Friday, April 15, 2016
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Modern Romance is the newest title to appear on my list. In fact, it's been less than a year since I read it, and out of the 103 books I read in 2015, this was my favorite!
I adore Aziz from Park & Rec and his stand up specials, so I was excited to hear he had a book coming out and suspected I would like it a great deal. And while this book is chock full of his personality and humor, sociologist Eric Klinenberg contributed a great deal as well. It's part humor, part social science study and the result is a one of a kind book that went straight to my heart.
This book spoke to me because it looks at love and romance in an entirely different way than anyone else has. Sure it's hilarious at times, but it's real. Aziz explains this as he tells how this concept came to be: After an unsatisfying text message exchange with a woman he was interested in, Aziz went to an open mike night and did a comedy bit about what had happened to him. He was struck by how many audience members had similar experiences and realized no one was talking about these issues publicly. So he started on a journey to write a book about what the dating world is like right now compared to what it's been in the past, thanks to the advancements of technology that affect every part of our lives.
When Aziz did a comedy show, Eric would come out afterward and they would invite people to share their stories and answer questions. Participants gave Aziz and Eric access to their phones, text messages and dating profiles so they could better understand habits. They also interviewed people from multiple generations to get an idea of how dating has changed over the decades. It gives a look into the minds and hearts of people as they attempt to navigate the dating world and figure out what they're truly looking for. It's fascinating stuff.
I was married at 24 and divorced a few years later. Dating at 30 was much different than dating in my early 20s. That change is a big deal on its own. Add in text messaging and Match.com and I felt like I had entered a foreign culture. Which, I guess I had.
If you're a human being with a heart, you'll like this book. If dating was ever a struggle for you, you'll relate to it. But if you've dated in the past ten years, you will connect with it on a completely different level and this book will make you laugh until you cry.