By the author of the New York Times Love and Relationships bestseller How to Be a Person in the World, an impassioned and inspiring collection about the expectations of modern life and the sweet imperfections of the everyday.Heather Havrilesky's writing has been called "whip-smart and profanely funny" (Entertainment Weekly) and "required reading for all humans" (Celeste Ng). In her work for New York, The Baffler, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic, as well as in her advice column for The Cut, "Ask Polly," she dispenses a singular, cutting wisdom--an ability to inspire, provoke, and put a name to our most insidious cultural delusions.What If This Were Enough? is a mantra and a clarion call. In its chapters--many of them original to the book, others expanded from their initial publication--Havrilesky takes on those cultural forces that shape us. From the enforced cheer of American life to the celebration of survivalism, from the allure of materialism to our misunderstandings of romance and success, Havrilesky deconstructs some of the most poisonous and misleading messages we ingest today, all the while suggesting new ways we might navigate our increasingly bewildering world.Through her incisive and witty inquiries, Havrilesky emphasizes the importance of locating the miraculous within the mundane. In these timely, provocative, and often hilarious chapters, she urges readers to embrace the flawed--to connect with what already is, who we already are, what we already have. She asks us to consider: What if this were enough? Our salvation, Havrilesky asserts, can be found right here, right now, in this imperfect moment.
What If This Were Enough? Review
- January 1, 1970Kristy K3.5 StarsHavrilesky’s aptly named book of essays examines and critiques materialism, consumption, and our obsession with consumerism and the pursuit of happiness. Pulling largely from pop culture and current trends and fads, she delves into the world of foodies, 50 Shades, Disneyland, The Sopranos, romance, and so much more. Each essay is strong in their own right and collectively they make a small tome that packs a punch and causes one to examine their own lust for such things.more
- January 1, 1970RoseI found this collection of essays to be well written. This would be great for fans of the authors column. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
- January 1, 1970ClaraI “discovered” Heather Havrilesky through her “Ask Polly” column in The Cut. Her new book of essays, What If This Were Enough?, displays the same smart, thoughtful perspective that makes “Ask Polly” so compelling.As a unifying thread, Havrilesky explores the cultural messages that regularly infiltrate our lives. These include some—say, for example, the sub-movements related to food—that may seem to be in our best interests, but that have other, less salutary, implications. She tackles topics fro I “discovered” Heather Havrilesky through her “Ask Polly” column in The Cut. Her new book of essays, What If This Were Enough?, displays the same smart, thoughtful perspective that makes “Ask Polly” so compelling.As a unifying thread, Havrilesky explores the cultural messages that regularly infiltrate our lives. These include some—say, for example, the sub-movements related to food—that may seem to be in our best interests, but that have other, less salutary, implications. She tackles topics from the philosophy of Disneyland to the spate of television series that feature immoral, amoral, or unethical protagonists—e.g., “The Sopranos” and “Billions”—and insidiously solicit our sympathy for them. Havrilesky employs the critical faculties that we’re usually too mentally lazy or too stressed to apply.The author’s writing is bracing, intelligent, and invigorating. Havrilesky doesn’t hesitate to call herself out when she’s been taken in, but then does what the rest of rarely do: walks into the weeds to examine what lies beneath the surface. The messages we receive, she notes, are often about needing to be better than we are (there’s much money to be made from people in need of perpetual improvement), and about needing the best and latest. The question to ask, she suggests, is “what if this were enough?” What if we embraced our own and life’s imperfections with compassion and humor and humanity? What if we accepted the inevitability of our flawed lives and found beauty in the reality?more
- January 1, 1970Susan WalkerInteresting essays that the reader will enjoy.
- January 1, 1970Donnawaiting for more reviews
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