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How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong

Narrated by: Elizabeth Day
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

Non-member price: $19.75

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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by her hugely popular podcast, How To Fail, is Elizabeth Day’s brilliantly funny, painfully honest and insightful celebration of things going wrong.

This is an audiobook for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s an audiobook for everyone. 

If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.

Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It's an audiobook about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth’s own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals.

Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

©2018 Elizabeth Day (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Truthful and easy to read

The openness Elizabeth had in this book is incredibly rare. The book was about her experiences from childhood to her 40s as a woman. I highly recommend this book to others

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Great Read

Didn't know what to expect as I had never listened to her podcast, however I really enjoyed the book. Interesting read and very relatable.

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  • Natalie Start
  • 21-05-2019

The kindest book I’ve read for ages.

I loved this. It’s like someone had borrowed all my thoughts and was talking them all back to me. So familiar and so reassuring.
Thank you lovely Elizabeth Day!

5 people found this helpful

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  • SK
  • 17-04-2019

To treasure and share

This was a brilliant read/listen. Not only because there was such beautiful honesty, pathos and humour but because I felt like I’d had a night out with a loving but honest friend who wants the best for me. Respect Elizabeth Day!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Miss L Henderson
  • 24-04-2019

Elizabeth Day - a philosopher of our modern world

I love Elizabeth Day and have read all of her books to date and listened with joy to the “How Not To Fail” podcast. Elizabeth has a refreshing honesty and describes matters in a very down to earth and matter of fact way. In a world teeming with superficiality, it is refreshing to have some good old fashioned realness. She is also a brilliant writer (all of her books are brilliant) and has a genius way of describing situations in a witty and relatable way. I would highly recommend this book, and everything else Elizabeth does!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ian Primmer
  • 13-04-2019

A great read whilst you go through a breakup!

This book allowed me to grieve the loss of my greatest love so far, amazing!

4 people found this helpful

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  • dot_stockport
  • 31-07-2019

Based on partial listen - couldn't finish.

There are a lot of good reviews for this book so you may love it - but it didn't float my boat; in fact, I floated off to sleep and when I woke up and tried again I just couldn't be bothered. I couldn't be bothered to engage with a story in which a basically privileged girl doesn't fit in at school until she got to go to a school that suited her better (what most of us would have given to be able to get out of a sh*tty school situation) or slightly failed a single exam (just one? poor you) or a single driving test (but only on one tiny thing? that's practically humble bragging). I couldn't be bothered to make sense of the muddle of 'everything I (and some people who I interviewed) took away from a not great experience good or bad', and try to make sense of it. I don't see a philosophy here over and above a woolly 'learn from your mistakes'. Now, it may be that it all comes together somehow at the end - but the first hour or two didn't give me enough hope that there was any structure or any clear thinking to carry on.I am aware that the author has argued that people try to deny her her voice, I'm not I'm just saying shut up. Just saying that from my perspective there's nothing to see here.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Wood
  • 01-04-2019

Quietly wonderful

The book is as great as I’d hoped it would be from listening to the podcast. Especially lovely hearing it in the author’s own voice. Her stories of failure and how she makes meaning of them were a tonic

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2019

I want to be friends with Elizabeth Day!

A great book. And it’s okay to say miscarriage hurts. It’s private and painful. I cried and laughed. Talented beautiful writer. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-03-2019

Brave and Comforting k

Elizabeth Day is vulnerable yet funny and empathic describing the ups and downs of life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Norma McElroy
  • 29-03-2019

Loved it

Following in from Elizabeth Day’s own interview on her podcast I couldn’t wait for this book to come out. It did not disappoint. An incredibly moving and inspiring read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Lodge
  • 05-04-2019

Epic

I couldn’t stop listening to this book. So much wisdom and bravery from Elizabeth. I loved it.

4 people found this helpful