A Refinery29 Best Book of the Year

The novel that inspired the acclaimed Rebecca Miller film Maggie's Plan, starring Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke, and Greta Gerwig.

 Isabel, Anna, Beth, and Maggie are women who aren’t afraid to take it all. Whether spearheading a pregnancy lingerie company, conspiring to return a husband to his ex-wife, lusting after an old lover while in a satisfying marriage, or trying to balance motherhood and work—they are sexy, determined, and not looking for a simple happily ever after. Through punchy, hilarious, and insightful storytelling, The End of Men shatters the confines of society, and more importantly, those we impose upon ourselves.

“With humor, bravery, and panache, Karen Rinaldi puts her finger straight on the tender conundrum of the female experience, where work, love, and motherhood intersect.” — Rebecca Miller, director of Maggie’s Plan

"Karen Rinaldi's The End of Men is in every way marvelous. A sharply drawn story—or more accurately, stories—that gets everything right.  Warm hearted but painfully close to the bone. " —Anthony Bourdain

"In 1995, I wrote a short story, 'Baster,' inspired by some goings-on in my friend Karen Rinaldi's life.  In 2003, that story, significantly altered, became the Jennifer Aniston-movie ‘The Switch.’  In 2016, another film, 'Maggie's Plan,' directed by Rebecca Miller, appeared, this time based partly on Rinaldi's unfinished novel about said events.   And, now, Rinaldi has finished that novel, creating yet another version, her own version.  I knew it was a good idea the first time I heard it, but I had no inkling it would prove quite so fruitful.  Given the subject matter, however, how could it be otherwise?  Certainly, this is a story that keeps on giving." —Jeffrey Eugenides

 

Discover how the freedom of sucking at something can help you build resilience, embrace imperfection, and find joy in the pursuit rather than the goal.

What if the secret to resilience and joy is the one thing we’ve been taught to avoid?

When was the last time you tried something new? Something that won’t make you more productive, make you more money, or check anything off your to-do list? Something you’re really, really bad at, but that brought you joy?

Odds are, not recently.

As a sh*tty surfer and all-around-imperfect human Karen Rinaldi explains in this eye-opening book, we live in a time of aspirational psychoses. We humblebrag about how hard we work and we prioritize productivity over play. Even kids don’t play for the sake of playing anymore: they’re building blocks to build the ideal college application. But we’re all being had. We’re told to be the best or nothing at all. We’re trapped in an epic and farcical quest for perfection. We judge others on stuff we can’t even begin to master, and it’s all making us more anxious and depressed than ever. Worse, we’re not improving on what really matters.

This book provides the antidote. (It’s Great to) Suck at Something reveals that the key to a richer, more fulfilling life is finding something to suck at. Drawing on her personal experience sucking at surfing (a sport she’s dedicated nearly two decades of her life to doing without ever coming close to getting good at it) along with philosophy, literature, and the latest science, Rinaldi explores sucking as a lost art we must reclaim for our health and our sanity and helps us find the way to our own riotous suck-ability. She draws from sources as diverse as Anthony Bourdain and surfing luminary Jaimal Yogis, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others, and explains the marvelous things that happen to our mammalian brains when we try something new, all to discover what she’s learned firsthand: it is great to suck at something. Sucking at something rewires our brain in positive ways, helps us cultivate grit, and inspires us to find joy in the process, without obsessing about the destination. Ultimately, it gives you freedom: the freedom to suck without caring is revelatory.

Coupling honest, hilarious storytelling with unexpected insights, (It’s Great to) Suck at Something is an invitation to embrace our shortcomings as the very best of who we are and to open ourselves up to adventure, where we may not find what we thought we were looking for, but something way more important.
Discover how the freedom of sucking at something can help you build resilience, embrace imperfection, and find joy in the pursuit rather than the goal with this “wholly original work that is destined to become a classic” (Susannah Cahalan, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

When was the last time you tried something new? Something that won’t make you more productive, make you more money, or check anything off your to-do list? Something you’re really, really bad at, but that brought you joy?

Odds are, not recently. We live in a time of aspirational psychoses. We humblebrag about how hard we work and we prioritize productivity over happiness. Even kids don’t play for the sake of playing anymore: they’re building blocks to build the ideal college application. We’re told to be the best or nothing at all. We’re trapped in an epic and farcical quest for perfection and it’s all making us more anxious and depressed than ever.

This book provides the antidote. (It’s Great to) Suck at Something “shows how joy and growth come from risking failure and letting go of perfectionism” (The Wall Street Journal). Drawing on her personal experience sucking at surfing (a sport Karen Rinaldi’s dedicated nearly two decades of her life to doing without ever coming close to getting good at it) along with philosophy, literature, and the latest science, Rinaldi explores sucking as a lost art we must reclaim for our health and our sanity and helps us find the way to our own riotous suck-ability. Sucking at something rewires our brain in positive ways, helps us cultivate grit, and inspires us to find joy in the process, without obsessing about the destination. Ultimately, it gives you freedom: the freedom to suck without caring is revelatory.

Coupling honest, hilarious storytelling with unexpected insights, this “thought-provoking, engaging examination…explains how our lives are more satisfying and rich when we give ourselves the opportunity to experiment, struggle, and play” (Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project).
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