Anna Sale wants you to have that conversation. You know the one. The one that you've been avoiding or putting off, maybe for years. The one that you've thought "they'll never understand" or 'do I really want to bring that up?' or 'it's not going to go well, so why even try?' Sale is the founder and host of WNYC's popular, award-winning podcast Death, Sex, & Money, or as the New York Times dubbed her, 'a therapist at happy hour.' She and her guests have direct and thought-provoking conversations, discussing topics that most of us are too squeamish, polite, or nervous to bring up. But Sale argues that we all experience these hard things, and by not talking to one another, we cut ourselves off, leading us to feel isolated and disconnected from the people who can help us most. In Let's Talk About Hard Things, Sale uses the best of what she's learned from her podcast to reveal that when we have the courage to talk about hard things, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world that we make together.
Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex, and Money, explores how we can talk about difficult situations in order to better connect with family, friends, and coworker ... Not to be mistaken for a self-help guide, Sale’s book also analyzes the structural and cultural dynamics that impede meaningful conversations. Besides listeners of her podcast, this will appeal to any adult struggling to broach these topics.
Infusing it all with memoir, Sale is generous when divulging her tricky chats of yore, and always quick to acknowledge the privilege that has allowed her—a cis, heterosexual, married, white parent—to have some difficult conversations but not others. This book is a road map to navigating these sorts of conversations with friends and family, and even includes specific phrasing to try; it also offers a sense of solidarity. Simply bearing witness to the struggles of strangers is sure to leave readers feeling less alone.
Small talk is for the birds. The conversations that help us become more enlightened, or evolved or liberated, are — rightfully — big. (Breezy chitchat about weather patterns rarely changes lives.) In Let’s Talk About Hard Things Anna Sale makes the case for just that: that there’s value in tackling the tough stuff we tend to shy away from, such as mortality, intimacy and finances ... The text is a compelling exhortation to have difficult discussions ... While the recorded episodes are fluid and seductive, like overheard, heady conversations, the book is staccato, full of exposition, transitions and summaries that can detract from the potency of the narratives. It’s a shame, as many of the stories are quite fascinating ... Format may be partially to blame ... This book may be the most useful for the supremely reticent and emotionally risk-averse among us, those who need much persuasion to utter uncomfortable truths. If you’re already at ease with vulnerability and only need an occasional nudge or recalibration, you can still benefit, but many of the assertions may strike you as obvious.