Book Review: To Be Honest by Michael Leviton

To Be Honest // by Michael Leviton

Pub Day: January 05, 2021

Publisher: Abrams Books

Page Count: 304 pages

Genre: memoir


Michael Leviton was raised by parents that valued honesty more than anything else. While that sounds rather normal, the way this manifested itself in his daily life and how people reacted to it quickly showed that it was anything but normal after all. Their honesty was accompanied with the assumption that they were not at all responsible with the consequences of their words because each person is only responsible for their own feelings, not others’, and that this honesty was more important than anything else in their lives, even if it meant living with no friends and being unable to find a stable job. In this memoir, Leviton writes about how he grew up, lessons he learned while in school and beyond, and what effect it had in his life when he started to lie on purpose.

My Thoughts:

To Be Honest by Michael Leviton was such an interesting read! It did take me a little while to become invested in this memoir (though I do think my reading device had something to do with that), but once I really sat down and focused on it, I was hooked! I am a big fan of memoirs and I can honestly (hehehe) say that this one is unlike many others I have read. It is so candid and… well… honest. It was mind blowing to read about the things he experienced and it was also very educational for me to see his thought processes behind the things he did. Often times, it was hard to disagree with him even though I can see why other people were uncomfortable in those situations. Many times you can see how this honesty hurt him or squelched the feelings needed in healthy relationships (such as with his father) but it was also difficult to argue with his logic. While I can’t say that my honesty or life in general is anything like his, this book did help me realize why I struggle so often in social situations myself – the big difference is probably that I don’t have the confidence to be as honest as he is in those situations because I do worry about what others think and feel. But it is oddly satisfying and validating to read this memoir and be able to put more thoughts and feelings to my own experiences. I definitely recommend this read for any fan of memoirs!

Affiliate Link: Buy here.

About the Author:

Michael Leviton is the author of the memoir To Be Honest (Abrams Press) and the children’s picture book My First Ghost (Hyperion). He has published numerous illustrated paperbacks for Scholastic’s READ 180 Literacy Program, and has worked as a celebrity picture book ghostwriter at HarperCollins. He has contributed music to the HBO series Bored To Death, published nonfiction in the New York Times Modern Love column, appeared on the radio program This American Life, and worked as a screenwriter at RKO Pictures. He guest-lectures at the Parsons Pre-College Academy. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University.

About the Publisher:

ABRAMS Books is the preeminent publisher of high quality art and illustrated books including bestsellers such as The Wes Anderson Collection and Tory Burch: In Color. ABRAMS Books publishes in the areas of art, photography, cooking, interior design, film, craft, fashion, sports, pop culture, and gift and stationery products, as well as children’s books.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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