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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book Review: The Chemistry Between Us by Larry Young and Brian Alexander

The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction - Larry  Young, Brian Alexander

This book had a lot of interesting and intelligent things to say, and I'm finding that I am having a lot of trouble finding anything interesting or intelligent to say about it, although it's one of those books I found myself telling people about a lot. Because doesn't everyone want to know how love REALLY works?

This book is a more comprehensive look at the "science of love" than anything else I've ever read. It spends significant time on the initial attraction and sexual priming stage, but it goes beyond the typical, "We're looking with someone with good genes," evolutionary line. It delves into preferences that go outside the norm as well as fetishes; long-term monogamy and cheating; the science of addiction and how it relates to long-term love; and the part territorialism and parental love plays in romantic love.

In all this "demystifying" of love, the authors take a somewhat apologetic tone about "explaining away" something that is so magical and mysterious. But knowing what's happening inside, to me, makes love even MORE magical and mysterious. And I for one am glad that my brain (and my husband's brain) are "addicted" to this relationship--because it never hurts to get a little extra help from the way you're "wired" when it comes to making love work. It also presents some important insight about parent-child bonding, with reminders of how incredibly crucial those early years are, and with hope that "right parenting" can build loving, lovable, and stable brains in children. Although there were a few moments when things got a little to technical and I found my mind wandering, this is probably the best book on the subject I've read; it covers a lot of what I already knew, but even more that I didn't.