East Austin Book Club

Discussing books together, on the third Monday of every month at Native Hostel & Bar on Zoom, 7pm sharp

All About Love & The Trouble with Hating You

by Bell Hooks & Sajni Patel

Please read the the preface, the introduction , chapter one "give love words" and chapter ten "romance:sweet love" of Bell Hook's "All about love" and then the entirety of "The Trouble with Hating you"

Discussion questions

  • What connections did you make between the books?
  • In Hook's opening, she says "we can find the love our hearts long for, but not until we let go of grief about the love we lost long ago." How does that show up in "The Trouble with Hating you?" What is the characters relationship with grief?
  • What does Hooks mean by saying that the world is no longer open to love? How does that show up in the novel?
  • What ways did the characters seek love even though they doubted it could be found?
  • Is love a transformative force in "The Trouble with Hating you?"
  • Hooks states that the romance novel remains the only domain in which women speak of love with any degree of authority and that the consumers of romance are largely women. What is your own relationship with romance novels? How did her critique influence how you might think of them in the future?
  • Hooks notes that few writers talk about the impact of patriarchy and how it stands in the ways of love - how did "The Trouble with Hating you" address patriarchy?
  • We don't often get to see the emotional side of men, how does Jay express emotions? What were you surprised to hear him say?
  • There is not a lot of sex in the novel - at least sex we get to read about, what was the author trying to say about intimacy?
  • Do these characters have a heart or soul connection (or neither?)
  • How did the scene with Mike in the novel make you feel?
  • What did you think of Jay giving her $1400 shoes?
  • How did the novel demonstrate what we bring into romances? What "baggage" did each character have?
  • What did you think of Jay confronting Mike? How else might Mike have been held accountable?
  • She mentions there are two choices after hearing about the bad company performance 1. work harder or 2 coast - what would you choose in her situation?
  • Why does the argument troupe exist in romance?
  • Liya does not want to get married, does the author set it up as a reasonable or abnormal decision?