Download How We Are: Book One of the How to Live Trilogy Audiobook

How We Are: Book One of the How to Live Trilogy Audiobook, by Vincent Deary Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Vincent Deary Narrator: Matthew Brenher Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The How to Live Trilogy Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781481528665
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The first book in a major new trilogy—one that will help readers everywhere live fuller, more satisfying lives.

We live in small worlds.

How We Are is an astonishing debut and the first part of the monumental How to Live trilogy, a profound and ambitious work that gets to the heart of what it means to be human: how we are, how we break, and how we mend.

This first book explores the power of habit and the difficulty of change. We live most of our lives automatically, in small worlds of comfortable routine—what author Vincent Deary calls Act One. Conscious change requires deliberate effort, so for the most part we avoid it. But inevitably, from within or without, something comes along to disturb our small worlds—some “news from elsewhere.” And with reluctance, we begin the work of adjustment: Act Two.

Over decades of psychotherapeutic work, Deary has witnessed the theater of change—how ordinary people get stuck, struggle with new circumstances, and finally transform for the better. He is keenly aware that novelists, poets, philosophers, and theologians have grappled with these experiences for far longer than psychologists. Drawing on his own personal experience and a staggering range of literary, philosophical, and cultural sources, Deary has produced a mesmerizing and universal portrait of the human condition.

Part psychologist, part philosopher, part novelist, Deary helps us to see how we can resist being habit machines and make our acts and our lives more fully our own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating, jumbled, and often profound…[How We Are] could change lives.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “A trilogy entitled How to Live might easily find itself stranded in the self-help sections of the bookshops…this would be an injustice…An honest, provisional, self-searching voice and a vision rich in images and characters’ stories…Optimistic, although in a low-key kind of way, the only way that really makes sense.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “Exhilarating…a lyrical, consoling exploration…It takes guts to recognize that change is called for, and more to follow it through. This book—so long as you don’t read it on autopilot—should help”

    Guardian (London)

  • “The one self-help book that’s actually worth reading.”


  • “Offers a new vocabulary for self-examination and vividly illustrates what it means to be human.”


  • “A handbook for the questing spirit…With the patience and assurance of an articulate guide, Deary invites us to consider intriguing ideas about human behavior. Drawing on his experience as a health psychologist and using a wealth of cultural, historical and literary references that range from the Buddha, to Nazi concentration camps, to Dorothy in the land of Oz, he leads us to examine ourselves…By the time he has helped us examine our innate struggle to accept change and even find comfort there, we too are ready to welcome and appreciate what he calls a new ‘conscious competence.’ Such mindfulness is the higher calling we deserve, Deary says—and with a better understanding of human nature, we’ll be far more likely to achieve it.”


  • “Thoughts on the human condition from a cognitive psychologist–turned–armchair philosopher.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick for January 2015

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About the Author

Vincent Deary is a health psychologist at Northumbria University who specializes in helping people change their lives for the better.

About the Narrator

Matthew Brenher, originally from London, is an award-winning actor of stage, film, and television and an accomplished voice-over artist. His theatrical background includes many Shakespearean productions. For his role as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, he was awarded best performance by a lead actor/drama by Stage Scene LA 2009–2010.