Mar 05

Book Review: Disaster Preparedness

Disaster Preparedness: A MemoirDisaster Preparedness: A Memoir by Heather Havrilesky

I’ve really enjoyed Havrilesky’s advice column “Ask Polly” where she gently and empathically and sympathetically tells people in the nicest possible way exactly why they are full of crap and how all of their problems are their own fault. I love her voice, and figured I would like to read her memoir.

This is close to a “my childhood is worse than your childhood” memoir, except that it’s more humorous than that. Havrilesky never takes herself too seriously, or thinks that her problems were as bad as her young self imagined them to be. This memoir doesn’t feel like it’s shooting for pure humor, however, as there are parts that made some profound emotional observations. (Specifically the chapter in which she reflects on her parents’ divorce when she was young.)

One chapter, in which she describes how and why honest is not the best policy and how her therapist made her interpersonal relationships worse, made me laugh out loud. Any book funny enough to make me laugh out loud more than once is worth the cost.

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