An Amazon Best Book of November 2015: Jason Gay, a popular and funny columnist for the Wall Street Journal, was driven to write Little Victories after his father’s diagnosis of cancer. ButLittle Victories isn’t just another treacly exhortation to enjoy this precious existence or else. It’s a curation of snapshots of Gay’s “many life mistakes,” demonstrating that life’s little victories are made up of “small, perfect moments,” even—or perhaps especially—when we ourselves are not perfect. Anxious parents in particular will benefit from Gay’s philosophy, whether it’s his thoughts on youth sports to how to set limits on kids’ usage of digital devices: “If it means a peaceful cross-country flight without dirty stares from every other passenger, I will let a two-year-old watch Scarface.” Some chapters are laugh-out-loud funny (the family Thanksgiving chapter should be required reading at this time of year); some are poignant. All are self-deprecating and wry. There are a lot of books out there on how to stop and smell the roses. This is a crowning addition to that genre, making us laugh at our ridiculous human self-importance and showing us how to savor the everyday little victories.
“Gay makes his debut with a hilarious, heartwarming set of essays covering such mundane topics as parenthood, exercise, office life, travel, and the holidays. He presents the book as a riff on his popular Wall Street Journal sports column, organizing the entries around his rules for life (which include ‘don’t serve soup at a dinner party,’ ‘spend a little more money on flowers,’ and ‘you really should listen to more Stevie Wonder’). He frames these rules with two key events: the birth of his children, Jessie and Josie, via in vitro fertilization, and the shockingly swift death of his father from pancreatic cancer. Along the way, readers will alternately feel the urge to laugh and cry at Gay’s irreverent, witty writing. His insights on each topic are spot-on yet gentle. Any readers who pick up this book will finish it convinced that following Gay’s rules will make their lives more enjoyable, and perhaps even make them better people.”
“Little Victories manages to be hilarious, helpful, and profound, in one unpredictable mix. It made me happy.”
—Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives
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