Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage (Hardcover)

Foreverland: On the Divine Tedium of Marriage By Heather Havrilesky Cover Image
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“This book is a delight. Funny, honest and deeply romantic.” –Chicago Tribune, “Best Books of 2022 So Far”

A Recommended Read from: Good Morning America • Good Housekeeping • Esquire • Shondaland • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • The Week • Lit Hub • Publishers Weekly

An illuminating, poignant, and savagely funny examination of modern marriage from Ask Polly advice columnist Heather Havrilesky

If falling in love is the peak of human experience, then marriage is the slow descent down that mountain, on a trail built from conflict, compromise, and nagging doubts. Considering the limited economic advantages to marriage, the deluge of other mate options a swipe away, and the fact that almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce anyway, why do so many of us still chain ourselves to one human being for life?

In Foreverland, Heather Havrilesky illustrates the delights, aggravations, and sublime calamities of her marriage over the span of fifteen years, charting an unpredictable course from meeting her one true love to slowly learning just how much energy is required to keep that love aflame. This refreshingly honest portrait of a marriage reveals that our relationships are not simply “happy” or “unhappy,” but something much murkier—at once unsavory, taxing, and deeply satisfying. With tales of fumbled proposals, harrowing suburban migrations, external temptations, and the bewildering insults of growing older, Foreverland is a work of rare candor and insight. Havrilesky traces a path from daydreaming about forever for the first time to understanding what a tedious, glorious drag forever can be.

About the Author

Heather Havrilesky writes the popular Ask Polly advice column on Substack and is the author of What If This Were Enough?, How to Be a Person in the World, and Disaster Preparedness. She has written for the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times Magazine, and NPR’s All Things Considered, among others, and also maintains the Ask Molly newsletter, written by Polly’s evil twin. She lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.

Praise For…

“One of the first honest, moving and funny portrayals of a solid marriage I have ever read.” — Jessica Grose, The New York Times

"This reads like a confession from a friend who has examined their own life through an intellectual and emotional lense -- and comes out with some answers for us." — Good Morning America

“In its own sardonic and skeptical fashion, “Foreverland” is a tender book, full of touching descriptions of falling and staying in love, even in the face of the profound frustrations.” — The New Yorker

"This book is a delight. Funny, honest and deeply romantic, Havrilesky does the world a favor by letting us peek inside her mind and her marriage." — Chicago Tribune

"She walks the tightrope here, unflinching in her appraisal, indulgent in her praise… The book is a delight; it is a magic trick. It is also terrifically funny.” Southern Review of Books

"Wise, witty, profane, even profound.... Her voice is so engaging, and her comic timing so impeccable, that she turns the “divine tedium” of her marriage into a rollicking adventure for her readers, too." — Associated Press

“I instantly fell in love with Heather Havrilesky's new book Foreverland….  I deeply identified with her raw, real, and often hilarious take on motherhood, growing older, and the challenges of tethering yourself to another person.” — InStyle Magazine

“Funny, forthright…. In Foreverland, Havrilesky considers the ups and downs of married life, writing with candor about its undeviating dullness and surprising upsides …. Whether single or spoken for, readers are sure to fall for Havrilesky’s charming memoir.” — BookPage

“Havrilesky’s neurotic, self-deprecating sense of humor is always on display and adds a comedic twist on universal themes.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“Equal parts curiosity, humor and disarming candor, rejecting the platitudes with which so many of us (especially women) have long been bombarded…. At once a tribute to the joy of finding the one and the woes of putting up with them.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Filled with barbed humor and hilarious anecdotes drawn from her own marriage, it is a delightfully engaging love letter to matrimony that is both highly entertaining and profoundly insightful.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A beautifully honest exploration of marriage in all its intricacies." — Shondaland

"Both married and unmarried audiences will find something to cherish in this book on what it means to have a good marriage, what a marriage is at all, and how to retain one’s identity, as well as desires, in the face of binding yourself to another." — Literary Hub

“Havrilesky’s portrayal of the gritty underside of marriage is honest and searing.” — Jacobin

"Newlyweds, nearlyweds, and golden-anniversary celebrants alike will find much that is familiar, inspiring, and comforting in Havrilesky’s clear-eyed paean to marital bliss and blunders." — Booklist (starred review)

"Havrilesky’s candid reflections will delight those who’ve taken the plunge, for better or for worse." — Publishers Weekly

"Havrilesky successfully provides ample opportunities for readers to laugh, commiserate, and critique, regardless of their phase in life or marital status." — Library Journal

"Heather Havrilesky’s Foreverland is full of razor-sharp, big-hearted wisdom about conflict, lust, obsession, parenting, road trips, daily survival, and the saving, terrifying power of honesty. Her willingness to behold the frustrations of intimacy is what makes her—ultimately—such a keen and necessary scribe of its grace. I want to share this book with my exes, my mother, my partner, future versions of my daughter, future versions of myself, and every last reader I could shake by the shoulders and say: You might not know it, but you need this. It will help you survive your own life."Leslie Jamison, New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering

“The inner workings of other people’s relationships are usually cloaked in mystery and papered over with platitudes. By letting us closely observe her fifteen-year marriage—nose-hair trimmers, random crushes, warts, and all—Heather makes us all feel less alone in our own weird and wonderful partnerships. There’s something so refreshing about a book that doesn’t try to convince you to invest in your marriage, and instead describes how difficult it is to do exactly that. I laughed. I cried. I didn’t file for divorce.” — Ann Friedman, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Big Friendship

“In a time of carefully managed, painstakingly cropped, plastic Instagram families, Heather Havrilesky’s incisive examination of marriage and family, Foreverland, reads, refreshingly, like a war diary—a generously candid, disarmingly heartfelt examination of those we love, what we value, and why. Occasionally meditative, brutally insightful, effortlessly witty, and always honest, Heather Havrilesky should be a household name, a guru for those of us whose hair itches at the thought of gurus.” — Lauren Hough, New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062984463
ISBN-10: 0062984462
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: February 8th, 2022
Pages: 304
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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