Book Corner 2020.1

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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. ( )

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