Friday, October 30, 2020

How to Be a Family: the Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together

Book: How to Be a Family: the Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together
Author: Dan Kois

What happens when one frustrated dad turns his kids' lives upside down in search of a new way to be a family?

Dan Kois and his wife always did their best for their kids. Busy professionals living in the D.C. suburbs, they scheduled their children's time wisely, and when they weren't arguing over screen time, the Kois family-Dan, his wife Alia, and their two pre-teen daughters-could each be found searching for their own happiness. But aren't families supposed to achieve happiness together?

In this eye-opening, heartwarming, and very funny family memoir, the fractious, loving Kois' go in search of other places on the map that might offer them the chance to live away from home-but closer together. Over a year the family lands in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and small-town Kansas. The goal? To get out of their rut of busyness and distractedness and to see how other families live outside the East Coast parenting bubble.

HOW TO BE A FAMILY brings readers along as the Kois girls-witty, solitary, extremely online Lyra and goofy, sensitive, social butterfly Harper-like through the Kiwi bush, ride bikes to a Dutch school in the pouring rain, battle iguanas in their Costa Rican kitchen, and learn to love a town where everyone knows your name. Meanwhile, Dan interviews neighbors, public officials, and scholars to learn why each of these places work the way they do. Will this trip change the Kois family's lives? Or do families take their problems and conflicts with them wherever we go?-Goodread

Review: Unpopular opinion time. This was a book club read and everyone seemingly loved this one...yes, everyone except for me. This reminded me a lot of Eat, Pray, Love: Family Style. I understand from a few of my friend's that Kois has a popular podcast and they think he's super funny and relatable but I found him grating the entire book. He spent a lot of time talking about his eldest daughter, who had trouble fitting in. I really think some longer sections written from his wife's point of view and both of his daughter's could have made this more interesting. Overall, not my favorite but everyone else I know gave it 4 to 5 stars, so maybe it's just me. 

Grade: 2/5

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