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Smile at Strangers : And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly
If you want to feel safe, be prepared to feel uncomfortable. Such surprising lessons (and more) arise in Susan Schorn's memoir of a quixotic, determined pursuit of a more balanced life, as expanded from her popular McSweeney's column. Susan Schorn was paralyzed by fear. Fed up with feeling powerless, she took up karate. Over fifteen years, she learned how to say no and how to fight when you have to (even in the dark). Karate helped her persuade her husband to wear a helmet, best one bossy Girl Scout troop leader, and set boundaries with an oversharing boss. Now this double black belt gives us a fighting, biting, laughing woman's answer to Eat Pray Love-where enlightenment is as much about embracing absurdity and landing a punch as about finding that perfect method of meditation. Both hilarious and strategic, Schorn's quest for a more satisfying life also features practical lessons about safety and self defense. Smile at strangers, she says. Question your habits, your fears, your self-criticism: Self-criticism is easy. Self-improvement is hard. You're here for the hard stuff. And oh yeah, don't forget this one: Everybody wants to have adventures. Whether they know it or not.
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 27, 2013
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