The LoveSpell Experiment: My Year Exploring Love & Discovering a Secret to Happiness – I. J. Weinstock

(Reviewed by Pat Luboff)

While celebrating New Year’s Eve, I.J. Weinstock heard his late wife, Joy, ask him… ‘What do you love?’

I liked The Secret Sex Life of Angels by this author, so I was interested in reading this book. But it turned out not to be that kind of book. It is a documentation of the author’s fulfilling a New Year’s resolution to spend the whole year finding and writing down the things he loves.

There’s a simple telling of the story behind the decision to create the lists as an introduction. Then there’s a brief essay at the start of each chapter; a chapter for each month. The rest of each chapter is a list of the things he loves.

I found it interesting at times. Do I love the same things? Here are some random samples:

Him: I love cookies-chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin & almond.
Me: No, since I quit sugar, I don’t eat cookies.

Him: I love catching a wave & body surfing all the way to shore.
Me: No, I’ve tried that in my youth but never really made it happen.

Him: I love turning a corner, turning a page, turning over a new leaf – especially in the Fall.
Me: Yes, that’s a nice thought and one I might not have put together just that way.

Him: I love viewing politics–especially the presidential campaign—as an Olympic competition in hypocrisy.
Me: Interesting image. Yes.

There are over 1,200 things listed. Sometimes I found it boring, sometimes it opened my mind to new ways of seeing things.

Overall, I am already a very positive person. I know deeply that an attitude of gratitude, which I view as the same as saying I love all the experiences in my life, is the way to happiness. And I practice that principle pretty well on a daily basis. So, I didn’t feel a deep need to read everything on the lists. But it’s one thing to say, “If you keep looking for what you love, you will find lots of love,” and it’s another thing to know how to do it. With all his examples, Weinstock makes the workings of that attitude absolutely clear. If you need this book, it could do you a lot of good.

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