How To Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

By Megan Thomas

I actually listened to How To Fail on the ever-faithful Scribd (an audiobook service), and it was a wonderful way to “read” it. It is narrated by the author Elizabeth Day, and it samples voice clips from interviews that Elizabeth conducted on her podcast, which I think is much more fun than just reading quotes, though I don’t have the comparison.

Elizabeth’s podcast, the book’s namesake, is an interview show where she chats with successful people about what they consider to be their biggest failures. A seemingly grim topic, and a surprisingly inspiring one, because the main thing that comes through is the value of failure – how it facilitates positive change, the lessons to be learnt, the self-worth and personal evolution that can take place, and of course, a reminder to reconsider what we even regard as failure.

This book is broken down into Elizabeth’s key failures, varying in significance from her failure to be good at tennis, to the break down of her marriage. She speaks movingly about fertility, about the value of female friendship and self-acceptance, and ultimately how despite the book’s title, things going wrong is not failure but a critical part of life.


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