"Reading Karbo is like listening to a dear friend talk..." Los Angeles Times

Yeah, No, Not Happening: Say no to self-improvement, yes to your swimming suit

The best part of publishing a book are the questions it engenders. For years you’re trapped in your own head, asking yourself your own questions about the material, then upon publication the party starts. One of the best questions I continue to receive about In Praise of Difficult Women is what do my difficult women have in common. The subtitle is Life Lessons from 29 Women Who Dared to Break the Rules, and biggest rule most of them broke was saying thanks, no thanks to self-improvery. I’d be ...

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How To Live With Few Regrets

Joan Karbo

We’re doing it. My partner of many years and I are selling the house, most of the furniture, the old VW, and KonMari-ing the crap out of our lives to go live somewhere we love. If not now, when? We’re moving to a patch of earth that few Americans know about—a Catalan village in the deep southwest of France, where a mountain range hits the sea. We’re going because after a decade of visiting every summer, we realized: We feel most ourselves there. Our lives balance themselves seemingly ...

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11 Reasons Why We’re Moving To France

For eight years we’ve been spending a month or so every summer in Collioure, our favorite village on earth. That’s not hyperbole. (Full disclosure: it’s not as if I’m an expert on magical French villages; Collioure is pretty much my first and only French village love.) Fifteen miles north of Spain, where the Pyrenees meets the Mediterranean, Collioure is one of those places that encourages dreaming. The open sky, the glinting sea, the various ancient structures: a fort, a church, a windmill. ...

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A Five Star Example of Come To Your Senses Writing

One of my favorite authors is Heather Havrilesky. Her style is an enviable combo of wit, depth, tragi-hilarity, and sublime sensory writing. In the following excerpt, see how the senses do the heavy descriptive lifting. In Havrilesky’s hands, her mother’s modest house becomes a home like no other. And you’ll notice, not once does she sum it up for us. There’s no abstract concepts gumming up the works. This is Five Star Come to Your Senses writing: Example: From “My Mother’s House” by ...

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