What If This Were Enough? Summary and Reviews

What If This Were Enough?

Essays

by Heather Havrilesky

What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky X
What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2018
    240 pages
    Genre: Short Stories/Essays

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Book Summary

By the acclaimed critic, memoirist, and advice columnist, an impassioned collection tackling our obsession with self-improvement and urging readers to embrace the imperfections of the everyday.

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. We've convinced ourselves, she says, that salvation can be delivered only in the form of new products, new technologies, new lifestyles. 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 to navigate our increasingly bewildering world.

Through her incisive and witty inquiries, Havrilesky urges us to reject the pursuit of a shiny, shallow future that will never come. These timely, provocative, and often hilarious essays suggest an embrace of the flawed, a connection 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 says, can be found right here, right now, in this imperfect moment.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [Havrilesky] wants Americans to 'wake up to the unbelievable gift of being alive,' even though it means facing... the scary emotions that are easier avoided. It's a message she relates with insight, wit, and terrific prose." - Publishers Weekly

"Provide[s] a crucial analytical perspective on human interactions…A fun, often insightful read." - Kirkus

"[I]n this quick-witted collection of essays, advice columnist Havrilesky pointedly asks whether it is possible to be satisfied without having everything our world of excess offers us…[T]here is always a sharp edge to her observations…[S]he presents some more personal stories about love and loss that tantalizingly offer a glimpse into a more grounded way of life, leavening the dark atmosphere with humor and hope." - Booklist

"[T]here is no one sharper, wiser, funnier, most honest, or more insightful. In What If This Were Enough, readers will find a splendid mix of Havrilesky's familiar and intimate 'Ask Polly' voice and the authority and erudition of a seasoned cultural critic. I couldn't get enough." - Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects Of Discussion

"There's an effortlessness to Heather Havrilesky's writing that is incredibly rare. Her funniest sentences are still empathetic. Her darkest confessions are still pretty funny. It doesn't seem to matter what she's writing about, or what point she's trying to make. She's just good at it." - Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We're Wrong? and Killing Yourself to Live

"Heather is that dear friend you run into at a bad party at which you're stuck and you say 'Oh thank God you're here' and spend the rest of the night making dark and hilarious jokes about the party, other attendees, and the human condition. Thank God she's here." - Jake Tapper, author of The Hellfire Club and The Outpost

The information about What If This Were Enough? shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Heather Havrilesky

Heather Havrilesky is the author of How to Be a Person in the World and the memoir Disaster Preparedness. She is a columnist for New York magazine, and has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and NPR's All Things Considered, among others. She was Salon's TV critic for seven years. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a loud assortment of dependents, most of them nondeductible.

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