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Publisher's Summary

Can working parents in America - or anywhere - ever find true leisure time?
According to the Leisure Studies Department at the University of Iowa, true leisure is “that place in which we realize our humanity.” If that’s true, argues Brigid Schulte, then we're doing dangerously little realizing of our humanity. In Overwhelmed, Schulte, a staff writer for The Washington Post, asks: Are our brains, our partners, our culture, and our bosses making it impossible for us to experience anything but “contaminated time”?
Schulte first asked this question in a 2010 feature for The Washington Post Magazine: “How did researchers compile this statistic that said we were rolling in leisure - over four hours a day? Did any of us feel that we actually had downtime? Was there anything useful in their research - anything we could do?”
Overwhelmed is a map of the stresses that have ripped our leisure to shreds, and a look at how to put the pieces back together. Schulte speaks to neuroscientists, sociologists, and hundreds of working parents to tease out the factors contributing to our collective sense of being overwhelmed, seeking insights, answers, and inspiration. She investigates progressive offices trying to invent a new kind of workplace; she travels across Europe to get a sense of how other countries accommodate working parents; she finds younger couples who claim to have figured out an ideal division of chores, childcare, and meaningful paid work. Overwhelmed is the story of what she found out.
©2014 Brigid Schulte (P)2014 Audible, Inc., all rights reserved. Published by Brilliance Audio. Produced by arrangement with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Debora Aoki on 04-19-15

Depressing, Dreary Listening Experience

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I wish this wasn't so heavily focused in the beginning on complaining about how hard it is to be a working mother. Yes, I know that it's hard to juggle work and family, but as a single working person, it made me feel like, "oh you have it EASY compared to ME." It was a lot of complaining from a upper middle class person that frankly started to annoy me. I didn't get the answers and advice I was hoping to find -- just someone saying "Sh*t's hard. Am I right, gals?" Tell me something I don't know and can learn from... not just more of what I already know.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I listened to the Richard Branson book, "The Virgin Way" and the Gary Vaynerchuck book "Crush It" because it was just so much more useful, entertaining and inspiring.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I think it was more the content than the narration, but ugh. the whining. the whining...

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 05-03-15

10-Hour Rant on Mommy-Martyrs

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe mothers who are martyrs and victims, and want everyone to know about it might think "Finally, someone who understands me." For the rest of us, you might think "No wonder I avoid people (women) like this."

What was most disappointing about Brigid Schulte’s story?

I thought it might have some helpful ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed. Only parts of the last two hours had any type of synthesis - once this author finally realized that she was the problem (without this I would have given it a ZERO star rating). This author seems to believe that the whole world needs to change to suit her. Arrgggh - it made me want to poke my eyeballs out.

What about Tavia Gilbert’s performance did you like?

Good reading voice and presentation.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger mostly, what a waste of my time. I had to start skipping parts 20-30 minutes at a time. I was just waiting for this author to get over herself and her drama-trauma, and get to something that resembled useful.

Any additional comments?

I don't think this author is probably capable of seeing why she is the problem, and that's (it least in large measure) her problem.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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