What If This Were Enough?

What If This Were Enough?

Essays

Book - 2018
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*A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018*
*A Bustle Best Nonfiction Book of 2018*
*One of Chicago Tribune 's Favorite Books by Women in 2018*
*A Self Best Book of 2018 to Buy for the Bookworm in Your Life*

By the acclaimed critic, memoirist, and advice columnist behind the popular "Ask Polly," an impassioned collection tackling our obsession with self-improvement and urging readers to embrace the 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 "Ask Polly," her advice column for The Cut , 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. 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.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780385542883
Characteristics: xvi, 220 pages ;,22 cm.

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SCL_Justin Mar 11, 2019

I liked these essays for the way they pointed to the ways Western consumerist capitalism tries to make us feel bad. I think Havrilesky didn't address enough towards how to make things better for a collective rather than just ourselves. Even the idea of how to see "this as enough" is only looked at in terms of an individual and not a person enmeshed in other lives they actually care about. It isn't enough to figure out "this is enough" for yourself if you are trying to live with people who don't think the same way. There's nothing in here about bridging that gap. At least when you read this kind of thing in the context of a monastic tradition, there's an implicit community that you can join. So I agreed with this book but was frustrated by its inability to break the atomism that she's decrying.

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