Hi all! I hope you’re staying safe and reading lots (or a little – however much makes you happy).

The book I want to tell you about (and rave about) today is How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day.

Pages: 352 
Published: April 4, 2019
Genre: Non fiction, memoir, autobiography 
Medium I consumed it in: Audiobook (10 hours)

This autobiography grew from Elizabeth’s podcast, How To Fail, and it is fantastic. I loved it. As the blurb says, “This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s a book for everyone.”

The book moves from Elizabeth’s childhood to the present day as she explores her failures, shares hilarious anecdotes and draws lessons and inspiration from her pain, embarrassment and self-discovery. There are chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship. The book looks at why failures help us grow and reminds us there is much to learn from them, but does so in a way that is not cliche or eye roll-inducing in any way. 

I could really relate to Elizabeth. She is a bit older than me, but similar enough that I really understood what she discussed, felt and had been through, even though our paths have been quite different. She is a self-confessed nerd and has always wanted to write, have a family, travel and learn, and I found myself nodding along and bookmarking frequently. And laughing – she is very funny. She also chats to other people and shares their stories of failure and subsequent lessons learned, which adds a great dimension.

I listened to this on audiobook, which was great because she reads it herself, and the interviews that are included, which were made for her podcast, are added in. Her voice was great to listen to, and it’s always nice when the author narrates as you know it’s told as it was intended.

No matter your age, gender, life path or plan, I really recommend this book to you. It’s inspiring and funny, and it’s as if you’re listening in on people’s deepest secrets (in a consensual and enjoyable way…).

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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2 Comments on How to Fail: Book Review

  1. Gemma,
    I would like to thank you for recommending The Huntress.
    All my book club members loved reading this book. So well written and we learnt so much.
    Glenda .

    • Hi Glenda,

      I am so happy to hear that you all loved The Huntress as much as I did! It’s such an intense and stunning read. I’d love to hear about more books your bookclub reads, if you have particular ones you recommend!

      Gem x

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