There is so much to love about this handbook. Vellos’s writing is easy and conversational; she shares stories of cooking with housemates and neighbors as if chatting with the reader over a meal. Such anecdotes are seamlessly accompanied by robust research that helps readers understand the value of relationships in measurable ways. At the end of each chapter, a “Try it” section is filled with activities, journal prompts, and more invitations to dig deeper. Vellos’s own charming drawings complement the text.
Vellos powerfully and personally challenges the reader. Her tips are more like life coaching sessions, pushing her audience to defy awkwardness and ask thoughtful questions. Those reading this book to improve their friendships may end up improving themselves as well. The only limitation is that Vellos’s advice is focused on face-to-face relationships in urban environments, though much of it is applicable in other situations. If every person who reads this book takes it to heart, there will be a lot more friendship in the world.
Takeaway: This tender, practical handbook will help lonely millennials, isolated elders, the recently heartbroken, and anyone else eager for more and better friendships.
Great for fans of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, Brené Brown, Mari Andrew.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A+