How to Fail: Everything I’ve learned from things going wrong by Elizabeth Day.


Review by Rutendo Makubika

“If I have learnt 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 alright. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis”

Elizabeth Day.

How to fail is described as part memoir, part manifesto. A book about learning from our mistakes and not letting fear control you. Day takes the reader through her life from her formative school years to the present and shares many personal stories that demonstrate how failure is not to be feared. In fact, mistakes can make us stronger and better, even though we might not realise it at the time. With chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, the book is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. Day discusses the struggles and setbacks that she has faced in her own life and provides a voice for women when it comes to gender inequality and fertility issues. It proves to be insightful and reflects on society past and present while retaining its personal touch.

For me, this book was life changing with Day voicing many of my own thoughts. While I may not have identified 100% with every aspect of her life, I learnt something from each chapter. Have you recognized yourself in a book or has a book helped you in a similar way? With such a brilliant message, I highly recommend this book.

I have been an avid reader since my teens when I was introduced to my first classic book, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. That was the start of my love affair with books. I am always on the lookout for new reads so bring on your recommendations if you have any. Happy Reading!

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