STARRED REVIEW
December 21, 2021

The Power of Fun

By Catherine Price
The Power of Fun provides instructions for filling your life with the kind of playful, connected fun that leaves you feeling nourished and refreshed.
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Fun “shouldn’t be an afterthought,” writes popular science author Catherine Price. “It should be our guiding star.” How’s that for good news?

After writing How to Break Up With Your Phone and following her own book’s advice, Price discovered that she had more free time, but she experienced a moment of crisis when she couldn’t figure out what to do with that freedom. Eventually she learned how to fill those moments with newfound fun and joy, a process that she describes in The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again. It’s a natural sequel to her previous book, as well as a similarly satisfying—and transformational—read.

Catherine Price shares the ways her own life was transformed by learning to prioritize fun.

This naturally fun and funny writer dug her dusty guitar out of the closet and became part of an enriching musical community that has changed her life. Meanwhile, Price also began researching the subject of fun, sorting out the difference between what she calls Fake Fun (such as watching TV for hours at a time or endlessly scrolling through social media) and True Fun, which leaves people feeling “nourished and refreshed.” After devouring books on the subject and querying hundreds of people about how they experience fun, she came up with her own definition of True Fun as a “confluence of playfulness, connection, and flow.” It’s a definition that holds up well throughout her discussions, allowing readers many opportunities to see how their own activities measure up.

The Power of Fun includes a toolkit for those whose leisure lives need a boost, including a Fun Audit and practical suggestions for creating your own Fun Squad; but even those whose lives are already highly entertaining will come to view and value their pastimes in a new light. Price documents her own journey of fun failures, such as improv comedy and charades, and successes, such as playing light-up badminton at night with her husband, an absurdly humorous aqua aerobics lesson in Latvia and learning to row crew at age 40, which resulted in a dramatic capsize in Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. Price reminds readers to cherish moments of fun both large and small—even “microdoses,” such as a quick smile or an unexpected exchange with a stranger—and to make time for fun “booster shots” like vacations or annual gatherings “that fill up your fun tank and replenish your energy for a longer period of time.”

Price is a trustworthy guide with a personable voice that stands out on each page. The Power of Fun reads like a heaping serving of a tasty yet healthy snack. You’ll enjoy every bite and feel energized afterward.

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The Power of Fun

The Power of Fun

By Catherine Price
Dial
ISBN 9780593241400

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