As Valentine’s Day nears, an abundance of books about love and romance fill physical and virtual store shelves. Some are celebrations of love, histories, romantic fiction, compelling real life love stories or genres not normally associated with romance. Daniel Jones, editor of the New York Times column Modern Love, seeks to unravel mysteries that have baffled mankind since the mists of time, with his new book Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers) available February 4, 2014.
Unlike some books that scientifically dissect relationships, this read is far from clinical. It is written in a warm, unpretentious, and humorous style. The 50,000 strangers referenced in the title are individuals whose tales of love have crossed Jones’ desk over the years, representing a wide variety of intimate relationships, from mainstream to very unusual. Jones draws upon this collection of true stories, using them as the basis for this book in which he discusses ten provocative aspects of love: pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, trust, practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty, and wisdom. The book delves into the joy and the sorrow of love and sheds light on its various phases.
Jones has authored several books including the essay anthology Modern Love: 50 True and Extraordinary Tales of Desire, Deceit and Devotion.