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The Book You Should Read if Your Friend Is in a Toxic Relationship, According to Oprah Winfrey

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Picture this: you're sitting on your couch, a cup of tea in hand, and you're contemplating the mysteries of the universe (AKA why your friend won’t leave her toxic relationship). Enter Oprah Winfrey, who has once again placed the literary spotlight on a thought-provoking read for her revered book club followers. The latest book to be highlighted on Winfrey's book club social media page? Amanda Montell’s, The Age of Magical Overthinking, a compelling exploration of the human psyche and its complex relationship with modern life.

The book is, in Montell’s own words, a story about “the most irrational thing she’d ever done in love… [and] an attempt to make sense of it,” per her article in Oprah Daily.

In her book, the author seeks to explain the reasoning behind some of the “truly unhinged behavioral patterns humans exhibit in defense of their romantic relationships, including and especially the horrible ones.”

Describing the book further, Montell shares, “By way of explanation, there’s talk of trauma and cycles of abuse. There’s talk of destroyed self-esteem and fear of retaliation.”

There’s also some insight into what behavioral economist call the “sunk cost fallacy.” This refers to the deeply ingrained belief that investing resources you can't recover—such as money, time, and even emotional resources like secrets and hope—justifies further investment.

The Age of Magical Overthinking became a New York Times Bestseller after its April 9 release, which Montell celebrated online.

“INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!!!!! It may be the best news I’ve ever received,” she said in an Instagram post. “I was on a long layover at the Salt Lake City airport when I got the call yesterday, a jet-lagged goblin turned sobbing ecstatic burst of confetti. I can’t believe this happened.”

“I need to invent a word for the feeling. It’s like a combination of jubilation and gratitude, dissociation and bewilderment, exhaustion and awe. But also something else entirely for which there is no name,” Montell continued. “Thank you to everyone who’s taken an interest in this book. To everyone who preordered. You readers are nothing short of magic!!!!!!”

On Amazon, reviewers had plenty to say. “Really enjoyed some of these essays,”wrote one reviewer. Another kept their thoughts simple and sweet, calling the work a “well written truth.”

The Age of Magical Overthinking, available on Amazon, is Montell’s third book. She’s also the author of 2019’s Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language and 2021’s Cultish.

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