ISBN: 9781936740031
eISBN: 9781936740086

Crazy Little Thing: Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad

by Liz Langley

Crazy Little Thing is a look at why we want to be in love and the burbling, boiling soup of endorphins, hormones, and neurotransmitters that spill from our brain to make us do things that would otherwise be viewed as insane. Investigative journalist Liz Langley traveled the country to research and interview singularly love-mad folks who maimed, murdered, and married. Langley reveals the science of love and lust, as well as very human stories: a spouse who can't stop loving her criminally psychotic husband, even after he threw acid in her face; the sweet romance between alligator-skinned sideshow performers; and a man whose neurons drive his necrophilia. Langley reveals the control our chemicals have over us in a hilarious, confounding — and too strange to be anything but true — look at love.

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About the author Liz Langley

LIZ LANGLEY's writing has appeared in AlterNet, Salon, Jezebel, Details, Glamour, and Bust. She has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Press Association, and Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. She lives in Orlando, FL.

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Books by Liz Langley

"Langley’s enthusiasm for the freaky, funky, and just plain weird aspects of love and relationships is infectious and buoys the reader along on the rollicking, roller-coaster ride that is our brain on love."—Portland Book Review

"This is a well-researched book, and what I really liked about it is that Ms. Langley takes the scientific topics like brain development and body chemistry and gives examples from modern day pop culture to make it more understandable and often amusing. It keeps the topics from feeling like obligatory reading from a college text book. However, I did often find myself disappointed that I didn’t have a highlighter nearby, because I kept finding myself wanting to highlight many passages, so I could go back to them later. Crazy Little Thing will take readers on an interesting journey through various kinds of love and relationships. Many people may find a bit of themselves in it, and something is going to click, leaving them a better understanding of themselves or someone they know. It may even change how you look at love. If nothing else, it will spark some fascinating discussions among its readers, and that alone makes it a worthwhile read."—Book Wenches

"To say I enjoyed this book is putting it mildly. I wanna give every one of my friends this book. 'Here, you are not mad for feeling like you do!'”—Kissin Blue Karen

"Each day science teaches us more and more about the science of love and attraction. In highlighting some of the most unusual love stories around, Langley shows us brain chemistry and neuroscience in action, providing insight into why, how and who we love"—Sarah Forbes, Curator of The Museum of Sex

"Crazy Little Thing author Langley has applied the burgeoning field of neuroscience to romantic love. She has done it with cutting-edge science, insight, and — most importantly — a sense of humor. The science is backed up with real research studies, referenced in 14 pages of endnotes., but Langley describes it all with phrases like “big new brain,”“love is a painkiller," “love drugs whizzing through our veins,” “the cuddle hormone,” and “Gandhi neurons.” The book is creative, very readable, comforting, and a standout in an e-detached world which is trying to replace human contact with electronic networking. It will not only make readers who are struggling with the symptoms of unrequited love feel more in control of their lives, it will also encourage everyone to take a new look at old-fashioned, in-person socializing."—Anna Jedriewski, New Age Retailer

"In Crazy LIttle Thing Liz Langley takes one of our most complicated emotions, love, and explains it in a way that is factual, entertaining and sometimes, down right funny. We may never ultimately solve the puzzle of who we choose to love but now we understand how and why - and Liz reminds us that even though the low points make our stomach feel funny, the thrill of the roller coaster ride called love will keep us coming back for more."—Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP, author of Abnormal Psychology

"Liz Langley says she's written about crazy love (is there any other kind?) you can read on a flight across the country and she's done it. A fun, freaky survey -- a dash of science, a soupcon of nuttiness, and best of all, Langley's charming voice that can make necrophilia sound like a prom date."-Brian Alexander, author of America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction

"This book is simply irresistible! With wit like a machete, Liz Langley clears a path through the jungle of neurological research investigating why we fall in love and what happens to our brains when we do. Hilariously funny, Langley goes beyond neurologists to talk to lovers of all kinds, mingling science and unexpected sexual scenery. Insightful, compelling, beautifully written, filled with eye-opening facts and extraordinary people, Langley'sCrazy Little Thing will make you appreciate the truth of Bryan Ferry's song "Love is the Drug" in whole new ways.—Lev Raphael, author of Rosedale in Love

"When it comes to love and sex, everyone seems to be trying to find answers to all of the eternal questions. But in Crazy Little Thing, author Liz Langley instead decides to question all of the answers, and it’s a heck of a lot more satisfying. Let’s face it, the “He’s just not that into you, you complete me” stuff is only making all things love and sex more confusing. So Langley skips the easy road and the clichés and gets to the heart of things. From incestual love and necrophilia to freaks and the divine, Langley dives in and goes straight to the source, not to finish the conversation, but to further it. She talks to the experts. She talks to the people who have been there. (As well as those who have done that…) And she talks to her readers like the intelligent knowledge seekers that we are looking for a little help when it comes to better understanding this crazy little thing called love."—Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage

“Liz Langley balances along the tightrope between love and sex with considerable thoughtfulness, compassion and wit. Applying the precision of a skillful surgeon, she probes the mysteries and myths of mating and marriage alike. But who knew that reading in Crazy Little Thing about the role of brain chemistry in romantic relationships would give me an intellectual hard-on?”—Paul Krassner, author of In Praise of Indecency

"If you've ever uttered the words "what the hell was she thinking," read this book. Liberally spice with Liz Langley's trademark humor and curiosity about the human condition, Crazy Little Thing is a tour de force of scientific info (this is your brain on love) and real-world examples of how our brains trick us into landing on the evening news, if not the Jerry Springer show. Plus it's proof that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction."—Lara Dien, author of Heat Index

"Like a hearty cabernet sauvignon, Liz Langley’s writing is a pleasingly complex combination of earthy flavors accented by subtle notes of humor and piquant insights. Whether paired with meaty discourse or just desserts, her work is the perfect compliment to both sweet or savory, and delivers a full-bodied 'mind feel' that will leave readers with a long, rewarding finish." — Judy Cole, Editor emeritus, Playgirl and SexIs magazines

"In the decade that Liz Langley has been writing for AlterNet, she's developed a cult following. Her work is smart, witty and wild. She's piqued our curiosity, opened our hearts and vigorously stirred the pot of ideas when it comes to love, relationships and sexuality. — Tara Lohan, Senior Editor, AlterNet

If Baudelaire and Tina Fey had a kid, they might give birth to Liz Langley. In Crazy Little Thing, she combines a journalist's eye and knack for pointing out naked emperors with prose packed with more zingers than an express lane at Wal*Mart - the whole time, tongue planted firmly in cheek."—Curtis X Meyer, poet, author and essayist

"Like Mary Roach's Bonk, Langley takes you behind-the-scenes of the Love Lab, run by mad scientists mixing up bittersweet brain cocktails that will leave you thirsting for more. From circus freaks to morgue rats, Crazy Little Thing takes you on a fascinating leaky loveboat adventure that will leave you feeling incredibly and refreshingly sane. Langley affectionately pulls no stops in her quest to uncover the bewitching reasons love drives even the best of us batty. Buckle your life vest and join her in this madcap journey that will have you sipping dopamine tea with Romeo and Juliet at Heartbreak Hotel under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower."- Kendra Holliday, Writer & Editor of The Beautiful Kind

"Liz Langley's treatise on what is arguably humankind's most important function is fraught with a deep understanding of the mysterious, often hilarious and perpetually bipolar state of our loving minds. If Crazy Little Thing were a movie, it would screen in art houses featuring tales beyond category, stories that defy pigeonholing: "A Rom/Com/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Buddy/Horror" picture about love's indomitable strengths and absurd weaknesses, designed by evolution, directed by science, and produced by free will and fatalism."— Scott Elias, film and record producer 


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