A bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess from an award-winning humorist. Whether David Rakoff is contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good-times-and-chicken-wings populism of Hooters Air; working as a cabana boy at a South Beach hotel; or traveling to a private island off the coast of Belize to watch a soft-core video shoot—where he is provided with his very own personal manservant—rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly skewered. Somewhere along the line, our healthy self-regard has exploded into obliterating narcissism; our manic getting and spending have now become celebrated as moral virtues. Simultaneously a Wildean satire and a plea for a little human decency, Don’t Get Too Comfortable shows that far from being bobos in paradise, we’re in a special circle of gilded-age hell. This edition includes an excerpt from David Rakoff's Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish.
The Indignities of Coach Class, the Torments of Low Thread Count, the Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems David Rakoff’s collection of autobiographical essays, Fraud, established him as one of our funniest, most insightful writers. In Don’t Get Too Comfortable, Rakoff journeys into the land of plenty that is contemporary North America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily portrayed. Whether contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good times and chicken wings of Hooters Air, portraying the rarified universe of Paris fashion shows where an evening dress can cost as much as four years of college, or traveling to a private island off the coast of Belize to watch a soft-core Playboy TV shoot, where he is provided with his very own personal manservant, David Rakoff takes us on a bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess, delving into the manic getting and spending that defines the North American way of life. Somewhere along the line, our healthy self-regard has exploded into obliterating narcissism, and Rakoff is there to map that frontier. He sits through the grotesqueries of “avant garde” vaudeville in Times Square immediately following 9/11. Twenty days without food allows him to experience firsthand the wonders of “detoxification,” and the frozen world of cryonics, whose promise of eternal life is the ultimate status symbol, leaves him very cold indeed (much to our good fortune). At once a Wildean satire of our ridiculous culture of overconsumption and a plea for a little human decency, Don’t Get Too Comfortable is a bitingly funny grand tour of our special circle of gilded-age hell. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: David Rakoff
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Release Date: 2008
Genre: American literature
David Rakoff's collection of autobiographical essays, Fraud, established him as one of America's funniest, most insightful writers. In Don't Get Too Comfortable, Rakoff journeys into the land of plenty that is contemporary North America. Rarely have greed, vanity, selfishness, and vapidity been so mercilessly and wittily portrayed. Whether contrasting the elegance of one of the last flights of the supersonic Concorde with the good times and chicken wings of Hooters Air, portraying the rarefied universe of Paris fashion shows where an evening dress can cost as much as four years of college, or travelling to a private island off the coast of Belize to watch a soft-core Playboy TV shoot, where he is provided with his very own personal manservant, David Rakoff takes us on a bitingly funny grand tour of our culture of excess, delving into the manic getting and spending that defines the North American way of life.
Commentary By J. Hanna* "There is probably no such thing as an ordinary life, but some lives are more extraordinary than others. Robert Buckley has had some rare opportunities in his life and he makes the most of them. In the late mid-Twentieth Century it was still possible to encounter life largely free from the distortions of technology. From his perch in the Rocky Mountains, Mr. Buckley looks far over the horizon to Ireland where the Buckley journey to America began generations ago and then turns effortlessly to an opposite horizon to describe the lives of the inhabitants of Micronesia and the social and working adventures he shared with them first in the Peace Corps and later in a return visit with his family. The Buckley family holdings in Silver Plume, Colorado serve as the geographic and emotional center of this James A. Michener sized review of a chain of lives that stretches unbroken from the potato famine to a scattering of small islands in the Pacific and then back to Vail, Colorado as it is becoming one of the great ski resorts in the world. Along the way we are given glimpses of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The story has everything any story could ever want, from aggressive blue sharks to murder with avalanches, cyclones, gold strikes, true love and steady courage folded in. Many authors might lose the sense of unity with so many pieces to keep in play, but in Mr. Buckley's sure telling, and faith welds the links of the chain to make one out of many. It is something to keep in mind in a rapidly fracturing culture. The book is an easy breezy read, yet filled with plenty of action and insight. It is a very personal telling that has something for every kind of reader." *Joseph Hanna's diverse career includes writing the published Lawton Close Mystery Series, an award-winning humor column for the Sag Harbor Express, also penning a weekly cartoon, and showing his paintings in several art galleries in the Hamptons. He currently lives on an island with his wife and their dog.
In this deeply smart and sneakily poignant collection of essays, the bestselling author of Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable makes an inspired case for always assuming the worst—because then you’ll never be disappointed. Whether he’s taking on pop culture phenomena with Oscar Wilde-worthy wit or dealing with personal tragedy, Rakoff’s sharp observations and humorist’s flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the untapped power of negativity.
From This American Life alum David Rakoff comes a hilarious collection that single-handedly raises self-deprecation to an art form. Whether impersonating Sigmund Freud in a department store window during the holidays, climbing an icy mountain in cheap loafers, or learning primitive survival skills in the wilds of New Jersey, Rakoff clearly demonstrates how he doesn’t belong–nor does he try to. In his debut collection of essays, Rakoff uses his razor-sharp wit and snarky humor to deliver a barrage of damaging blows that, more often than not, land squarely on his own jaw–hilariously satirizing the writer, not the subject. Joining the wry and the heartfelt, Fraud offers an object lesson in not taking life, or ourselves, too seriously.
Author: Kevin Hart
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2017-06-06
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller. The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has? According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear: A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact. A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together. A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning. It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys. The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way). But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today. And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion. He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself. “Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”
Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler chronicles his month of living and extreme fitness training with a Navy SEAL in the New York Times and #1 LA Times bestseller LIVING WITH A SEAL, now with two bonus chapters. Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler will try almost anything. His life is about being bold and risky. So when Jesse felt himself drifting on autopilot, he hired a rather unconventional trainer to live with him for a month-an accomplished Navy SEAL widely considered to be "the toughest man on the planet"! LIVING WITH A SEAL is like a buddy movie if it starred the Fresh Prince of Bel- Air...and Rambo. Jesse is about as easy-going as you can get. SEAL is...not. Jesse and SEAL's escapades soon produce a great friendship, and Jesse gains much more than muscle. At turns hilarious and inspiring, LIVING WITH A SEAL ultimately shows you the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone.
Meet the orphan turned teen superspy who's saving the world one mission at a time—from #1 New York Times bestselling author! They said his uncle Ian died in a car accident. But Alex Rider knows that’s a lie, and the bullet holes in the windshield prove it. Yet he never suspected the truth: his uncle was really a spy for Britain’s top secret intelligence agency. And now Alex has been recruited to find his uncle’s killers . . . Alex Rider's is debut mission is packed with bonus material - including an extra Alex Rider short story, a letter from Anthony Horowitz, and much more! From the author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty. “Slam-bang action, spying and high-tech gadgets . . . a non-stop thriller!”—Kirkus Reviews
Author: Andy Molinsky
Release Date: 2017-01-24
Genre: Business & Economics
Do you feel comfortable delivering bad news? Do you look forward to speaking in public? Do you enjoy networking? Is it easy for you to speak your mind and be assertive with friends and colleagues? If you answered no to any of these questions, this book can help! What often sets successful people apart is their willingness to do things most of us fear. What’s more, we have the false notion that successful people like to do these things, when the truth is that successful people have simply found their own way to do them. According to Andy Molinsky, an expert on behavior in the business world, there are five key challenges underlying our avoidance tendencies: authenticity, competence, resentment, likability, and morality. Does the new behavior you’re attempting feel authentic to you? Is it the right thing to do? Answering these questions will help identify the “gap” in our behavioral style that we can then bridge by using the three C’s: Clarity, Conviction, and Customization. Perhaps most interesting, Molinsky has discovered that many people who confront what they were avoiding come to realize that they actually enjoy it, and can even be good at it. Short, prescriptive, and based not only on the author’s groundbreaking research but on his own quest to get out of his comfort zone, Reach will help you take the thing you are most afraid of doing and make it a proud part of your personal repertoire.
Why do some people drive change while others are blindsided by it? Why are some people able to adapt and thrive? How can we make change easier? Truly successful people don’t merely tolerate discomfort—they embrace it and seek it out again and again. Business founders and university students, top athletes and couch potatoes, meditation gurus and military leaders all have very different ways of coping with discomfort, but the most successful among them believe that withstanding discomfort is a skill that has helped them in hugely positive ways. Some were forced into discomfort through no choice of their own—a life-altering illness, a business fiasco—while others signed up for it because they had goals they were determined to achieve. Some degree of discomfort is inherently good for you. It can spur you on, pushing you to test your own limits. Learning to tolerate, and then embrace, discomfort is the foundation for change, for individuals and businesses alike. Becoming comfortable with discomfort won’t just make us more resilient and more successful, however we define success. It will also make us happier.
Bestselling and Thurber Prize–winning humorist David Rakoff was one of the most original, delightfully acerbic voices of his generation. Here, in one place, is the best of his previously uncollected material—most never before published in book form. David Rakoff’s singular personality spills from every page of this witty and entertaining volume, which includes travel features, early fiction works, pop culture criticism, and transcripts of his most memorable appearances on public radio’s Fresh Air and This American Life. These writings chart his transformation from fish out of water, meekly arriving for college in 1982, to a proud New Yorker bluntly opining on how to walk properly in the city. They show his unparalleled ability to capture the pleasures of solitary pursuits like cooking and crafting, especially in times of trouble; as well as the ups and downs in the life-span of a friendship, whether it is a real relationship or an imaginary correspondence between Gregor Samsa and Dr. Seuss (co-authored with Jonathan Goldstein). Also included is his novel-in-verse Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. By turns hilarious, incisive and deeply moving, this collection highlights the many facets of Rakoff’s huge talent and shows the arc of his remarkable career. With a foreword by Paul Rudnick. From the Trade Paperback edition.
I'll Seize the Day Tomorrow is the story of Jonathan Goldstein's journey to find some great truth on his road to forty. In a series of wonderfully funny stories, the host of CBC's WireTap recounts the highs and lows of his last year in his thirties. Throughout the year, Goldstein asks weighty questions that would stump a person less seasoned. For example: What is it about a McRib that drives people crazy? Can we replace extending an olive leaf with extending an olive jar? How much wisdom can we glean from episodes of Welcome Back, Kotter? His friends and family, many of them known through their appearances on WireTap, weigh in with hilarious results as Goldstein eats, sleeps, and watches bad TV all the way to his date with destiny.
Author: Olivia Fox Cabane
Release Date: 2017-02-07
Genre: Business & Economics
In The Charisma Myth, Olivia Fox Cabane offered a groundbreaking approach to becoming more charismatic. Now she teams up with Judah Pollack to reveal how anyone can train their brain to have more eureka insights. The creative mode in your brain is like a butterfly. It's beautiful and erratic, hard to catch and highly valued as a result. If you want to capture it, you need a net. Enter the executive mode, the task-oriented network in your brain that help you tie your shoes, run a meeting, or pitch a client. To succeed, you need both modes to work together--your inner butterfly to be active and free, but your inner net to be ready to spring at the right time and create that "aha!" moment. But is there any way to trigger these insights, beyond dumb luck? Thanks to recent neuroscience discoveries, we can now explain these breakthrough moments--and also induce them through a series of specific practices. It turns out there's a hidden pattern to all these seemingly random breakthrough ideas. From Achimedes' iconic moment in the bathtub to designer Adam Cheyer's idea for Siri, accidental breakthroughs throughout history share a common origin story. In this book, you will learn to master the skills that will transform your brain into a consistent generator of insights. Drawing on their extensive coaching and training practice with top Silicon Valley firms, Cabane and Pollack provide a step-by-step process for accessing the part of the brain that produces breakthroughs and systematically removing internal blocks. Their tactics range from simple to zany, such as: · Imagine an alternate universe where gravity doesn’t exist, and the social and legal rules that govern it. · Map Disney’s Pocahontas story onto James Cameron’s Avatar. · Rid yourself of imposter syndrome through mental exercises. · Literally change your perspective by climbing a tree. · Stimulate your butterfly mode by watching a foreign film without subtitles. By trying the exercises in this book, readers will emerge with a powerful new capacity for breakthrough thinking. From the Hardcover edition.
"For too long I have lived life on comfort mode, making choices for life engagement based on safety, ease, and convenience. It has left me very little wiggle room, just a small parcel of real estate upon which to live, move, and have my being. It s not quite the abundant life Jesus was offering." Whether we're aware of it or not, our minds, bodies, and souls often seek out what's comfortable. Erin Straza has gone on a journey of self-discovery, awakening to her own inherent drive for a comfort that cannot truly fulfill or satisfy. She depicts her struggles with vulnerability and honesty, and shares stories of other women who are on this same path. Straza also provides practical insights and exercises to help you find freedom from the lure of the comfortable. This detox program will allow you to recognize pseudo versions of comfort and replace them with a conviction to embrace God's true comfort. Discover the secret to countering the comfort addiction and become available as God's agent of comfort to serve a world that longs for his justice and mercy.