Oct 30, 2022

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

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How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong audiobook

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Review #1

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong audiobook free

I found it self indulgent. Idk. I guess I was expecting something a bit more open on the subject matters.

Didnt know it was a memoir.


Review #2

How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong audiobook streamming online

I really like the language this book is written. I also like that personally, I can relate to many things, described by the author. I guess I needed to find some justification to my life experiences and this book graciously provided that 😉


Review #3

Audiobook How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day

Really interesting read


Review #4

Audio How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong narrated by Elizabeth Day

*I received a free ARC of this novel, with thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

How to Fail draws together various interviews and opinions from the How to Fail with Elizabeth Day podcast series.

The book is split into short essay segments such as How to Fail at Dating or How to Fail at Work, neatly drawing together snippets from different interviews around individual themes. All of the interviews feature people who have achieved career success, such as celebrities, authors, actors, talking about times in their life where they feel they failed and what those failures taught them.

The initial chapters of the book have a warm, anecdotal tone, but as she warms up Day gradually slides into a more academic style, presenting coherent and well-constructed arguments on topical issues such as the #MeToo phenomenon and modern gender politics. This gives the book a mixed tone: part memoir, part thesis, which I found worked really well with the subject matter.

My only criticism here would be that the concept of the book and the podcasts is a simple one: finding the positive in failure; what can it teach us; which different path can it lead us down; how can we grow and improve from it. This works really well in podcast format as you get the personal experiences and anecdotes, insights and emotions directly from the horses mouth. In a book, I found that it began to feel a little bit repetitious, as this concept was applied in turn to each separate aspect of the author and interviewees lives.

Still, the content and tone of the book were engaging enough to carry me through and I came out of the book thoroughly convinced of the principle and eager to apply it to my own outlook on life. So for me, this book on failure would definitely be classed a success!

This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means its a book for everyone. I dont have all the answers (and its entirely possible I have none of them) but if you turn the final page having in some small way recognised yourself and felt less alone, then that makes me happy. That means this book about failure is not, in itself, a failure.
Does that mean Ive failed to write it properly.
I hope not.

Elizabeth Day, How To Fail

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog


Review #5

Free audio How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong – in the audio player below

I found Elizabeth Day via her podcast (How to Fail) and enjoyed her insights and interviewing style so thought Id follow up and get the audiobook as Im often out and about and dont get time to sit still and read. I thought it would be a collection of her podcast guests, a mashup of points and illustrations from other people but it isnt. It is a raw, painful, poignant, funny, wistful account of her life, and where shes failed. Despite it being an account from a white, middle class, successful, British woman with many privileges, it is a book for everyone. It goes deep. Deep into the ache we all feel in trying to work out how to truly connect with others, sometimes meeting them disappointingly in the shallows, other times uncovering their brittleness or exposing our naivety or immaturity in the face of their kindness. It is a PEARL of a book, not just because it reminds us that we all have a fundamental need to love and be loved, despite our layers of status/occupation etc, but because it doesnt fall victim to the saccharine sweetness of positivity and light and affirmations and gratitude. Day lets failure sit as failure, not resorting to the tiresome gymnastics of trying to find a silver lining in every event or working hard to never repeat it. Sometimes failure is just that. Failure. And thats okay. She strikes a perfect balance in tone and insight, never falling hard into cynicism or bitterness or optimism and rainbows. I LOVED the audiobook, if not just for her classically British accent, but for the passion and tenderness she brings to her accounts of her failures through life. I found a lot of hope in this book at a time when I really need it. It didnt give me a plan to follow or steps to take to get through or over my own failures. Day doesnt coach her readers through the book. Rather, she reflects openly, tracing themes that recurr in her life, causing me to do the same. She brings out universal truths of loss, heartache, longing, brokenness, love, shame and friendship. Its not a book that somehow makes you feel better because her life is tough in parts, thereby making you feel grateful for your own, it is a book that gently leads you through the mess and imparts an enormous amount of strength. Its the gentleness that is the strength here. She gently leads the reader through her failures, without shying away from the harsh and painful truth of the actions and consequences. I am clearer and more hopeful after reading it. Clearer that some of the things I worry about are not just issues that bother me, they bother everyone. And hopeful because I too work my way out of failure. Thank you Elizabeth Day.


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