Crazy Little Thing - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Badass

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Love apparently has nothing to do with your heart and everything to do with your brain chemistry.

My review of this book is limited by how many words I am allowed to write. If I could write more, believe me, it would be much longer. This is an awesome book that I would recommend to everyone from my newlywed neighbor to my lesbian best friend. There really is something for everyone in this book. Even if it's not "for" you, it is an interesting read and you will learn much about the brain and the who, what, where, when, and how's of love.
Published:
Pros:
Easy to read, Well written, Interesting from cover to cover
Cons:
None
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review
This book is not erotic, or even a story. This is 241 pages of Liz Langley's quest to discover why we love. Some sections will make you want to tear up, some will make you want to giggle, but the majority of this book will make you sit back and think. This book gives you a new spin on why humans love the way that we do and what makes us do it.

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1- Brainiac
This section is all about the brain build and chemistry that comes about when falling in love. In this section, the chemicals that the brain produces when someone sees a photograph of their lover are the same chemicals that people addicted to drugs let off when they know they will be getting high. It's called Dopamine, and it's kind of crazy. This section alone will teach you things. Fun fact, 15 minutes of kissing lowers Cortisol, the hormone that responds to stress! 15 minutes of kissing also raises a man's Oxytocin, the cuddle hormone.

Chapter 2- Love, Birds, and the Lesbian Albatrosses
This section is all about how humans(and occasionally speaking about animals) fall in love and show love. She talks about Koko, the gorilla who learned sign language and how Koko repeatedly uses the sign for "love". She talks about chimpanzees mourning death. Boldly, she jumps from these animal emotions to the fact that only between 1-4% of babies in western cultures have misassigned paternity. Meaning, they didn't know who their real father was.

Chapter 3- What You See in Them: Ideas on Attraction
This section is all about the how's and why's of falling in love. When your life is hard, you are more likely to want the attention of another(also discussed in Rickety Bridge). In this section she also talks about the ability of mice to sense genetically dissimilar mice by smell. Mice are drawn to those who smell genetically dissimilar so that they can produce a healthier offspring than if they mated with someone a little more genetically similar. This relates to humans because we do the same thing, just with different reasons. We don't mate with our brothers, sisters, or cousins because we think it's gross, but why do we think it's gross? It's because having children with our relatives gives the child too much of the same genetics.

Chapter 4- "The Ballad of Burt and Linda"
One of the couples she discusses in detail, and my favorite, is Burt and Linda. The two met in the 1950's when Linda was in her 20's and Burt was 10 years her senior. Burt happened to be married already, but "loved" Linda. Linda went on holiday with a friend and found a new beau who quickly became her fiance. All this was happening for Linda as Burt's medical practice was coming apart at the seams for illegal activity. Burt starting harassing Linda, making threatening phone calls, throwing things as her windows, and other general "I'm losing my shit and I want you back now" behavior.

Burt ultimately asked one of his "clients" if he knew someone who would beat up a girl. Hoping, this would scare Linda into seeking his protection. But who he sent did far worse than beat up a girl. Linda answered the door one day to find a man standing on her porch who threw lye onto her face. She survived but her sight was very damaged and by the 90's, Linda sight was completely gone. Burt had been sent to prison, not just for the Linda thing, but for his medical practice.

While Burt was in prison, his wife decided she wanted a divorce. Burt was only in prison for 14 years, but he sent money to Linda the whole time. After Burt was released from prison, he did a TV interview. It was at this point, he chose to propose to Linda live on TV, since he couldn't see her in person. They got together for a date, got married, and now live happily ever after. If that's not the epitome of a crazy little thing called love, I don't know what is.

Chapter 5- Bigfoot the Yenta
This is pretty much a whole chapter on odd couples. One couple who started out with the male being a doctor and the female being a believer in all things weird. One day the woman walks into the doctors office and he follows her into a world of lizard aliens being in control of the world mentality. Years later they find out he has Asbergers syndrome and shortly after he dies(not from Asbergers). The woman is left to walk the world alone, and a large portion of this chapter is how she survived after he had passed on.
Experience
Chapter 6- Genetic Sexual Attraction
This section is a bit out there for me. It is all about kids who are adopted falling in love with their biological siblings or kin. They have never known someone with the same genetic makeup as themselves, so when they meet someone like them, they get an emotion like love. Whether it is or is not real love is not for us to decide.

Chapter 7- The Greatest Breakup Story Ever Told
This chapter is about a man and a woman who fall in love. The man moves to India for work and he stops paying attention, at all, to the woman. The woman then decides to move to India to be with him. When she does, he dumps her. This chapter is about chasing someone who is running from you and how to survive the aftermath.

Chapter 8- Nikki Reynolds
Nikki's story doesn't start with her by herself. It starts with a relationship with Carlos. Before Carlos, Nikki was a normal teen, going to school and being doted on by her super Christian parents. Nikki and Carlos were together for two years and he was the one to take her virginity. Nikki was experiencing the flood of emotions and brain chemicals for the first time and in solitude. Her parents would never have approved of her having sex, and so she kept all she was thinking and feeling inside. At some point, Carlos starts wanting out, but Nikki starts telling him she's knocked up so he will stay with her. This happens numerous times and finally, Carlos grew tired of it and cut her off completely. At this point, through Carlos, Nikki's mom becomes involved. It is at this point that Nikki tries to overdose on Asprin. When she fails, she decides to kill Carlos. Nikki really broke from reality and tried to kill her Mum in order to get to Carlos to kill him. In Nikki's mom's dying breaths, she told Nikki she loved her and this is where Nikki realizes she has broken from reality and calls 911.

Here comes the twist. Nikki was adopted, and when she went to court her biological Mom came to testify. Nikki's real Mom told the court of the family's history of mental illness and how she herself had violently tried to abort the pregnancy of Nikki. In the end, Nikki was found not nuts and was sentenced to 34 years in prison. In prison is where Liz Langley interviews Nikki.

She then talks about teen brains. They are not as developed as adult brains and thus have a harder time handling all the emotions that come with love and sex.

Chapter 9- Down for the Count: Love and Draculacon
This chapter is also a bit far fetched for me. This is about the love humans sometimes have for the dead, and the love some people like to make to the dead. This was all written while she hung around a Draculacon.

Chapter 10- Spiritual Love
This chapter is all about love vs. infatuation. It talks about the religious aspects of a relationship and religion's place in a relationship, and the compromise of religious beliefs in relationships.
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Comments
  • PeaceToTheMiddleEast
    PeaceToTheMiddleEast  
    Great review, thanks for sharing!
  • allme1
    allme1  
    very good review. thank you very much.
  • TheSinDoll
    TheSinDoll  
    Really interesting!!! Great job!
  • deltalima
    deltalima  
    Thanks.
  • Badass
    Badass  
    Thank you all for reading!
  • Angel Baby
    Angel Baby  
    Very informative review..and WELL WRITTEN!
  • Badass
    Badass  
    Thank you for the compliment Angel Baby
  • puglove
    puglove  
    Extremely great review
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