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Now Go Out There: (and Get Curious)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  587 ratings  ·  82 reviews
A celebration of curiosity, compassion, and the surprising power of fear, based on the New York Times bestselling author and renowned professor’s 2015 commencement address at Syracuse University.

“Being smart and rich are lucky, but being curious & compassionate will save your ass.”

Every year there are one or two commencement speeches that strike a chord with audiences far
ebook, 112 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Harper
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Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
There’s not much to this Syracuse University commencement speech. Leftovers of sob-story autobiography and clichéd advice cobbled together. Disappointing given how much I loved Karr’s recent The Art of Memoir. For a truly inspirational graduation address, I recommend David Foster Wallace’s This Is Water. ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a book version of a commencement speech Mary Karr gave at Syracuse in 2015. Similar to reading This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life by David Foster Wallace, it is slightly tweaked, lightly illustrated, and largely intended for graduation present fare.

I've read a lot of Mary Karr in the last few years, in fact she includes a poem about her son from the most recent book of poetry I read - Sinners Welcome. She makes reference t
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
Finished this Mary Karr in a flash! It‘s lovely for anyone going through big life changes. If you‘re questioning whether difficult times will help you grow—she says they will!
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It is easy to see why Mary Karr's commencement speech to the graduating class at Syracuse University (May 10, 2015) went viral! This is a perfect quick read for anyone that needs insight, inspiration, advice, or a young student looking for answers, or perhaps to realize that there are others in life who overcome tremendous adversity, become educated and avoid doing time in the penitentiary. Karr's poem: "A Blessing From My Sixteen Years' Son" was an added bonus with many good and amusing quotes. ...more
Greta Slabach
May 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
I had really high hopes for this little book. I was expecting to be inspired and I was hoping to also get a copy for a friend that was graduating from college.
But there was so much language and questionable content that I had a hard time focusing on what she was trying to say.
And the actual message of the book was either too obscured by the above (maybe I was distracted?) or just really not there.
I finished and had no idea what she was trying to tell me. So, not really impressed.

I give it one st
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Though I'm no fan of commencement speeches, and commencement speech books are often about revenue generation, not enlightenment, nevertheless I wanted to read Now Go Out There because I enjoyed five stars worth of pleasure from Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir. My verdict: Her memoir is still great, but Now Go Out There is not for me. Though the speech's personal revelations are interesting and the advice is good, the structure is too free flowing for my taste.

The speech's personal revelations are
Apr 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I love graduation speeches (hello Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert, J.K. Rowling, Jim Carrey, and Ali G!) and apparently I'm not the only one, because the one given by Mary Karr, famed memoirist and professor (I read and enjoyed her memoir The Liar's Club many years back) was so good that it was made into a book.

A quick and easy read, Now Go Out There is full of inspirational quotes, heart, and humour. Kind of like Chicken Soup for the Soul, except for eager graduates. Karr shares her wisdom with
When I saw this book on Edelweiss I was attracted by the cover art then when I read the synopsis for it I knew I had to request it because I have never read any speeches but need to start doing so. Therefore I was really pleased that the Publisher approved my request and downloaded it immediately.

This book caught my attention immediately so much so that I read the first 40% of it within 20 minutes of starting it. Mary's writing was almost lyrical in places and I was able to understand the messag
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Not much new here. A talk given at a graduation about how life is hard but we overcome, blah, blah, blah. I'm giving it three stars though because of this particularly interesting point that I will be thinking about for a while ...

"Every major religion tells you the solution to your fear is loving other people, and they're not wrong. But few religions talk about how truly nerve racking other people can be when they're sucking up your subway air or getting your job or stealing your boyfriend. Or
Abhijeet Jain
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Book on the commencement speech of Mary Karr. At the start , I didn't understand why this book is famous , it seemed quite ordinary until the point where Mary Karr started to tell about her life .

One of the best thing she said was about being "curious & compassionate" .

I knew Mary Karr as an English professor but I never knew what she had to go through in her life , thanks to this book !

It's a short novel , and one should definitely read it .

Happy Reading :)
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A charming little read that found me on a morning when I needed it most. I borrowed this from the library but will be buying it to flip through on days when I'm feeling down. Lovely and inspiring, not unlike Karr herself. ...more
Debs Erwin
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, poetry
This is a quick read as it's edited from a commencement speech delivered by Mary Karr in 2015. One of my favourite quotes is this one: "The loony bin is where I learned that as deep as a wound is, that's how deep the healing can be." It's a pithy, irreverent and heart-some read. ...more
Melanie Glass
A very quick read and is more of a series of sound bites taken from a graduation speech. Love these lines: "being smart and rich are lucky, but being curious and compassionate will save your ass.
Being curious and compassionate can take you out of your ego and edge your soul towards wonder."
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It will take you ten minutes to read this book/graduation speech, and you'll put it down feeling inspired. ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
A printing of a commencement speech. Nothing overly new or inspiring.
Mary Karr's small book seems to be a collection of sound bites. However, isn't that what graduation speeches usually are? A speaker may talk for twenty minutes or longer, and somewhere in there may be a gem or two that a graduate remembers on the day they're celebrating the conclusion of a high school or college career. In this case, Karr's speech for the 2015 graduation class at Syracuse University became the book Now Go Out There (and Get Curious).

Karr looks back at her own life, and uses that
Y.S. Stephen
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like Pema Chodron, who told the graduating students of Naropa University in 2014 to get curious about their mistakes as mistakes can be a portal to creativity, so said Mary Karr in her 2015 commencement address to the graduating students of Syracuse University.

Mary Karr, the author of three award-winning, bestselling memoirs and the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse Univeristy, exhorts the graduating students to banish any fear of misfortune and face their lives with optimism. Like any go
Daniel Palevski
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I picked up this book, I didn't realize it was essentially a transcription of a year old commencement speech at Syracuse University, but was still glad I did.

After the initial disappointment which passed in the first few pages, I got caught up In Karr's exquisite and clean prose and read the entire book in one quick sitting even while taking my time with many of the lines.

I got exposed to Mary Karr over an NPR interview this past weekend, and that really caused me to pick this up. I'm still
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Speaking to the University of Syracuse graduating class in 2015, Mary Karr is thrilled to be receiving an honorary PhD. she speaks eloquently of fear. ¨Getting what you want often scares you more than not getting it.
¨As a young graduate student, I worried like hell that I looked like a bimbo; now I am an old maid schoolteacher, I worry that I don´t.
¨My point being that almost everytime I was super-afraid, it was of the wrong thing.¨
Karrś humor and ability to look at herself and her life and prov
Chris Labib
I think I figured out why I enjoy these commencement addresses so much (who has four more checked out to read during her lunch breaks? This chick right here. They're addicting): these published commencement addresses have the same energy as a college city, that same - I won't say "potential" or "wisdom" because that's cheesy. But then again, these commencement addresses are cheesy, so why not - potential and wisdom.

NOTE TO THE ALT-LEFT: Karr presented a constructive mentality for dealing with t
From the best-selling and life changing author of several books I haven't read yet, comes this commencement speech. I have a yen for commencement speeches on paper. You can remember them or reread them. Also, this one, like a great number of those I've read recently reminds all who read it, not only those who've just graduated, that the world is full of pain. They can and must do something to mitigate it. I need that reminder occasionally. It does reference God and the way He helped the author d ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
This seems to be one of a whole new genre being published -- the essay/graduation speech. So, essentially, an essay about what to expect from life now that you are an adult, invested with the best our society has to offer. And, as always, Mary Karr has an honest and truthful reminder to be human and to be grateful for what you've gotten, but to also search out more. As always, she writes well and manages to connect the mundane and flawed to the infinite and ideal. A good quick read if you like t ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this little volume after reading some of Mary Karr's poetry, and wanting to read other things by her. I did listen to some of this commencement address online, but found the book much more precise and impactful......the formatting, with Gregg Kulick's artwork, is great. Overall, her musings on what college graduates might have ahead of them, and how to approach life in all its scariness, really apply to all of us.
My favorite quote (and there are lots of great ones!): "far as I can tell,
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I can see why this commencement speech took social media by storm. So glad it made it to the "gift book" market where it crossed my radar.


It certainly bears re-reading and is chock full of potential "memes".

Here's a link to the actual address:
and I see the book is available as an audio as well. Having all three would not be over-kill.
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading Mary Karr is never a waste of time. Her work is always funny, wise and insightful. But, shelling out ten bucks for an abridged version of a commencement speech she gave at Syracuse University may feel like a waste of money to the frugal (cheap) amongst us. Having said that, this is definitely a worthwhile (and quick) read. Maybe buy a copy and then re-gift it. It would make a great graduation gift.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like beginning my year with a bit of inspiration, and Ms. Karr delivers in spades in this print edition of a 2015 commencement address. It reminded me a bit of Pema Chodron’s Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better, and I mean that in the best way possible. But Now Go Out There is a book that only Ms. Karr could have written, and in talking about her own life she creates universal lessons for everyone. Highly recommended.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Having just finished the 3rd of Mary Karr's 3 memoirs (loved them all), most of her messages in this quick read were familiar but still fresh and compelling and offered in a voice like none I've ever read. I have become a loyal fan of hers and would read anything she writes. Even poetry, maybe, which has always scared me (not just hers, everybody's). ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book, a slow read of Karr's speech to Syracuse University's Class of 2015. Each page has only a few sentences on it, or a paragraph tops. And the left side has illustrations that are a flip book! Give this book to every college graduate you know. It's a shortened version of Brene Brown's Rising Strong. ...more
Aug 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I felt that you had to know a little more about Mary Karr to actually full grasp this speech. It felt kinda pieced together and it could have been a lot more cohesive in my opinion, but hey, I don't write commencement speeches. The world is our oyster and go get it, no matter what you've been through. Well worth the read though. ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a transcript of a graduation speech that Karr gave to Syracuse University when she got an honorary PhD. It is full of the same confessionalism and wisdom that makes her memoirs so powerful. I had Yo Yo Ma at my graduation. I honestly don't remember a word he said, but he played some cello, and that was awesome. I think this speech is better than cello though, even his. ...more
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Mary Karr is an American poet, essayist and memoirist. She rose to fame in 1995 with the publication of her bestselling memoir The Liars' Club. She is the Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University.

Karr was born January 16, 1955, in Groves, a small town in East Texas located in the Port Arthur region, known for its oil refineries and chemical plants, to J. P. and Charlie Marie (Mo

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