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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  9,849 ratings  ·  1,631 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 went—whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Valarie Smith To add my voice to the chorus: I didn't know anything about the author before reading this book and I absolutely adored it. …moreTo add my voice to the chorus: I didn't know anything about the author before reading this book and I absolutely adored it. (less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,849 ratings  ·  1,631 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, no
Laura Tremaine
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of my favorites of the year. Laugh out loud funny, touching, and relatable. I loved this one, was the perfect mix of humor and hope in summer 2020.
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-soft-copy
Thank you for the gifted book, Random House.

This is the perfect set of essays for your nightstand. I found the essays funny, smart, and full of heart. R. Eric Thomas is a gifted writer.
Gretchen Rubin
Once I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down. Thoughtful, funny, very compelling. ...more
Julie Ehlers
What do we have here? It's the last book I finished before we abruptly locked down in March! Although I myself read it before things in the U.S. went completely batshit, it's still one of two books I would recommend for this particular moment in history (the other is The Book of Delights). Here for It doesn't turn a blind eye to the many (many, many) things wrong with this world, but its humorous and ultimately hopeful tone is a balm for the soul. ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This book of memoir-essays seemed like a better use of my time than doom scrolling, from the writer of Eric Reads the News - most topics are light takes but enjoyable - family, gay pride, growing a voice.

He might be regretting the conclusion of "The Past Smelled Terrible," about how we will never actually have to live through an apocalypse but here's why we crave it - and he goes on to describe our actual living situation for the last 7 months! Ha. Whoops.

Here's the last quote though, still tr
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, kindle, non-fiction
This was the perfect balm for my soul during this wretched pandemic. I laughed so hard in multiple places that my laughter woke my husband, made him let me read to him the passage that made me laugh so hard, and then got him laughing so hard that he couldn't go right back to sleep. Other parts were so sweet or heartfelt or deeply moving that I teared up.

I needed this. I would feel this way even if the world were not in crisis, but it felt especially great in this moment. R. Eric Thomas is a nat
Taylor Noel
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teamprh
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. ...more
Traci Thomas
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this book and thought it was a solid collection. I liked the author and tone. Overall the book is good but some essays are excellent and some are just ok. The balance/consistency wasn’t there for me. I will for sure read more from R. Eric Thomas.
Basic B's Guide
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I may be on a bit of a memoir binge and I’m not mad about it. I have to admit that the cover of this book is what initially drew me in. Cover snob alert! Who doesn’t love a pink cover with confetti?! I’m 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 Thomas’s life growing up. I love his approach to ...more
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not always this format's biggest fan. Funny online personality turns in a collection of essays for a debut novel, the publisher hoping for some of that online recognition turning into book sales. Exhibit A: a columnist for Elle.com who's day job originated with a presidential thirst tweet citing a photo of Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto as “Tom Ford presents The Avengers."

Still, Here For It and subscribed to the newsletter. Seriously, R. Eric Thomas has a newsletter I've
Krista Regester
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think R. Eric Thomas is hilarious, although I strongly relate to his satanic ex boyfriend.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, favorites, essays
Objectively, is this a five-star book? Probably not. Did I love it five stars, was it “amazing” as per the Goodreads rating system? Definitely. I didn’t actually know R. Eric Thomas before reading this and now I feel like not only do I know him, but I want to be the kind of friends with him that are able to discuss our disdain for time travel solely based on how bad the past smells. What a joy to find someone who shares this disgust with me, I can’t even tell you. This was such a delight and a b ...more
Hannah Keating
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious (I laughed out loud!). It’s poignant (I cried!). Really just an overall delight. I read this during the COVID pandemic and it felt like a balm to my weary heart. Plus, it has a pink cover with confetti. Gosh I love this book.
Jan Agaton
Jun 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
highly recommend the audiobook! i love this guy's sense of humor so much. it touches upon a lot of topics involving being Black, gay, and religious in america. it brought me to tears a couple times & made me laugh out loud uncontrollably many more times all throughout the memoir. this was my first 5 star read in MONTHS, and I'm so happy I decided to pick it up. ...more
Kate Olson
(free review copy)
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-authored, lgbt
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
Kaylee Gwyn (literarypengwyns)

Have you ever had A DAY and then needed a friend to come along, cry with you, hug you, make you feel inspired but not fill you with false ideas, and then dance off into the sunset with you? Well...consider this book and @oureric THAT. FRIEND.

Here For It is Eric’s memoir and a bind up of essays, but also so much more than that! It’s a piece of soul that we all can relate to. It’s the idea of what we and our country can be. It’s all of our hopes and fears and struggles and then hopes a
Jenna Hager
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am thrilled to announce “Here For It” by R. Eric Thomas as our second Read With Jenna pick for the month of August!

This summer has been a historic time involving race relations in America and books are one of the best ways to inspire important conversations. I choose this book in collaboration with Noelle Santos, founder and owner of the Lit Bar, the only independent bookstore in The Bronx, New York.

Thomas’ memoir of essays is hilarious and heartbreaking. It discusses his life, identity an
Rachael Pawlak
There were a few laugh out loud moments, but as I was reading I kept thinking, what am I supposed to get out of this? There were really no aha moments, rather just felt like I was reading his inner ramblings. I did like the essay about him bringing his boyfriends home to meet his family. But I had to skim through the religious centered essays...
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Alternatively sobering and laugh out loud hilarious, I LOVED THIS BOOK! Read it!
Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)
SERIOUSLY. So much fun.

I feel guilty saying how fun this was for me to read when in all honestly it had some pretty serious heartbreaking moments and revelations. But R. Eric Thomas had me in stitches so much of the narration that I just enjoyed it so much!

I didn't even know who he was prior to this book. He's such a gifted and talented story teller that literally has you peeing your pants with laughter one minute, then in tears as he relays some heavy and challenging times in his childhood, and
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good!! I listened to the audiobook. Thomas is a wonderful narrator. While I'm confident that "Here for It" is also a great book to read with one's eyes, Thomas brings so much life, feeling, and humor to his reading, making me glad I listened to the audiobook.

Thomas's storytelling and reflections charming, funny, and poignant.

The last chapter transported me to a time when love and community were abundant, and it was like a balm for my soul. (Nine months into COVID and counting!)

If you haven't
Nancy Kho
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A treasure, the kind of book I’ll recommend to everyone but lend to no one because I’ll 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.
Laura • lauralovestoread
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been on the nonfiction/memoir kick and loving it! Here For It was so good, and it was just the perfect read I needed in this challenging year. Perfect to read right now, and it definitely brought the humor.

I really loved the way that author Thomas handled life, and gave it a laugh right back.

*thank you Ballantine + Netgalley for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very funny and warm collection. EXACTLY what I needed right now to cheer up. This is the sort of book that makes you wish you were friends with the author.
chantel nouseforaname
2.5 rounded up! R. Eric Thomas is giving me male Samantha Irby. It was good, she does it better! Here for it was funny at times, cringe at times, sus at times. Enjoyable tho!
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is everything.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this memoir in essays and being in R. Eric Thomas' company was a complete joy. Heartfelt, funny, and utterly charming, I can't recommend this one enough. Plus, he's a fellow Baltimorean, which only added to my enjoyment! ...more
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R. Eric Thomas is a national bestselling author, playwright, and screenwriter. His books include, Here for It, or How to Save Your Soul in America, which was featured as a Read with Jenna pick on NBC's Today, Reclaiming Her Time: The Power of Maxine Waters, co-authored with Helena Andrews-Dyer, and the YA novel Kings of B'more. For four years, he wrote “Eric Reads the News” a wildly popular daily ...more

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