Rambling about books

Book review: What If This Were Enough? by Heather Havrilesky

Book cover from Goodreads

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️☆☆

Title: What If This Were Enough?

Author: Heather Havrilesky

Genre: Essay, Nonfiction

Goodreads link

What do I think?

I really wanted to like this book and honestly there were parts of the essays that I personally resonates with, but at the end of the day, I just couldn’t say that I did enjoy it nor do I like it. Let’s start from the beginning, I found this book by accident when I was browsing through Amazon. I was caught off guard by the title of the book. I have been plagued by the same question about where my life at; how what if this were enough? Why should I push myself for more when where I am right now with whatever it is that I have, and I genuinely felt enough. I didn’t even bother to check for the reviews of the book, I wanted so much to like and feel connected to the book solely from its title that I bought it right there and there. And then comes the day that I read it.

The first few essays were difficult to digest; there were so many words that I have never heard nor used ever in the years that I’ve spoken English (granted that English was not my first language, so it made perfect sense that some words are foreign to me, but I’m pretty sure not a lot of people would have used those foreign words that the author had used in her essays). That being said, she also did some critics and/or commentaries on many movies that I find to be somewhat pretentious and obnoxious; she wrote as of everyone who read her essay would have understood the complexities of her chosen words and criticisms. I genuinely was baffled and annoyed the whole time I read it. There were times where I would feel like the author seems detached to her surrounding and just went on to write about things that people could probably never be able to resonate.

To be honest, I stopped reading the book just two essays away from actually finishing the book altogether. At that point I just couldn’t handle my frustration from how complicated and obnoxious the author felt to me when she wrote what she wrote. I thought best to stop reading a book I could not enjoy rather than wasting it when I could have read other books.

What’s it about?

Taken from Goodreads

What If This Were Enough? is 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 world.

Through 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.

Being capable and productive feels somewhat beside the point these days. Either you’re popular, and therefore exciting and successful and a winner, or you’re unpopular, and therefore unimportant and invisible and devoid of redeeming value.

What If This Were Enough by Heather Havrilesky

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