(It’s Great to) Suck at Something: The Unexpected Joy of Wiping Out and What It Can Teach Us About Patience, Resilience, and the Stuff that Really Matters

Karen Rinaldi. Atria, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5011-9576-1
Rinaldi (The End of Men), publisher of HarperWave, delivers a goofy yet wise celebration of taking joy in passions instead of talents. She begins by making “a case for discomfort” and the life-affirming practice of “transcending our usefulness.” In lighthearted, introspective prose, Rinaldi shares how her love of surfing—something she has never been particularly good at—inspired her to buy land in Costa Rica sight unseen, helped her through cancer treatment, and has been a source of bonding with her son (even through serious surfing-related injuries sustained by both of them). Rinaldi stresses the positive health of novelty, curiosity about the new, and living in the steep part of an ever-growing learning curve, which, she writes, research has shown to increase creativity and brain health. But her real focus is on the release of the illusion of control. For Rinaldi, current trends that elevate hyperspecialization have created a culture of imbalance and stress. To make her points, she brings in ideas of others writers, such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Anthony Bourdain, and Edward Lorenz, to support the “suck at something ethos.” Rinaldi’s seductive lessons and “embrace of messiness and incompleteness” will inspire readers looking to spark personal change. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/21/2019
Release date: 05/07/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-5011-9578-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-6679-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-5011-9577-8
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-982114-34-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-6678-5
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