The New York Times has a podcast that accompanies its Sunday Book Review. In this week’s episode, Michael Lewis talks about his new book The Undoing Project, and Arianna Huffington (who reviewed Rest in this Sunday’s New York Times) talks about Rest.
I would have loved to hear Arianna take on my full name, but instead she just talks about how great the book is, and lays out the cast for the importance of rest: “This is not about people who want to chill out under a mango tree, but it’s really about people in the arena,” she says. It’s about “realizing that they can be more productive, more creative, but at the same time happier and healthier… if they are deliberate about rest.” Later on, when Pamela Paul asks her what her biggest takeaway from the book was, she says,
I think what I learned was the importance of making it deliberate. That is not something that will just happen, because what will just happen is, we’ll be drawn back to our devices. I think that is a very profound point and it’s going to become increasingly true for people as the technologies and devices become more and more invasive, and social media becomes cleverer and clever in consuming our lives.
You know, I know plenty of critics make fun of Arianna, and see her as marketing a comfortably bourgeois notion of work-life balance (a term she doesn’t like, and neither do I), or as not being that deep; and the working conditions and publishing terms of Huffington Post have come in for their share of criticism. But reviewing the book is exactly the kind of thing she could have tossed to an assistant; instead, she clearly read it and thought seriously about it; and for an author, that’s really gratifying.
Props too to host Pamela Paul for asking great questions.