hooks' words are enough to dismantle the fantasy that is often sold in romance books. She doesn't sell you hope; she makes it clear that there must be work done for love to show up in a healthy way, which is a side of love that most people don't get to experience.
When she asks, "What is love?" Your heart and mind will begin to get on the same page. It isn't always about how love makes you feel, it's about the ways in which love makes you think.
Here's why I chose All About Love for the first book club pick:It was written by a Black woman.
Here at lazy &Lit., the author-owned bookstore that cares about your mental health, we believe in highlighting books written by women of color. We also believe in promoting the wellness and mental health of Black women specifically. Both reasons are why we created The Cozy BLKGRL Reading Box based on the owner's bestseller, BLKGRL.
Our first book club is a safe, wellness space for Black girls.
Following The Cozy BLKGRL Reading Box, our first book club was created because we wanted to create a safe wellness space for book lovin' Black girls. The Black woman experience is one that is unique and needs to be shared as often as possible. All About Love is a book that can help many Black women unpack and unlearn with the help of sisterhood. It was written by someone who saw the world through the same lenses, and it provides an unconventional perspective about love that hasn't been presented to most Black women anywhere else.
All About Love is a set of instructions for society.
Bell hooks makes it clear that this is a societal issue, not an individual issue. Our unhealthy approach to love is embedded in our culture and promoted daily. All About Love serves as a guide for anyone who wants a love that isn't rooted in dysfunction, codependency and a hunger for power. Instead of a romance book, it is a reference book that you can always go back to when you need to recalibrate or reposition yourself to receive everything you desire from love. "bell hooks offers a proactive new ethic for a society bereft with lovelessness--not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. People are divided, she declares, by society’s failure to provide a model for learning to love."
It isn't just about romantic love.
Unlike romance books, bell hooks talks about love in a way that goes beyond romance. She talks about examples in our childhood, our passion for work, how we approach love in family, etc. She talks about love in ways that aim to heal any open wounds you may have. Unfortunately, a lot of Black women aren't strangers to having wounds created by their experiences with love. I chose All About Love as our first book club pick because I wanted to start with healing.