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Book Club Series — All About Love by bell hooks

“To practice the art of loving we have first to choose love— admit to ourselves that we want to know love and be loving.”
—bell hooks, All About Love

Welcome to the Women for Women International Book Club! This month we’re reading All About Love, a radical thought piece by educator and activist, bell hooks.

This book reminds us of the power of love, but also acknowledges the difficulty of practicing love in the modern world. Throughout the book bell hooks dissects the various forms of love and confronts the obstacles that often prevent people from practicing the art of being a loving person, such as media, power dynamics, capitalism, gender roles, greed, sexism, and materialism.

All About Love is a nuanced look at the world and a thoughtful dive into this foundational emotion.

Don’t forget to join the #WFWIBookClub Facebook Group…

We’ve launched a space for passionate readers like you to dive deeper and connect with each other while exploring women’s power. We hope you’ll join the discussion online!

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Why All About Love is important...

All About Love challenges common toxic misconceptions of love and invites us to experience love on all levels to live a fulfilling and authentic life.

It’s a simple truth that humans crave love. However, few of us really take the time to reflect on what that means in practice and what efforts must be made to find and keep love in our lives.

Bell hooks shows the value of having a love ethic — the embrace of all the dimensions of love to improve our daily life and social conditions — and discusses the work and conscious effort it takes to maintain that love ethic in the modern world.

All About Love is an honest look at love in all its forms — romantic, spiritual, familial, community, and the love of oneself. Hooks recognizes the power of love, its ability to heal and improve our life, while also recognizing that love is a choice people make and a lifestyle that must be continuously developed, nurtured, and evaluated.

While many books preach platitudes such as, “love will happen when you stop looking for it,” or “love is effortless,” All About Love examines the difficulty of finding and keeping love in our lives. It examines love through a lens of respect and demands the reader to evaluate the ways society blocks the path of experiencing true love.

We hope you’ll join us in reading All About Love and share your thoughts online.


Discussion Questions

Check out the discussion questions below and connect with readers on Instagram to share your reactions, thoughts and questions by using the hashtag #WFWIBookClub, and tagging us with @womenforwomen. We want to hear what you think—share your take on the book with us! 

  1. While love is a universal desire for humans it is also a word that is hard to define. How do you define love? Does that definition change when referring to different forms of love?
  2. Throughout the book bell hooks discusses different types of love— spiritual love, romantic love, self-love, etc. How does each type of love serve the larger community?
  3. The book discusses several barriers that society has created that prevent people from experiencing love. How has the media, capitalism, greed, sexism, materialism, and the nuclear family effected your life and ability to practice love?
  4. Do you believe relationships from your past can affect your ability to experience true love as an adult? Are you comfortable sharing an example from your own life?
  5. The book offers several examples of passion being confused for love. What are some reasons someone may mistake an act of passion for genuine love.
  6. How have social conventions, gender roles, and patriarchal thinking effected your ability to find and practice a love ethic?
  7. What power dynamics have existed in your relationships? Have you ever exchanged power for love?
  8. Have you ever felt lovelessness in your life? What did you do to combat the feeling? What can you do to prevent feeling lovelessness in the future?