Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences

ISBN: 006095647X
ISBN 13: 9780060956479
By: Barbara Holland

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About this book

Here is a refreshing look at life as it ought to be. Bare feet, gardening, dawdling over the newspaper, oversleeping, and idle summer vacations are infinitely more satisfying than counting fat grams, eating only vegetables, and sitting behind that desk every day. So toss out the guilt and rebel. Don't just stop and smell the flowers--call in sick and lie among them, preferably with a good friend, a bottle of wine, and a handful of chocolates. Endangered Pleasures is a delightful reminder that rest and relaxation are more rewarding than a job performance review. After all, life's too short. Why not have some fun while you're supposed to be living it?

Reader's Thoughts


short essays extolling everyday pleasures often overlooked. good bathroom book! three and a half for entertainment value.

Dick Freed

A fantastic apologia of the Epicurean lifestyle. I would have enjoyed it even more if I weren't reading it over the holidays, when I too was enjoying too much sleeping, too much eating, too much drinking.

Mike Lester

Fuck Dianetics. This is the book that will help me reach my true potential. 4 stars.


Barbara Holland just died. Look up her obit in the Washington Post for Sunday 19 Sep 2010. She was a true rowdy girl. She lived not far from me, and I met her once. Her book Bingo Night at the Firehall is about the way my Virginia county used to be. Most of her books, at least the later ones, are a big Remembrance of things past, and she was right about a lot of them, but her indulgences sure made life difficult for her. I'm sorry she's gone.


A series of essays detailing, one by one, all the things that grownups used to enjoy but have convinced themselves to let go of during the last decade or three. Until I read this book, the differences between how we live now and how we lived then never seemed so immense. I suppose it's because it's all happened so gradually. It's hard to imagine anyone reading this book and not feeling shame at what we've let ourselves be led into, and the price we've all paid.


One of my favorites! This book just makes me feel good.


Amusing and insightful essays. This is the sort of book that inspires you to collar your innocent spouse and hold him captive while you read portions aloud.


I laughed out loud reading some of these short chapters. A fun book to have on the counter to pick up and read 5-10 minutes at a time.


Good book for OCD types or type A people. Good info on how to enjoy frivolous things such as bacon, mail,weekends, etc.


Short essays on the good of the occasional "vice".


Most of these essays are a little hit-or-miss, as if she wrote about smoking and drinking and setting things on fire, then decided to write enough essays along the same lines to fill a book. However, the essay on smoking is one of the best things I've ever read. If you're a smoker, or you used to be, you really should read it, and then discover on your own how good the others are.


Collection of amusing nostalgic essays by a woman who can find happiness in sleeping in, bare feet, unemployment, saving money, spending money and so on. Put a smile on my face.

Rebecca Johnson

The book had an interesting concept; but lacked seriously in the delivery. It was a boring read.


Oh man, what a fun little book! I am a confirmed fan of the four vices mentioned in the title, and read it while indulging in another - a long, hot bath accompanied by a glass of wine. OK, I don't know if the former is considered a vice, but the latter probably is. I may have to give this a reread soon.


This is a book of very interesting, but very short essays about different things that the American puritan society has dismissed as sinful. The topics range from simple breakfast coffee to going barefoot. Some of the things that she says are deemed unnecessary aren't in my life, but I guess it depends on your upbringing. An all right read.

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