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How to Be a Family
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About the Author

Dan Kois is an editor at Slate, founding host of the podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting, and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

Reviews

A Kansas Notable Book of 2020
New York Times' Best Holiday Books of 2019New York Post
's Awesome Books for the HolidaysBookpage's Best Lighthearted Nonfiction of 2019A BookRiot New Nonfiction Release to Add to Your NightstandIncluded in Buzzfeed's Holiday Gift GuideFeatured in Entertainment Weekly's Best Holiday Books---

"Kois and his family actually take the dizzying leap to leave behind their lives for a year-a trek that takes them from New Zealand to Kansas-and the result is a unique book that every overstressed and anxious (meaning = every) parent should read."
--The Millions
"How To Be a Family is a witty, surprising and compulsively readable book. You may find yourself planning a geographical cure of your own by the time you reach the end of it. But Kois is too thoughtful a writer to dwell only on the transformative possibilities of such a trip. Nothing is quite as his family imagined it would be and this leads the book into exhilarating, emotionally complex territory."--Jenny Offill, author of Department of Speculation
"A hilarious and honest book about how wherever you (and your kids) go, there you (and their screens) are."
--Real Simple
"An illuminating story of family connection in the digital age."--Entertainment Weekly
"An impressive body of research."--The New York Times
"As many parents know, the key to making a family work is: Put in the time. Dan Kois and his wife took their two kids on the trip of a lifetime and learned what's great (and miserable) about how that time passes. The result is a funny, thoughtful, well-reported and inspiring guide for anyone hoping to create family adventures (and misadventures) of their own."--Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better
"Borrows a page from Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love....this book is an antidote to the documentarian approach that now pervades much travel writing."--Monica Drake, New York Times Book Review
"In thishighly entertaining and wryly insightful book, Dan Kois shows how elastic the very concept of family is. As he recounts his family's encounters with four foreign cultures, he illuminates not only those other societies, but also our own. He argues persuasively that we have much to learn from divorcing ourselves from our own assumptions."--Andrew Solomon, author of Far and Away and Far From the Tree
"Kois is a self-aware, menschy, and amusing guide to this adventure, picking apart what you can leave behind, what you can pick up along the way, and what will follow you wherever you are."--Vogue
"Kois, an editor at Slate, made a project of exploring what living in other cultures-in this case, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, and Kansas-could teach [his family] about becoming closer. The result is his heartwarming memoir."--The Washingtonian
"Many parents will relate to the experiences in this book of trying to get your kids to do stuff. Dan gives us some hope that we can ask our kids to do hard things, to adapt to new challenges, and it can be good for everyone. Also, the book is wildly entertaining."--Emily Oster, author of Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth
"Might remind cinema-minded readers of the end of Bill Forsyth's 1983 film Local Hero...nicely tuned-in observations befitting a keen-eyed journalist."--Kirkus
"This book shows how one family works, as a way of helping us all ask ourselves: How might (and ought) our own families best function? ... Discuss this book with people you care about, who also care about you. "--Los Angeles Times
"This sometimes hair-raising adventure in family togetherness across many continents took courage even to attempt, and a lively sense of humor to describe. Kois has produced a delightful and eye-opening book about what it means to be a family in the modern world."--Ian Frazier, author of Family and Coyote V Acme
Lots of people talk about pulling up stakes and traveling for a year. Dan Kois and his family actually did it. He's funny and honest about how it all turned out."--Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bebe and There Are No Grown-Ups

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