Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press (June 16, 2015)
Reading Sara Review: I might be late to the game with this book because most Ansari fans have probably already read this book. I recommended it on my Holiday Gift Guide for your single brother–but I will also recommend it to you–because it is fun for people whether or not they are in a relationship.
Ansari partnered with sociologist, Eric Klinenberg, to take a look at how romance, dating, and relationships have changed in the digital age. The change in the dating scene is something that I talk about with my friends often (even though many of us are married!). The stigma of meeting people online has drastically reduced in the past ten years but that doesn’t make it any less stressful for single people to meet each other and make a connection. I not only love my husband but am also grateful that I do not have to be a part of the dating game in this day and age, it honestly sounds exhausting.
Ansari is hilarious, which makes this book enjoyable. When I first picked it up*, I wasn’t sure how it could be so long. How long can you talk about the current dating world? Isn’t a lot of it obvious? People base their opinion of people off of text messages; people are often looking for something better than the person they are dating, and with all of the choices out there–how are people supposed to choose just one person? Luckily, Ansari keeps the reader engaged through his humor, his constant talk of food, and his insight that he gathers through focus groups across the world.
Read this if you are interested in sociology, the dating world, or Ansari himself–you won’t be disappointed. But, as a heads up, there are some parallels between his new Netflix show Master of None and this book and some of his more recent stand-up comedy. A lot of the same points are made, or similar storylines–but that did not make it less enjoyable for me. I have enjoyed watching Aziz Ansari evolve and grow up. His humor is still excellent; it has just matured as he talks about important issues (feminism, relationships, and family).
*I recommend the actual book of this one (hardcover now, or you can wait for a paperback). I have multiple friends who have listened to the audiobook (which Ansari reads himself) and said that it was funny, and he makes fun of the reader quite a bit for listening and not reading it. However, there are graphs and charts throughout that you miss out on via the audiobook. I have not personally had good luck with reading charts on my Kindle, but an iPad or another device might be better.
You can find Modern Romance here.
If you are single in this world, I hope that you like wine. I bet you need it. If you are not single, I hope that you like wine too, because wine is delicious. Ansari travels a bit for his research to LA, Wichita, New York, Argentina, Japan and France. I think that this book calls for a spicy Malbec, and not just while you are in the Argentina chapter.
I love Malbec because you can have a really great bottle for under $20, and it is still more exotic than a Cab or Merlot (to impress friends or dates with, naturally). The 2011 Tilia Malbec is a classic in my book, and I have found it for as low as $11. Whether you have this glass before a date, or with your date, it will be interesting enough to be a conversation starter.
Guest review contributed by Reading Sara. Stop by for posts on books, wine, and life, although not necessarily in that order. Sara hopes to give people the opportunity to discover new books, hear new stories, and provide a different context to stories they may have already read.