Naked Reader Book Club Discussion: Crazy Little Thing - Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad, by Liz Langley (December 27, 8-10 PM EST)

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Naked Reader Book Club Discussion: Crazy Little Thing - Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad, by Liz Langley (December 27, 8-10 PM EST)

NuMe NuMe
Welcome to the Naked Reader Book Club! The fabulous Sacchi Green will be our host this evening. Tonight we'll be discussing Love! What causes us to fall in love with a certain person? What makes us act the way we do when we're in love? Is it emotions? Is it chemical? A little of both? SexIs' very own Liz Langley has written a book covering these mysteries. This is going to be a fascinating conversation!

Crazy Little Thing - Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad, by Liz Langley

Crazy Little Thing is a look at why we want to be in love and the burbling, boiling soup of endorphins, hormones, and neurotransmitters that spill from our brain to make us do things that would otherwise be viewed as insane. Investigative journalist Liz Langley traveled the country to research and interview singularly love-mad folks who maimed, murdered, and married. Langley reveals the science of love and lust, as well as very human stories: a spouse who can’t stop loving her criminally psychotic husband, even after he threw acid in her face; the sweet romance between alligator-skinned sideshow performers; and a man whose neurons drive his necrophilia. Langley reveals the control our chemicals have over us in a hilarious, confounding—and too strange to be anything but true—look at love.

Whether you've read the book or not, everyone is welcome to join the Naked Reader Book Club discussion! If you have had a chance to read Crazy Little Thing, feel free to drop in and give us your opinion on this book.
12/14/2011
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Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
I'd really like to know how to join this club and get the book if someone could help me.
12/19/2011
Nothere Nothere
Quote:
Originally posted by Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
I'd really like to know how to join this club and get the book if someone could help me.
Email nakedreaderbookclub@gm ail.com to join the club. You get a free book for your first meeting (as in you don't have to it) as well. Otherwise you'll get a book a month. Just email thenakedreader aka Laurel
12/19/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Nothere
Email nakedreaderbookclub@gm ail.com to join the club. You get a free book for your first meeting (as in you don't have to it) as well. Otherwise you'll get a book a month. Just email thenakedreader aka Laurel
Has anyone gotten their assignments for the upcoming month yet? I'm super looking forward to it! This discussion should be fun too
12/23/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
Crap crap crap! My friend just scheduled a sleepover with me Tuesday night! I don't think that I'll be able to make it (And I feel like having an internet book club meeting would be a good enough reason to reschedule!)

I'll just toss in my two cents right now!
Overall this is a GREAT book! I really like how it approaches things and it really can be read by people of all education backgrounds. As someone studying biology and anatomy, some parts I skipped over, but even the things I knew she explained in wonderful ways! The anecdotes were awesome and I really feel like this is a great book for anyone remotely interested in the topic!
12/26/2011
NuMe NuMe
I wish I was going to be here tomorrow! Unfortunately my youngest daughter is flying back to California in the evening and we are taking her to the airport.

I'm definitely going to miss this!

Hope you all have a great time with Sacchi, Laurel, and I think Liz Langley will be here as well.
12/26/2011
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by NuMe
Welcome to the Naked Reader Book Club! The fabulous Sacchi Green will be our host this evening. Tonight we'll be discussing Love! What causes us to fall in love with a certain person? What makes us act the way we do when we're in love? Is it ...
got the book, haven't dove real deep into it... just about done with the 1st chapter. i do like it, it's very interesting. some of the writing style is distracting.. the constant jokes or family-guy-like references. still, it's a unique book, and i like it.

check out this link for a cute little vid of the author, liz langley, promoting her book. very interesting, and she's so charming!

sold me onthe book right away

liz langley


you can also find it by googling 'crazy little thing liz langley.' it's the first result.
12/26/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Yes, Liz Langley will be there, but I'm going to be lost without Liz Nume keeping track and welcoming everybody joining in. Everybody just welcome everybody else, okay?

Meanwhile, here's Liz Langley's preface to the book, delivered in two posts. It'll definitely give you a taste of the entertainment to come, and I can guarantee that the mind-blowing information in the book itself will give you a wide-ranging perspective on just how the mind gets blown when it comes to love and sex.


Preface
As long as the world is turning and spinning we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.
—Mel Brooks, in The 2000 Year Old Man

When I was a kid in the ’70s Engelbert Humperdinck had a huge hit with a song called “After the Lovin’.” It was the cheesiest thing you could find outside of an actual cheese shop, the kind of industrial-strength ’70s smarm that would make people deny that the ’70s ever happened until the ’90s, when it was far enough away to feel safe.

In fairness to Engelbert this was also the era that gave us Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” the Captain and Tennille’s “Muskrat Love,” and Morris Albert’s “Feelings.” It was a fabulous decade but when it came to schmaltz we never said when. You want to know why people embraced the Sex Pistols? “Muskrat Love.” That’s why.

At 11 years old I had no idea what Engelbert was talking about. The lovin’ was a pretty blurry concept to me. I was about 10 years away from knowing exactly how romantic love could make you literally crazy and 11 years from understanding the devastation the end of a romance could wreak. After the lovin’—the fights, the therapist, the cynicism.

My mother was a very vocal woman—in fact the only place you’ll see a bigger mouth is on Mount Rushmore— yet she was conspicuously economical on the subjects of sex and relationships. She’d occasionally offer something like “You’re going to have to marry someone who makes you laugh,” or the simpler “Don’t get stuck,” but it wasn’t ever
something she wanted to talk about at length. My parents were married for thousands of years and never managed to make it look appealing. Between this and my natural autonomy it was easy never to get stuck. Even now I rent, I freelance, and I’m agnostic about everything from religion to romance.

This didn’t mean I was immune to love, and when it did pop up, like a brain aneurysm or a winning lotto ticket, I was as unprepared for its consuming power as Carrie White was for her period. If you had told the self-contained 18- year-old me that there would be men in the future who would make me want to sideline my ambitions just to lie in bed with them all day long—who might make me want to get stuck—I’d have checked for your lobotomy scar, but it happened and I had no idea how to handle it.

I think a lot of us judge ourselves terribly harshly when love doesn’t work out. When we’re hurt or confused in love, or love outside convention, we feel like the only person who failed to memorize the script. This is primal, we think. Penguins can do this—how hard can it be? And our culture is no help whatsoever. There are 3,000 cover versions of the Beatles’ Yesterday but only one culturally approved type of relationship: straight, married, monogamous, and forever. Love offers itself to us in a giddy, dizzying burst of variety, as everything in nature does, and we often don’t have the imagination to accept. It’s like making Sálvador Dalí a housepainter and asking him to please stick to beige and oatmeal.
This is starting to change, but the long-standing model of Happy, Hetero, and Monogamously Hitched (all by a certain age or you’re doomed. Doomed! DOOOOMED!) is pretty dug in, despite the fact that it makes an awful lot of people feel weird and wobbly. Living modern lives on antique rules is like shoving oats and hay into your gas tank and being surprised when you don’t get anywhere.

And people judge each other’s romantic lives and allow theirs to be judged pretty casually. I’ve had people I barely knew ask me why I didn’t marry my then boyfriend and offer their opinions about my personal life as though I’d asked. Our love lives are as sacred a thing as there is, yet we allow them to be eyeballed and judged like some garage- sale butter churn on Antiques Roadshow, with way too many people openly doubting that what you feel in your heart is worth anything. You’d never hear anyone say to a religious person, “Maybe God’s just not that into you.”

Love is more mysterious than death. Death you will at least probably understand once you have done it. Not so, love. The more times you do it, the more confused you get. Even Agatha Christie needed more than one try to figure it out.

So if you feel alone in your problems with love, please believe me: you’re not. You are not the only one who is confused, frustrated, nervous, or once traded a cow for magic beans and has no idea why you did it. You can look back on thousand-year-old poems and on this week’s Desperate Housewives and see how problems in love haven’t changed and how normal you are to feel nuts. It’s a power- fully alluring madness. Love is the mental illness we all want to have. It does make us crazy.

[More in the next post.]
12/26/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Preface, continued:

Now scientists are showing us how. Psychologists, academics, and analysts of culture continue to offer us better understanding of ourselves in love and other areas, but neurologists and other specialists have taken the game to a higher level. They are holding a new mirror up to us—the brain scan—that shows what chemicals and structures are active when we feel different things, and like Narcissus, we can’t stop staring. I think that neuroscience—the study of the brain, its mechanics, and how its chemistry affects our behavior—is poised to alter, indeed is already altering, the way we think about ourselves as profoundly as Darwinian thinking did. We no longer see depression or addiction simply as character flaws, but as biological and behavioral. What else do we now judge as bad character that will later be found to be the function of wiring or chemistry? How can we judge ourselves for being unable to get over an ex if we know that our brain chemistry is creating an addiction similar to that of a drug user?2 What if we discover that someone we thought was cold and indifferent to us simply has the neurological disorder known as Asperger’s syndrome and just can’t engage socially in certain ways?3 How much of our behavior is really our choice?

This stuff is opening a Pandora’s box the size of a cruise ship, and I’m thrilled. We may have to reassess how much we really should judge ourselves and others, which won’t come easy. Judging is a lot of people’s only hobby and they’re not going to let go of it that quickly. And so, like the study of evolution, neurology may change the way we see ourselves, but only if we let it.

This book isn’t a how-to. It’s more of a “guess-what!” I have included some pearls of wisdom from interview subjects, and I hope this book will be a rich narrative journey and a source of increased perspective on some of the ways your brain might be screwing with your emotional GPS, setting your destination for Crazy Town when you meant to go home and get a good night’s sleep. The brain is so complex, and research on it is so massive, I don’t expect
to be comprehensive just by offering some ideas for why you’re not the only one who’s lost it in love. I interviewed 23 people, some of them specialists in various fields of study who provided depth of understanding in the ways of love and our universal predicaments in it. Others gave me their personal stories about loves they have known or survived. I chose them because their stories were vari- ously amazing, affecting, amusing, or appalling—often a combination. Some stories are pretty dark, but I hope you are able to empathize with all of them at least partially. “Nothing human is alien to me,” Terence said, and while I’m not quite that elastic, it’s an admirable statement. To understand is not necessarily to condone, and to condemn anyone’s actions without attempting to understand their feelings and motives is unfair. We all have a dark side, and we understand more than we let on; pretending that we don’t is like ignoring a bill we don’t want to pay. The problem is just going to get bigger.

Finally, I wanted to write a book a person could read on a cross-country flight without getting bored and picking up the Sky Mall catalog. That’s only happened to me once. The author was mystery writer M.C. Beaton and my grati- tude was immense. If I can get you from, say, Orlando to Vancouver without buying a pair of night-vision goggles or an automatic cat feeder—and in the process make you feel better about the love you’re in, were in, or will be in—then we’ll both be in good shape. That’s enough to wish for today.

Liz Langley
12/26/2011
Willow Wand Willow Wand
Never got this assignment
12/27/2011
bluekaren bluekaren
I will be here even though I never got my assignment for this book. It has a very intriguing subject!
12/27/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
I'm going to try and make it. My sister is in town and I got time off from my other job so I can try and spend time with her while she's here.
12/27/2011
wrmbreze wrmbreze
I'll be here tonight, looking forward to it. I didn't request this book so want to know what everyone thought of it.
12/27/2011
Diabolical Kitty Diabolical Kitty
Hey everyone!!!
12/27/2011
RTx RTx
Liz has written such a fascinating and humorous book; it will, no doubt, inspire great discussion tonight!
12/27/2011
aliceinthehole aliceinthehole
Quote:
Originally posted by NuMe
Welcome to the Naked Reader Book Club! The fabulous Sacchi Green will be our host this evening. Tonight we'll be discussing Love! What causes us to fall in love with a certain person? What makes us act the way we do when we're in love? Is it ...
whoops looks like i'm actually early.

will be here again in 40 mins! cant wait to hear what yall think.
12/27/2011
Antipova Antipova
20 minutes out! I might be a little bit late, but I coaxed my student Derples into coming---say hi to her for me!
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Welcome everyone! Tonight we get to discuss Crazy Little Thing: Why Love and Sex Drive Us Wild, by Liz Langley. We'll get to learn about why we get so wild and crazy, and possibly share some wild craziness of our own(Personally, I'm still debating how much I dare to share.)
12/27/2011
tim1724 tim1724
I might be called away to go pick someone up at the airport, so I want to make sure to post now while I can.

I found the book a very fun read. So many interesting people to read about. I'm not sure that reading it would particularly help me in any way, but I found it very entertaining.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Hi All!
Thanks for joining me!
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
If you haven't done it yet, check out Liz's Preface, posted above, to get a taste of what we'll be discussing.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Just wanted to say to tim1724 that that's something I hoped for...that even people who aren't over their heads in the difficulties of love would find the stories entertaining, so thanks!
12/27/2011
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
Hey everybody!

Hi Sacchi and Liz!

Hope everybody had a relaxing Christmas and got a chance to read LIz's new book!
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Hi Liz! It's really great to have you here. I actually feel as though I'd spent several hours with you in the last couple of days while I read your book. I love your very involving writing style.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Hi Sacchi and Laurel!
Christmas was so nice and so relaxing it's been hard jumping back into the mix...but we still kiiinda have til Jan 2 before thing go back to normal...right?
12/27/2011
RTx RTx
Hey Liz!
Okay, I used to think I was a bit of a joker at love in my twenties, like a chimp, in my thirties a bit of a sentimental chump....but chapter three of your book confirms that I am really a bashful Bonobo...pg 51 what other animals are out there? Want to identify?
12/27/2011
Antipova Antipova
Hey everybody! I'm reading the preface right now...
12/27/2011
Diabolical Kitty Diabolical Kitty
Hi there all I'm here!
12/27/2011
Sacchi Sacchi
Hi Laurel. I wouldn't call Christmas relaxing, exactly; I suppose an analogy could be made between the excitement and stress of holidays and the way we feel about love and sex.
12/27/2011
Liz Langley Liz Langley
Quote:
Originally posted by Sacchi
Hi Liz! It's really great to have you here. I actually feel as though I'd spent several hours with you in the last couple of days while I read your book. I love your very involving writing style.
Thanks, Sacchi! I appreciate that especially because, due to the subject matter, I think people might be under the impression that it's a how-to, which it isn't. There are sections on science and pscyhology but I think the narratives are just as important.
12/27/2011
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