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Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  125 reviews
From the creator of Elle 's "Eric Reads the News," a poignant and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding his joy, and every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.

R. Eric Thomas didn't know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he wentwhether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his
...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  544 ratings  ·  125 reviews


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Victoria Schwab
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely delightful.
Jessica Woodbury
3.5 stars. Before I do my review review, let me just state for the record that I am a long time fan of R. Eric, he is an absolute delight, a true treasure, and he must be protected at all costs. He is one of the wittiest, funniest people writing today and I am always happy to hear from him. So reading this was pretty much a no brainer.

As for my review review, this is an essay collection so I feel like you can almost insert the obligatory essay collection review: the good ones are really good,
...more
Taylor Noel
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joyful, deeply felt, and intensely funny, this is a book for everyone who has ever struggled with marginalization, self-acceptance, or just the nagging sense of being at odds with the world. Eric's writing is alternatingly laugh-out-loud funny and deeply introspective. Loved every word and highly recommend.
mindful.librarian ☀️
(free review copy)
Basic B's Guide
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I may be on a bit of a memoir binge and Im not mad about it. I have to admit that the cover of this book is what initially drew me in. Cover snob alert! Who doesnt love a pink cover with confetti?! Im happy to say that I was quite pleased what lay beneath the pretty cover. I went in completely blind to what it was about but ready to dive into something that was being called funny and thoughtful. Indeed, I laughed and cried reading about R. Eric Thomass life growing up. I love his approach to ...more
Truce
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not to heap so much on a single book, but this memoir/collection of essays helped me through a rough time, saved my life, and cleared my skin. This was hilarious and hopeful from the very first page and it was everything I needed to read in this already exhausting election year.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Erik
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, poc-authored
A thoughtful, though at times disjointed, collection of essays following the trajectory of his own life, "Here For It" is R. Eric Thomas' take on life in the United States as a black, gay, Christian man.

This memoir tells the life story of its author through snippets of thoughtful engagement with history, politics, and pop culture. From stories about growing up black in Baltimore, gay in New York, and black and gay in Philly, each essay is a little bite of a broader conversation about the ways in
...more
Dominic
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfic
I'm totally here for *Here for It (Or, How to Save Your Soul in America)*! Hitting streets this week (2.18.2020), this collection of essays is honest & funny & unflinchingly hopeful at a time of almost continual bleakness in our country.

R. Eric Thomas gives us an antidote to that boiling desire to just give the hell up already. And he *does* make me not want to give up. Partly because there is plenty of struggle in these pages. Partly because his references to pop culture throughout the
...more
Nancy Kho
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A treasure, the kind of book Ill recommend to everyone but lend to no one because Ill be rereading it for years to come. An uproariously funny, tender, and hopeful look at how, despite internal and external resistance, we can create a more positive, intersectional future for ourselves and the people we love. ...more
🌈⭐️RoseOfRainbows⭐️🌈💕
Absolutely inspiring and utterly heartwarming. Im in awe of the talents of this author. 5/5 stars for one of the best books Ive read this year. ...more
Susie Dumond
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
R. Eric Thomas is a funny person on the internet. Now, he's a funny person you can get to know better through his memoir. This book opens with a hilarious, philosophical essay on Sesame Street and ends with a bizarre, poignant short play where Thomas meets past and former versions of himself over lobster tails at a cruise ship buffet. And between, you get so much more, including the time Thomas accidentally became a famous racist, what it feels like to kiss a gay pastor at pride, and how a funny ...more
Violeta
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Warm, thought-provoking, funny, resounding, and (it bears repeating) hopeful, Here For It is one of my favorite recent reads.

R. Eric Thomas writing models how we can simultaneously despair at and love the world we live in; how we can use our experiences and voices to bring light to the darkness; how we can reconcile riot and celebration in our society and in ourselves...and how we can keep going. I really appreciated this book in this moment.

Also, though this is a personal essay collection and
...more
Amy
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Here For It by R. Eric Thomas was exactly what I needed right now. I have always loved humor writing but had wandered away from it for some time. Thomas reminded me why I love it so much with his approach to making the terrible twist into something comical. He has a way of turning everything from politics to his love-life and everything in between from horrible to hilarious all while keeping the heart in each story. I found myself cringing at his all-to-relatable awkward adventures while also ...more
Annie
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-counts-too
Awhile back a friend told me about R. Eric Thomas and Eric reads the News from ELLE Magazine (US). I always love it when he turns up in my Facebook feed or email. He's a Hoot and a Half. Of course I was Here For It when he wrote a book. Audio was definitely the way to go. Listening to him talk about Family, Faith, Love, Beyonce, Whitney, and How History Smells Bad was so fun. 🤣
Sarah
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
4/5⭐- I loved it! I had no clue who R. Eric Thomas was before reading this book, and because of that, it felt like I was meeting a new friend and hearing his life story. It was hilarious while also being incredibly tender in places. The audio was great! ...more
Natalie
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Any book that makes casual reference to the Splat! episode of Sex and the City where Kristen Johnston as Lexi Featherston falls out the window at a party is a book made for me. But seriously, R. Eric Thomas is a delight. He is very candid and very hilarious. I really enjoyed his chapters on his faith and marrying his husband, a minister, and his discussion of his faith.
Susan Fair
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Here for It is super funny. It's also clever and really well written. Definitely recommend.
Jessika
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

R. Eric Thomas has an exuberant voice that is bombastic and enthusiastic. So much personality, but without much direction to this book, it began to wear. I suggest reading this a few essays at a time rather than trying to power through--you'll enjoy it much more.
Melinda
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I only knew the author from his funny Elle essays (which I love) so I was taken aback by how emotional and poignant some of the pieces in this book turned out to be. I really enjoyed this.
Shannon Meacham
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I've spent the last few days listening to R. Eric Thomas's book #HereforIt. And it is not only completely delightful, hilarious, and well written, all of which I'm here for, but I have now decided that Eric will accompany me everywhere.

Like Jiminy Cricket he is now the voice of my conscience. I have full conversations with a tiny Eric angel and a tiny Eric devil now in my head, which used to be crowded with others, but now there is only one!

All the other, especially evil voices- BE GONE! My
...more
caitlin
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss.

Much like his enjoyable columns and hilarious Twitter account, this collection of essays will have you chuckling and laughing along with Thomas. My one complaint was I thought the essays would be more sequential so at times I felt like I needed a guide to know what part of his life he was writing about. Otherwise he is a wonderful, funny voice that can challenge David Sedaris for engaging essays.
Emilie
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a delight! Hilarious, hopeful, and moving... exactly what we all need right now.
Kristie
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC for an honest review.

Synopsis:
From the creator of Elle 's "Eric Reads the News," a poignant and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding his joy, and every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.

R. Eric Thomas didn't know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he wentwhether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big cityhe found himself
...more
Brynn
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books2020
"But the thing about success is that it doesn't seem like a natural result of unsuccessfulness. It feels like success comes despite a lack of success." (9)

"If this was a parable, I guess the lesson would be that life isn't fair but if you complain sometimes you get free things. Useful." (15)

"Is the point that some part of the past will always sound horrific as a price for living in a presumably better future?" (26)

"You're so rich you've started to inconvenience yourself. Look at your life." (31)
...more
Laura
I absolutely loved this warm, funny, not-too-serious but still smart and thoughtful collection of essays. I actually found it somewhat unique as far as essay collections go--it's not at all straight-up humor, and it's definitely not straight-up analysis/cultural critique. It's not academic at all, and though it's mostly personal, its scope is broader than just here's-what-happened-to-me essays. Essentially, it falls somewhere in the middle of all of that, and is just so well done. Thomas is ...more
Kayla Mckinney
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
In "Here for it," R. Eric Thomas chronicles his journey into writing for the internet and finding an authentic voice. Alongside this, he also takes the reader on a tour of how success works, what to do when the American dream seems to fail (make jokes, the dangers of the suburbs, crushes, legacy, family, restaurant work, Krampus, Easter egg hunting, and the dream of what American can be -- and he makes you laugh through just about every minute of it.

I often respect authors and love to learn
...more
Erin
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this copy in a Goodreads giveaway.

I read R. Eric Thomas' Elle.com newsletter every week. It has been a bright spot in my Monday mornings for well over a year. I don't think I've ever read a column that didn't at least make me chuckle, and sometimes there is a bittersweet edge to his observations that never overwhelm the humor, because it is a comic newsletter after all.

But the bittersweet takes a lot of moments in this book, and I loved it. The only criticism I have of this book is that I
...more
Matthew
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disclosure: I received a free early unproofed copy in a Goodreads giveaway.

There is an old joke in computer programming that the hardest part of any project is naming things. Likewise, the challenge of titling a book seems well beyond my abilities. I was continuously surprised at the text of Here for It, not because I didn't know the writer's styleR. Eric Thomas is a witty writer who fills his writing with hilarious asides and pop culture references or because it wasn't goodthe essays within
...more
Sarah M
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

R. Eric Thomas is black, gay, and Christian. The essays that comprise this book focus largely on the ways that he's struggled with these aspects of his identity and eventually reached something slightly closer to inner-peace.

I read this book on Lin Manuel-Miranda's recommendation (I'll do anything he tells me to), and I wanted to like it more than I did. Thomas's writing has style and his (sassy, self-deprecating) voice comes through very strongly. His journey to self-acceptance is
...more
Bonnie McDaniel
I've never read any of R. Eric Thomas' work before, but this combination memoir/essay collection is both touching and laugh-out-loud funny, usually on the same page. Thomas writes about being a gay black man in America with a sly deadpan wit that makes you laugh and makes you think, and that's a winning combination no matter how you look at it. The final essay, the story of his marriage to his husband David Norse, is emotional and poignant, and "Molly, Urine Danger Girl," the tale of a teenage ...more
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“When the fact of your being is used as a weapon against you, the process of relearning who you are and what your value is, is a long one.” 0 likes
“Every moment from then on, I was an Other. The thing is, I felt it, but I didn’t realize it. Other felt like a funhouse narrative; it felt like doing something wrong. Or worse, being something wrong. So I ignored it for as long as I could, creating certainty where I could. And when that didn’t work, I anxiously awaited a spoiler to burst through time and let me know if this whole thing was going to end badly.” 0 likes
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