The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone

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“Happiness needs to be like a soaking rain, an aquifer, a tucked-away capacity to store enough so that when your friend Martha gets sick, you don’t fade away forever.” A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor—delivers more than it promises.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“A remarkable journey. I laughed. I cried. I got another cat.”  —Lily Tomlin

“Paula Poundstone is the funniest human being I have ever known.” —Peter Sagal, host of Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! and author of The Book of Vice

“Is there a secret to happiness?” asks comedian Paula Poundstone. "I don’t know how or why anyone would keep it a secret. It seems rather cruel, really . . . Where could  it be? Is it deceptively simple? Does it melt at a certain temperature? Can you buy it? Must you suffer for it before or after?” In her wildly and wisely observed book, the comedy legend takes on that most inalienable of rights—the pursuit of happiness.

Offering herself up as a human guinea pig in a series of thoroughly unscientific experiments, Poundstone tries out a different get-happy hypothesis in each chapter of her data-driven search. She gets in shape with taekwondo. She drives fast behind the wheel of a Lamborghini. She communes with nature while camping with her daughter, and commits to getting her house organized (twice!). Swing dancing? Meditation? Volunteering? Does any of it bring her happiness? You may be laughing too hard to care.  

The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness is both a story of jumping into new experiences with both feet and a surprisingly poignant tale of a single working mother of three children (not to mention dozens of cats, a dog, a bearded dragon lizard, a lop-eared bunny, and one ant left from her ant farm) who is just trying to keep smiling while living a busy life.

The queen of the skepticism-fueled rant, Paula Poundstone stands alone in her talent for bursting bubbles and slaying sacred cows.

Like George Carlin, Steve Martin, and David Sedaris, she is a master of her craft, and her comedic brilliance is served up in abundance in this book. As author and humorist Roy Blount Jr. notes, “Paula Poundstone deserves to be happy. Nobody deserves to be this funny.”
 
 

About Paula Poundstone

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PAULA POUNDSTONE has been a stand-up comic for nearly twenty-five years. Her long list of successes includes HBO specials, an Emmy Award, two Cable ACE Awards, and an America Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
 
Published May 9, 2017 by Algonquin Books. 305 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Self Help, Humor & Entertainment, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 17 2017

“Happiness needs to be like a soaking rain, an aquifer, a tucked-away capacity to store enough so that when your friend Martha gets sick, you don’t fade away forever.” A deeply revealing memoir in which the pathos doesn’t kill the humor—delivers more than it promises.

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