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Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness
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Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness

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3.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,102 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews
In November 2007, former editor in chief of House & Garden magazine Dominique Browning experienced what thousands have since experienced. She lost her job. Overnight, her driven, purpose-filled days vanished. With her children leaving home and a long relationship ending, the structure of her days disappeared. She fell into a panic of loss but found humor despite everyt ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published May 9th 2010 by Atlas Books (first published May 4th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,344)
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Meghan
Aug 21, 2010 Meghan rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
Dominique Browning was the editor of a fancy Conde Nast home magazine who lost her job and then faced a midlife crisis of how to define herself and how to spend her time - not married, with grown children, she had nothing in her life except work, a tedious affair with a married man, and a keen interest in home decorating. She comes off as so annoying in this memoir - her revelations about baking muffins, going to lunch, wearing expensive pajamas, and having to sell her mansion and move into her ...more
Gwen
Apr 29, 2013 Gwen rated it did not like it
Recommended to Gwen by: browsing at the library
Shelves: biography-memoir
This book simply drips of privilege. From her extolling the virtues of Brooks Brothers pjs (which sell for upwards of $100) to her *second* home on the Rhode Island coast to her oh-so-casual mention of regular lawn service, Browning's world of unemployment is most assuredly NOT the world of this unemployed reader. Browning never mentions any immediate worry over money, only includes vague asides to jobhunting (like finding another job isn't a priority at all), and most appallingly, still seems t ...more
Kristin
May 18, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it
The writing in this book reminded me a little bit of Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love.

I'm a sucker for this kind of book. Specifics aside, her jourey is every woman's ( and probably man's?) journey of dealing with the hand that life deals out, questioning choices, raging to the Gods, and eventually finding the joy and beauty in places you would never have expected- even if that joy was in front of you the entire time.
Kim
Apr 26, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
After unexpectantly losing my job, I found myself ruminating a lot at Borders Book's the same time they were closing many of their stores. While doing this, I fortuitously located this book amongst the many piles of 70% off's. It was on my list of "someday I might get to it." Am I glad I did! I always loved Dominique Browning's column's when she wrote for House and Garden, even though I am as far away from her lifestyle as one can be. But she writes like she is your friend. And I like her. A lot ...more
Maria
Oct 04, 2011 Maria rated it it was ok
I am so disappointed in this book because it is just so close to being great; it's so close to pulling at your heartstrings and making you relate to the author, but it just never quite gets there.

The novel focuses on the true life-story of Dominique Browning, the former editor of House & Garden Magazine, and how she deals with suddenly being unemployed, and how she learns to slow down her way of thinking, her loves and her life. She learns to appreciate love, cherish it, and in some ways, i
...more
Erin
Aug 11, 2011 Erin rated it did not like it
I was rather disappointed by this memoir. I've been gobbling up life-stories lately and this one seemed like a good recommendation. Who doesn't want to root for someone who "finds happiness" after a major crisis? I was really ready to jump in with her into the hard places of real life and real love when your work life falls apart, you are not on top of the world, and then salvage something beautiful in the ashes. I kept waiting to go there, but her book never picked me. So, I tried just coming t ...more
Catherine
Jul 08, 2010 Catherine rated it it was ok
Shelves: mainstream-us, 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine
Jun 14, 2010 Katherine rated it it was ok
I've enjoyed Dominique Browning's previous books, which were about her house and garden (and her career at a fancy-schmancy house and garden magazine), so I was intrigued to read her memoir about losing her job and (according to the subtitle) finding her happiness.

I nearly put this down at one point because I found it and her so annoying. Her endless yammering about her relationship with an equally annoying married-but-separated guy grew tiresome almost immediately. It was like listening to a fr
...more
Libby
Jun 02, 2011 Libby rated it it was ok
Oh my, I wasn't able to finish this book, and that is rare. Her 'problems' reek of privilege, a fact which is never mentioned in the book. After losing her job, she has plenty of money to live on and, in fact, tears down her vacation home to start it again from scratch. Really?! I chose this book hoping to read a story of an unemployed woman's journey from a hectic, materialistic life to inner peace....but it did not deliver whatsoever.
Kathleen
Oct 03, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was ok
It's hard to feel bad for Dominique Browning - yes, she lost her job and her sense of self. She had to sell her house - and move into her architecturally-designed summer home full time. She was so depressed she spent days at a time in her pajamas - Brooks Brothers has the best ones. Poor thing.
Emily
Sep 26, 2012 Emily rated it liked it
Read this one for book club. I really expected to dislike the book--and did dislike much of it--because the title suggested, at least to me, yet another self-conscious take on the "eat, pray, love" theme. Then again, maybe every memoir has to get at these themes because eating, loving, and finding spiritual peace are part of the human condition. It's just that some writers address these themes better than others. Her wisdom is certainly not revelatory: "Do not cling to old patters. Nothing can b ...more
Eleanor
Oct 29, 2012 Eleanor rated it it was ok
I bought this book when I had been working more hours than optimal and was wondering what would happen if I did without a job for a while. This book, in which the author is laid off, moves to relatively remote coastal Rhode Island, comes to terms with being alone a lot and spends most of her time cooking/gardening did not provide a particularly appealing alternative to the working life for me personally. And, perhaps because it's been a while since my last difficult break-up, I did not find her ...more
Crystal
Apr 30, 2010 Crystal rated it liked it
This book was at times annoyingly melodramatic as the author, with the loss of her job, imagines falling from a window to "the stone terrace, [her:] back cracked and spine twisted...head resting at a birdlike angle" (24). Vivid, but for me falls short (har har) of humor--Browning is hardly living off the streets. Although painful, selling the family home for something smaller and sorting through her possessions (I do empathize completely on the books, however) is not exactly the stuff of financi ...more
Kelly Olexa
May 23, 2010 Kelly Olexa rated it really liked it
I had read a review of this book in More magazine, and I'm definitely glad I took the time to read it in its entirety. I can certainly relate to the story told as I experienced losing my job in 10/08 after the company by whom I was employed abruptly declared bankruptcy. My world was upside down and I embarked on a 14 month journey that changed my life completely (for the better of course!). The author was editor of House & Garden magazine and when they shut down, so did her usual daily routi ...more
Hol
Aug 10, 2010 Hol added it
I like reading Dominique Browning because she is thoughtful and self-deprecating and appreciates the dimension of time in gardening, but also because her neuroses are different from my own. It struck me as odd that she spends part of this book flagellating herself for staying in a long-term relationship with an "emotionally unavailable" man, because it seemed to me that the situation more or less worked for her: she got to devote herself to her incredibly high-powered career and enjoy solo-paren ...more
Sherri
Jun 06, 2010 Sherri rated it really liked it
This was the perfect book to read as I look ahead to summer vacation. Thankfully, I haven't lost my job, but her focus on spending time without work is inspiring. Very thought-provoking and beautifully written.

I especially liked her reflections on her past as a working mother and her troubled relationship with ambivalent "Stroller." The setting and the writing style in the intertidal closing section was very clearly influenced by Mary Oliver who is one of my favorites because of her optimism an
...more
Moira
May 08, 2013 Moira rated it it was amazing
Loved this book - funny, witty with spot-on observations about life in all it's verisimilitude. Losing a job, coping behaviors, dating, marriage, divorce, eating, sleeping, grown up kids, moving, clearing out a house, gardening, decorating, fathers, mothers, making muffins...and on and on, all in that accessible prose with lots of LOL moments. J'ai adoré! (See how much I love it? I had to go to another language!)
Guilie
Mar 26, 2015 Guilie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this book, quite randomly, a few months after I'd put on my own pajamas and had, in fact, found happiness. I quit my job rather than lost my job, and although I've had my share of ambivalent men and relationships that refuse, mule-like, to go where I desperately want them to, for the last decade I've been involved in the most rewarding and balanced emotional engagement of my life. But the pajamas and happiness bit resonated like a rumble from the core of the Earth. I thought, I must read ...more
J.
Jul 05, 2010 J. rated it really liked it
At a transition in my life, I found out about this book, signed up for Browning's blog, and been enjoying her writing ever since. While this book's story does not correspond to most of the every day unemployment issues folks face, it is spot on in terms of the emotion and upheaval that take place in the aftermath of losing one's job and identity.
Doriana Bisegna
Mar 02, 2013 Doriana Bisegna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful read! Charming, funny, honest and well written! A great little book to ease all our anxieties about having to do it all!! This book will make you sit back and think about all the little precious things that we have given up in order to make all the other "stuff" work!! I found each chapter heartwarming and thought provoking!
Candice
Sep 30, 2015 Candice rated it really liked it
“The truth is, I have come to hate dating….It isn’t worth the trouble of interrupting them to get their attention. Hence, I will call these jukebox dinners. You drop in a dime – starting things off with, say, a simple question like, “How are you?” – and a couple of hours later the tunes are still playing, until suddenly your date will look over tenderly, lean into the table, and remark, “Say, you’re a good listener. But enough about me. Tell me about yourself. Waiter, check please!”

HAHAHAHAHA!!!
...more
Karin
Sep 06, 2010 Karin rated it it was ok
I wouldn't have finished this but it was the only book I had with on a weekend out of town. Long, boring, self-indulgent passages.
Kieran
Jun 15, 2010 Kieran rated it it was amazing
Really wonderful. Actually just as much about healing from a broken heart (from a man) as it is about healing from losing her career.
Jenifer Willis
Jun 17, 2015 Jenifer Willis rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoir-general
I feel swindled by this book.

I expected a story of triumphing over hard times and soul-searching, etc., but instead, I read a story of a wealthy woman who lost her lucrative job but still maintained her wealth. She suffered by selling her main home and moving on to live in her vacation home. She had to get by, by eating in fancy restaurants on blind dates while the men she saw footed her bill. She struggled getting over a long-term relationship with a man she called "Stroller," who was all wrong
...more
Susan
Jan 02, 2012 Susan rated it it was ok
NOT A FAN OF THIS BOOK. THE PREMISE INTRIGUED ME, HIGH POWERED CAREER LADY LOSES HER JOB AND FINDS HER IDENTITY. OUR JOBS, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, BECOME SO MUCH AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR IDENTITY THAT WHEN WE LOSE THAT, THE PEROSNAL TRANSFORMATION IS AN INTERESTING ONE. THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT I WOULD BE READING, HOWEVER I WAS WRONG! INSTEAD, I FELT THIS AUTHOR WAS TELLING US THE STORY OF HER OBSESSIVE FIXATION ON AN EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE MAN WHO HAPPENED TO BE MARRIED TO ANOTHER WOMAN! OR SEPA ...more
Kimberly
Jul 19, 2010 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Dominique Browning was the editor in chief of House and Garden Magazine. I have always enjoyed her writing and although I didn't subscribe to her magazine would stand at the bookstore reading her monthly editorial just for the pure pleasure of her words.


After running the magazine for over a decade, she lost her job when the magazine abruptly folded (stupid economy). The book details her life following the shock of job loss. It is a quick read and my only criticism is the frequent mention of her
...more
Sariah
Feb 23, 2012 Sariah rated it it was ok
This book is why I don't usually enjoy reading memoirs. They are just narcissistic ramblings and memories. In the case of Dominique Browning, I felt she was an overly privileged career woman who, when the magazine she was an editor of suddenly folded and she round herself out of a job, couldn't actually ever figure out what she wanted in life. I get it. Sudden unemployment is shocking and heartbreaking, especially when it happens right as the country's economy tanks. But she lived in New York Ci ...more
Courtney
This book has a great basic message of slow down and enjoy the small things of life. But other than the overall message, I found this book difficult to read.

The author loses her job but is fortunate enough to not face many of the hardships people face when they find themselves out of work. She has two houses so sells one, she has the means to dive into cooking and swim lessons and opera, and she has friends and family around her. Most of the people I know out of work are stressing about their n
...more
Avolyn Fisher
While this book lacked a good plot line or easy to follow story (it seemed to jump around a lot and was a bit scatter brained) it had tokens of charm and I can site numerous quotes that made this book worth the read.

here are a few:

"Now I wonder if all we were doing was replaying old patterns, long ingrained in our characters, mirrored feelings of abandonment, rage, confusion, despair - and finally, clinging to fantasies of salvation, hope that there would be one person to take us to a happily-ev
...more
Pamelarbroadley Broadley
I was drawn to this book because of the similarities between Browning's situation and my own-- we are both introverts who lost high powered jobs in our mid-fifties and have pressed on to find new meaning in life. The fact that Browning lost her job to a sudden death corporate restructuring, and I lost mine to a more voluntary early retirement incentive doesn't detract from the similarity. It is akin to losing one parent to a fatal car accident and the other to a slow-moving disease-- both result ...more
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Dominique Browning writes a monthly column called Personal Nature for the Environmental Defense Fund website. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and also writes for O, Body + Soul, Wired, and Travel & Leisure, among other publications. Before House & Garden she worked at The Edison Project, Mirabella, Newsweek, Texas Monthly, and Esquire. She is the author of Ar ...more
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“This is terrific. What a gorgeous kitchen. You’ve decorated it so beautifully. Now you’re going to have to clear all the counters. Vases. Books. Knickknacks. Get rid of all that stuff. I mean, it is just beautiful. Beautiful. I love what you’ve done with this house. Make sure you put it all away.” ~Real estate agent (p.76)” 6 likes
“I have come to dislike anything that demands constant attention, whether it is dogs, dishwashers, or finally men. I like things that are independent, and that need you only because they want you, not because they’ll have a breakdown without you.” 5 likes
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