Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
I picked this book up because I liked Aziz Ansari in Parks and Recreation, and enjoy his stand-up. This is different from most books by comedians, though. It’s not just a bunch of humorous essays and personal stories. Actual research went into this. Ansari (with the help of NYU sociologist Eric Klingenberg) conducted focus groups on four continents to put this book together.
The result is a combination of sociology and self-help. The book is as fun to read as a nonfiction book can be, with jokes from Ansari and a fascinating topic. A generous number of pages focus on text message etiquette and the psychological games we play with our phones. One of the main concerns of the book is the paradox of excessive choice, the way that having too many options paralyzes us from making decisions and commitments. I tended to agree with Ansari’s advice and evaluations of the current dating scene.
My main takeaway from the book was that I’m really, really, REALLY glad I got off the dating market a long time ago, and dear God I hope I never have to re-enter it. And Aziz Ansari is pretty amusing. The audiobook has him doing funny voices and unscripted asides, so it may be preferable to the book, although it has graphs and charts and funny pictures. But you’ll have to listen to Ansari calling you lazy for picking the audiobook.