The strangest things happen to Paolo Mangahas, maybe because, by his own admission, he’s a tad strange himself. There’s the friend who used to chase his school bus and scream his name, or the strangers at parties who end up telling him their deep, dark secrets. Then again, this is the same fellow who can’t abide by wrinkled sheets, who keeps the food on his plate separated by strict geographical borders, and yes, who actually wrote an entire essay on…saliva. Still, absurd as his musings may seem, there are always life lessons in there somewhere, and Mangahas finds and imparts them with warmth, and without the baggage of pontification or drama. Thus does the crazy neighbor in “In the meantime” become a dear friend and a model for living in the moment; the neurosis he acknowledges in “Learning to live with dirty dishes” teaches him to somehow settle down and grow some roots. In the title essay, “How to stop an asteroid from killing your family,” it’s ultimately less about end-of-the-world childhood paranoia, and more of earned wisdom on trusting the process, acknowledging a higher power, and—gasp!—letting it all go. In this book, Paolo Mangahas shares a collection of 18 wonderful essays—hilarious, candid, sharp, and totally engaging. But when all is said and done, the gems of insight offered up on life, love, and the human condition are precious beyond doubt.
How to stop an asteroid from killing your family
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