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How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays
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How to Fall in Love with Anyone: A Memoir in Essays

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,211 ratings  ·  322 reviews
An insightful, charming, and absolutely fascinating memoir from the author of the popular New York Times essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” (one of the top five most popular New York Times pieces of 2015) explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.

What really makes love last? Does love ever work
...more
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  2,211 ratings  ·  322 reviews


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Nat
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, nonfiction, memoir
I let the title for this collection of essays fool me for a second there, thinking it would be some self-help junk about the magic of love and all its promises. It's far from it, actually.

“I hated this way of talking about love, but I caught myself doing it, too. The right choice, the right person, the right kind of love, the one. Was it moral rightness or narrative rightness—a good person or a good story?”

In a series of candid, vulnerable, and wise essays that takes a closer look at what it mea
...more
Laura
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let’s just make this clear up-front – this is NOT a self-help or non-fiction book, it is a memoir. I’ve seen a couple of reviews that express disappointment that this wasn’t a list of helpful tips to find love. Those books are out there; this just isn’t one of them.

Having said that, as someone who recently went through some epic heartbreak, I did find this book really useful in offering a bit of perspective and oodles and oodles of HOPE.

Mandy Len Catron shot to fame in 2015 when her essay ‘To F
...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This is an enjoyable and thoughtful book: part memoir, part essay collection. The author reflects on love through the lens of her own experiences and those of her parents and grandparents, but also discusses the subject more broadly, referencing scientific research and analyzing books, movies, and fairy tales. She writes well and candidly, digging into the complexities of relationships rather than trying to prescribe one-size-fits-all advice or hand out easy answers. It is in some ways a very pe ...more
Sarah
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really enjoyable read. I love thinking and reading about love (I've previously enjoyed On Love and The Course of Love, Alain de Botton's offerings on the topic), so this was a really thought provoking one for me. Not too scientific nor light-hearted, and I enjoyed the author's examples and writing. Recommended! ...more
Auderoy
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
FAV QUOTES:

In love, we fall.

That’s how I fell in love with him in college, when we slept belly to back, my nose tucked against his neck, when the daytime was just a placeholder for the night.

As far as I could tell, rightness and wrongness were only ever apparent in retrospect.

If I believed love was mundane, I thought, maybe I could take away some of its power.

Even if we didn’t always like each other that much, even if we forgot our promises to be kind and patient, it felt good to know someone as
...more
Harris
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
I've been doing this more lately it seems with non-fiction books; reading authors who aren't experts in a field, but draw on studies to make a point. Problem is that they make their points at random intervals through their book. The rest is just stories about what the author has gone through.

I am more interested in her idea of "how to fall in love with anyone" and not all the relationships she has had. There are some interesting studies she mentions which I will look up later. So the book is no
...more
Bri (readingknitter)
I had this book for a week and recommended it to more than 10 people before I had even finished it, which I think should be enough to convince you to add it to your To-Read list immediately! I knew about Mandy Len Catron from her 2015 viral piece in the "Modern Love" section of The New York Times. I loved the article -- I forced my friends to do the first chunk of the 36 questions with each other during the first night of a trip when they all met for the first time. While Catron's pieces for the ...more
Hind H.
I fell in love with this book. :') ...more
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
A very interesting but not quite fascinating memoir/essay collection about love, dating, and relationships. She writes about the dissolution of the college relationship she spent her twenties in, her parents' and grandmother's marriages, love stories in Western pop culture, and her newest relationship and its catalyst of 36 questions to discuss to fall in love with anyone (the original essay which was published in NY Times's Modern Love column). I appreciated that she discussed queer and poly re ...more
Aisha
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have never liked books that start with HOW TO but I opened this book out of curiosity and started reading. I found it pleasurable and surprisingly it was a memoir I enjoyed.
Love was always a question to me, a question without an answer! though, I liked love stories, maybe I watched/read such because I was trying to understand. “I thought love was supposed to be confusing and complicated but love is an ordinary thing. Love is an action. We fall in love because we choose to”.
Maybe I feared love
...more
Shannon Wise
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, read-in-2017, won
Ugh. I am so on the fence about this book. It falls into the same category for me as "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Wild". While I had my own issues with those two books (really, who can afford to disappear for an extended period of time to get their shit together?), this one was a bit different.

Mandy Len Catron writes about love in a series of essays. That is the first difference. This book isn't meant as one continuous discussion of a particular time. She bounces around to different points in her lif
...more
Clara
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let's be clear. The author doesn't, in fact, tell you how to fall in love with anyone. Remember: it's a memoir. Catron's voice quickly won me over, and I entered into her story much as I would into that of a friend, stopping occasionally as I read to nod my head or question her choices. For me, the meat of the book is in its second half, as Catron unravels the threads of the stories we buy into about what love should look like, and the ways in which we sabotage perfectly good relationships by co ...more
Sohum
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I downloaded this book, I had read Catron's essay in the New York Times; I found it, like most Modern Love essays, mildly maudlin, and I expected the book to be the same way. But the reality is that Catron's book is deeply self-conscious, and seeks to both account for and deconstruct the titular essay and its reception. That it calls itself a memoir may be a result of publishing, and of the fact that Catron relays the story of two romances in her own life over the course of these essays, bu ...more
Jamila
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't express how genuine poignant and insightful this book was. I was literally underlining and placing sticker notes, i was so invested int his book. Granted there's a few things I didn't agree with the author about, but the book being her experience and regaling her struggle struck me. There's so much that I relate to and so much that I learned. And reading this book came at such an important time in my life. ...more
Shagufta
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read the authors' Modern Love piece and this was an enjoyable exploration of the ideas that have influenced the way she understands and approaches relationships. ...more
Malcolm Everett
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, memoir

Do I Love You?
As a teenager, I was obsessed with defining love. How do you know when you’re in love? What are the different types, and how do you distinguish “real” love from infatuation or friendship? Is love real at all, or just a biochemical reaction? To what degree have books and movies created unrealistic expectations about romance?

I rarely read the Modern Love column, but I remember Catron’s essay being a social media sensation that lived up to the hype, and this book’s existence came to m
...more
Janet Hutchinson
Ironic that I read this during valentine's week......I first read the essay in the Times a while ago. And was intrigued. This is a memoir of love (her parents, her sister, her own) and how love is represented in movies and media. I love books that alternate between anecdotes and research. And this one succeeds in presenting love in all its' realities. It is, by no means, a prescriptive “To fall in love, do this” - more a series of reflections on what love is, and can be, rather than what it shou ...more
Jill
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Not what I was expecting having read the author's Modern Love piece. Not terrible but not what I was expecting and author spends too much time pushing against her own article in a strange almost defensive way. Stories about her parents and relationship with her long term boyfriend most interesting. ...more
Sahar
Apr 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting work with realistic and relatable anecdotes about love, relationships and marriage. I didn’t find the authors criticism of marriage unfounded, though I did disagree with her take that by and large, marriage is not what makes a relationship, as I personally perceive marriage as the best form of love and commitment.
Kayo
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed author being so honest about her relationships and her struggle with love. Fun book

Thanks to Netgalley and author for letting me read this book. While I received this book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
Faiaz
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
This memoir was a relatively slow read as I felt at times it lacked the flow, but I liked the sharing of author's personal experiences and dilemmas more than the added tangential commentary and research in most chapters. "Problem of deservingness " was my favourite chapter because i resonated with the commentary on what culture teaches us falsely about love. Central idea of the chapter: the loved are not always virtuous and the virtuous are not always loved, contrary to what movies portray.

Some
...more
Kara
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a memoir, not a self-help book, fyi. The title is kind of misleading. I really enjoyed this book of essays. I already know I will likely read it again in the future. Mostly listened to the audiobook, which was read by the author. I loved how she cited scientific research many times, pulling in historical and biological information about love and marriage to support her personal experiences and anecdotes. I didn't agree with everything in this book, but a great deal of it was incredibly h ...more
Maureen
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely a great memoir. Mandy Len Catron exams the way we can be loved, how we love and present it to the world. I loved reading this book. Highly recommended by me.
Basma
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't think this book was for me. ...more
Alexandra
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this is a memoir and it's beautiful and fraught with heart-wrenching slap in the face quotes and life lessons that will make you think. Loved it.


"He sits on the couch in his underwear and reads me an essay on Hamlet while I fry eggs and think how astounding it is that such a person exists and that he has chosen to love me. Some days I am silenced by the way he inhabits a T-shirt. And then I feel it again, that urge to look away for fear that he will see it in my gaze, how much I really want from
...more
Waverly Fitzgerald
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This is one of those charming books, so popular right now, where the author braids their personal life, along with reports (scientific research, psychological studies) from other other sources. Catron focuses mostly on research into relationships, including the work of John Gottman and uses a qustionnaire developed by Arthur Aron et al to develop intimacy. And like many other writers, Catron's book developed as a result of the popularity of her Modern Love essay describing the results of that ex ...more
Sara
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought I’d given up reading stuff about love.
But this is a memoir also, and really different.
I could relate to Mandy’s examples from growing up in Appalachia from my growing up in southern Virginia, even though my memories are from the 50s and 60s. It’s telling that things didn’t change that much by the 70s.
I don’t know as much as she about my mother and grandmother since they both died before I was old enough or detached enough to ask them many questions.
But I certainly know the power of the
...more
Neshat
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I believe the title is not that relevant. Not sure what I like about her essays but maybe it was, her honest explanations of what she was thinking in each moment and then taking me through her thought process. The fact that the author is living in the same city as I am and familiarity with her location or mood references were strangely soothing!
In the end, I felt like I was promised to understand a bit more than what I was offered. But overall I liked hearing her journal style stories on her ow
...more
Mehrsa
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is not at all like the essay that inspired it. Not just in format (it's a memoir/research on love), but it's also different in vision and tone. The essay seemed to be optimistic about love and the way to cultivate it (as the title reflects). Love is attainable through a simple list of questions. Not quite that simplistic but sort of. I think that's why it's so appealing. The book has a totally different thesis and message. Not quite the opposite though it is more sanguine about falling ...more
Wendy Mihell
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I really wanted to like this book but was a tad disappointed. I think I was expecting the book to have a heavier focus on the biology and psychology of love, but it truly is a memoir of the writer's own experiences. To be totally frank, I think that as a professor with expertise in the subject of love, the author is able to better market her own rather unremarkable love stories, which I think could have been really successful if there was a better balance of theory with lived experienc ...more
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When author TJ Klune was growing up, he never saw queer characters in books in a way that felt true to his experience.  “They were the...
205 likes · 14 comments
“Extraordinary love was not defined by the intensity with which you wanted someone, but by generosity and kindness and a deep sense of friendship” 11 likes
“My job was not to choose a good person to love, but rather to be good to the person I'd chosen.” 7 likes
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