Accessible, detailed advice for building authentic friendships.




A manifesto of authentic female friendships to combat the loneliness epidemic.

After her divorce, Dugan (Date Like a Grownup, 2014, etc.) longed for human connection but knew that throwing herself straight back into dating would be a mistake. She sensed that she needed to meet people who would accept her for who she was and encourage her to make good decisions about her future. In that context, “female friendships trumped my hunt for love.” Like Bowling Alone (2000) and the works of Brené Brown, this book sensitively probes the cultural factors that lead to feelings of isolation while advocating for vulnerability and letting go of shame. Self-knowledge and nonjudgmental understanding of others are twin goals. Loneliness is not a personal failing, Dugan reassures readers, but a symptom of a life that needs to change. At certain points, many of us will find we have no one with whom to share deep thoughts or even everyday experiences, she notes, and while Facebook promises shallow affirmations, it doesn’t always represent real relationships. “Facebook friends are the new collectible you don’t have to dust,” she quips. In a digital world overloaded with information and choice, the author observes that social media allows us to hoard acquaintances but avoid commitment, such as through “maybe” responses to event invitations. The book proposes concrete tips for overcoming indecision and inertia—what she calls “limbo-living.” Such imaginative naming, like the “Hateful Heckler” for negative self-talk, makes up for a couple of jargon-ridden definitions (e.g., “Opportunity Clutter”). Headed sections, sets of questions to ask oneself, and lists of positive and negative character traits to look for in potential friends add up to a well-structured and user-friendly text. Dugan joins adult friendships to childhood experiences through a discussion of her earliest friendships and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Weekly get-togethers with her “Cabernet Coaches” are now invaluable to the author, but it took time and determination to build that friend group. Through her own story and psychological insights, she offers hope that even the loneliest readers can find community and connection.

Accessible, detailed advice for building authentic friendships.

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946664-57-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Headline Books, Inc.

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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