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No Cure for Being Human: And Other Truths I Need to Hear

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The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn't choose? It's hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are he The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn't choose? It's hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward good, better, best. But what happens when the life you hoped for is put on hold indefinitely? Kate Bowler believed that life was a series of unlimited choices, until she discovered, at age 35, that her body was wracked with cancer. In No Cure for Being Human, she searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today's "best life now" advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born. With dry wit and unflinching honesty, Kate Bowler grapples with her diagnosis, her ambition, and her faith as she tries to come to terms with her limitations in a culture that says anything is possible. She finds that we need one another if we're going to tell the truth: Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope and despair and everything in between--and there's no cure for being human.


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The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn't choose? It's hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are he The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn't choose? It's hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward good, better, best. But what happens when the life you hoped for is put on hold indefinitely? Kate Bowler believed that life was a series of unlimited choices, until she discovered, at age 35, that her body was wracked with cancer. In No Cure for Being Human, she searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today's "best life now" advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born. With dry wit and unflinching honesty, Kate Bowler grapples with her diagnosis, her ambition, and her faith as she tries to come to terms with her limitations in a culture that says anything is possible. She finds that we need one another if we're going to tell the truth: Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope and despair and everything in between--and there's no cure for being human.

30 review for No Cure for Being Human: And Other Truths I Need to Hear

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    I was a little afraid to read this because Kate is my friend and I was worried I wouldn't like it since inspirational memoir isn't always for me but I absolutely adored it and wanted to buy it for everyone I know. Stunning and moving and real. Go preorder it. I was a little afraid to read this because Kate is my friend and I was worried I wouldn't like it since inspirational memoir isn't always for me but I absolutely adored it and wanted to buy it for everyone I know. Stunning and moving and real. Go preorder it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen Rubin

    A beautiful, candid, insightful memoir (not available until September). I love the work of Kate Bowler—both her book Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved and her podcast Everything Happens. A beautiful, candid, insightful memoir (not available until September). I love the work of Kate Bowler—both her book Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved and her podcast Everything Happens.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    At 35, Kate Bowler was happily married, mother of a toddler, Duke Divinity School associate professor, and a highly respected author. She felt blessed and that life would continue to bring good things. Until she was diagnosed with incurable colon cancer and life as she knew it screeched to a halt. In her latest, No Cure for Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear), Kate considers life six years on. Yes, she is still alive but how long will experimental treatment keep her that way? No one kn At 35, Kate Bowler was happily married, mother of a toddler, Duke Divinity School associate professor, and a highly respected author. She felt blessed and that life would continue to bring good things. Until she was diagnosed with incurable colon cancer and life as she knew it screeched to a halt. In her latest, No Cure for Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear), Kate considers life six years on. Yes, she is still alive but how long will experimental treatment keep her that way? No one knows. So she’s left with living with uncertainty while still trying to maintain purpose and hope and connection. And that she does triumphantly, with wit and bracing truth. I read this story greedily, wondering how she makes peace with finitude. There are no pat answers. Sharing the questions is what makes Kate’s new book so apt for all of us. Sometimes, she says, life can only be lived in segments, like the three months between scans that tell if treatment is shrinking her tumors. Or a stolen afternoon swim with her son. I wept and cheered and wept again as I read, so taken with Kate’s humor, candor and personhood. She’s a wonder and so is her wise, heartbreaking, and ever inspirational book. 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 28 Sep 2021 #NoCureForBeingHuman #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Random House Publishing Group - Random House, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Basic B's Guide

    Kate, can we be friends? So honest and raw and so meaningful to me. I have tears in my eyes and can’t help but feel lifted up in hope and peace.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susie Meister

    It’s everything you imagine a Kate Bowler book will be. Life lets us down sometimes, but Kate hasn’t yet. My god, she’s good.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Q: Some are written by spiritual guides promising to reveal God’s single plan and purpose for my life. “Trust God and the path will reveal itself.” Other books call for wild action. There are oceans to plumb and mountains to climb and planes to exit midair. (c) Q: ...my darling, I am a clock, and I am ticking loudly. (c) Warning: never ever attempt reading this book in a public place if you find yourself emotional / going through difficult shit in your life / easily triggered / etc or you could find Q: Some are written by spiritual guides promising to reveal God’s single plan and purpose for my life. “Trust God and the path will reveal itself.” Other books call for wild action. There are oceans to plumb and mountains to climb and planes to exit midair. (c) Q: ...my darling, I am a clock, and I am ticking loudly. (c) Warning: never ever attempt reading this book in a public place if you find yourself emotional / going through difficult shit in your life / easily triggered / etc or you could find yourself sobbing smack the middle of a busy train / office lobby / etc... And such antics are sort of frowned upon in our oh-so-straight-buttoned society. I wish someone gave me a heads up. This is such a raw and splendid and painful and brilliant read that I wish I found it in myself to savour it more and not swallow that whole thing in a sitting. In the middle of a busy public place. Sobbing. Okay, that was SO embarassing. And probably grossly looking to the onlookers. Q: They kiss my wet cheeks and bust out all the instruments that the church packs into its spiritual toolkit: prayers for healing and for peace; hands laid heavily on my shoulders and head as they invite God’s presence; anointing oils that smell like Christmas, which they apply to my forehead in a greasy cross. I am convinced that by the time I am ready to leave the hospital, I will have acne there in the shape of a cross. I close my eyes when they stand around the bed, singing hymns with their naked voices. For a minute there, I am whole. (c) Q: according to every reality show I have ever watched, it is the only correct response if you encounter an ex-boyfriend and they coo, “But how are you?” I am living my best life now, Matthew. No explanation required. (c) Q: Modernity is a fever dream promising infinite choices and unlimited progress. We can learn how to be young forever, successful forever, agents of our own perfectibility. We can fall in love with Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle, Joyce Meyer and Rachel Hollis. Women can learn that their better selves can be measured in Weight Watchers points, squeeze into Kim Kardashian’s waist trainers, or be enhanced by the right shade of Mary Kay lipstick. Men can save like Dave Ramsey, master the habits of highly effective people, or flip a tire or two at their local CrossFit. The American admiration for bootstrappers and optimists became a capitalist paradise. Everyone is now a televangelist of the gospel of good, better, best. Harness your mind to change your circumstances. The salvation of health and wealth and happiness is only a decision away. Will you finally let it save you? (c) Q: Each day was a terrible winnowing, separating wheat from chaff, but I felt a surreal completeness. I remember clearly in the hospital how I felt this strange closeness with God, how I did not feel like dry grass. I was becoming less and less, but I was not reduced to nothing. God’s love was everywhere, sticking to everything. Love was in my husband’s hand on my back, steadying me, a lightness under my feet, and all over Zach’s velvety ears. I flushed with embarrassment when I described this feeling to my friends, stumbling as I tried to explain its sudden appearance (Wasn’t it there before?), that love itself was suddenly more real to me than my own thoughts. Despair was never far away, but somehow the seams of the universe had come undone, and all the splendid, ragged edges were showing. And they brought me closer than I’ve ever been to the truth of this experiment—living—and how the horror and the beauty of it feels almost blinding. (c) Q: “You have felt the mighty and indescribable love of God. It is wholeness and beauty and holiness…but it is not Disney World.” I laughed so hard I had to stop to lean against a tree. “Unless Disney World is performing abdominal surgeries that I’m not aware of.” (c) Q: “You know, Sarah, dying is a great time to want to be all spirit and no flesh. Sometimes the body is a weight pulling you all the way down. And it’s hard to love the stone that drowns you.” (c) Q: Did you make it to heaven, my love? (c) Q: Someday we won’t need to hope. Someday we don’t need courage. Time itself will be wrapped up with a bow, and God will draw us all into the eternal moment where there will be no suffering, no disease, no email. In the meantime, we are stuck with our beautiful, terrible finitude. Our gossip and petty fights, self-hatred and refusal to check our voicemail. We get divorced, waste our time, and break our own hearts. We are cobbled together by the softest material, laughter and pets and long talks with old friends. By God’s unscrupulous love and by communities who give us a place to belong. And there is nothing particularly glamorous about us, except that we have moments when we are shockingly magnanimous before forgetting about it the next day. (c) Q: Time really is a circle; I can see that now. We are trapped between a past we can’t return to and a future that is uncertain. And it takes guts to live here, in the hard space between anticipation and realization. (c) Q: All of our masterpieces, ridiculous. All of our striving, unnecessary. All of our work, unfinished, unfinishable. We do too much, never enough, and are done before we’ve even started. It’s better this way. (c) Q: I want to believe in the beauty of eternity, the endless future spooled out before us all. Time is a circle, the Christian story goes. It focuses on an image of God as the ultimate reality beyond time and space, the creator of a past, present, and future where all exists simultaneously in the Divine Mind. We are wrapped into a story without clocks. It is quite a mind-bender. Jesus arrives as a newborn with parents and a bedtime and so the Christian understanding of what is forever and what is chronological bends around him. God is eternal, but Jesus never made it to middle age. Jesus was born around the year 4 b.c., but was also hanging around when God created the heavens and the earth. Part of the mystery of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is that we believe the divine is behind us, with us, and before us. We are pulled toward eternity believing that God is already there. (c)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joy Matteson

    Kate Bowler doesn't mince words about life and death. I loved how starkly honest and true her words rang as she recounts her struggles with "being human" and having a body that tried to kill her via cancer in her 30s. It's raw, funny, and inspiring in the best way. No platitudes here, but some real truth and love. Highly recommended. Kate Bowler doesn't mince words about life and death. I loved how starkly honest and true her words rang as she recounts her struggles with "being human" and having a body that tried to kill her via cancer in her 30s. It's raw, funny, and inspiring in the best way. No platitudes here, but some real truth and love. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Trish Ryan

    This was a tough one to review, because in other circumstances I would say that this memoir reads as if the author did not have enough distance - emotionally or chronologically - to sort through her experiences and craft them into a book. I kept thinking that she might feel differently about certain things if given a bit more time. But of course, the lack of time is the entire point in this book, the second memoir by the author about her cancer diagnosis and all the questions it raised about lif This was a tough one to review, because in other circumstances I would say that this memoir reads as if the author did not have enough distance - emotionally or chronologically - to sort through her experiences and craft them into a book. I kept thinking that she might feel differently about certain things if given a bit more time. But of course, the lack of time is the entire point in this book, the second memoir by the author about her cancer diagnosis and all the questions it raised about life and time, relationships and perspective. The strength of this book is how relatable she is. Any type-A, goal-oriented person will understand the abject terror of being told that the life you’ve always controlled and directed is now running fast down a track you didn’t choose. But this is also my greatest disappointment, in that the author is a professor of religion, but seems at all times to be acting as her own god, turning again and again to her own powers in order to regain some sense of control. Her account of what she learned about clinical drug trials makes this book important for anyone considering this path - the distinctions she draws are surprising, raw, and not at all what one hopes. And yet reality rather than fantasy is an important theme throughout these pages. I’m of mixed opinion, but will say that for anyone who things this might be for you, it’s worth a try. I suspect many will find it helpful and informative. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Saou

    Kate's writing is stunning. If you haven't read her first memoir, "Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I've loved)," stop right now and pick up a copy. It's a keeper. "No Cure for Being Human" is her second memoir that digs even deeper to questions about meaning, suffering, existing as a human in a finite body. I stopped to reread passages more than once, as her thoughts provoked my own questions and tender places. The realness with which she shares her experience and asks difficult q Kate's writing is stunning. If you haven't read her first memoir, "Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I've loved)," stop right now and pick up a copy. It's a keeper. "No Cure for Being Human" is her second memoir that digs even deeper to questions about meaning, suffering, existing as a human in a finite body. I stopped to reread passages more than once, as her thoughts provoked my own questions and tender places. The realness with which she shares her experience and asks difficult questions is disarming and alluring. This is one of those books you highlight something on nearly every page, full of wisdom and depth. I was honored to have Kate as my professor for Church History back in seminary. It was before her cancer diagnosis, and we were her first class she taught after having her son, Zach. So much of that class was memorable, not only for the creative ways she covered the content, but her clear delight in the fun side of life. Years and chemo treatments later, that perspective may have shifted but has not disappeared. Kate somehow holds together deep grief and levity in a way I wouldn't have thought possible. This a book to be savored; to share with a close friend; to journal. "No Cure for Being Human" is one of the most honest & insightful books I've ever read. Thank you to Kate Bowler, Random House, and netgalley.com for access to this free advanced review copy. This review is voluntary and thoughts are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    I devoured Kate Bowler's first book in a very short time. So when I read No Cure for Being Human, I made myself slow down and savor this one. Bowler has a way of making me think and reflect on both her life and my life. She also can make me cry and she can make me laugh. Sometimes almost at the same time. No Cure for Being Human is more of her true story about her life as she has faced a cancer diagnosis as a young mom, married wife, friend and family member. She shares things realistically. I al I devoured Kate Bowler's first book in a very short time. So when I read No Cure for Being Human, I made myself slow down and savor this one. Bowler has a way of making me think and reflect on both her life and my life. She also can make me cry and she can make me laugh. Sometimes almost at the same time. No Cure for Being Human is more of her true story about her life as she has faced a cancer diagnosis as a young mom, married wife, friend and family member. She shares things realistically. I almost feel like I am standing with her in the doctor's office or wanting to hold her hand as she waits for the oncologist's report. Having been with a few doctors myself this summer, reading her work, has caused me to nod my head as I think about my own doctor visits. I also could relate to her thoughts on how to deal with life after such a diagnosis. Should she make a bucket list? How should she live her best life after her own body tried to kill her (as she says)? I would recommend No Cure for Being Human to anyone and everyone. But to someone who has to deal with a difficult diagnosis, I think it could be especially helpful. I enjoyed reading her story and her realistic, but refreshing outlook on life. I received a copy of this book from the author and the publisher. All opinions within this review are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    My Shelf Awareness review: In her bittersweet second memoir, a religion professor finds the joys and ironies in a life overshadowed by advanced cancer. When Kate Bowler, an associate professor at Duke Divinity School, was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer at age 35, her chances of surviving two years were just 14%. In her wry, touching follow-up to her 2018 memoir Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) and its associated podcast, she continues to combat unhelpful religious My Shelf Awareness review: In her bittersweet second memoir, a religion professor finds the joys and ironies in a life overshadowed by advanced cancer. When Kate Bowler, an associate professor at Duke Divinity School, was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer at age 35, her chances of surviving two years were just 14%. In her wry, touching follow-up to her 2018 memoir Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) and its associated podcast, she continues to combat unhelpful religious/self-help mantras as she ponders what to do with the extra time medical breakthroughs have given her. After multiple surgeries, a promising immunotherapy drug trial gave Bowler hope that she would live to see her 40th birthday and her young son starting kindergarten. Working on her bucket list, she found that small moments outshined large events: on a trip to the Grand Canyon, what stood out was a chapel in the ponderosa pinewoods where she added a prayer to those plastering the walls. In the Church calendar, “Ordinary Time” is where most of life plays out, so she encourages readers to live in an “eternal present.” The chapters function like stand-alone essays, some titled after particular truisms (like “You Only Live Once”). The book’s bittersweet tone finds the humor as well as the tragedy in a cancer diagnosis. Witty recreated dialogue and poignant scenes show the type-A author learning to let go: “I am probably replaceable,” she acknowledges, but here in the shadow of death “the mundane has begun to sparkle.” These dispatches from the “lumpy middle” of life and faith are especially recommended to fans of Anne Lamott. (Posted with permission from Shelf Awareness.) [If you’ve read her previous book, you may find, as I did, that there is a little too much repetition about her diagnosis and early treatment. The essays could also probably be structured more successfully. But it’s still well worth reading. (3.5 stars)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Imogen Elizabeth

    Unflinchingly honest, and thank goodness for that. No Cure for Being Human challenges us to confront the truth: that there is never enough time, that we are shaped by circumstances beyond our control, and that every life is ultimately left unfinished. For those who have felt the falling of the floor via the arrival of the unexpected, Kate Bowler’s words affirm the complexity awaiting us as we figure out what living means when it no longer looks or feels the way it did before. Through the tender Unflinchingly honest, and thank goodness for that. No Cure for Being Human challenges us to confront the truth: that there is never enough time, that we are shaped by circumstances beyond our control, and that every life is ultimately left unfinished. For those who have felt the falling of the floor via the arrival of the unexpected, Kate Bowler’s words affirm the complexity awaiting us as we figure out what living means when it no longer looks or feels the way it did before. Through the tender sharing of her own story, Kate confronts the horror and beauty stubbornly intertwined in life interrupted by life. Kate looks us in the eye sentence by sentence, challenging us to stay in the tension even when doing so knocks the wind out of us. She speaks with such kindness in the midst of questions that do not come with neat answers. There is fear in this space, yes, but also relief, as well as hope and abundant love, as we confront the truth of our reality. “God, let me see things clearly. I must accept the world as it is, or break against the truth of it: my life is made of paper walls. And so is everyone else’s.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    There's some overlap with Bowler's previous memoir—professor in her 30s, with a one-year-old child, finds out she has Stage IV cancer—but this one brings us up to date. I don't think you need to have read that one to read this one. She is intelligent, practical, clear-eyed, and often very funny—all without spouting clichés or being irritatingly saintly. It's clear the power that religion, family, and friends have in her life. There's some overlap with Bowler's previous memoir—professor in her 30s, with a one-year-old child, finds out she has Stage IV cancer—but this one brings us up to date. I don't think you need to have read that one to read this one. She is intelligent, practical, clear-eyed, and often very funny—all without spouting clichés or being irritatingly saintly. It's clear the power that religion, family, and friends have in her life.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth Lind

    Kate Bowler said something about it being easier to count items than to know what counts. This book counts. She learned to be present - in the moment - while dealing with stage 4 colon cancer. I can’t even imagine. Her sarcastic humor and her honest, oh so honest understanding of her situation made me sit up and listen. Bowler gives us all permission to feel our feelings and to honestly live our messy lives.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather Fineisen

    Kate Bowler is a blessing to read. She is down to earth, witty and thoughtful. I love her take on the prosperity gospel and the anecdote she recounts from the hospital giftshop. A honest look at cancer and participating in a study while clinging in desperation to motherhood. I want to read her other books as she writes in a way I can relate to. Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    100 stars! Ugh! I love Kate Bowler, her whole personhood, and her ways of expressing difficult or trite truths. She doesn’t skim but deep-dives, and she creates a safe space for handling the nuance of human experience. I wish I didn’t identify so much with her experiences.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Exquisitely written. I loved it!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Edney

    Kate Bowler is my hero

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: August 13, 2021 Publication date: September 30, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you have personally decided to basically continue on #maskingup and #lockingdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #fourthwave (#fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a Date reviewed/posted: August 13, 2021 Publication date: September 30, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you have personally decided to basically continue on #maskingup and #lockingdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #fourthwave (#fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle! I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn't choose? Hailed by Glennon Doyle as 'the Christian Joan Didion', Kate Bowler used to accept the modern idea that life is an endless horizon of possibilities, a series of choices which if made correctly, would lead us to a place just out of our reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland is around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. But then at thirty-five, she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, and now she has to ask one of the most fundamental questions of all: How do we create meaning in our lives when the life we hoped for is put on hold indefinitely? In No Cure for Being Human, Kate searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of our modern 'best life now' advice industry, which offers us exhausting positivity, trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn and out-perform our humanness. With dry wit and unflinching honesty, she grapples with her cancer diagnosis, her ambition and her faith and searches for some kind of peace with her limitations in a culture that says that anything is possible. Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate's irreverent, hard-won observations in No Cure For Being Human chart a bold path toward learning new ways to live. I am reviewing this very quickly because I read a friend's ARC as I was told "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK NOW"!...thank God I did. This is an all-in memoir that is not pretty at times, but all-out funny at other moments. This is a very Jesus-positive book but that is okay,...I cannot see if offending Muslims or Jews as that is not the heart of the story ... the author is. This is a great book club pick - there is so much to discuss as there will be a LOT of opinions and not all will be the same. Trust me. I will also highly recommend this book to friends, family, patrons, and people reading books in the park as we do … I have had some of my best conversations about books down by the Thames!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily Lund-Hansen

    "No Cure for Being Human" is at once a memoir and a take-down of the cultural scripts that tell us we can perfect our lives, control our fates--if we only do this, buy that. I flew through this book in a few sittings, and I'll be returning to its wisdom again and again. This is the kind of book you read, highlighting every page, then make a list of people to buy it for so you can talk about it with them. (Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book!) "No Cure for Being Human" is at once a memoir and a take-down of the cultural scripts that tell us we can perfect our lives, control our fates--if we only do this, buy that. I flew through this book in a few sittings, and I'll be returning to its wisdom again and again. This is the kind of book you read, highlighting every page, then make a list of people to buy it for so you can talk about it with them. (Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book!)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ayelet

    Such a fan of Kate Bowler!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura - Books In Still Life

    This little book holds a big punch. - Writing from her own experience of being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the tender age of 35 – happily married, mother of a toddler, and Duke Divinity School associate professor – Kate Bowler grapples with the culture of toxic positivity and the endemic “Best Life Now” movement in light of her mortality and finiteness. In a world of Bucket Lists and YOLO and Good Vibes Only, how does one grapple with the truth that life is sometime mediocre, and other times This little book holds a big punch. - Writing from her own experience of being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the tender age of 35 – happily married, mother of a toddler, and Duke Divinity School associate professor – Kate Bowler grapples with the culture of toxic positivity and the endemic “Best Life Now” movement in light of her mortality and finiteness. In a world of Bucket Lists and YOLO and Good Vibes Only, how does one grapple with the truth that life is sometime mediocre, and other times downright ugly? - Sharing personal anecdotes and drawing on her role as a professor of history at a divinity school, Kate wrestles with the question, “what does it mean to be human” as she makes peace with the hard parts of life and embraces the moments of joy. Raw, hilarious, brilliant, candid, hopeful, thought-provoking – this beautiful memoir is all this and more. I found myself needing to read excerpts to my husband, mulling over passages for days, and putting every other Kate Bowler book on hold at my local library. It as a joy to be able to promote #NoCureForBeingHuman and Kate Bowler’s book tour, within my local ministry setting. - This is a book I will return to over and over again. Thank you to Kate Bowler and Random House for allowing me to be on the launch team for this book, and for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I love Kate Bowler and her writing so much. In this tender memoir, she revisits part of her life post-diagnosis but does not retread the same path of "Everything Happens." Here, she speaks to the meaningful and mushiness of life: everything is not possible, everything is not good (sometimes it is truly, horrifically terrible) but is where we are. And no amount of self-help or positive affirmation can make things more or less meaningful than they actually are. In this book, as a person who descri I love Kate Bowler and her writing so much. In this tender memoir, she revisits part of her life post-diagnosis but does not retread the same path of "Everything Happens." Here, she speaks to the meaningful and mushiness of life: everything is not possible, everything is not good (sometimes it is truly, horrifically terrible) but is where we are. And no amount of self-help or positive affirmation can make things more or less meaningful than they actually are. In this book, as a person who describes herself as "calendar girl," I thought Bowler did an excellent job dispelling the notion that we can only live in the present, but how to balance, then-now-later, whatever those may be. I also liked that she spoke more about Toban in this book. I do wish Bowler spoke more about the power of friendship because it seems like - unsurprisingly because she is so awesome - that her friend community is powerful. And that these relationships whether to family or friends is what being human is all about, and there's no cure for that.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim Van orden

    Kate Bowler’s writing is engaging and beautiful. This second memoir was an enjoyable read. I did struggle to follow the narrative and the theme and would have enjoyed a more focused critique of the self-help literature from the perspective of her experiences if that is indeed a focus of the book. I also struggled with some of her perspectives on the problems with self-help because her experiences don’t match my own: I think that one perspective on self-help is missing from this book, namely that Kate Bowler’s writing is engaging and beautiful. This second memoir was an enjoyable read. I did struggle to follow the narrative and the theme and would have enjoyed a more focused critique of the self-help literature from the perspective of her experiences if that is indeed a focus of the book. I also struggled with some of her perspectives on the problems with self-help because her experiences don’t match my own: I think that one perspective on self-help is missing from this book, namely that some people use self-help/bibliotherapy to survive not better themselves. For example, she references the concept of radical acceptance that is written about by Tara Brach (though she does not mention Tara by name): these strategies are survival strategies for me and many others who do not have the social supports that Kate has. For myself and many others, if we break apart emotionally, there is no one to catch us, and self-help strategies can be necessary because there is no one else to help us. Of course a book does not need to do all things and I did appreciate this book. And I appreciate Kate for sharing her journey with us.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa notes

    This book about death and dying isn't morbid after all. Well, Kate does live...there's that. But she writes from the finitude that if not now, someday she'll die, so she wants to live life realistically while she's here. Not in some big "American Dream" way of wealth and prosperity. But of meaning and values. Kate writes, “We find it especially difficult to talk about anything chronic—meaning any kind of pain, emotional or physical, that abides and lives with us constantly. The sustaining myth of t This book about death and dying isn't morbid after all. Well, Kate does live...there's that. But she writes from the finitude that if not now, someday she'll die, so she wants to live life realistically while she's here. Not in some big "American Dream" way of wealth and prosperity. But of meaning and values. Kate writes, “We find it especially difficult to talk about anything chronic—meaning any kind of pain, emotional or physical, that abides and lives with us constantly. The sustaining myth of the American Dream rests on a hearty can-do spirit surmounting all obstacles, but not all problems can be overcome.“ Kate chronicles her mindset as she hears she has two years left to live, and then as she decides to try an experimental treatment. Her insights along the way prove useful for all to hear. “But no matter how carefully we schedule our days, master our emotions, and try to wring our best life now from our better selves, we cannot solve the problem of finitude. We will always want more.” And this conclusion: “There is no cure for being human.” But the book isn’t fatalistic. Just realistic. “Time itself will be wrapped up with a bow, and God will draw us all into the eternal moment where there will be no suffering, no disease, no email. In the meantime, we are stuck with our beautiful, terrible finitude.” And in this beautiful, terrible finitude, we all continue living, loving, taking one day at a time. I highly recommend using part of your limited time here to read Kate's book. My thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the review copy of this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    I found Kate Bowler via a ted talk where her words resonated with me. Followed her to her pod where she entertained and educated the masses. So I had high hopes for this book, and she did not disappoint. She captured the essence of the human condition through a horrible bout with cancer. I took away so much, but this quote just stayed with me, “It is too much, you can't outlearn this... “ There are moments in this book where Kate explains the highs and lows with such verbal accuracy that left me I found Kate Bowler via a ted talk where her words resonated with me. Followed her to her pod where she entertained and educated the masses. So I had high hopes for this book, and she did not disappoint. She captured the essence of the human condition through a horrible bout with cancer. I took away so much, but this quote just stayed with me, “It is too much, you can't outlearn this... “ There are moments in this book where Kate explains the highs and lows with such verbal accuracy that left me thinking she somehow got into my brain. Bravo!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Whitfield

    In No Cure for Being Human, Kate Bowler gives us an intimate look into her cancer journey—from her diagnosis to the days, months, and years that follow. She challenges many of the go-to responses to our mortality—carpe diem, bucket lists—and asks: When there just isn’t enough time, how does one spend it? Bowler helps us feel our raw humanity, unfiltered. Her truth is painful, poignant, and, full of joy. Her words are a gift if we let ourselves sink into the depths of her experience. Highly recom In No Cure for Being Human, Kate Bowler gives us an intimate look into her cancer journey—from her diagnosis to the days, months, and years that follow. She challenges many of the go-to responses to our mortality—carpe diem, bucket lists—and asks: When there just isn’t enough time, how does one spend it? Bowler helps us feel our raw humanity, unfiltered. Her truth is painful, poignant, and, full of joy. Her words are a gift if we let ourselves sink into the depths of her experience. Highly recommend.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kirby Jones

    18 months into a global pandemic, many of us are tired of a cultural narrative that promises constant progress and infinite possibility, but so few put it into words as well as Kate Bowler. She warmly and graciously invites readers into some of the most vulnerable parts of her story with the perfect balance of dry humor, thoughtful reflection, and a few gut-punching one liners. I won’t say I’m “better” for having read this book because I don’t think that’s the point, but I do feel more held and 18 months into a global pandemic, many of us are tired of a cultural narrative that promises constant progress and infinite possibility, but so few put it into words as well as Kate Bowler. She warmly and graciously invites readers into some of the most vulnerable parts of her story with the perfect balance of dry humor, thoughtful reflection, and a few gut-punching one liners. I won’t say I’m “better” for having read this book because I don’t think that’s the point, but I do feel more held and whole. I can’t wait to share this work with the college students I chaplain and also literally everyone else I know. So much love for this gorgeous, generous book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madison Garrett

    I generally have a season pass on anything Kate Bowler does. This new book fills in the gaps of her treatment/last few years that her first installment didn’t. It isn’t as much of a gut punch for me as Everything Happens is, but I’ve thoroughly loved and valued it. A lot of the ideas she starts here are more fully fleshed out in her podcast, which I absolutely recommend as an added resource to any of her readings.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Darcy Maher

    Absolutely wonderful in every way. I had to pace myself because Kate’s writing is so comforting and welcoming that I just wanted to keep reading, but also wanted to take time to reflect on each piece of wisdom she shared. Her honesty and wit made me laugh and cry, and left me feeling hopeful about being a human.

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