✮ [PDF] ✩ What If This Were Enough?: Essays By Heather Havrilesky ✻ – Uroturk.info
While I really enjoyed Heather Havrilesky s last book of essays, this one left me scratching my head as to what the point of these essays was supposed to be The book s jacket informs us that many of the essays have been expanded, so that might be the first major problem, as many of these essays go on too long and often deviate from the main topic The title of this book led me to believe the essays would be focusing on being appreciative of the things we have, yet most of it is made up of stories meant to criticize and judge the world around us without bringing up anything new or enlightening towards each subject Disneyland is fake and commercial, self help gurus are in it for the money and self promotion gee, you don t say I didn t find any of the humor and sharp observations from her previous essays, in fact, this one makes the author come off as unrelatable and entitled I was planning on giving the book three stars, but as I write this, I find myself struggling to come up with anything to recommend about it. I was so excited for this but in the end I couldn t even finish it I felt like I got permission after the author s bizarre anti library comments on twitter I get that wasn t the point she was trying to make, but much like this book, it came across convoluted, entitled, and annoying I didn t even finish the last quarter, I couldn t do it. 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 EverydayHeather 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 Enoughis 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 WorldThrough 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 DNF after a few chapters I was willing to give this a chance after her weird library Twitter kerfuffle I do generally like Ask Polly but the first few essays were soo very remember what it was like before we all used our PHONES so much that I felt free to just nope on out of this and return it to the library from whence it came the last essay I read before I quit was about how she used to be very grumpy about the concept of Disneyland because it s so fake, but then she took their kids there and had a good time, but then she was grumpy again afterward because it was so fake okay Heather cool story I guess 1.5 stars that I ll round up because it takes A LOT for me to give a book one star Reading this I wondered if essay books aren t for me since this is the second one this year I ve immensely disliked but then I remembered how much I loved Not That Bad by Roxanne Gay and I realized that this book is just bad The author sounds entitled and elitist She was also really annoying.I read this book because it was my book club s November pick My library didn t have it so I paid 16 on This was my main motivating factor to not abandon it since I paid FULL PRICE The only positive part was the beautiful artwork on the cover Unfortunately, what was inside of it wasn t worth what it was printed on, in my opinion Pass. 3.5 rounded upAn overall incredibly solid collection of essays, focusing mainly on pop culture celebrity, tv, books and movies and the author s life mostly revolving around her family.The pop culture essays remind me at times of the better essays in They Can t Kill Us Until They Kill Us Havrilesky covers topics as wide ranging as The Sopranos, Elif Batuman s The Idiot, Girls, Entourage and Marie Kondo While the essays were a little overly didactic at times I found myself enjoying and getting something out of almost all of them, and they were all thought provoking Recommended Last night, after watching the first episode of Babylon Berlin, I fell asleep to the police scanner.A spurned ex, also a sex offender, had abducted and blown a bullet through the brain of a University of Utah student and dumped her body in a parking lot.I work at the University of Utah.My brother goes to the University, and texted me the alerts from New Orleans.Heather Havrilesky understands this cultural moment the way that, at its worst, we can pipe in our worst nightmares directly to our frontal lobes until we collapse from exhaustion at a spiritual level.As I finished this essay collection on the bus, going up Highland Drive, then 1300 East, a rainbow appeared out the window, which is definitely not a sign from God that now we ll pass sensible gun control laws because this nation hates women than it loves guns, to quote BoJack Horseman S4 , but was lovely nonetheless.And below it was a billboard.For Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches.With the hashtag YouDeserveIt You deserve it, you worthless collection of sentient nuclei, every moment of anxiety and self doubt and nagging sense if you log into Tinder that you could be bludgeoned in an alley and someone, somewhere would wonder what you were wearing.Hooray cardboard like ice cream sandwiches I looked at the Smokes Vapors shop to my right, the Nielsen s frozen custard shop to my left, and suddenly everything seemed pointless and ugly, in a way I think Havrilesky would recognize as valid.Then, I came to her final essay, with its highlight of Angle of Repose as among the accomplishments that make life feel worth living.And it came together, why she got it.I knew from her Ask Polly column and How to Be a Person in the World that like Wallace Stegner, like me, she had lost a parent in her mid twenties.That changes you I ve hit year six of the After, and I see every day the subtle ways it shapes your consciousness.At its best, it can make you open hearted, attuned to life s fragility and therefore its beauty.At its worst, it can crush you in your loneliness, in how lost you feel at 25, 26, 30 on a road where you feel largely alone.I realized my bus was on a road Stegner himself traveled often, and yet again, I felt so lucky.I got off at my stop for my writing group, took the Draw as they call it under 1300 East from Sugar House Park to the shopping center And this park, Hidden Hollow, which when I was a child was mostly known for drug paraphernalia, felt storybook beautiful.The late afternoon sun broke through the golden leaves, and kids were playing on the bridge, and I thought, prompted by the sum total of Heather s philosophy What if these are in fact the best conditions in which to write What if being a writer is what I was meant to be all along As if to hammer home the book s points, a sign in the Hollow referenced Appreciating messiness, and a quote by City Parks Idealist R E Sleater from 1922 laid out its vision for natural rather than artificial beauty This didn t feel like empty Rousseauian nonsense to me at that moment It felt like women have been routinely silenced, ignored, even slaughtered, and I was connected to a smart, funny, and weird one through something she invented in her mind.Stegner was from a poverty riddled background He spent time in an orphanage in Seattle He didn t seem destined for literary greatness He worked his way through the University of Utah in a tile store.He thought he might just sell tile the rest of his life it was the belief of a handful of professors who believed in him that set him on his path.He wasn t particularly religious, but had an unwavering faith in himself.I emerged from the Hollow to my well trod corner of suburbia, specifically Whole Foods, which I frequent because it takes Apple Pay and I like it and it was on the way.My notes for this review were stained with pepperoni grease, and I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor was piped in.It felt like second wave feminism was giving the finger to the forces trying to destroy women before death inevitably comes for us all.We can t crumple, we can t lay down and die.Another dessert, another hashtag makesmewholeI mean can an apple galette solve this Probs not, but it did look tasty The piano player s playing This Must Be the Place And it s a miracle to be alive No angel came and told Stegner or Havrilesky they had to write, to avenge the injustices of unstable childhoods and dead parents through spilled ink.It feels even noble, in a way, that they just did it.I m glad they did.Stegner wrote this in It Is the Love of Books I Owe Them I am coming along Thirteenth East on my way to an eight o clock class It is a marvelous morning it is always a marvelous morning, whether the air is hazy with autumn and the oakbrush on the Wasatch has gone bronze and gold, or whether the chestnut trees along the street are coned with blossoms I am enveloped in a universal friendliness I turn at the drugstore on Second South and start uphill toward the Park Building at the head of the U drive.Laura McCluskey s vigil is at the Park Building I m reading those last pages of All the Little Live Things, and I can t stop the tears.I think Heather would understand. This is one of the best books of 2018 by a brilliant American woman.I found so much to like in this book I even ended up re reading three or four chapters out loud to my wife, who was similarly impressed There is much that is quotable, and even that is insightful.Considering the intellectual firepower she s working with, Havrilesky is remarkably down to earth here, relating embarrassing anecdotes from her marriage and past, along with many references to pop culture I have been reading Havrilesky since she was a columnist for Salon.com, and I have to say that I enjoyed her pop culture insights despite never having had a subscription to HBO, which seems to make up 60% of her references.If you re just browsing and who doesn t with a book of essays like this I would recommend the following essays Scourge of Gurus, an epic takedown of the Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins crowd True Romance, a lovely look at marriage and long term desires Stuffed, a look at the Marie Kondo ization of stuff and Lost Treasure, a lyrical look at the things that matter.For those who absolutely loved the book like me, Havrilesky sums up her concepts in the final essay, The Miracle of the Mundane, one of several essays I read twice.I m not sure if I have enough enough salary, enough Twitter followers, enough time with those I love But I m sure that WITWE was enough to fill my mind with ideas that I will carry with me into 2019. Heather Havrilesky is an advice columnist and also known for her previous memoir, How to be a Person in the World The essays are a mixture of advice for living and pop culture, sometimes in strange combinations One compares Selin in The Idiot by Elif Batuman to Mozart, which I didn t really think worked all that well, and I ve read a lot about Mozart and loved The Idiot As per usual with this kind of book, some of it didn t interest me at all often pop culture type essays of things I haven t watched and I did a fair amount of skimming Towards the end I found myself really enjoying a few of the essays So while I m giving it three stars overall, I will say I think there are a few that are stellar Part of my issue with the book overall is that Heather Havrilesky comes across as overly didactic I prefer to draw my own conclusions from information presented to me and I don t like being told what to do I suppose this is her advice columnist background really shining through But something about this tone also makes her sound like she is around retirement age, and I get the impression she s a few decades younger than that Kids these days, get off my lawn, etc.The first chapter I really liked is Haunted, which yes, I noticed is number 13 It starts with a focus on author Shirley Jackson, zooms through female characters in tv, and refocuses on Lena Dunham and her HBO show Girls A quote near the beginning sums it up For headstrong women who knew their own desires, growing up in conventional society sometimes feels like inhabiting a haunted house.I found it to be even relevant within the metoo movement, and of course she does reference the Stanford rapist s victim s letter, which had a pretty significant place in the larger discussion Another favorite is Bravado, a chapter which looks at women and ambition It discusses the ridiculousness of the men or others in power who think of themselves as idea generators but do zero work and how they get the credit and focus while there are armies of capable women making it happen hashtag makeithappen for my library peeps It questions why we downplay people who are capable, people who aren t necessarily making bold moves but are solid and productive She ends with a call to belief in oneself, and in the idea that our words matter A little dramatic, but I had to agree I m not ashamed to say I will be adding some quotations from this chapter to my planner at work.I also liked the chapter called True Romance, which makes a capable and productive argument for the mundane parts of longlasting relationships I received a copy of this book ahead of publication date from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review It came out 2 October, 2018. I ve been a fan of Heather Havrilesky since the prehistoric days of the internet when she was writing for Suck.com An ancient past when my pre work routine would consist of reading long form stories called blogs, back when paragraphs weren t so intimidating Thankfully our modern era, sensitive to our time constraints, has since concentrated my mornings to scrolling memes, instagram pics and 140 character tweets Heather is smart and acerbic and I love her voice she writes like I imagine I one day could, wry observations heaped with the gloss of 10 dollar words Unfortunately I fear I ve started with the wrong book It s still her erudite and cutting wit applied to the mundanity of everyday life, but it veers too close to earnest screed It s easy pickings decrying the capitalist fantasies of Fifty Shades or the insufferability of foodies, Disneyland and Crossfitters To claim we need to get out , and online less But unfettered by the constraints of blogging and fleeting online attention free to truly flex in book form, the chapters can tend to the baggy Things used to have to be tighter, or maybe my attention has just shrunk Maybe in this environment I need my reasonable edicts to be delivered as precise, ranting screeds, eviscerating polemics that point and laugh at the misguided other in 1000 words or less insert appropriate gif meme here.