"Modern Romance" by Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg

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Title: Modern Romance
Author: Aziz Ansari & Eric Klinenberg
Start Date: 1/2/17
End Date: 1/11/17
# of Pages: 288
Edition: Penguin Press 1st edition hardcover (2015)
ISBN: 9781594206276
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: sadly insightful

Source: NPR Segment

Why I Chose It: I enjoyed the show Parks & Recreation, in which Aziz Ansari played the role of Tom Haverford. I was interested in the idea that Ansari would attempt a "serious" book, not to mention one which tries to describe the state of relationships, love, and romance in the 21st century.

Quotes: (1) "The madness I was descending into wouldn't have even existed twenty or even ten years ago." (2) "That's the thing about the internet: It doesn't simply help us find the best thing out there; it has helped to produce the idea that there is a best thing, and, if we search hard enough, we can find it. And in turn there are a whole bunch of inferior things that we'd be foolish to choose." (3) "The world is available to us, but that may be the problem." (4) "Initially, we are attracted to people by their physical appearance and traits we can quickly recognize. But the things that really make us fall for someone are their deeper, more unique qualities, and usually those only come out during sustained interactions." (5) "Don't think of online dating as dating - think of it as an online introduction service." (6) "With so many romantic options, instead of trying to explore them all, make sure you properly invest in people and give them a fair chance before moving onto the next one... Also, have faith in people. A person may seem just okay, but if you really invest time in the relationship, maybe they'll be greater than you assume." (7) "For me the takeaway of these stories is that, no matter how many options we seem to have on our screens, we should be careful not to lose track of the human beings behind them. We are better off spending quality time getting to know actual people than spending hours with our devices, seeing who else is out there."

Other NotesAs stand up comedy veers more explicit compared to a television sitcom, there is plenty of course language and material. However, it seems that Ansari recognizes some trends which support many of the things I've noticed myself, and much of it is interesting, albeit sobering. I can't (and won't) comment on the accuracy of all the observations, or the validity of conclusions drawn, but some topics (like texting) were genuinely funny, probably because they were very true.

BooksKarl Magnuson