This week I read “How to Ruin Everything” essays by George Watsky. This is an incredible book documenting different parts of the artist’s life from childhood to recent developments. We learn about his struggles to overcome medical issues, fights with depression in close friends and family, along with the difficulty of living in LA and touring on the college circuit as a poet.
Book. Watsky on tour at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI
One thing that could be better is the title. This book reads more like an auto-biography full of stories and lessons the reader could learn from. For example, don’t have a pot pipe in your car when smuggling animal parts over international borders (though maybe it was dumb luck the officer found the pipe and stopped searching in the final hour). I didn’t get the sense that anything was ruined by Watsky; that is, until the final chapter, where everything does seem to go awry whenever possible. The life of an artist is difficult and rewarding and this book is a rare lucid view through the artist’s eyes from trying to make it to the first real big tour ending in dream fulfillment.
Watsky really sets the tone for how auto-biographies should be written. The stories give enough personal details that you feel you actually get to know the author. He tells some bits from his personal experiences mixed with bits of local history and culture along with family histories for some context. Watsky is the entertainer that you need in your life. His music is uncommonly good, his shows are high energy and a ton of fun, and this book does not disappoint as an easy and fun read.