Jones will host a book reading and Q&A session today at Flyleaf Books. Proceeds from the event will go to the Orange County Literacy Council.
The idea for “Love Illuminated” came from Jones’ popular New York Times column “Modern Love,” which is dedicated to sharing the love stories of people from all walks of life.
Jones said writing “Love Illuminated” helped him take a step back and get perspective on the commonalities and differences between the many relationships he has read about for the column.
“Writing a book is how you figure out what you know, and I needed to figure out what I knew,” Jones said.
“So, I pulled out all these essays I had published and the ones I hadn’t published, and I wanted to know what was going on to be able to make sense of it for readers.”
In the book, Jones focuses on 10 major themes: pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, trust, practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty and wisdom. He decided on these themes because they were all commonly discussed in the essays he read and edited for “Modern Love.”
“The essays that came to me were all asking questions that didn’t have answers,” Jones said.
“I just came up with 10 questions that I thought most represented the stories that came my way and broke those 10 questions up into chapters and each chapter represented a theme.”
Sara Eckel, author and “Modern Love” contributor, said having her essay published in the column played a big role in getting her own book, “It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single” published.
Eckel said “Love Illuminated” does a great job of finding similar patterns throughout every relationship, no matter how different.
“He has really channeled the collective wisdom of all of those 50,000 people who have written and submitted essays to him,” Eckel said.
“I think after reading so many people’s stories about how they have struggled with love, he’s able to see how love comes in all different shapes and sizes. He’s also done a really beautiful job of finding the patterns and really finding what unites us and what is common between us.”
Chapel Hill resident Steven Petrow has also had an essay published in “Modern Love.” Petrow, who is the New York Times’ Civil Behavior columnist, will moderate the Q&A session at today’s book reading.
“I think that folks are going to laugh a lot and really be edified by what Dan has to say about love in that humorous way that he has,” he said.
“Maybe they’ll be some matchmaking that goes on too, who knows.”