Cover Image: How to Be Authentic

How to Be Authentic

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Member Reviews

there's a lot to love about skye c. cleary's deep dive into the lessons one can learn today from the life & lessons of simone de beauvoir. the book is equal parts history of de beauvoir, a lesson on existentialism as a life philosophy, and a memoir about cleary's own life and experiences. in particular, the parts of this book that focused on friendship and romantic love were the most compelling for me, as i felt the most able to apply the theory cleary discussed to my own life. the book moves through many different stages of life, including aging and death, all framed around de beauvoir's teachings and the things we can learn from her life, and applied to cleary's life more directly. all of this is in the hope of cleary untangling herself from the traps of the modern world in order to live a more truly authentic life.

overall i did enjoy this book; i read it quite quickly and found cleary's arguments compelling and easy to follow. i think what the book struggled from is that it at times felt like it didn't quite know what it wanted to be. had cleary leaned more fully into memoir or into critical existential theory, i might enjoyed it a bit more. it felt at times to jump around, and would have benefitted from more focus. overall though, a great read.
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As someone who became a feminist through the outdated and incomplete philosophies of second wave feminists like Simone de Beauvoir, I highly recommend this book. Author Skye Clearly explores Beauvoir's existentialist philosophies of authenticity, self and womanhood and contextualizes them to today's time. 

Throughout the work, Beauvoir's philosophies are challenged through an intersectional lens. This critical analysis connects individuals with a deeper understanding of feminist thought and provides jumping off points for additional reading from thought-leaders of different races and socioeconomic classes. After reading, I bought three copies of the book. One for myself, and two for friends who were struggling with understanding how to be true to themselves while supporting others. Plus, narration on the audiobook is AMAZING!
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I'm late but I absolutely loved this book. I am an academic but I've never really studied philosophy or de Beauvoir. I found this book totally enlightening. I love how the author weaves through her personal experiences. I love the anecdotes of de Beauvoir's life. I will totally be recommending this book to friends. I thought Gabra Zackman did a great job narrating.
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How To Be Authentic by Skye C. clearly was a lovely book on how to be you! Not be a better you, but be you in every way. Loved it.
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I’m so grateful that I got to read this text. I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to making some videos for my TIkTok and other social media channels to recommend it to my friends and followers. It was an excellent read! 5/5 stars. I’m going to write a longer and more detailed review on my Goodreads and TikTok and I will link back once I’ve posted.
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This one was an interesting and very well-written look at Simone de Beauvoir's life and her lasting influence on feminism. Beyond that, it shows her cultural impact as a writer and thinker. I didn't know a lot about de Beauvoir going into it, but I'm happy I know more now.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan audio for the audiobook ARC!

How to Be Authentic is an interesting look at Simone de Beauvoir and her lasting influence on feminism, feminist culture, and society in general. As someone with very little prior knowledge about de Beauvoir, I found this to be a fascinating introduction and a well-written survey of her impact and legacy. And I'm sure that even de Beauvoir enthusiasts will gain from this insightful book.
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Are we all not seeking this info? This one got me thinking - according to Simone de Beauvoir we create who we are not discover how we are - and I agree. Loved this
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A comprehensive introduction to the modern day applications of Simone de Beauvoir and existentialism. Not gonna lie, at first I was really bored with this. I listened to it as an audiobook so, I think that was part of it. However, once I got into it this was really interesting and it definitely appealed to my philosophical side. I always identified with existentialism but had never actually read in depth research on the topic. I loved how the author acknowledged Beauvoir’s lack of focus on intersectionality as well as various other shortcomings. Despite some of her views being dated, I still felt like a learned so much about myself on this journey. What does being authentic look like for me? I’m still figuring it out but I feel more inspired to embrace all the emotions that come with learning to accept life and death.
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As a former college philosophy major who loves Sartre and Camus, I always felt that it was a glaring omission that I didn’t know more about Beauvoir or her philosophy.

At one point, a few years ago, I tried to read her book The Ethics of Ambiguity. But I found it too impenetrable. It was dense and abstract and I struggled to follow what she meant. It was good, but I just couldn’t connect with it.

The Second Sex is, obviously, a classic. But at roughly 40 hours as an audiobook, I was always too intimidated by it.

I figured one of her novels would be my entry point—until I found this book.

This book was a surprisingly quick read. I went through it in either 3 or 4 days.

I loved the framing of it: The author exploring how to live her own life through the lens of Beauvoir. This felt apt since so much of Beauvoir’s work is personal and autobiographical.

This work was also written to a female reader, by a female author, about a female icon. I found this to be refreshing. We are far too accustomed, especially in philosophy, to be reading the exact opposite.

This book was a good introduction to Beauvoir and makes me even more interested in going further into her work—which is precisely what you’d want from a book like this. It should send you excitedly back to the source material.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but the author did a great job at making it accessible and relatable.

I’m glad I read it.
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My interest in modern philosophy is piqued again! This was a solid listen — and I would have definitely preferred the audio to the physical. I really liked the structure of the book. It really varied from lots of focus on the philosopher, the author, and more. Solid nonfiction for me!
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A really great understanding of Simone de Beauvoir's work. Cleary understands the material enough to both make it relevant to our world as well as note shortcomings and flaws in the ideology. Lots of interesting points on how to endeavor to live a fulfilling life, build fulfilling relationships, help people grow and overcome obstacles, and nurture children and friends into their authentic selves. The narrator (Gabra Zackman) does a great job and make the audiobook an easy listen. 

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the advance copy.
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