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 a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s a book 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 a book 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.
This audiobook includes an extra chapter, exclusively available in the audiobook, called ‘Everything I’ve Learned About Failure’.
‘A book full of wisdom, humour, humility, tenderness and heart. Elizabeth Day’s beautiful, reassuring stories and observations are a guide to self-compassion, a celebration of all things imperfect and will galvanise you to try, try again’ Dolly Alderton, author of Everything I Know About Love
'How To Fail has rapidly become my essential companion in this over-competitive, demanding world. By turns profound, witty, and extremely reassuring, Elizabeth Day's sublime deconstruction of the myth of 'success' – and the journey to find our own markers of contentment – is a life-changing gift to us all.' Jessie Burton, author of The Muse
'Brilliant Elizabeth Day, who you could probably trust to talk eloquently about anything' Evening Standard
'Brilliant … Covering everything from job rejections to failed IVF attempts, this podcast will make you feel better about life when things aren’t going to plan’ Harper's Bazaar
'Funny and insightful' Grazia
'It’s really quite special' Red
'Whip-smart celebrations of things going, well, wrong' Emerald Street
'Listening to this show is cathartic; failure is a constant experience shared by so many, and being open is not a bad thing’ BuzzFeed
‘Tender and insightful, as well as acerbically funny’ Reader’s Digest
About the author
Elizabeth Day is the author of four novels. Her acclaimed debut Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and Home Fires was an Observer book of the year. Her third, Paradise City, was named one of the best novels of 2015 in the Evening Standard, and The Party was an Amazon bestseller and a Richard & Judy bookclub pick. She is also an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for The Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Observer, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. She is currently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday's You magazine and host of the iTunes chart-topping podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day.
Yes! Bloody hell, yes!
I listened to this book whilst driving solo and found myself responding out loud in my car. It made me yelp ‘Yes! Bloody hell yes!’ in agreement and made me cry both sad and happy tears as I drove along the M6. Thank you for keeping me company Elizabeth. Your words were powerful and made me reflect on my own failures and how they have shaped me.