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The Authenticity Project

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  27,849 ratings  ·  4,160 reviews
"A story about a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love--think Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine meets Love, Actually.

"Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?" This is the question that Julian Jessop, an eccentric, seventy-nine-year-old artist, poses within a pale
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Pamela Dorman Books
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  27,849 ratings  ·  4,160 reviews

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This was the absolutely perfect, feel good, uplifting story that I needed. Clare Pooley poured her heart and wisdom into this exceptionally delightful story. I know I am gushing, but this is just one of those books you want to shout from the rooftops about, it really was that good. Julian is a lonely 79-year-old who realizes he has made some mistakes in his life. So he decides to confess his truth in a green composition notebook with the words “The Authenticity Project“ on the
Katie B
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This was a breath of fresh air. A unique premise and some characters that you couldn't help but root for. The only real criticism I have is I thought the second half wasn't quite as good as the first half of the book. In my opinion there were a core group of characters and there were a few that didn't seem completely necessary. However, the story bounces back and does have some interesting things happen in the end.

So The Authenticity Project, what is it? Well, Julian is an elderly man w
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Put down your phones, quit sitting in front of your computer screens, get out of your house, and enjoy the faces and company around you...The Authenticity Project has a very YOLO ('you only live once') vibe. It's a very sweet, cutesy, if somewhat implausible, story told from multiple perspectives.

Julian, the man who started it all, is, to me, the
Irena BookDustMagic
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
The Authenticity Project had an interesting premise, but I sadly didn't like the novel.

I read it together with two of my friends, Amanda and Monika, a even though not either of us ended up liking it, we still enjoyed our conversations a jokes, so for that reason, I am very glad we read it.

Characters in the story were all very hard to connect with. The only one who I truly understood was Alice, as I feel like we live very similar loves, only without alcohol or trips to Paris on my part (and follo
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
3.5 rounded up!

A green notebook, entitled “The Authenticity Project” is left at Monica’s cafe for someone to find..

Inside, a few paragraphs, written by Julian Jessore, age 79, an artist…🎨

“Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead? The one thing that defines you, makes everything else about you fall into place? Not, on the internet, but with those real people around you?
Perhaps nothing. Or, maybe telling that story would change your life, or the life of
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ew
3.25 stars

I thought I needed a light read after reading a few intense novels, but The Authenticity Project, while enjoyable, was a bit too light. The concept was clever. 75 year old Julian, a lonely aging artist, writes about his loneliness in a notebook titled The Authenticity Project which he then leaves in Monica’s cafe. Monica then writes about her desperation for a family, and then passes the notebook on to another stranger. Slowly, all these strangers become connected, and the reader reali
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing


I'm speechless. This book is a beautiful reminder that you have only one life, and to live it plainly. That whatever happens, you need to choose yourself first. Don't live a lie, and don't lie to yourself either. If you're lonely, get out of your comfort zone, and go meet new people. If you're sad, find the reason why and try to change the situation to be happy. Try not to judge so quickly everyone: nothing is what is seems. You are not perfect: why does anyone have to be?

This book wil
Carolyn McBride
Jan 14, 2020 rated it did not like it

I don't have many books that I couldn't finish, but there have been a few. This one now rests among their number.
Halfway through the book, I could no longer force myself to wade through page after page of sad people stuck in torturous, pointless lives. Perhaps this was uplifting for some, but not me.
There are too many other books out there that move me to force myself to read something I don't enjoy.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. My apologies to the author.
Larry H
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Looking for a feel-good read? The Clare Pooley's The Authenticity Project may be for you.

Julian Jessop was once an artist of some acclaim. But nearing his 80th birthday and still mourning the loss of his wife, he barely talks to or sees anyone for days at a time.

The more he thinks about it, the more he realizes how little people really know one another anymore. So one day he begins The Authenticity Project—he writes truths about himself in a green notebook and leaves it in his loca
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was an adorable book that kept me smiling throughout. It really reminded me of the impact we can have on those around us and how kindness always wins.

I really enjoyed the artistic elements of painting, clothing descriptions and music references. I truly could imagine Julian in my mind in outrageous outfits!

I loved that the book mainly centers around a cozy coffee shop that serves as a meeting place for the community of friends that is made.

I typically don’t love multiple viewpoints but the
Susan's Reviews
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
4 Green Notebook Stars

This one has a quirky set of characters that somehow come together for new friendship, love, and happiness in London. One of the main characters is Monica. She’s finally gone out on her own to open Monica’s Café, but she’s struggling to keep the doors open and the money flowing. One day a mysterious green notebook is left behind in her café and the journey begins!

The notebook contains a story – an authentic story – of one person who admits he’s very lonely – Julian, an arti
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book was absolutely charming. Each character has their story to tell and their own authentic selves to share which they do through a notebook. Each time a story is told the notebook is then left for someone else to find and because people are essentially good, each new person feels like they should help the person before. This results in a chain of good deeds that brings them together and changes their lives. Each new writer propels the plot forward as they read the previous stories and tak ...more
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
I loved how realistic and raw this story is. Each character has their own imperfections and they are each relatable in their own way, no matter the age difference.

Not only does this story show the reality of humanity, it shows the ripple effect that each person can have on each other. Actions can have a larger impact than what anyone may expect.

With that ripple effect, I loved how this novel interwove and connected each character and their story to each other.

It was a meaningful story of huma
To read my entire review of this novel visit:

This story affirms how we all think that the grass is greener – that everyone else’s lives are better than our own – and how very misleading appearances can be. Also, how, by telling the bald truth, several disparate and flawed characters come together in friendship. A ‘feel-good’ read that confirms that happiness is possible but it sometimes requires more effort than a lot of people are willing to expend. Or s
Tara Weiss
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dear Hollywood: I think this one would make a great movie, so get on that please!

1. Amazingly crafted, colorful, relatable characters with of-the-moment problems.
2. Cinematic filming locations with strong visuals: London, Thailand, maybe a bit of Australia
3. Romance, love, longing . . . relationships of all kinds!
4. A strong message about what it means to be real; this is a message WE NEED TO HEAR.
5. Full spectrum of human emotion from multigenerational points of view
6. Offers insight into the
The Authenticity Project is yet another book I’ve read of late which had a great premise but fell down when it came to the actual delivery.

The ‘project’ is actually just a notebook into which 79 year-old Julian, a flamboyant artist who was part of the ‘it’ crowd in his day, writes admissions of being a lonely old man since his wife, whom he underappreciated completely, died. After writing his ‘authentic’ story in the book, he leaves it lying around for someone to pick up and read. The idea is fo
Dale Harcombe
Two and a half stars.
I was quite looking forward to this book, even though I had read something along similar lines recently. The story starts with Monica, a café owner, finding a small green note book titled The Authenticity Project with the date. Inside are a few paragraphs asking, ’How well do you know the people who live near you? How well do they know you?’ And challenging people to share the truth about themselves. So it all sounded interesting. After reading the entry from Julian, Monica
Apr 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Oh man. This book was supposed to be really amazing and life affirming. I can’t help but feel a bit tricked. Both characters and storyline were shallow and flimsy. Oh and the characters hahah
Julian: a has-been artist with crap fashion sense, a habit of lying, and a heart of gold!
Monica: a desperate and uptight cafe owner with a heart of gold!
Riley: an absurdly named grown man *from exotic Australia* with childlike sensibilities and a heart of gold!
Hazard: an even more absurdly named man who’s
Andy Marr
An interesting premise, but the book was spoiled by endless repetition, poor writing and cheesy dialogue. There was also a lot of telling rather than showing and, more annoying, showing followed immediately by telling, as though Pooley didn't quite trust her readers to understand her novel's fairly simple plot. Add to that a contrived final few chapters, and what we have is a pretty disappointing mess. ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)

Okay Mike, this one's for you.  Hauled my fat butt up to the computer just to find you a couple of gifs ; )

Before I even begin, let me acknowledge there's a good chance I'm breaking the rules when it comes to the 2021 Reading Challenge already.  Not only do I only "challenge" myself to complete one book (which, I highly recommend to everyone - especially those who will continually post how much of a first world problem they are having meeting their overzealous number continually throughout t
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would LOVE to leave a notebook in one of the local coffee shops I have frequented and allow people to write their "truths" in it, but where I live (or probably in most places) I'm afraid the notebook would either be stolen (maybe that person's truth would be that they are a clepto) or people would write varying obscenities it in ("For a good time, call 555-1234"). But in a perfect world, an authenticity project notebook would be absolutely fascinating!
"The Authenticity Project" is so wonderfu
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In today's society of social media, how honest are we in the images we project? What would happen if we were authentic about our lives and allowed others to know the real person behind the posts? This is the premise of this wonderfully delightful novel.
Julian Jessop, once a noted artist, is now a lonely elderly man clinging to the past. He wonders, what if we were honest about ourselves with others? When he decides to journal this in a notebook he labels "The Authenticity Project" and leaves it
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
I had reverse metamorphosed from a butterfly into a caterpillar.

I couldn’t put The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley down this weekend. I was completely drawn to the idea of strangers meeting, and becoming friends, via a notebook. It was such an interesting concept and I loved reading the author’s take on it. I will admit, I was slightly worried this would be a bit saccharine based on the synopsis, but I still wanted to give the novel a chance. As the book gets rolling, I was still unsure
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolute gem. Uplifting, real and totally relatable. The book is told from multiple perspectives but don't let that put you off as it works amazingly well in this book.

The whole premise of this book is that we rarely share the truth about our life closest to us. "How well do you know your neighbours and how well do they know you"?

The book is thought provoking and I often caught myself thinkin about the things in my life that I have never shared with anyone, and despite this book I w
Stephanie Anze
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
"Everyone lies aboout their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead? The one thing, that defines you, that makes everything else about you fall into place? Not on the internet, but with those people around you?"

Julian is artist that formerly enjoyed success. Now, almost eighty, he feels quite lonely. Wanting to establish real connections, he starts The Authenticity Project. In a green journal, with the aforementioned name, Julian writes his story, the version that he has not rev
Laura • lauralovestoread
One of my faves for 2020

Wow. The Authenticity Project is everything right in this challenging world right now. It gave me hope in humanity, and I loved it so so much, and can’t even put into words just how much I loved it to do it justice in this review.

I loved the writing and the colorful characters that Clare Pooley created, and the many layers to the story. I love this idea of sharing your soul, with all the flaws and baring your true self that you rarely put out on display. It was such an up
Christine Moore
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Let me start by saying I loved this book and its incredible characters!!! I read this book very fast because I needed to know what would happen with everyone. Julian is an older lonely man who takes a green notebook and writes down his truth. He calls it The Authenticity Project. He leaves the notebook in Monica's cafe. She reads Julian's truth and adds her own. As the notebook travels and new characters are added and you read their truths , you realize how much truth you keep from yourself and ...more
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up
Solidly good read, endearing characters that I couldn't help but root for positive outcomes. I felt like a couple of them had unfinished arcs, but overall I liked the way most of their stories concluded. I think readers will find characters they will identify with, because there's a wide variety of problems and concerns they are facing. I liked the themes of authenticity and how we even have to learn how to be authentic with ourselves.
Sweet book and worth reading.

I voluntaril
Melanie’s reads
Oh how I loved this beautiful book and every word contained on the pages within. It’s a story that is tender at heart but that covers serious subjects including addiction, loneliness and post natal depression. You would think with such hard hitting stuff it would be depressing but it’s the complete opposite. It’s an absolute bloody joy with humour that will have you snorting your cuppa out of your nose (you have been warned).

You will fall in love with the characters and that will be all of them
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Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising.

When Clare realised that she was drinking way too much, she quit, and started a blog called Mummy was a Secret Drinker, which became a memoir - The Sober Diaries.

The Authenticity Project, Clare’s first novel, was inspired by her experience of telling the truth about her life.

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“Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack in everything That’s how the light gets in. —LEONARD COHEN” 6 likes
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