This Book Will Make You Kinder: An Empathy Handbook (Hardcover)
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An I Weigh Book Club Pick
“I have been a fan of Henry’s work for a long time and I’m excited for more people to see it.” —Jameela Jamil
From the creator of Drawings of Dogs, a warmly illustrated and thoughtful examination of empathy and the necessity of being kinder
The kindness we owe one another goes far beyond the everyday gestures of feeding someone else's parking meter--although it's important not to downplay those small acts. Kindness can also mean much more. In this timely, insightful guide, Henry James Garrett lays out the case for developing a strong, courageous, moral kindness, one that will help you fight cruelty and make the world a more empathetic place.
So, how could a book possibly make you kinder? It would need to answer two questions:
• Why are you kind at all? and,
• Why aren't you kinder?
In these pages, building on his academic studies in metaethics and using his signature-sweet animal cartoons, Henry James Garrett sets out to do just that, exploring the sources and the limitations of human empathy and the many ways, big and small, that we can work toward being our best and kindest selves for the people around us and the society we need to build.
About the Author
Henry James Garrett is a writer, illustrator, and creator of the wildly popular Instagram account formerly known as Drawings of Dogs, now @HenryJGarrett. Before that, he pursued a PhD in philosophy on the subject of empathy and metaethics but dropped out due to anxiety. Instead, he decided to focus on what he enjoyed most: using his warm drawings of all kinds of animals to express thoughtful ideas about wellness, social justice, equality, LGBT identity, and more. Since then, he's written and illustrated a piece on empathy for The New York Times; created alternative Valentine's cards for The Fawcett Society; provided Meghan Markle with a feminist drawing of her dog; cartooned for the i newspaper, BuzzFeed, and London Pride; and presented solo exhibitions in London and a beautiful phone box in Brighton. He lives in Brighton, England, with his partner, Kitty.
“Interspersed with Henry’s beautifully metaphorical illustrations, this is a great and easy-reading practical exploration of what kindness means in the modern world.”
“If kindness and empathy is the best of humanity this book is a roadmap to it. Accessible, beautifully illustrated, at times heart-swelling in its wholesomeness, and at others inviting you to consider philosophical ideas, it’ll sink your brain into a warm bath and, in turn, you’ll return a kinder person ready to raise the bar on humanity.”
“This Book Will Make You Kinder blends distinctly human comics with an academic approach to understanding empathy, from a near-expert on the subject. The result is an affirming, charming book that ultimately lives up to its title.”
—Adam J. Kurtz
“Foundational to our humanity, crucial to our survival, and only limited by our imagination and will, this book will convince you to take a hard look at the 'mistakes' that hamper your capacity for kindness, the power structures that depend on those limitations, and the moral imperative we all have to overcome them. Both a compelling philosophical exploration of morality and a strategic guide to expanding our collective capacity for empathy, this slim book makes an elegant (and beautifully illustrated) case for power of kindness. Smart, humane, and life-altering.”
—Thomas Page McBee
“Henry Garrett is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram and as a human. His drawings take complicated issues and make them simple again. He is a master at softening hearts and making people understand and care—his work encourages us to regularly put ourselves in other people’s shoes. This Book Will Make You Kinder is not just beautiful to look at but feels urgent in its message. For many reasons we are in danger of becoming disconnected and dehumanized, and this book is a reminder of the life-changing power of empathy. I hope this book makes it into every school and onto every bookshelf.”