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Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves Hardcover – Apr 28 2015

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dey Street Books (April 28 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062351834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062351838
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


''Maria reveals her personal and radical self-exploration and questions the status quo imposed not just by her but also by society in general…Personal, provocative, and inspiring.'' --Patricia Arquette, Academy Award-winning actor

''With clarity and exquisite honesty Maria Bello manages to be both vulnerable and self-deprecating. Whatever … Love Is Love is a must-read for anyone tired of old habits and labels, and is looking to grow in a way that works for themselves and the people in their lives. I feel sure this conversation has only just begun.'' --Pat Mitchell, editorial director and host of TEDWomen, advisor to the Paley Center for Media, and chair of the Sundance Institute

''An important, timely, and brave exploration of self that questions the human tendency to label and stereotype, and shows how existing labels may fail to capture the current human experience.'' --Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of Equality Now

''Maria Bello has written the greatest testimony about living an authentic life…Whatever … Love Is Love is a heroic journey that will both inspire and change.'' --Viola Davis, Academy Award-nominated actor

''Honest, deep, brave, heart-wrenching, funny, real…Maria is one of the fierce ones whose journey sheds light for all of us.'' --Mariska Hargitay, actor

''Bold, brilliant, and passionate, Maria is incapable of [''b-s''-ing]. Her story is somehow both relatable and wildly unique. She isn't afraid to ask herself the tough questions, and by doing so, dares us to do the same.'' --Olivia Wilde --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

Am I damaged?

Am I resilient?

Am I enough?

Questioning the labels we wear when it comes to partnership, career, love, and sexuality is at the heart of Maria Bello’s Whatever . . . Love Is Love.

Written as a series of provocative questions and thoughtful answers, Whatever . . . Love Is Love is filled with deeply personal, often funny, and even passionate stories, stories in which Maria bares her soul and shares what she’s learned—not only about romantic love, but also about her relationship with her parents, her feelings about spirituality, her sexual identity, the highs and lows of her career, her humanitarian work, and her worth as a mother.

Using her experiences as a gateway to a larger conversation, Maria encourages you to think about the life you lead, who you love, what you do, what you believe in, and what you call yourself . . . and helps you to realize that the only labels that matter are the ones we place on and accept for ourselves, even if they don’t fit the mold of “typical.”

Whatever . . . Love Is Love isn’t your typical celebrity memoir. . . . Instead, each chapter, through charming candor and humor, challenges a series of ‘labels’ that represent impossible standards to which we hold ourselves.”—Marie Claire

“Never preachy, in this book [Bello] diligently and methodically deconstructs where her values have come from. . . . Personal, provocative, and inspiring.”—Patricia Arquette, Oscar®-nominated actor

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an inspiring book! I think this was cathartic for Maria, to be able to be express her feelings and thoughts open & honestly.
I could picture myself in various talks through-out the book; I'm sure many readers will & have done so. Maria's a great actress and now has shown us all how she reached where she is today. Maria's son Jack said it all & said it simply..."Love is Love"...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Her New York Times article was moving, this book felt like an unnecessary stretched out version of that.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book! Maria Bello is a strong, courageous and inspiring woman!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa6861708) out of 5 stars 62 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6b6c99c) out of 5 stars There were so many aspects of this book that resonated ... May 4 2015
By Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There were so many aspects of this book that resonated with me. It was well written, thought provoking and refreshingly honest. Many of us spend so much of our lives wondering where we fit in. This book is a refreshing reminder that when the neat little boxes and labels we are encouraged to use are too small to hold us, we can redefine them and step out from them anew. WELL DONE!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa69218d0) out of 5 stars Love is Love, by Maria Bello June 2 2015
By TA Morrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Personally I would recommend the book to anyone and everyone, well except for those who believe they have no issues, scares,baggage, etc. I've personally always admired Maria Bello as a actor so I was excited to read her book. To have that great of a kid you should "pat yourself and all those involved on the back," you are doing something right.
I found the book to be heartfelt, honest, and intelligent.
Thanks for sharing!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6928ae0) out of 5 stars The "L" Word: Love, Labels, and Life... A Memoir Oct. 21 2015
By missmickee/bookreview - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Readers who discover Maria Bello's debut memoir: "Whatever...Love is Love: Questioning The Labels We Give Ourselves" (2015) might be pleased and surprised not just with her articulate social and cultural observations, but by her genuine open heart and mind, as she reveals herself, her partner, family, friends and a host of others.

In avoiding labels, (the "L" word) in the LGBT identification: Bello prefers the "W" meaning "whatever". The thing is: most people would have no idea what "W" meant, this also seems vague, sometimes flippant, an anything goes term. Hate crimes will always be a concern for many who identify as LGBT, and still others may consider this a non-issue. Bello discussed the "magnificent" black American trans-woman Martha P. Johnson (1942-1992) who was an activist/leader in the historical June 28, 1969 Stonewall (Inn) Riot in Greenwich Village. Johnson's tragic death is under investigation by the NYCPD.

Raised in the Catholic faith, her mother, a nurse, never missed mass and recited rosary daily. Her family was usually stressed over her mothers early cancer diagnosis, and her father being permanently disabled in a work related construction accident. Bello received her college education at Villanova University, was mentored by Augustinian priest Father Ray Jackson, discovered the "common thread of kindness and compassion" is present in all religions.

Bello spent 3 years in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed 350,000 people and left millions homeless. With humanitarian relief, Bello helped build a health clinic, she also acquired a intestinal parasitic infection that left her hospitalized with a 3 month recovery. Bello has also traveled abroad to Kenya, Bosnia, and Nicaragua. In furthering the spirit of feminism Bello recalled the courage of Malala Yousafzai who nearly lost her life fighting for her education, and was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

In Bello's quest for optimal health and happiness, never missing a day of work, she sought the counsel of channelers, healers, psychics, astrologers, as well as conventional medicine and therapists. She has participated in sweat lodges, vision quests, yoga, and lived according to tarot card readings. Diagnosed with a mental illness, declining to ruminate on past hurt in therapy, yet understanding her "hypersensitivity" the highs and lows to life around her, she is grateful for the medication, and those that "keep her tethered to the earth".
Maria Bello's writing appeared in the NYT, she is an activist: her Whatever Campaign supports equality and human rights. As an actress, she has been a cast on: ER, Payback, Coyote Ugly, The Cooler, History of Violence, and more, she lives in Los Angeles, CA. With thanks to the Seattle Public Library.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6c42558) out of 5 stars very wise and insightful look at life May 2 2015
By cdhs1970 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
it is written in way that makes it very easy to connect with author. she is vulnerable, honest, insightful and thought provoking. ms bello's story is very spiritual and philosophical. what i found most appealing is her ability to keep searching for meaning and defining herself through acting, being a child , parent or friend. this book inspired me and left me feeling very connected to her life.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa998a738) out of 5 stars So much more than LBGT issues... June 9 2015
By Ellen Nakano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great choice for anyone who wants to know they are *not alone* within their quest to understand spirituality, love and connectedness in a constantly changing world. I found Maria's revelations about her life inspiring. Young, old and in between will find humor and inspiration in this wonderful book. De-Stigmatized SO MANY labels: becoming a "whatever"!