"Takes every self-help book you've ever read and turns it inside out… a deeply insightful and entertaining book" – Héctor Tobar, Los Angeles Times
I'm very pleased to announce that my book THE ANTIDOTE: HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T STAND POSITIVE THINKING – about the upsides of failure, insecurity, uncertainty, pessimism, death, that sort of thing – is published in paperback in the United States today, by Faber & Faber.
Blatant self-promotion alert: my book THE ANTIDOTE: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking is published today in north America, by Faber & Faber in the US and by Penguin in Canada. In short, it's about the hidden upsides of failure, uncertainty, insecurity, pessimism and death. Here's an excerpt from the US jacket:
"Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hardheaded business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it's our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty – the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid."
The short video above, made by the excellent people at Scriberia, is an attempt to sum it up. Here's the starred Kirkus Review, which calls it "fascinating" and says it "deserves wide readership"; here's the Guardian excerpt, on failure, and the Fast Company excerpt, on the perils of goal-setting – and a New York Times op-ed I wrote on why you shouldn't walk barefoot across hot coals. (Spoiler: you might burn your feet!) I'll be speaking this coming Saturday as part of the Rubin Museum's "Happy Talk" series in New York, and there are a number of other US events planned for January: more details here.
You can order The Antidote here, and I'd appreciate enormously if you did.