Saturday, October 31, 2020

Review of Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Psychology
Short Description

Elaborate Description

Love relationships occur with those you love, not just with life partners. While healthy relationships nurture love, unhealthy relations stifle love. This book is about how to learn to create and be in a healthy relationship. The reason for many unhealthy relationships comes from what each individual learned about love relationships whether consciously or unconsciously. Seeing how others are treated in love relationships creates an expectation of what a love relationship should involve. What Jordan calls a psychological love life, are the expectations for the internal mental representation of love relationships that shapes experiences going forward. Sometimes, those things we learn are toxic which lead to unhealthy relationships.

Healthy relationships allow the individuals to be vulnerable with each other. To avoid being vulnerable, an individual can be defensive by avoidance, distance, and conflict. It is impossible to lack vulnerability in a healthy relationship as much as it is impossible to avoid the risk of emotional pain. Vulnerability means a willingness to give and receive love.

Awareness of the unhealthy patterns in love relationships is the first step to getting a healthy love relationship. Becoming aware of the learned unhealthy proclivities is necessary to unlearning them. Then identifying what the individual wants to unlearn and who we learned them from. The last step is to learning or relearning healthy love relationship habits. Practicing healthy love relationships experiences which override the unhealthy patterns, to make them part of the psychological love life.

The book has an easy prose but because of the topic, emotionally difficult to read. Its content mostly deals with unhealthy relationships and how to fix them but not much content on healthy relationships. It would have been emotionally easier to read if desired happy love relationships were alongside the unhealthy relationships to avoid. The research done is primarily from Jordan’s own psychologist practice, which means it leaves out a lot of external sources which can support or contradict the views. There are a lot of topics discussed with love relationships but many are given a short explanation. Many conclusions to seemingly important topics would be easier to accept and understand if they were given a more detailed and complex view rather than being given a brief account.

Jordan recommends changing love relationship partners rather than trying to changing them. It’s impossible to change others to suit another’s individuals’ preferences and will yield a waste of time. The only person an individual can change is themselves. To change requires unlearning the unhealthy actions and practicing healthy love actions. Become aware of unhealthy patterns, and change them.

Questions to Consider While Reading

•What is the book’s raison d’etre? For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What is the difference between healthy and unhealthy love relationships?
•What is a psychological love life?
•How do we form expectations about love relationships?
•How do we unlearn what has been learned about love relationships?
•How do you recognize unhealthy love relationships? How do you become aware of the unhealthy patterns?
•To change a partner or to leave a partner?
•Why do people become defensive in love relationships?

Book Details
ISBN: 9781543987881
Pages to read:        91

Ratings out of 5:
  • Readability    4
  • Content          3
  • Overall           3

Review of The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Novel, History
Intriguing Connections = Some Kind of Friendship

Short Description

Elaborate Description 

Magical realism set at the turn of the 20th century in New York City. Combining Hebrew and Mideastern myths into a beautifully written tale. Blending different character narrations into an immersive story with many philosophical questions.

A Golem, a creature made of clay, is brought to life on a ship heading to NYC when her master dies. A Djinni, a creature made of fire, captured in a lamp in Syria but which over the generations traveled to NYC where he is released. Both find themselves in unfamiliar situations and fortunately find guides who keep the secret of who they are and teach them about life. The Golem and Djinni by chance find each other while out at night. As they can share with each other their secrets without it leading to consequences, they have exploratory night excursions in which their very different personalities clash and benefit from each other.

As the writing comes from different perspectives, slowing down the reading in order to adept to the perspectives but it builds the story. This is more a story for personal reflection into how different people respond to similar situations, rather than a story full of quick successions of action.
Book Details
Edition ISBN: 9780007480166
Pages to Read: 484

Ratings out of 5:
Readability - 5
Content       - 4
Overall         -5