Coupon
How to Be a Person in the World : Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life
by Heather Havrilesky


Overview - *A New York Times Love and Relationships bestseller*
For readers of Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamott, a collection of brand new, impassioned, and inspiring letters by the author of the beloved advice column Ask Polly, featured weekly on New York Magazine's The Cut

Should you quit your day job to follow your dreams?
  Read more...

 
Hardcover
  • $24.95
  • 20% off for Members: Get the Club Price
    $ 19.96

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock Online.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
 
 

More About How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky
 
 
 
Overview
*A New York Times Love and Relationships bestseller*
For readers of Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamott, a collection of brand new, impassioned, and inspiring letters by the author of the beloved advice column Ask Polly, featured weekly on New York Magazine's The Cut

Should you quit your day job to follow your dreams? How do you rein in an overbearing mother? Will you ever stop dating wishy-washy, noncommittal guys? Should you put off having a baby for your career?
Heather Havrilesky, the author of the weekly advice column Ask Polly, featured in New York magazine's The Cut, is here to guide you through the "what if's" and "I don't knows" of modern life with the signature wisdom and tough love her readers have come to expect.

How to Be a Person in the World
is a collection of never-before-published material along with a few fan favorites. Whether she's responding to cheaters or loners, lovers or haters, the depressed or the down-and-out, Havrilesky writes with equal parts grace, humor, and compassion to remind you that even in your darkest moments you're not alone.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780385540391
  • ISBN-10: 0385540396
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books
  • Publish Date: July 2016
  • Page Count: 272


Related Categories

Books > Self-Help > Personal Growth - General
Books > Self-Help > Emotions

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-03-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

Havrilesky (Disaster Preparedness), the writer of New York magazine’s popular “Ask Polly” column, provides a wealth of new material on work, love, friendship, and fulfillment, all written in her straight-shooting signature style. She admonishes a writer worried about her eccentricities for her “reductive dichotomies” when comparing herself to others, but also acknowledges that “people are allergic to confessional, outspoken women.” Providing some much-needed real talk to a writer mired in depression, Havrilesky begins, “Reading your letter feels like playing a board game that you can only lose... Draw a ‘Not a Chance in Hell’ card: ‘Advance to Lonely Life Abroad.’ ” She can be devastating, putting a potential bridezilla in her place (“Your dream will not come true”) and verbally eviscerating a man who feels entitled to extramarital affairs (“You’ve been watching too much Mad Men”). She is similarly direct with a woman consistently involved with married men: “You don’t have compassion for other women.” True to its title, this collection touches on nearly every facet of living, and Havrilesky’s wit, intelligence, and candor set her apart as perhaps the best advice columnist currently in circulation. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (July)

 
BookPage Reviews

Get your life right

If you gravitate toward wholesome, “Dear Abby”-style advice, steer clear of Heather Havrilesky. But if profound, profane wisdom is your jam, this book is for you.

How to Be a Person in the World compiles some of Havrilesky’s best columns from “Ask Polly,” which ran first on quirky website The Awl, then on New York magazine’s The Cut. It also includes a lot of fresh material. Saying that Havrilesky has a way with words is like saying Marilyn Monroe liked diamonds. Havrilesky doesn’t just write—she dances with the words, building empathetic responses that can’t be classified as just advice columns. They are more keen observations of human behavior.

“When you spend your days staring at bony teenagers in tall boots and touching soft things that cost more than your monthly salary, it eats away at your soul like a hungry little demon-rabbit,” she writes to a woman working in fashion who feels miserable and shallow. 

“Repeat after me, WB: ‘I will not lose myself. I can earn money and create art, too. I can befriend Buddhists and women in $300 heels. I am not a one-dimensional, angry human with boundary issues, like those others who get so fixated on being ONE THING AND NOTHING ELSE.’”

It was hard to choose a favorite quote, mostly because she’s so pithy but also because so many of the quotes I loved in this book included a string of F words. 

The contents are divided into sections with titles such as Flaws Become You and Weepiness is Next to Godliness, each prefaced by a deadpan comic strip. 

Whether she’s tackling alcoholism, STDs or deadbeat boyfriends, Havrilesky is a pure joy to read. She’s the tough-love friend who tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. As she tells one advice seeker, “This is your moment. Seize your moment, goddamn it!”

 

This article was originally published in the July 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews