- Title: How Did I Get Here?: Making Peace with the Road Not Taken
- Author: Jesse Browner
- ISBN: 9780062275691
- Page: 464
- Format: Hardcover
A literary exploration that asks seeks to answer the question Have I lived the life I intended Jesse Browner, a novelist with a full time job at the United Nations, has written a book reminiscent of the Talking Heads classic song Once in a Lifetime Based on an essay he wrote for Poets and Writers Magazine, Browner asks hard questions about life choices, about the tendeA literary exploration that asks seeks to answer the question Have I lived the life I intended Jesse Browner, a novelist with a full time job at the United Nations, has written a book reminiscent of the Talking Heads classic song Once in a Lifetime Based on an essay he wrote for Poets and Writers Magazine, Browner asks hard questions about life choices, about the tendency to believe there is a parallel life that might have been fulfilling or free He wonders Is the true artist made by single minded devotion to his craft Do we compromise our dreams in service to responsibilities to family and jobs These questions prompted Browner to take a hard look at himself and the evolution that brought him to this moment of existential doubt In How Did I Get Here he divides his adult life into five distinct phases ambition, love, work, fulfillment, and serenity Sketching portraits of himself at every stage, he looks for idiosyncrasies, commonalities, and clues signposts that lead him to today He also draws on the lives of others, from Franz Kafka to his sister to indie rocker Elliott Smith, in search of understanding What he finds in his courageous quest is bravely honest and inspiring, touching on what it means to live a life with intention and meaning.
Recent Comments "How Did I Get Here?: Making Peace with the Road Not Taken"
I would call it more of an essay than a self-help book. While, the author, Jesse Browner, seems like a very decent person, I thought the book focused too much on his life and his problems; he did not make his problems universal.The book was more a mid-life reflection than about the road not taken. To me the road not taken refers to things we could actually had differently done. What would have happened if I had accepted that job that I turned down? What would life have been in that house we coul [...]
Jesse Browner's a great writer. He does a wonderful job of explaining his thought processes and his emotions -- he is able to articulate things that seem beyond words somehow. In this book, he works through a sort-of midlife crisis: what if he had never taken his stable job, if he had instead continued to pursue a career as a professional writer to the exclusion of everything else? He draws in examples of other writers & artists, he discusses the historical examples of Parisian bohemians of [...]
Lessons from a UN civil servant/published novelist. A haunting book, this is the other side of the carpe diem tale. Browner goes on a rant at times, but he understands the real reason we read memoirs - not (only) curiosity about how others live, but to compare their life trajectories to our own and glean insight on what to do with the rest of our days.
*** for concept** for executionWorth another re-read.
Jesse Browner asks himself a question that many of us have asked: “Have I lived the life I intended?”Here’s a spoiler if you haven’t figured it out yet- probably not, but you can make the best of where you’re at any darn time you please. He’s a writer wondering if he could divert all of his efforts into writing the book of a lifetime and whether or not it will pay off for him, emotionally, spiritually, and so on. This book is his own questioning, his own exploration, on a journey tha [...]
For me, the best parts of this book were the sections in which Jesse talks about the creative process and the imagined parallel lives that artists often believe they should be living. I think that--all too often--it's easy for artists to fall into despair that their creative work isn't achieving the heights that they imagined. But Jesse's reflections helped to guide me to an understanding that we need to see the creative process in a more realistic light--that it's not healthy to allow our art t [...]
Full disclosure: I did not read all of this book. In the first pages I found myself less and less curious about the author, who was relating his own experiences. Then I jumped to a rambling chapter about his sister, whose road was equal to a path of following her self-centered lover. I couldn't finish the chapter which was laced with psychoanalytic theorizing. Not recommended.
An interesting book - I can't think of any I've read that were quite like this one. I found that there was a sentence or two every chapter that really resonated with me. Those made me think that the author had gotten it exactly right. I didn't really follow all the references to literature and authors - I think I might have enjoyed the book more if I had
The most helpful parts of this book were when the author referred to the artist within us and all of thoughts we go throughis book validated some of those for me. Being someone with a "real" job, but wishing I had more time to be an artist, I've been able to make peace with the road I traveled.
The grass is always greener on the other side. Until you get there. Lots of quotes about life from other famous authors. Not really much in the way of answering the title question unless the answer is that we all follow the path laid out for us and end up exactly where we're supposed to be.FTC stuff; I received this book through a , Firstreads contest.
Not bad, a little unfocused at times. Kind of like 5 essays on the same thing, of varying quality. Liked the Elliott Smith and Kafka stuff, as well as the stuff about the egotism of the traveling poet.
Smart and interesting writer, but I am still trying to decide what it adds up to.
Uncorrected proofI was hoping for a universal "self help" look at wondering what could have been. Instead this book is very self centered. I was not able to relate to the author or his problems.
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