Leah Greenblatt
July 15, 2016 AT 02:51 PM EDT

How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Heather Havrilesky
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Havrilesky, a longtime Salon TV critic–turned–advice columnist, has found a devoted online audience for her Ask Polly alter ego’s talky, intimate treatises—or as she calls them, “my awkward, angry, uplifting, uncertain, joyful, clumsy words (half of which are still ‘f—’).” How to Be a Person brings together unpublished bits and greatest hits that showcase her gifts as a writer. At her best, she is part Buddha and part Amy Schumer: wise, whip-smart, and profanely funny. Less dynamic, though, are Polly’s askers; overwhelmingly young creative types living in large coastal cities and struggling with romantic self-doubt or career ennui, they mostly seem interested in How to Solve a First-World Problem. Someday, hopefully, Personhood will follow. B+

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