Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live

 

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Why Not? was selected for the Hillary Weston Writers Trust shortlist and was on the Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of 2011.

Why Not? was amazon.ca’s editor’s picks for the best of 2011!

Long listed for the Charles Taylor Prize

 

Praise for Why Not

“These thoughtful meditations on the big questions of life (and death) [are often] poignant and wise. Readers will not doubt their authenticity.

–The Globe and Mail

“Robertson’s forte is analysis that pairs pop and high culture, the contemporary and the classic, the mainstream, and the academic. And these segues from highbrow to lowbrow are always smooth, and nicely buttress his arguments. The result is a learned, clear-sighted, and occasionally funny collection of essays on why in spite of all the negatives life throws at us, we should soldier on. Maybe the highest compliment payable to this collection of essays is that they achieve what they set out to do: They’re highly persuasive that living is the only smart thing to do.”

—Winnipeg Free Press

“The essays are both playful and profound, laced with insight from thinkers across a range of disciplines, from music to history, politics to literature, high to low culture. Why Not? is intentionally provocative, stirring readers to vehemently agree or disagree. But this is Robertson’s point: to be stirred at all, regardless.”

—The National Post

“Why Not is, in a sense, a practical application of philosophy, but that’s not to say he made any sacrifices stylistically. Straightforward and never shy, the reader feels welcome and respected as Robertson plays the role of earnest life professor.”

—The newspaper (UofT)

“…heartfelt, funny, rigorous, practical without ever being preachy. Robertson has the born essayist’s way with an aphorism (“There’s no age more conformist than youth”), and his catholic range is contagious: when he pulls in Lord Byron and Jimmie Rodgers as back-to-back sources, he not only evinces no strain, he makes you think of a romantic poet and a yodeling country singer as natural soul brothers.”

—The Montreal Gazette

Robertson…proves that the success of a writer is through the universality of what is being said as he masterfully spans a select collection of quotes over fifteen topics in favour of living life through its struggles and its seemingly impossible hurdles.

The College Experiments blog

“Never, ever boring, within the wild trajectory of each piece, Robertson backtracks, repeats himself, changes his mind and displays his characteristic ribald humour. Why Not? is intentionally provocative, stirring readers to vehemently agree or disagree. But this is Robertson’s point: to be stirred at all, regardless.”

—University of Toronto Magazine