Margit's Reviews > A Working Theory of Love

A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
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Aug 17, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: grief, character-study, mcwc, 1st-person-pov, romance, voice, personal-library, alternate-reality, philosophy, science-fiction
Recommended for: Anyone who has lived and loved, and/or lost a parent.

I've never read a book like this before. What do I mean by that? Well, for one, this book is honest about the messiness of relationships, and all of the questions and self-doubt that occurs for most of us. Hutchins sprinkles hilarity throughout to lighten the seriousness of Neill's journey through relationships. I laughed, hard. I shed a few tears. Many times, I came across a sentence or paragraph that caused me to stop and think for a while. This is the type of book that causes the reader to drift off into self-reflection.

I imagine the book particularly resonated with me because of the setting. I worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley for eight years. I also lost my father suddenly two years ago, and appreciated Hutchins' exploration of Neill's relationship with his father. The use of an AI to explore how relationships change over time is nothing short of brilliant.

I think that in order to fully appreciate this book, the reader has to have lived and loved for a while, and/or lost a parent.

I want to read more books like this, so if you know of any, tell me.

I noted some of the passages that had particular impact on me as I was reading. The one below didn't fit in the update box.

"When you spend significant amounts of time with someone they offer constant feedback, becoming part of the patterning of your brain. In other words, part of you. But I take your point--constant feedback is not always deep feedback. A good measure of how much of you they've become is your level of distress when they're gone. If they form a large part of your patterning, then you'll experience a major culling of the self. That's what's known as grief." --Henry Livorno, speaking to the protagonist, Neill.
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Reading Progress

August 17, 2014 – Started Reading
August 17, 2014 – Shelved
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: mcwc
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: character-study
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: grief
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: 1st-person-pov
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: personal-library
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: romance
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: voice
August 17, 2014 –
page 102
31.1% "I thought curse words when I laughed SO hard on page 12. I thought curse words when my chest constricted and I blinked tears from my eyes on page 102. Damn, this book is good. It's very real."
August 18, 2014 –
page 144
43.9% ""If you can give a person just enough so that thirty percent of the time they believe you're who they want you to be--intelligence.""
August 18, 2014 –
page 153
46.65% ""As she talks her lips shape the night's darkness. 'I think we weren't really able to see each other through the fog of our own self-regard.'""
August 18, 2014 –
page 154
46.95% ""'...I wish I had a paid vacation.' Can't he see? You have to have something IN your life in order to vacate." (IN should be italic)"
August 18, 2014 –
page 163
49.7% ""A relationship that doesn't last isn't a failure; it's just a time in your life that's come to an end.""
August 18, 2014 –
page 176
53.66% ""I sit very still--I'm an experienced practitioner of the art of falling apart on the inside while appearing catatonic. It's one of my proudest adult skills.""
August 18, 2014 –
page 221
67.38% ""When you spend significant amounts of time with someone they offer constant feedback, becoming part of the patterning of your brain. In other words, part of you. But I take your point--constant feedback is not always deep feedback. A good measure of how much of you they've become is your level of distress when they're gone. If they form a large part of your patterning, then you'll experience a major culling...""
August 23, 2014 – Finished Reading
August 24, 2014 – Shelved as: alternate-reality
August 24, 2014 – Shelved as: philosophy
August 24, 2014 – Shelved as: science-fiction

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