American the Anxious by Ruth Whippman
Started out strong, and had a hysterical, dead-on chapter about meditation, or as Ruth puts it, “Meh”-ditation. The theme really isn’t about how Americans are too anxious; but about the ridiculousness of the happiness quest and its associated industry. Ruth’s discovery seems to be that happiness is other people. I beg to differ, but I still cheered on her take-down of mindfulness.
Unfortunately it frequently devolved into that kind of non-fiction book I hate, the kind that reads like a research paper. “Research shows this. It seems that that. Turns out that…” And chapters about parenthood and Facebook were boring, with nothing we haven’t heard a zillion times.
Even amidst all of that, though, I still found myself frequently laughing out loud – not just chortling but outright guffawing. Maybe it’s the Britishness of her humor.